Oregon’s first modern day brewpub will host the 23rd Annual Hillsdale Brewfestthis weekend at the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in Southwest Portland. Taking place on Saturday, February 20, from 11:00am to 1:00am, the Hillsdale Brewfest will bring together 22 McMenamins produced beers all from different brewery locations in Oregon and Washington.
Each year at the Hillsdale Brewfest, the McMenamins breweries all vie for the coveted “Belt”. This Battle for the Belt is one that has all attendees vote for their top three favorite McMenamins beers from the 22 offerings at the fest. There will be two sample trays containing 11; 4 oz. samples each for $10.00. With 22 total offerings it’s best to bring friends to share in on the sampling. After all votes are counted, the winning McMenamins brewery and brewer will receive the coveted championship belt and bragging rights for next year.
Here’s a complete listing of each beer along with the beer descriptions for each of the taster trays.
BEER TASTER TRAY ONE
Highland Brewery – Highland Wheat
A nice, creamy head and a golden color begin your experience with this crisp American Wheat. A flavorful fruity aroma is derived from zested lemons and limes, and the Vienna Malt gives this beauty a nice bready wheat taste. This Wheat Ale is sure to become a Highland Brewery staple.
Malts: Pale, Wheat, Vienna, Rolled Oats
OG: 1.042 TG: 01.005 ABV: 4.77 IBU: 35 SRM: 5:
Words to live by: ” Respect the game.” -Brewer Karl Lorentson
McMenamins on the Columbia Brewery – Cowabunga Radler
This light Shandy is perfect for any hero in a half shell. It’s refreshing and crisp with a mixture of pineapple juice and lemonade. “Radler” is the German word for cyclist, and the Radler style was quite appropriately started in Germany and drunk by cyclists needing something to quench their thirst. Jump off your bike and enjoy a pint, just like the Germans! Prost!
Special Ingredients: Lemonade, Pineapple Juice
Malts: Premium 2-Row, Crystal 40L
OG: 1.044 TG: 1.005 ABV: 4.35 IBU: 4 SRM: 4
Words to live by: “Broken crayons still color.” -Brewer Jesse Grover
Old St. Francis Brewery – Check Yer Coffeepot Pale
This brew is deceiving in a delightful way. Golden in color with the depth of a fuller beer style, you’ll be amazed by this unique contradiction! Coffee aromas from a McMenamins Ethiopian Roast enhance this pale ale, and the hops lend a sunny floral note to bring forth a harmonizing blend of flavors. Here exists an uncommon combination of flavors for a special beer experience! Easy drinking yet fully flavored, you may need to check your mug to see if your beer is coffee or if your coffee is beer!
Special Ingredients: McMenamins Ethiopian Coffee Beans
Malts: Pale, Wheat, Pilsen
Hops: Simcoe, Centennial, Perle, Chinook, Cascade
OG: 1.061 TG: 1.010 ABV: 6.5 IBU: 043 SRM: 5
Words to live by from Brewer Mike “Curly” White : “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” -Mark Twain
East Vancouver Brewery – Dragon Slayer Red
Dragons are truly powerful creatures and only a chosen few dare to face them. This one is red. It’s big and bold with complex flavors of malts, hops and magic. It will lure you with its balanced sweetness and hints of mystical roots and flowers. It will promise you all the riches and half of a kingdom. But stay strong and true to yourself. Grip it tight and lift it high. Slay the dragon or fail and die. To those who dare, I raise this pint; stay healthy, victorious, fair and kind!
Malts: Golden Promise, Munich, Flaked Barley, C-75, C-120, Honey, Chocolate
Hops: Galena, Brewer’s Gold, Meridian
OG: 1.065 TG: 1.013 ABV: 6.7 IBU: 40 SRM: 15
Words to Live By: “ Talk less, do more.” -Brewer Tega Chijavadze
Hillsdale Brewery – Fuzzy Barrel
We took our Fuzzy Bubble, a Belgian Fruit Beer that’s loaded with peaches and bubblegum yeast flavor, and aged it in a whiskey barrel over the summer season. Unlike most barrel-aged beers that are strong and dark, the Fuzzy Barrel is light and fruity, allowing the whiskey and oak flavors to dominate the taste, creating a complex, low-alcohol whiskey treat.
Malts: Pilsen, Vienna, Oats, C-15
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.008 ABV: 5.4 IBU: 20 SRM: 4
Words to Live by from Brewer Tyler Newton: “ The universe is transformation, life is opinion.” – Marcus Aurelius
Crystal Brewery – Perfect Timing IPA
When it comes to IPAs, timing is arguably the most influential part of a recipe. The longer hops are in boiling wort, the more their bittering qualities will come forward. Whether it’s bittering, flavoring or aroma, each hop addition has a precise job to do. Allowing an addition to boil for ten minutes instead of the five minutes you were planning on can have a large impact. With that in mind, the Perfect Timing IPA has several additions, each lending its own qualities. Light in color, medium in body and heavy in flavor and aroma, the Perfect Timing IPA is sure to earn your vote! Cheers.
Special Techniques: Dry Hopping, Bright Tank Time
Malts: Pilsner, Wheat, Crystal 15
Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Mosaic
OG: 1.060 TG: 1.014 ABV: 5.9 IBU: 80 SRM: 5
Words to Live By: ” It’s the perfect time for a pint.” -Brewers Drew Phillips & Stephen Harper
Concordia Brewery – Kilmister’s Double IPA (RIP Lemmy)
We decided to go all out and try to craft the perfect pint for all the Metalheads out there, and here it is! Loaded with more than 20 pounds of hops, this beer is packed with citrus and pine flavors but goes down like rock & roll in a glass. The addition of dextrose helps to lighten the body and make it an easy drinker. Double up or quit, double stake or split…Either way, Lemmy would approve.
Special Ingredients: Dextrose
Malts: Premium 2-Row, Flaked Barley, Vienna, Caramel Munich, Melanoidin
Hops: Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Chinook
OG: 1.079 TG: 1.014 ABV: 8.38 IBU: 99 SRM: 6:
Words to Live By: “You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools. But that’s the way I like it baby. I don’t wanna live forever.” -Brewers Dave Kosanke & Matt Carter
Roseburg Brewery – MM
For batch number 2000 (Roman numeral MM) at the Roseburg Station Brewery, the Brewer sought out to find 20 different malts and 20 different hops worthy of combining in this monumental brew. The blend of malts provides a sturdy full-bodied base with flavors of caramel, nuts, chocolate and rye, and a chocolate brown color. A bounty of hops counters the malts with citrus, tropical, floral and spicy aromas and flavors. You could say there’s a sampling of every batch brewed at Roseburg Station in this winter warmer.
Special Techniques: Dry Hopped with Bullion and Zythos
Malts: Great Western 2-Row, NW Pale Ale, Rye, 15LCrystal, 75L Crystal and Organic 60L Crystal, Canada Malts Superior Pilsen, Best Munich, Vienna, Wheat and Red X, Bairds Crystal 135L/165L and Chocolate, Thomas Fawcett & Sons Golden Promise, Maris Otter, Oat and Roasted Rye, Franco Belges Special Aromatic and Caramel Munich, and Briess Blackprinz
Hops: Indie Hops Ultra, Horizon, Chinook, Sterling, Tettnanger, Golding, Centennial, Nugget, Perle, Crystal and Meridian, Willamette Valley Hops Galena and Columbus, Hopunion Simcoe, Mosaic, Cascade, Brewers Gold, Citra and Zythos, and Crosby and Baker Bullion
OG: 1.076 TG: 1.015 ABV: 7.87 IBU: 87 SRM: 31
Words to Live By from Brewer Tom Johnson: “ Life is a mystery to be lived not a problem to be solved.” -Clive Ollies
Fulton Brewery – Corellian Porter
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed a planet called Corellia. Along with its large starships, ace pilots, and the Millennium Falcon, Corellia was inhabited by a respected and storied class of Humanoid Brewers. Perhaps the most famous and sought-after libation was their rich, chocolaty porter. A certain Corellian smuggler named Han Solo delivered this brew to the corners of the galaxy for a spell before the great wars. He and his Wookie co-pilot gained fame for making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs with a cargo hold full of delicious porter barrels. So consider yourselves lucky to have the opportunity to imbibe this rare and beautiful ale. It cannot be told which vessel transported it to our galaxy, or by whom it was piloted. What can be assumed is that it was smuggled in with great cunning, skill and risk. Enjoy!
Malts: Pale, Flaked Barley, Munich, 40L, 75L, 120L, Chocolate
Hops: Galena, US Golding, Mosaic
OG: 1.055 TG: 1.014 ABV: 5.29 IBU: 23 SRM: 29
Words to Live By from Brewer Ryan Mott : “Ah, bless you, Chewie. Bless you for not drinking it all.” -Han Solo
Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewery – Trippin’ Billy’s Barleywine
Knit together in an oaken womb, this potent Red Ale springs from the union of a fresh Double IPA and three-year-old Black Barleywine. Sherry, pecan and candied grapefruit are only the first of several layers that a patient drinker will uncover in this uncommonly complex libation.
Special Techniques: Billy Whiskey Barrel Aged
Malts: Premium 2-Row, Marris Otter Pale, Crystal Rye, Rolled Oats, Weyermann Carafa 2
Hops: Chinook, Citra, Simcoe
OG: 1.091 TG: 1.012 ABV: 10.2 IBU: 87 SRM: 14: z
Words to Live By: “May your friends be like family and family your finest friends.” -Brewers Brady Romvedt & Chris Oslin
Thompson Brewery – Noche Cigano Stout (Dark Gypsy)
This was inspired by dark summer nights where shadows are made amongst the fire light as dancers and musicians gather. The euphoria of the breeze as it stirs the warm air of grasses and flowers. Gypsy guitar, deep cello and accordion play as a large ceramic carafe of this ale is passed around. Palates embrace warm notes of Black Currant and Dark Sweet Cherry, resting on a body of shadowy Stout. Notes dance upon the mouthfeel of Cabernet as this blended beauty warms all on an evening that will forever live in memories.
Special Techniques: Aged in Cabernet Barrel
Fruit: Black Currant, Dark Sweet Cherries
Malts: Bairds Pale, Marris Otter, Optic, Flaked Barley, Black, Melanoidin, C-120
Hops: Chinook, Cascade
OG: 1.076 TG: 1.014 ABV: 8.00 IBU: 46 SRM: 32
Words to Live By from Brewer Jen Kent: “ Faith in the face of disappointment is only enhanced by laughter in the face of pain.” -Marc Maron
BEER TASTER TRAY TWO
West Linn Brewery – Cinnamon Toast Wheat
Once again, I’ve done my part to bridge the gap between breakfast and happy hour. Now, it’s your turn to enjoy. With real cinnamon sticks, real brown sugar, and organic maple syrup, this beer packs flavor for days. So if the beer you had for breakfast wasn’t bad, then have one more for dessert!
Special Ingredients: Cinnamon Sticks, Brown Sugar, Organic Maple Syrup
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel Munich 40
Hops: US Goldings, Ultra
OG: 1.045 TG: 1.008 ABV: 4.77 IBU: 25 SRM: 5
Words to Live By: “Crave those crazy squares!” -Brewer Jacob Willson
Lighthouse Brewery – Abraham’s American Amber
This fine Amber is named after Abraham Logan, an early settler and previous landowner of the site where the current Lighthouse Brewpub now sits. This ale is a quaffable balance of malted grain and Pacific Northwest Hops. A smooth caramel malt flavor takes the stage upfront that gently segues to a light, citrusy Chinook Hop finish.
Malts: Bairds English Pale Malt, Flaked Barley, Best Red X, Bairds Carastan 30/37, Bairds Crystal 135/165
Hops: Perle, Santiam, Chinook
OG: 1.052 TG: 1.008 ABV: 5.68 IBU: 30 SRM: 13
Words to Live By: “Live large and stay thirsty, friends!” -Brewer Gary Stallings
McMenamins on Monroe Brewery – Penny’s Golden
Presenting a crisp Golden Ale with a slight English twist! An Oak Spiral has been mingling with Penny’s Golden for one and a half fortnights, leaving a refreshing beer with a unique spice and juniper-fueled dryness. Cascade Hops provide flavor and aroma, while the gin and oak infusion gives you a “zip, tang, pow!” (highly technical brewing terms) of botanical goodness. This combination of ingredients was inspired by my homebrewing partner’s favorite drink, the Gin and Tonic.
Special Techniques: Aged with a Gin Infused Oak Spiral
Special Ingredients: Penny’s Gin and American Oak Spiral Medium Toast
Malts: 2-Row, C-40
Hops: Ultra, Cascade
OG: 1.040 TG: 1.010 ABV: 4.00 IBU: 14 SRM: 4
Words to Live By from Brewer Gary Nance : “I don’t know what to say to you and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want me to.” -James McMurtry
High Street Brewery – Juniper Jubilation
This is a delicately hopped, crisp little ditty with a dry finish. Spiced with Juniper, Kaffir Lime Leaves and just a touch of Blood Orange, this collaboration is brought to you by Sam Bond’s Brewing and McMenamins High Street Brewery.
Special Ingredients: Juniper Berries, Kaffir Lime Leaves
Fruit: Blood Oranges
OG: 1.040 TG: 1.004 ABV: 4.5 IBU: 4 SRM: 3
Words to Live By from Brewer Hanns Anderson : “Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Edgefield Brewery – Apricot Wild Ale
Apricot Wild is a two-beer blend of a Golden Ale and a Berliner Weisse, aged in Edgefield Estate Cider Barrels with Apricot Puree for six months. This pale, crisp sour beer greets the drinker with a slight, pleasant funk in the aroma with a rounded tinge of Apricot. It drinks delicate and is lively on the palate with a little tang and nice dose of fruit and earthy funk.
Special Techniques: Beer Blended: Miami Weisse, Bagdad
Special Ingredients: Estate Cider Barrel
Fruit: Apricot Puree
Malts: Heidelberg, Acidulated, Pale Wheat, Torrified Wheat, C15, Vienna Hops: Mosaic, Golding, Crystal
OG: 1.045 TG: 1.005 ABV: 5.16 IBU: 13 SRM: 5
Words to Live By from Brewers Bruce Loux, Mark Harris, Nathan Whitney & Will Gaither : “Don’t think in straight lines and keep the drinking light on.”
Queen Anne Brewery – Atomium Belgian Pale
Named after the iconic structure in Brussels, this Belgian Style Pale Ale is chestnut colored with an intoxicating dried fruit aroma. It has a medium body and starts with a little earthy bitterness, then rounds out with a salivating malted fruit backbone.
Special Ingredients: Belgian Abbey II Yeast
Malts: Pilsner, Aromatic, Victory, Crystal 135, Black
Hops: Brewers Gold, Perle
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.011 ABV: 5.03 IBU: 34 SRM: 13
Words to Live By from Brewer Kyle Jungck : “Let no man thirst for good beer.” -Sam Adams
Wilsonville Brewery – Zesty’s Best Citrus IPA
Are you an IPA fan who just can’t get enough citrus in your beer? Then try our one and only Zesty’s Best IPA! Dry- hopped with a special blend of hops and zested citrus fruits, Zesty’s overflows with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and fresh pine. Beneath its lacy white head resides a tropical paradise of flavor where hops and fruit collide, creating a crisp, fresh and fun take on a Northwest classic. This beer is sure to please your inner hophead, while quenching even the mightiest thirst.
Fruit: Grapefrut Peel, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Lime Peel
Malts: Superior Pilsner, Crystal Munich 40, Dextrapils
Hops: Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, Simcoe,
OG: 1.060 TG: 1.010 ABV: 6.5 IBU: 70 SRM: 7
Words to Live By from Brewer Justin Azevedo: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” -Bruce Lee
John Barleycorns Brewery – Willamette Stone Double IPA
This stone marks the intersection and origin of the Willamette Meridian and Willamette Baseline. Follow the Meridian line south into the lush Willamette Valley and find a new hop variety that may have been planted by mistake. This strong, golden-colored ale has a clean, crisp malt flavor that sets up a perfect platform for an abundant amount of hops to shine. The combination of hops is dominated with Meridians that have been described as having aromas of lemon, mixed berry and tropical fruit.
Malts: Marris Otter, Pale, Caramel Vienna, Dextrose
Hops: Chinook, Meridian, Simcoe
OG: 1.092 TG: 1.014 ABV: 10.03 IBU: 85 SRM: 6
Words to Live By from Brewer Tim Proctor: “Work hard and good things will happen.” -John Richen
Oak Hills Brewery – Chaton Griffes Belgian Porter
This beer lives a complicated life as a traditional Belgian Farmhouse Ale that’s also a Cascading Dark Ale and Porter. It’s made using Best Heidelberg Malt, 2-Row, Crystal 120L and Briess Blackprinz. It’s darker in color but light in body. It’s packed full of flavor thanks to the Belgian Yeast, Lemon Peel and Sweet Spanish Orange Peel. The hoppiness from Crystal Hops adds to this beer with uniquely combined styles.
Special Ingredients: Sweet Spanish Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Belgian Wit Yeast
Malts: Heildelberg, 2-Row, Crystal 120L, Blackprinz
OG: 1.042 TG: 01.012 ABV: 04 IBU: 025 SRM: 016
Words to Live By from Brewer Dan Black : “ I’m about to do something very clever and a tiny bit against the rules of the universe. It’s important that I’m properly dressed.” – Tommy Donbavand, Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow
Anderson School Brewery – Fire Pit Robust Porter
Inspired by the outdoor fire pits at Anderson School, this English-style Robust Porter boasts complex roasted and caramel notes with just a touch of smoked malt in the finish. English-style hops provide a delicate hop aroma and balanced bitterness while allowing the malts to shine.
Malts: 2-Row, Caramel, Black, Chocolate, Smoked, Special Roast
Hops: Brewer’s Gold, Golding
OG: 1.059 TG: 1.012 ABV: 6 IBU: 38 SRM: 29
Words to Live By from Brewer Ben Everingham : “Carpe Beerum!”
Mill Creek Brewery – Maze Maker Imperial Stout
The deep darkness of this beer may be daunting at first sight. But, the Stout lover will find comfort in its rich blackness and tan head. Slight hints of roast coffee and chocolate in the aroma are a nice prelude to the flavors. The chocolate and roasted smoothness is balanced with a mild fruity hop flavor and aroma.
Special Ingredients: Dextrose
Malts: Premium 2-Row, Oat Malt, Caramel Munich, Chocolate, Black, Roasted Barley
Hops: Simcoe, Meridian
OG: 1.078 TG: 1.013 ABV: 8.4 IBU: 28 SRM: 38
Words to Live By from Brewer Charlton Fulton: “ Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes.” -Jack Handy
To help absorb all of these McMenamins beers the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House will be offering up some fantastic food specials. Here’s what to expect from the special food menu.
Beer-Potato-Cheese Soup 3.75 cup / 4.75 bowl
Phil’s Fries – our fresh-cut fries topped with cheese sauce, crisp bacon, sour cream & green onion 11
Terminator Sausage – Olympic Provisions kielbasa, grilled onions, sauerkraut relish with your side of choice 10.50
Brewfest Burger – bacon, Tillamook® cheddar, frizzled onions & Hammerhead BBQ sauce with your side of choice 11.75
So head to the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House on Saturday to sample and vote. May the best tasting McMenamins brewery’s beer receive your vote. One thing we know for sure that it will be a McMenamins that wins the coveted “Belt”.
Hillsdale Brewery & Public House 1505 S.W. Sunset Blvd. Portland, OR 97239
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 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 Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.