ASTORIA, OREGON – Buoy Beer Company will celebrate February with the continued development of projects and the welcoming of a new team member. The fourth vintage of Love, Lost at Sea will release on February 14th throughout Buoy Beer’s Oregon and Washington distribution area. Barrel-Aged Black Is Beautiful Imperial Coffee Stout, a continuation of the joint project with Fort George Brewery, is available at Buoy Beer, Fort George Brewery, Pilot House Distilling’s Portland tasting room, and Adrift Hotel.
With the growth and expansion of the past few years along with plans to expand the brewery in 2021, Kevin Shaw, Buoy’s original head brewer (now Director of Brewery Operations), began to search for a replacement to take over the day-to-day operations of the brewery and lead the team. The new head brewer position will allow the brew staff in R&D to stretch their wings and continue developing beer projects.
“I’ve known Paul for a number of years,” says Shaw. “His experience in running a brewery combined with his comprehensive education of science and love of beer makes him a perfect fit for the team.”
Paul Anderson joins the team this month as the Head Brewer at Buoy Beer Company. Paul started homebrewing in college with a kit from the local homebrew store. While pursuing his Bachelor’s in Environment and Natural Resources, and a Master’s in Biology, Paul found himself brewing every weekend, applying his knowledge of science to brewing. With a nudge from a college professor, Paul decided to give it a go, and left grad school to pursue his career in beer. Since then, Paul’s journey has led him to work at Wyeast Labs, Deschutes Brewery, and Ordnance Brewery. Paul serves as a beer judge for regional and national competitions and on the MBAA DNW Technical Committee. Paul and his dog, Rye, are happy to be here in Astoria working for Buoy Beer Co. On days not at the brewery, you can find them headed up a local hiking trail, stowed beer and treats in tow.
“In any beer I drink, I look for nuances of malt character and depth of flavor,” says Anderson. “This year’s Love Lost at Sea is a special Barleywine. The base beer features balanced toffee, toasted homemade bread crust, a touch of chocolate, and dried fruit. Held in whiskey casks from our friends at OOLA Distillery for a year, it picked up a pleasant oak tannin, and complementary whiskey characters. It’s one of those beers best savored with a friend, on a winter’s evening by the fire.”
Love, Lost at Sea 2021 has a piquant and distinctive malt profile achieved with a dense grist of British pale, British Crystal, Chocolate, and special roast malts. Its smooth, warming, toasted sweet flavors are balanced with a healthy dose of Oregon hops. This strong, complex, but harmonious mahogany-colored ale shines a light on the tangle of love gone adrift.
Marena McAnney, a Portland tattoo artist, contributed her interpretation of Love, Lost at Sea to this year’s label. Her tattoo style evokes the natural world in all its dynamic energy and mystery. When she’s not tattooing, you’ll find her hiking or wandering around Mt. Tabor with her pup.
“I feel that the most genuine and sweetest love comes from our animals; I guess you could say I’m a little dog-crazy,” says McAnney. “Remember to love one another, remember to be present.”
Buoy Beer Company will continue to feature tattoo artists on Love, Lost at Sea labels as it continues.
Black Is Beautiful Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout is a continuation of the joint effort between Buoy Beer and Fort George to heighten awareness about racial injustice and raise funds for organizations that support the Black community. Buoy Beer and Fort George joined the movement hosted by Weathered Souls Brewing in 2020, raising funds for the Black Resilience Fund by brewing and selling 16oz cans of Black Is Beautiful Imperial Coffee Stout. A portion of the beer was then put into Adrift Distillery and Pilot House Distilling whiskey barrels and right before bottling, conditioned on freshly roasted coffee beans from Columbia River Coffee Roasters.
“This Black Is Beautiful brew features the craftsmanship of local brewers, distilleries, and a coffee maker in support of an important cause,” says Anderson. “I feel like the beer has a bit of each of us and shows what a community can do to make change together. This creamy stout features roasted coffee and the pastry flavors of chocolate, coconut and vanilla, with just a touch of dried fruit.”
This month also marks the beginning of construction on the brewery expansion into the Astor Street building. Demolition crews are literally taking off the roof to accommodate a 50bbl brewhouse and 200bbl fermentation tanks. The future brew system will span 2 buildings, one dedicated to fermentation and the original building housing the bright tanks and the packaging lines.
“Buoy Beer Company is excited to start this year with a look to the future and healing growth,” says Shaw. “Our plans include expanding barrel projects, continuing community-oriented collaborations, creating job growth where we can, and brewing high-quality consistent beer.”