Where to begin? KillerBeerWeek 2011 was the biggest series of events that Brewpublic has put forth in our three years of existence. Eight days at eight venues with more than 95 curated specialty craft beers throughout.
As previously mentioned, it all kicked off for us at Roscoe’s Pub on Sunday October 16, 2011, where Jeremy and Quyen and company hosted our KillerBeerSummit, and helped us to wrangle up sixteen special beers on tap. Read PortlandBeer.org’s write up of the Summit here.
Monday night (October 17, 2011) witnessed one of the best nights of the entire week with KillerPumpkinFest at the Green Dragon Pub & Bistro. With more than seventeen pumpkin brews to select from, it was amazing to see the eclectic array of beers within one distinct genre. Elysian Brewing of Seattle brought seven of their own including Hanzel and Gretal, a pumpkin pilsner, Dark O’Moon, an imperial pumpkin porter, and one of the best beers of the year, Mister Yuck, a tart, complex, and bready pumpkin sour ale. Other pumpkin beer highlights included a spicy, gingery one-off from Hopworks Urban Brewery called El Gourdo brewed by Amelia Pillow on HUB’s nano pilot system. See the list of all the pumpkin beers poured at the Dragon here. The public’s interest was evident by a long line that extended from the front door to the back bar where the gourdy goods were housed. Outside during a pleasantly warm late October evening, other pumpkin activities were underway such as a special live from the pumpkin tapping of Breakside Brewery’s Pumpkin beer. Unique was this beer in that brewer Sam Barber pulled this uniquely spiced sage and lemongrass treat from a big orange daddy. Perhaps the highlight of the pumpkin festivities was pumpkin smashing in the back patio. More than a hundred pumpkins of all sizes were taken to a wood block and folks were encouraged to emulsify them with a weighty sledgehammer. Here is a video of this awesomeness:
KillerPumpkinFest also featured pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin spitting contest, and lots of pumpkin food treats that quickly disappeared. Short of Elysian’s annual Great Pumpkin festival in Seattle, this has to have been the biggest to date, and we look forward to more pumpkin mayhem next year.
On Tuesday October 18, 2011, we made our way over to Portland’s Beaumont Neighborhood for Southern Oregon Killer Beer Night at Bottles. A great turnout for a Tuesday night, folks congregated for tasting of some of our state’s southernmost craft beer producers. A rare Portland appearance from Standing Stone (Ashland, Oregon) was a treat. Brewer Larry Chase’s Noble Stout, which we had previously tasted at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver less than a month ago was on tap. Another rare tapping was a Wild River IPA. Unfortunately the keg was flat and was soon replaced by a tasty Southern Oregon cider, Tieton, also of Medford. Also flowing were two beers apiece from Southern Oregon Brewing of Medford and Klamath Basin Brewing of Klamath Falls. SOB’s Na Zdravi Pilsner and K-Basin’s Bare Island Blonde tastes as good as any beers on this night, as did Caldera’s signature IPA.
On Wednesday October 19, 2011, The BeerMongers on SE Division Street in Portland hosted Killer Central Oregon Beer Night. Highlights in here included a rare keg from Bend Brewing, The Red Scarlet, a big amber ale from brewmaster Tonya Cornett. Also featured was Boneyard Beer’s Experimental IPA, which has featured a few of these namesake kegs around Beervana; 10 Barrel Brewing’s Neslo, a rendition of the brewery’s popular Sinister black ale with a boatload of Red Vines added. A raffle and lots of giveaways took place on this wild night and lots of our friends and folks from the industry were on hand to celebrate. Cheers!
On Thursday October 20, 2011, the party moved across the Columbia River and into Southwest Washington, where By The Bottle showcased eight spectacular and distinct craft beers available only in Washington State. Many locals from around America’s Vancouver stopped by as did several Oregonians who made the pilgrimage just a five minute drive north from Portland.. Some of the best brews on the night included Ice Harbor (Kennewick, WA) Fresh Hop IPA, which won first place at this year’s Yakima Fresh Hop Fest; Elysian’s Idiot Sauvin IPA exhibited bold tropical fruit notes from a floral hop varietal from Down Under; Iron Horse (Ellensburg, WA) brought their Mocha Quilters Irish Death Imperial Irish Stout, which was a huge hit of the night; also, Black Raven (Redmond, WA) provided a rare to area 1/6 barrel of their Wisdom Seeker Imperial IPA. For a list of all the beers that poured during this event, check out By The Bottle’s website.
On Friday October 21, 2011, the weekend kicked it up a notch and Brewpublic held our official 3rd Brewniversary Party at Saraveza Bottleshop and Pasty Tavern in North Portland. Here we celebrated with our friends and loved ones with some of our favorite breweries such as Upright, The Commons, Mt Tabor, Walking Man, and more. As has been custom in past years, there was a few rounds of beer swag giveaways for the crowd. After wrapping up the night here, we joined staff in the back space to carve pumpkins for Saraveza’s own Great Pumpkin fest. All the while we sipped on a few mason jars of hoppy Amnesia brews gifted to us by our friend, brewer Chris Spollen. Thanks again, Saraveza, you are the best!
Saturday October 22, 2011 was Brewpublic’s pinnacle event aka KillerBeerFest at Bailey’s Taproom in downtown Portland (213 SW Broadway). Before opening the doors to the people around, a line appeared down the block. The swarms didn’t erupt as tenaciously as was witnessed last year, but a steady packed crowd enjoyed a vast assortment of interesting one-off and never before unveiled brews. One theme for this year’s party was the release of a handful of beers brewed with Rooibos, a red-colored South African legume most commonly enjoyed as a tea. Among these were a Rooibos Red from Portland U-Brew, Mt Tabor’s R&R Rooibos Rye Pale, Upright’s De La Six, a barrel-aged Brett blend featuring a touch of the tea with elderflower, lemon peel, and De La Senne yeast. The Commons brewed a beer called The Gods Must Be Crazy, a light tart brew featuring a few indigenous African ingredients. Along with rooibos, it also was highlighted with palm sugar, melegueta pepper seeds and coriander. Perhaps the most enchanting rooibos-laden beer of the night was Breakside Brewery’s Alexander Legume that we helped to brew with brewmaster Ben Edmunds. This beer, named in honor of Upright founder Alex Ganum (say Gah-NOOM) held an amber base spiced with an assortment of Chinato spices such as clove, ginger, elderflower, wormwood, and other harvest spices.
Several highlights of the evening at Bailey’s included Oakshire’s La Ferme du Funk, a barrel-aged wild ale blend with added apricots; Laurelwood’s firkin of Vinter Varmer with candied nuts; Barley Brown’s latest release of brewer Shawn Kelso’s winter warmer; Boneyard Beer’s brand new Skunk Ape Imperial hoppy red ale; Occidental Sweven, a Belgian-style ale with an smorgasbord of phenols and esters likened to bananas and bread; Fort George’s Red Tide, a chewy boisterously hopped ale that received much acclaim; and so many more.
The buzz beer of the night was MacTarnahan’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Ink Blot Baltic Porter. This stellar dark lager presented nuances of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and dark fruits. One gentleman at the event joked that this beer was brewmaster Thomas Bleigh’s “swan song”, as he is soon off to assume a position at Hopworks. Cudos to Bleigh and the Mac’s brew crew for knocking it out of the park with this brew. Killer!
On Sunday October 24, 2011, KillerBeerWeek concluded with a scrumptious recovery brunch at The Hop & Vine where chef Sam Reed put forth a most delicious four course light feast with each course pairing with a local brewmaster’s offering:
Oakshire Bottoms Up Pilsner
Chantrelle Crepe with aged cheddar
MacTarnhans Old Tom Gin Barrel-Aged Spine Tingler
Potato Rosti, stuffed with mustard greens & shallots
Upright Big Bottom Barrel-Aged Count of Monte Fisto
It all added up to one truly killer week spent shared with so many of our favorite brewers and friends from the craft beer community. Thanks to all who participated. Time for some milk thistle. Cheers!
This post was written by Angelo on October 24, 2011