Last evening The Upper Lip hosted its first ever Triple Blind Taste Fest that featured some of the most lupulin filled beers available in all of Oregon. During Triple Blind Taste Fest there was just one small caveat, only one person at The Upper Lip knew which beers were pouring and in which order. It was up to each of the attendees to rank in order their preferred Triple IPA and then try to guess which brewery was responsible for each one. This last part was a long shot as attendees only knew that there were five Triple IPAs pouring from Oregon and one Triple IPA pouring from California.
What made Triple Blind Taste Fest a truly special and unique event was that The Upper Lip went to great lengths to keep the six Triple IPAs that were pouring a complete secret. The only person that knew what was pouring and in what order was Geoff Phillips, owner of The Upper Lip. With the beer cooler doors locked the first session began at 4:00pm followed by a 6:00pm and 8:00pm sessions. Not knowing which beers were being poured kept out brand biases and scarcity when evaluating each Triple IPA.
After three sold out sessions of 40 craft beer fans each the results of Triple Blind Taste Fest are now in. Yes, one of the beers featured was the white whale known as Pliny the Younger from Santa Rosa, California’s Russian River Brewing Company. The other five from Oregon were Boneyard Notorious, Breakside Safe Word, Culmination Ferret The Younger, Ecliptic Hypernova Triple IPA, and pFriem Triple IPA.
For those that participated in the Triple Blind Taste Fest here was what we drank in the correct order.
Sample 1: pFriem Triple IPA
Sample 2: Russian River Pliny The Younger
Sample 3: Ecliptic Hypernova Triple IPA
Sample 4: Culmination Ferret The Younger
Sample 5: Breakside Safe Word
Sample 6: Boneyard Notorious
After the votes were tallied here are the top votes from the Triple Blind Taste Fest.
1st: Boneyard Notorious
2nd: pFriem Triple IPA
3rd: Breakside Safe Word
4th: Russian River Pliny The Younger
5th: Culmination Ferret The Younger
6th: Ecliptic Hypernova
The results from the 120 craft beer drinkers that sampled and voted are intriguing. Not knowing any of the beers coming into the Triple Blind Taste Fest made choosing the beers a bit of a challenge. However with some reasonable amount of Triple IPA knowledge and its availability this list of potential offerings can be narrowed down. Myself, I was able to guess three out of the six breweries correctly with pFriem, Ecliptic and Breakside. The inclusion of Culmination’s Ferret The Younger threw off many that were at the event when it came to the beer guessing.
It’s great for Oregon craft beer drinkers to see that three homegrown breweries, Boneyard, pFriem, and Breakside, prevailed over Russian River’s Pliny the Younger. And a huge congratulations goes out to Boneyard Beer for taking top honors in 2016!
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.