6th Annual Portland’s Cheers To Belgian Beers Dart Throwdown

Aaron Gillham tosses a dart at the Horse Brass Pub to determine Portland U-Brew's beer style for 2012 Portland Cheers to Belgian Beer

By D.J. Paul

Getting ready for the 6th Annual Portland’s Cheers To Belgian Beers requires a friendly dart throwing competition. Yes, it’s what you throw that tell which Belgian style beer will be brewed. And this competition featured who’s who in local brewing.

Many, many brewers were at the Brass for the throwdown

Taking place once again at the world famous Horse Brass Pub, brewers gathered to throw a dart. It is this dart throw that will determine to some extent the style of beer that they’ll brew. If the brewer throws a dart in the inner circle on the dartboard, the beer will be higher in alcohol and a dart thrown outside the inner circle the beer will be lower in alcohol.  And to decide if the beer will be dark or light depends on which radial section the dart hits. A black radial will produce a dark style and the whitish radial will produce a light style of Belgian beer. And for the ringers out there, you hit the bull’s-eye and it’s brewer’s choice. I noticed at least one being hit on this night!

More and more brewers at PCTBB dart toss at Horse Brass Pub

Gigantic Brewer Van Havig - It's Going To Be HugeAs done in the past, the previous year’s winner gets to choose the yeast strain that will be used. At the 2011 festival there was a tie between Hopworks Urban Brewery and the new kid, Logsdon Farmhouse Brewery. Because of the tie brewers this coming year will get a choice of two different Wyeast yeast strains. Hopworks chose Wyeast Yeast Strain: 37864 – PC Canadian/Belgian Ale Yeast and Logsdon chose Wyeast Yeast Strain: 3763 – Roeselare Ale Blend.

Something new this year is that the dart throwing event took place two months earlier than in prior years. By doing so, this will allow the brewers more ample time to get this special Belgian-style beer into their production schedule. It also will allow for the more creative brewers to possibly barrel age a beer.

Mark your calendars, the 2012 edition of Portland’s Cheers To Belgian Beers event will take place on Saturday, April 21 from Noon-9PM. Continuing from this year’s new location it will once again be hosted at Metalcraft Fabrication at 723 N Tillamook Street in North Portland, Oregon.

All of the dart throwing results can be seen on the Oregon Brewers Guild website.

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Labor Day Weekend In Review


Nothing like a long weekend with loved ones…oh, right…and some pleasing craft beer as well. We were fired up for our big weekend early. My mom was in town to visit her first grandchild. Most of her time was spent at my brother’s house tending to all things baby while we ventured to discover many things beer. In addition to the family festivities, our dear friends Rachelle and Scott from Chicago (we stayed with them on our spectacular 2009 Midwest Beer Adventure) were paying us a visit here in the Rose City.


Before the weekend started, we cut down hops from our trellis, set some aside for drying, and jaunted a trash bag full over to the Lucky Lab Beer Hall on Hawthorne Boulevard to share in a fun annual event that involves those appreciative of one of the most aromatically pleasing flowers used to produce modern day beer. At the Lucky Lab, many familiar faces from years past were in attendance. However, whether it was due to a cooler than normal summer or just scheduling, this year’s yield didn’t live up to the big one the Lab saw last year (a record breaking harvest of over 200 pounds of fresh hops). The brewers were in attendance and food was a-grillin’ on the outdoor barbecue. The spirit was good, and the pickin’ went well. We very much anticipate trying this year’s Mutt brew.


On Friday, our Chicagoan friends in arrived in Portland from their first stop in Seattle via train. Rachelle used to live in Portland for some time. The two of them hadn’t been back to Portland in three years, and Rachelle was eager to go to Lompoc’s Hedge House, not far from our home. Good call since it had been announced that Lompoc pubs would be tapping some vintages of their beers around town. The Hedge House on this night featured a special keg of 2009 Arctic Blast Winter Warmer. With just a subtle indication of age, the crimson bodied brew possessed a depth of dark fruit complexities and was emboldened with a fortuitous malt spine that really hit the spot. Our group also enjoyed tastes of the C-Note, Centennial IPA, and Condor Pale Ale.

After dinner at the Hedge House, we stopped by Read More…

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Come out to the farm for a weekend (or two) of some end-of-summer fun! Help pick some hops (in the shade) while enjoying some BBQ and an exquisite selection of ales and sodas. Bring the family, your appetite, and your camping gear…..you won’t want to leave early!
BREW SESSIONS EACH SUNDAY
LIVE MUSIC SATURDAY EVENINGS
HORSESHOES, DARTS, BEER PONG, CHILE ROASTING
Please call if you plan to bring an RV or 5th wheel
QUESTIONS ???
CALL: Ben 541-510-4897
Lorene 541-729-0323
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This post was written by admin on September 6, 2010

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3RD ANNUAL HOP PICKING PARTY

Come out to the farm for a weekend (or two) of some end-of-summer fun! Help pick some hops (in the shade) while enjoying some BBQ and an exquisite selection of ales and sodas. Bring the family, your appetite, and your camping gear…..you won’t want to leave early!
BREW SESSIONS EACH SUNDAY
LIVE MUSIC SATURDAY EVENINGS
HORSESHOES, DARTS, BEER PONG, CHILE ROASTING
Please call if you plan to bring an RV or 5th wheel
QUESTIONS ???
CALL: Ben 541-510-4897
Lorene 541-729-0323
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This post was written by admin on September 4, 2010

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AGRARIAN ALES and CROSSROADS FARM presents: 3RD ANNUAL HOP PICKING PARTY

Come out to the farm for a weekend (or two) of some end-of-summer fun! Help pick some hops (in the shade) while enjoying some BBQ and an exquisite selection of ales and sodas. Bring the family, your appetite, and your camping gear…..you won’t want to leave early!
BREW SESSIONS EACH SUNDAY
LIVE MUSIC SATURDAY EVENINGS
HORSESHOES, DARTS, BEER PONG, CHILE ROASTING
Please call if you plan to bring an RV or 5th wheel
QUESTIONS ???
CALL: Ben 541-510-4897
Lorene 541-729-0323

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Posted under beer events, beer news, events, Oregon beer, places to drink beer

This post was written by admin on September 3, 2010

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SKW: Newport Oregon’s Finest Microbrewery

On a recent travel to the Oregon Coast, we paid a visit to SKW Brewing Sea Towne Pub in Newport. SKW is the brainchild of brewer and founder Steve K. Wilson. After spending the better part of two decades as production manager and cellarman for the town’s world famous brewery Rogue under John Maier, Wilson is currently living his dream of brewing at his own beers. Wilson, unlike many brewers has no desire to be hand-off with his trade. Across town at the house where he lives with his wife and co-founder Cindy, Wilson brews a variety of beers on a small one-and-a-half barrel system. The beers are served at their pub located in the Sea Towne Center shopping plaza. The location was previously a book store that has since moved to a new location in the plaza. The quaint bar features hardwood floors bolstering an arena for darts, foosball, and live blues music. Wilson books live acts and is fervently involved with booking this genre of music. A large drum housed in the center of the room is indicative of his passion.

SKW brewer/owner Steve Wilson

SKW brewer/owner Steve Wilson

Beer is served in house and to go in mason jars. Even the four ounce samples come in mini ones. The beer is well made and six varieties are on tap as well as house made Prohibition-style root beer and cream soda and a guest tap of
Wyder’s Cider. Here’s what was pouring when we stopped in:

Steamin’ It Up Lager: Wilson has been tweaking this California Common style beer to get it to where it is today. A crisp, mildly sweet session brew of a copper-amber hue, this beer goes down extremely easily.

Sunset Red Ale: A robust 8.6% ABV is hidden beneath a heartily hopped spiciness. Wilson says he doesn’t brew an IPA due to the lack of hops available to him, but this beer should please any hop head. A deep amber body unveils waves of dangerously delicious flavor.

Valley Fog Brown Ale: Like an English nut brown on steroids, this 8.2% ABV brew is chewy and creamy. Another testament to Wilson’s brewing skills, the alcohol is well masked in this recipe.

Olde Oil Stout: A viscous choco-malt body holds an easy drinkin’ (5.2% ABV) creamy, oatmeal presence. Fans of Olde Engine Oil and Ninkasi Oatis should find this a pleasant middle ground. Newport folks will surely dig this come the colder months.

Mad Max ESB: You can’t have a brewery in Newport unless you have a beer dedicated to your best canine buddy. This Extra Special Bitter has a deep amber-copper body with a sweet malt spine with a nice little bite. A middle-of-the-road 6.3% ABV makes this one of the lighter brews in Wilson’s repretoire.

Steve’s Pilsner: Perhaps my favorite beer of the lot, this German-style Pils has a great skunky (in a good way) yeastiness with a pleasant mild hops snap that follows a soft golden malt underpinning. It’s nice to find a Northwest craft brewer making solid lagers. This one is a true gem.

SKW sample tray

SKW sample tray

Wilson makes a tenaciously bold (11% ABV) Doppelbock called the Procrastinator that was not pouring at the time we stopped in. However, he says he is cellaring verticals of it for future tappings. I hope to get in on that when it happens.

The brewery hopes to have their beers available to retail stores in bottles as soon as they are granted label approval. Until then, stop by the pub and visit the brewer pouring his beers from behind the counter.  Prost!

For more information on SKW Brewery Sea Towne Pub, visit their website: http://www.skwbrewing.com

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This post was written by Angelo on July 8, 2009

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Weekend in Review

Beer is wonderful.  Of course, you likely already know this.  Over the past weekend, I was lucky enough to share some great beers with some of my favorite folks.  Here’s a look at some of the highlights to a great weekend.

Starting off a fantastic Friday, I stopped by Belmont Station to pick up a 12 pack of superbly sessionable Sam Adams Boston Lager, and a sixer of the 2009 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine.  Later in the afternoon, my friend and fellow beer SNOB Bryan (see man above with snappy hat and dapper facial hair) came by to share some warm outdoor weather and help raid a portion of my beer cellar.  A 2007 Delerium Noel was a beautiful crimson pour that that held some rich candied flavors and matured to a perfect palatability.  Next, a magnificent bottle of Mikkeller’s Not Your Average Wit Ale, a bright golden flavorful wheaten brew with a glimmering hops character.  I’ve always pegged Mikkeller to be one of the best in the world, and this fruity brew was no exception.

Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit

Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit

The sun soon set and the night ensued.  A stop over to Victory Bar for Allagash Curieux and Double Mountain IPA was in order before I found my way over to North Portland for quaffs of brews from Saraveza and Widmer’s Gasthaus.

Double Mountain IPA

Double Mountain IPA

Saraveza is always lots of fun, but its rare that I make it over there since I live in Southeast Portland.  However, if its your day off, and Russian RIver Consecration’s on tap, you better get on over there, son.

Consecration

Consecration

Saraveza

Saraveza

Widmer was a must visit.  A Black IPA brewed with the X-114 experimental hop was kicking, and we arrived at the Gasthaus to discover the delicious Summit-soaked Drifter Pale Ale pouring as well.

Late weekend pints at the Gasthaus never disappoint.  The selection of tap brews offered by the Bros W always has something interested there.  I was also informed that the establishment was now filling growlers to go.

Widmer Growlers

Widmer Growlers

Before I knew it, Saturday had arrived and I was excited to meet up with my brother Mario to check out my friend Alex Ganum’s new brewery, Upright Brewing. Coming along rapidly thanks to a lot of elbow grease and deep planning, the brewery is really taking shape.  In fact, Alex is getting close to production brewing with some custom design by JV Northwest.  The amazing space off NE Broadway, a stone’s throw from the Rose Quarter and the Broadway Bridge is sure to be a destination in the near future for the burgeoning Rip City.

Alex Ganum

Alex Ganum

We’ll get back to Upright soon.  The place is phenomenal, and Alex is sure to be cranking out some one-of-a-kind malt sodas.  Alex gave us a great tour of the building.  We even snagged a bottle of Sierra Nevada Celebration.

Later on in the day, we regrouped with Alex and were stoked to find a bomb selection of brews on tap at the County Cork.  The famed Cap’n Neil showed up and the four of us threw darts with four Russian River brews on tap to choose from (Plinys the Elder and Younger, Conscration, and Damnation!). We then went back to Alex’s house to perform some QA on his grubbin’ stash.  More darts before we headed back across town. Bullseye!

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This post was written by Angelo on February 23, 2009

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