MacTarnahan's Lip Stinger Release and More

MacTarnahan's Mark Carver (tall guy in black) toasts the brewery's Lip Stinger release at the Taproom with the The Beer Here's John Foyston (left), Saraveza's Sarah Pederson, her husband Ryan Pederson, and the Brewpublic crew.

Yesterday MacTarnahan’s Taproom held a special event for the official release of their seasonal Lip Singer Saison. Fermented with peppercorns, this ale is one of our favorite brews from both the Macs and Pyramid repertoire.

Lip StingerAt this fun Cinco de Mayo event, MacTarnahan’s/PDX Pyramid’s head brewer Vasilios Gletsos was on hand to meet with folks. As an added bonus, Gletsos  tapped a special cask of extra dry-hopped Mac’s Amber using whole leaf Cascades. Also on tap was Pyramid’s latest Ignition Series release, a floral and aromatic Imperial IPA, one of the elite IPAs to emerge from the Pacific Northwest in recent memory.

We asked Vasili Gletsos about the new Lip Stinger, in its second seasonal release, to discover what went into this distinct Saison.The beer was enjoyed at this year’s Cheers To Belgian Beers. Though it did not use the requisite Wyeast #3726 strain of yeast to qualify it for an award, it was a popular offering that saw the keg drained earlier on.

Hammer time: MacTarnahan's head brewer Vasili Gletsos by a firkin of dry-hopped Mac's Amber Ale

Lip Stinger Farmhouse Ale (foreground) and Mark Carver with a dry-hopped firkin Mac's Amber Ale“We used a DuPont yeast strain (for Lip Stinger)” said Gletsos. “We let it get real warm, like 26 to 28 degrees, which is higher than we ferment anything else. The beer has a simple as can be malt composition–wheat, 2-Row, and Pilsner. We use a slight bit of sugar in the kettle with some Perle (Mt. Hood) hops in the beginning and some Saaz hops in the end.” An essential component of  MacTarnahan’s Lip Stinger is the utilization of peppercorns to give it a spicy snap. The brewers were particular about this element of the beer’s flavor profile. In Lip Stinger,  Malaysian and Indian 4 pepper blend was used. “Peppercorns are used as a post-fermentation addition,” said Gletsos. “We tasted different amounts of peppercorns and came to a consensus. We wanted a subtle heat, but nothing too extreme.” According to Gletsos, the main components of Lip Stinger is the yeast. “We let the yeast shine of subtle hops and malts,” he said. “This strain of yeast brings out a citrus, lemony note.”

MacTarnahan's Taproom crowd 5/5/10

Along with Gletsos, Mark Carver, the longtime face of Portland Brewing and MacTarnahan’s marketing team was on hand to share samples of Lip Stinger as well as handmade h’oderves  from Mac’s kitchen.Legendary Oregonian beer writer John Foyston was also on hand to enjoy the event, as was former longtime Portland Brewing marketing representative John Balfe. Here everyone had the opportunity to enjoy great beer on a cloudy, cool late afternoon on the Taproom’s tented outdoor patio. Thanks to every one at MacTarnahan’s/PDX Pyramid for a fun time.

Here’s a video of the Dry-hopped Mac’s Amber firkin tapping:

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