The Brass by Bob Wright Reading & Book Signing

The Brass with Author Bob Wright at Rogue NW Public House

It was only a matter of time that Portland’s legendary Horse Brass Pub would have its history captured in a book. Local resident Bob Wright recently published, The Brass, capturing the birth and the continued growth of our beloved Horse Brass Pub.

On Wednesday, March 4th, Rogue Ales Public House & Distillery in Northwest Portland will host a special reading and book signing with Wright, author of the recently published book The Brass. Wright chronicles the story of how the iconic Horse Brass Pub came to be the birthplace of Portland’s internationally renowned craft beer culture. The book details a unique perspective of the pub’s growth through interviews with Don Younger, Fred Eckhardt, and Rogue’s own Jack Joyce and John Maier.

Beginning at 5:00 and lasting until 8:00pm, this free event will feature at a brief reading that will be followed by a Q&A session with the author. To make this event more appropriate, Younger’s Special Bitter will be on tap along with some free light snacks.

In memory of Don, all royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the local Sisters of the Road public charity that helps the homeless.Horse Brass Pub (www.horsebrass.com)

What is The Brass about? Here is a brief synopsis that Wright provided.

The Brass is the story of the birth and growth of a world-famous public house, the Horse Brass Pub in Portland, Oregon. This authentic pub, with deep British roots, became the cathedral of Oregon’s craft beer revolution and its publican, Don Younger, the archbishop. It is a warm place with real British soul where good companionship is the order of the day and the best beer on earth welcomes everyone. This pub has been twinned for nearly three decades with the Prince of Wales, an historic London pub near Wimbledon. This book is a Read More…

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Posted under Beer Education, Beer Fundraiser, beer history, Beer personalities

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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Posted under beer awards, beer news, Beer personalities

Gigantic Brewing Releases La Formidable in Ontario

Gigantic Brewing & Beau's Berwery La Formidable American-Belgo IPA

Portland based Gigantic Brewing recently traveled to Ontario, Canada to brew a beer in conjunction with B-Side Brewing Label at the brewing facility of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. This new collaboration, La Formidable American-Belgo IPA will be released on Thursday, February 26 across Ontario in Eastern Canada.

Gigantic was approached by B-Side Brewing to brew a beer in Ontario for distribution in this local market. The beer and the marketing that goes with this beer looks just as if it was brewed here in Portland. Unfortunately for us here in the Pacific Northwest we will not be seeing this bottle, well unless you can secure some from a beer trader.


Here is more from B-Side Brewing Label press release: Read More…

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Posted under beer news, Beer personalities, beer releases

N.W.I.P.A. Triple IPA Fest

2015 NWIPA Triple IPA Fest
Hopheads have something exciting to look forward to as N.W.I.P.A.’s 2nd Annual Triple IPA Fest returns this Saturday, February 28th, beginning at noon. N.W.I.P.A will be serving up only the biggest, baddest, hoppiest beers on the planet.

The six taps to kick off Triple IPA Fest will feature Barley Brown’s Tankslapper and CHAOS, Boneyard’s Notorious, Breakside’s Safe Word, Pfriem’s Triple IPA and 10 Barrel Boise’s Lupulin Trip, which Shawn “BigHopBrewer” Kelso made specifically for Triple IPA Fest.

Since these triple IPAs are some big, bold beers, N.W.I.P.A. will have Kim Jong Grillin pulling the truck out in front of the shop. Han will be slinging his incredible Korean BBQ starting at noon.

Entry is $10 and includes commemorative glassware and 6 tickets. Additional tickets are available for $1. One ticket equals 2 oz. N.W.I.P.A will be pouring in 2, 4, and 6 ounce increments. Read More…

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Posted under beer events, Beer personalities, beer to do list

The Up and Coming Salem Craft Beer Scene

Oregon State Capitol

The growth of what is known as craft beer has been on an upward swing here in the Pacific Northwest for the past three decades. Many of the major metro markets have exploded with numerous breweries but one city, Salem, Oregon, is one that was not part of this massive growth. However, things are beginning to change in the Beaver State’s capital city.

Salem is now home to six breweries with more in the planning stages. Four of these breweries are independent, locally operations while the other two are part of chain operations. The independent breweries include Gilgamesh Brewing, Santiam Brewing, Salem Ale Works, and Vagabond Brewing. The other two are Oregon craft beer pioneers; McMenamins with its Thompson Brewery and Public House and Washington based R.A.M. that recently became employee owned.McMenamins Thompson Brewery and Public House

Oregon’s capital city has a rich history in brewing that dates back to 1862 when Sam Adolph began his Pacific Brewery in Salem. This brewery changed hands and went with a new name, Capital Brewery. There was also the Salem Brewery Association in the early 1900’s followed by Sicks’ Brewing in the middle of the last century. Last winter’s Built By Beer Pub Crawl highlighted this on a very cold winter night.

Beyond these breweries Salem is beginning to grow its craft beer culture with plenty of bars and restaurants that feature a strong, diverse tap selection. A few of Salem’s must visit taphouses include Venti’s Café, b2 Taphouse, Sparky’s Brewing Company, and Growl Movement to name just a few. Then for fans of craft cider, don’t forget Salem based Wandering Aengus Cider.

Travel Salem LogoWe were recently treated to an informative and eye opening tour of these breweries in Salem from Kara Kuh of Travel Salem. During our visit we were able to experience first hand the positive contributions these younger breweries are making to Oregon’s highly lauded craft beer scene. Read More…

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Posted under beer news, Beer personalities, beer to do list, Beer Travel

2nd Annual Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Beer Fest and Hellshire V Bottle Release

Hellshire Day 2015 Poster

The 2nd Annual Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Festival is upon us. Taking place a month later than its inaugural installment, this year’s festival will be held on Saturday, March 14th at Oakshire Brewing in Eugene’s Fermentation District. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 that includes a tasting glass and 5 drink tickets.

Last year we were fortunate enough to attend the first ever Hellshire Day. We managed our way through the rain filled day by keeping warm with the abundance of rare and sought after barrel aged beers from near and afar.

Chris Althouse and Matt Van Wyk at Hellshire DayWith less than a month from Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Festival its time to make your plans. Beer at this strength requires proper preparation, especially for those traveling from Portland. One option is taking the Bolt Bus or Amtrak for a day trip or looking at the various hotels in Eugene, with many being in walking distance.

The barrel-aged beer line up for Hellshire Day is insane. One of the best we’ve seen here on the west coast. The initial lineup includes Stone, Ecliptic, Haymarket, Three Floyds, Half Acre, Goose Island, Off Color, Revolution, Pipeworks, Perennial, Surly, Trinity, Firestone Walker, Beachwood, Pizza Port, Lost Abbey, Gigantic, Sun King, Naked City, Fremont, Logsdon, Breakside, Fifty Fifty, Hair of the Dog, New Holland, Crooked Stave, Cigar City, Hardywood Park, The Commons, De Garde and many more to be announced.

The beer festival will include offerings from Oakshire’s barrel-aging cellar, as well as dozens of barrel-aged beers from breweries around the country. Sales of 22 oz. wax-dipped Hellshire V bottles will be available at the festival at Oakshire’s Public House, beginning at 11a.m. for $15 each. But you may want to purchase more than one as this year’s bottles will feature two different labels from artist, Sean Äaberg.

Hellshire V Graves from Oakshire Brewing

Regarding the Hellshire V release, Brewmaster Matt Van Wyk said, “We received some very nice Knob Creek Bourbon barrels at the beginning of the year and formulated a Strong Stout that will marry perfectly with the bourbon and vanilla notes from the barrels. This year’s blend tastes great.” Read More…

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Posted under beer events, beer news, Beer personalities, beer releases, beer to do list, Beer Travel

Ecliptic Brewing Hosts Beer Launch Party at White Owl Social Club

Ecliptic Brewing Co.

Ecliptic Brewing will be taking its next beer release to Southeast Portland’s White Owl Social Club. On Friday, March 6 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Ecliptic owner and head brewmaster John Harris will introduce his Orbiter IPA while relaunching the Spica Pilsner

“White Owl Social Club has been an awesome partner in this launch party, and we can’t wait to have everyone join us in the celebration of the Ecliptic family of beers,” said Harris.

During the Ecliptic launch party, guests can sample and purchase the featured beers along with space and beer-themed special menu items. In addition to Orbiter IPA and Spica Pilsner, the brewery’s Down Kriek Cosmic Storm and Phobos Single Hop Red Ale will also be on tap. Read More…
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Posted under beer events, Beer personalities, beer releases

This post was written by D.J. Paul on February 18, 2015

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Ecliptic Brewing Announces Erin Grey Kemplin as Sales Manager

Erin Grey Kemplin of Ecliptic Brewing

Mississippi-area craft brewery extends its reach with expansion of sales team

Ecliptic Brewing Co.PORTLAND, Ore. (Feb. 10, 2015) – Ecliptic Brewing, a craft brewery and restaurant in Portland’s Mississippi neighborhood, announces it has hired Erin Grey Kemplin as sales manager, responsible for distribution and volume growth throughout the region, increasing the visibility and availability of products in on-premise and retail accounts.

“I could not be more thrilled to have Erin join the Ecliptic team,” said owner and head brewmaster John Harris. “It’s great to have extra hands on deck, helping to expand the reach of our beers.”

Kemplin’s passion for the beer industry began in 2005, after managing a craft beer bar in Virginia. Kemplin relocated to Oregon in 2007, where she worked at Mt. Hood Beverage and Columbia Distributing. Before joining the Ecliptic team, Kemplin worked at Stone Brewing Co. for four years.

Kemplin continues her craft beer education in her free time, and is a member of the Beer Judge Certified Program (BJCP) and a Certified Cicerone.

For a high-res image of Kemplin, visit here.

About Ecliptic Brewing

Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon beer icon whose background is steeped in the state’s rich craft brewing history. The name Ecliptic unites Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy, and as such, the brewery celebrates the Earth’s yearly journey around the sun through both its beer and restaurant menus. Executive chef Michael Molitor rotates his seasonally inspired menu every six weeks in accordance with the old world calendar. Harris’ signature seasonal beers include Spica Pilsner, Procyon Pale Ale, Phobos Single Hops Red Ale and Orbiter IPA. For more information, visit: www.eclipticbrewing.com.

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Posted under Beer personalities, brewpubs, Oregon beer, press releases

Amnesia Brewing Celebrates 10+ Years of Cascadian Craft Beer with Limited Barrel-aged “X” Barleywine

Amnesia Brewery's 10th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Barleywine

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with friend and regional craft beer figurehead Kevin King of Amnesia Brewing at his beautiful downtown Washougal, Washington brewpub to catch up and, you know, talk beer. King, a polarizing individual with a hard-nosed conviction about brewing with high quality ingredients joined me along with head brewer Sean Thommen to discuss some of their brand’s steady growth in uncharted beer territory near the up-and-coming Washougal Columbia River waterfront.

Amnesia brewers Sean Thommen (left) and founder Kevin King On May 21, 2004 Amnesia Brewing officially opened their first brewpub off Mississippi Street at Beech Street of Portland in what quickly became one of the city’s most thriving and financially viable corners. The site is currently home to Stormbreaker Brewing who recently celebrated their first anniversary. Kevin and Amnesia left in a smooth transition over to A much more forgotten corner of the region about 15 or 20 miles East of Portland on the opposite side of the mighty Columbia River in Washougal. With the new space, King has A lot of room to grow into things he never could imagine doing at his old spot despite the downside of being in a more remote part of the Northwest with less foot traffic. He knows that this will take time to grow just as his old brewery grew into the once economically challenged quadrant of Portland that today is gentrifying at an alarming rate.

Wax-dipped 22-ounce bottles of Amnesia's 10th anniversary barlelywine

Amnesia founder and brewmaster Kevin KingKevin King’s history with brewing goes back before 2004 when he opened Amnesia. As many professional brewers in the business have done before him and continue to do still, King began as a homebrewer back in 1994. He enjoyed the more flavorful beers of Mac & Jack’s Serengeti Red, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Steam. Around this time King landed his first professional brewing job in Read More…

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Posted under Beer Brewing, Beer personalities, brewpubs, Washington Beer

GoodLife Brewing & Terminal Gravity Brewing Collaborate on G-Two Imperial Red Ale

Terminal Gravity GoodLife GTwo

One of Oregon’s longstanding craft brewers, Terminal Gravity Brewing, recently collaborated with GoodLife Brewing the limited release of G-Two Imperial Red Ale. Both breweries brewed a batch of G-Two at each location. Terminal Gravity will distribute the kegs while GoodLife will be in charge of the 22oz bottles.

Though both breweries are in distant areas of Oregon from one another, there is a connection between both Terminal Gravity and GoodLife. Ty Barnett is originally from Joseph, OR just up the road from Enterprise and Terminal Gravity’s homebase. Patio, GoodLife’s lead brewer, worked with TG’s head brewer, Frank Helderman, in the early days of Seattle’s beer market.

Noticing a similarity in branding and motivation, but not necessarily in beer style, Terminal Gravity went in to GoodLife Brewing to talk about teaming up for a collaborative beer that not only meshed styles, but also brands. The breweries wanted to do a true collaboration, one that involved travel to both locations and brewers working together to make a truly collaborative recipe. Read More…

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Posted under beer news, Beer personalities, beer releases