Reviewing the 2015 Oregon Beer Awards & Willamette Week’s 2015 Portland Beer Guide

Willamette Wekk Oregon Beer Awards

So one of the two Portland weekly papers, Willamette Week, took the initiative to honor the so-called best beers, breweries, festivals and beer bar in all of Oregon for the inaugural Oregon Beer Awards. On Wednesday, February 25th this will be released in Willamette Week’s 2015 Portland Beer Guide.

The awards ceremony took place last evening in Portland at the Doug Fir Lounge. People in attendance were treated to the first copies of the new beer guide. From briefly flipping through the guide it looks to be well done and presented for both the hard-core beer geek along with the casual beer drinker.

The staff at the Willamette Week made their own picks for its Top 10 Beers of  2015 and also included another set of awards compiled from the votes of 200 or so other participants. Willamette Week determined its own Top 10 Beers as they have done so in the past for its first two issues. In the first year of the guide Willamette Week voted Fearless Loki Red as one of the Top 10 from that year.

Upright Brewing's Alex Ganum Accepting his brewery's top beer of the year award

Upright Brewing’s Alex Ganum Accepting his brewery’s top beer of the year award

This year the papers Top 10 Beers are as follows:

  1. Engelberg Pilsner – Upright Brewing
  2. Peach Slap (Batch No. 1) – Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House
  3. Hop-A-Wheelie – Boneyard Beer
  4. Top O’ The Feckin Mornin’ – Feckin Brewery
  5. Schwarzbier – Pints Brewing
  6. Alpenglow – Fat Head’s Brewery Portland
  7. La Tormenta – Breakside Brewery
  8. Red Sea – Big Island/Caldera
  9. Altbier – Widmer Brothers Brewing
  10. Golden Promise Single Malt Pale Ale – pFriem Family Brewers

For the industry voting, the Willamette Week sent ballots to approximately 200 people in the craft beer industry. I’m guessing from the responses that the Willamette Week‘s mailing list doesn’t venture too far out of the Portland metro area. Read More…

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Hophouse IPA Month Champion Is Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack

Hawthorne Hophouse IPA CHallenge Taster Tray

During the past month of January, both Hawthorne Hophouse and 15th Avenue Hophouse, held its annual IPA Month. This is when Hophouse selects a lineup of twelve Oregon brewed IPAs to go head to head in a challenge for your favorite one.

After a month of tallying over 800 votes from patrons ordering and choosing their favorite IPA from a blind taster tray, Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack took top honors, replacing 2014 winner Boneyard RPM. The honor of winning will mean that Pallet Jack will be on tap for the rest of the year at both locations.

The list of IPAs that one could choose their favorite from consisted of the following twelve breweries and IPAs. Read More…

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This post was written by D.J. Paul on February 15, 2015

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Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. and Draft Magazine Name Winners of The 2015 Ice & Ales Invitational

DRAFT Magazine and Wyeast Laboratories Ice & Ales
 
Eagle, Colo. (January 14, 2015)— This past Friday, two dozen leading craft brewers and brewery executives descended upon Sylvan Lake outside of Eagle, Colo., for the first annual 2015 Ice & Ales Invitational, hosted by Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. and DRAFT Magazine. The hospitality event was held in conjunction with the 15th Annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival. The event kicked-off with eagles soaring overhead, while participants rotated between ice-fishing shanties and a warming cabin, competing to catch the most and biggest fish of the day. Participants also battled for individual prizes and the right to be named the 2015 Ice & Ales Grand Champion Brewery.
 
“It’s perfect weather, and we’re all enjoying sitting outside in the sunshine,” noted Wyeast Laboratories, Inc. founder Jeanette Kreft-Logsdon while ice fishing and sipping on an Mephistopheles’ Stout from Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company. “The Ice & Ales Invitational creates camaraderie among our participants as we hang out in a unique environment.”

2015 Ice & Ales Invitational Winners:

Read More…

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DRAFT Magazine Ranks America’s 100 Best Beer Bars

DRAFT Magazine January/February 2015

DRAFT Magazine has just released their “America’s 100 Best Beer Bars” rankings for 2015. This beer oriented magazine has been doing this sort of ranking by region of the country for the past 6+ years. About 5 years ago the magazine reduced the ranking from 150 Best Beer Bars down to the current 100 Best. The beer bars included are just that, bars. There are no breweries in this ranking.

Every year this is read in some weird anticipation that some great new beer bar will be revealed. However its sort of the “Best Steakhouses In America” type paid advertisement you find in the seat pocket in front of you on your airline flight.

The ranking that DRAFT compiles are very rewarding for the beer bar and are rightfully justified. Its just that these sort of beer bar rankings don’t change all that much from year to year.

The Portland beer bars that ranked from the West this year include APEX, Bailey’s TapRoom, Bazi Bierbrasserie, Belmont Station, Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, and Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern.

Then when you take a look below to the rankings that have been awarded from 2010 to 2014 you see many of the same beer bars every year. Read More…

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San Diego Brewers Guild Concludes Successful Year, Forecasts 2015 Industry Trends

San Diego Brewers Guild 2014
SAN DIEGO, CA (December 22, 2014) – Responsible for maintaining San Diego’s reputation as the craft beer capital of America, The San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG) is a nonprofit collective of the county’s breweries, brewpubs, restaurants and businesses that service the craft beer industry. Since its inception in 1997, the SDBG has created a variety of educational and community events that are aligned with the nonprofit’s core mission: to promote the awareness and importance of fresh, locally brewed beer.

After their most successful year-to-date, the SDBG reflects on its accomplishments and looks forward to 2015 with a prediction of industry trends.

The SDBG concludes its most successful year-to-date that included several new events, from an inaugural golf tournament and educational summits, to partnerships with Los Angeles and San Francisco breweries and sold out large-scale events. The SDBG spent the year keeping San Diego top of mind for craft beer enthusiasts across the world. Read More…

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This post was written by admin on December 23, 2014

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Full Sail Beers Sweep the World Beer Championships

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Hood River, Oregon – Nine gold and five silver medals from the World Beer Championships have just been added to Full Sail Brewing’s impressive list of awards and accolades. Every single beer entered by Full Sail has earned gold or silver medals at this year’s competition.

“To take home a silver or gold for every one of our beers is such an extraordinary accomplishment. At Full Sail we believe that brewing is the perfect blend of art and science and this sweep acknowledges the passion and commitment to quality that we bring to every brew with our 27 years of brewing. Balance, elegance and Session-ability are our defining brewery characteristics and we’re thrilled to once again earn the highest awards for our beers,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s Executive Brewmaster. “We don’t brew our beers to win medals, but we’re honored when we do. Our customers are the ultimate judges and we strive to consistently brew all our beers with them in mind. Thanks to all our beer fans and friends for your ongoing support!” Read More…

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Ecliptic Brewing Barrel-Aged Orange Giant Barleywine Ale Release

Ecliptic Barrel-Aged Orange Giant Barleywine Ale

Back in February of this year, John Harris and his team of brewers at Ecliptic Brewing began filling Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels with their Orange Giant Barleywine Ale. Now having rested for 10 months in these barrels, Ecliptic is set to release 22oz Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Orange Giant Barleywine Ale.

Finding its inspiration in the upcoming solstice, Ecliptic’s Orange Giant Barleywine will bring warmth to the chilly winter days. The release will take place at Ecliptic in North Portland on Saturday, December 20th beginning at 11:00am. Ecliptic will be serving this barrel aged delight on draft and will have less than 70 cases for sale of this rare beer.

“All of us at the brewery have been looking forward to the awakening of our Orange Giant,” said John Harris, owner and brewmaster at Eclipitc. “After spending 10 months in 12-year-old bourbon barrels, this barleywine packs a big punch.” Read More…

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Old Town Brewing Brewmaster Bolt Minister Parts Ways With His Award Winning Brewery To Start His Own Brewing Project in SW Washington

Brewmaster Bolt Minister
By Angelo De Ieso & D.J. Paul

Over the weekend we were privy to some sad yet positive news regarding the Portland area beer scene. As of Friday, Bolton “Bolt” Minister left his position as Brewmaster at Old Town Brewing in Northeast Portland.

This news caught us by surprise as Minister has been garnering some major national and international brewing awards over the past few years when he has been at the helm at Old Town Brewing. These have been various medals at both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Not too shabby of a resume for his short tenure at Old Town Brewing Co.

Now with Old Town Brewing in his past, Minister begins work in full to get things moving along with the opening of his own production brewery. No specific location has been found but he will open the brewery north of the Columbia River in Washington’s Clark County. This will allow him to brew his fabulous lower gravity beers closer to home
and his family outside of Vancouver.

Below you can read more about how Minister got into brewing and what lies ahead for one of Portland and the Northwest’s most personable brewers.

Where are you from originally?

BM: I was born, raised, and still live in Clark County Washington.

Tell us about your work history in the craft beer industry? Where did you work first? What got you into brewing?

BM: Finding brewing as a career was a funny route for me. I was a history major at Washington State University in Vancouver, where I wrote several papers on German immigration and the brewing industry. So it was a historical interest in the growth of the American brewing industry that first got me brewing beer with my wife at home. After that first batch at home I realized that I wanted to learn much more and soon became focused on pursing brewing as a career.

My first job was at Philadelphia’s in Sellwood where I brewed once a week, but mostly I was making cheese-steaks and reading any brewing book I could get my hands on. After Philly’s I moved to Astoria Brewing Company where I was able to work with some wonderful people and get a practical knowledge of how to helm a small craft brewing shop. From Astoria I went to Rock Bottom Brewing in Portland. It was at Rock Bottom where I really got a proper education in how to become a brewer by working for Van Havig and later Charlie Hutchins.

What beers have you won national awards for?

BM: The following medals have been awarded:

Gold – 2013 Great American Beer Festival – Cent’s & Censability Fresh Hop Pale Ale

Silver – 2014 World Beer Cup – I’d Like to Buy the World a Kolsch – Kolsch-style Ale

Bronze – 2014 World Beer Cup – Paulie’s NOT Irish Red – Irish Red-style Ale

Silver – 2014 Great American Beer Festival – I’d Like to Buy the World a Kolsch – Kolsch-style Ale

Cheers at Denver - Old Town Brewery's award winning craft beers under Bolt Minister

What are your favorite styles of beer to brew? Favorites to drink? Read More…

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TRiNiTY BREWiNG Garners Notable Awards

Jason Yester, aka "Saison Man", of TRiNiTY BREWiNG at 2014 FoBAB

Colorado Springs’ TRiNiTY BREWiNG has recently hit the national and international stage again with some notable awards and humbling mentions. Earlier this month TRiNiTY BREWiNG was awarded two Silver medals at Chicago’s Festival of Barrel Aged Beer (FoBAB) and has also been listed as one of the Top 25 beers in the world for 2014 from DRAFT MAGAZINE. Read More…

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Oregon Brewers Win at 12th Annual Festival of Wood & Barrel Aged Beer

FoBAB 2014

With the colder weather that has recently hit us, there’s nothing better than to hunker down with a big, bold barrel-aged beer to warm you up. And this past weekend we braved the even colder weather of Chicago to take in the 12th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB).

Our good friend, Pete Crowley now of Haymarket Pub & Brewery, founded FoBAB back in 2003 at downtown Chicago’s Rock Bottom location. Since this time FoBAB has evolved to larger locations, then adding two sessions and with this year’s event adding another day for a total of 3 sessions. Read More…

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