Week In Review

It’s been more than just a weekend of craft beer consumption and highlights, so we are expanding this post to cover the entire week passed. Here’s a look at the wonderful events and fun people we’ve encounters during the past seven days.

The BeerMongers held a fun gathering of folks to celebrate Halloween earlier in the week. Folks dressed up for the occasion in an array of outfits and special beers included Southern Tier Pumking, Silver Moon Twisted Gourd, and Wychwood’s Hobgoblin Ale.

We caught up on the great progress happening over at the upstart Burnside Brewing where brewer Jason McAdam (left above), Adam Cassie (center above), and Jay Gilbert (right above) were hard at work preparing to get the brewhouse installed. Floors were cut for piping and the place was coming together nicely. We can’t wait to make this one of favorite new digs for good beer.

Over at BridgePort’s brewpub, the fellas in the brewery were bottling up a new seasonal beer called Night Cap. Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton was in the house with the Green Bottling crew, as was former BridgePort Brewmaster Karl Ockert who was paying his old pals a visit. Ockert has been enjoying his new gig at the Master Brewers Association as the foundation’s technical director. The Night Cap is a beefed up rendition of the brewery’s beloved Ebenezer Winter Ale aged partially in bourbon oak casks. It is the brewhouse’s seasonal offering from their Big Bottle Series.

BridgePort’s Night Cap Winter Ale will be released at a special brewery event on November 11, 2010. Read more about this new seasonal offering in an older post here.

A Tuesday visit to EastBurn is good for their insanely cheap all-day $2.00 pints. With 16 craft beers pouring, this is a ridiculously can’t-miss experience. Here The Beer Here’s John Foyston and I tried our hand at some tasty craft beers that included Terminal Gravity Cascadian Dark Ale, Coalition Liquid Sterling Fresh Hop, and Steelhead Bombay Bomber IPA.

Also during the week, Mr. Foyston and I stopped by Amnesia Brewing to check in with the brewers to see what was happening. Turns out, a lot. Gearing up for more than a  handful of Winter releases that includes a much anticipated Precious Pilsner, a rare winter lager release, Frosty’s Revenge, Verticals of Sleigh Jerker Winter Warmer,  Big Newton Fig Ale, and more. Founder-brewer Kevin King and brewer Chris Spollen also treated us to a magnificently robust Marzen Oktoberfest lager dubbed Rhein Stein with a big Munich malt spine, nutty yeast character, and a nice bite of bittering hops to balance it out.

Earlier in the week, we paid a visit to Upright Brewing, where we occasionally help with bottling and labeling. On Wednesday brewers Alex Ganum and Gerritt Ill were brewing up a fresh batch of their Four, their flagship light wheaten ale. This particular batch employed a new proprietary yeast strain that was first used in their Tyler the Elder Fresh Hop Ale. Propped by Wy’east Labs from a bottle of De Ranke Saison de Dottignies, Ganum says he was quite impressed with this strain and is considering moving toward making this Upright’s new house strain though nothing is set in stone. Upright will soon release a version of their hoppy Five and is in the process of brewing and blending a lightly spiced winter ale with cherries with this same yeast. Stay tuned for more on that. Also look for freshly bottled Upright Late Harvest Ale Batch #2 to be released soon.

No week in Beervana would be complete without a visit to one of the coolest pubs on the planet, Saraveza. Here, our friend Tyler Vickers was serving up some of his beloved Russian River Pliny The Elder on tap as well as some mouthwatering Heater Allen Pilsner. Vickers has our endorsement for this year’s bartender of the year. Though he humbly is not concerned with such an award, we think he’s aces when it comes to combining customer service and craft beer knowledge. Cheers to the Elder!

Beer Valley Brewmaster Pete Ricks made a rare visit to Portland from Ontario, Oregon way out east. On Wednesday Ricks was on hand at the Horse Brass pub, where his Gone Fishin’ Mild, Leafer Madness Imperial Pale, Fresh Hopped Leafer, and Black Madness Imperial CDA blend (a mix of Blag Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness). Brass founding father Don Younger was on hand to partake in Ricks’ bold and flavorsome offerings and offered positive feedback for the brewer.

While at the Horse Brass, we caught up with Roscoe’s founders Jeremy Lewis and Quyen Li over a round of cricket (darts). The two gentlemen were gearing up for Roscoe’s Fresh Hop Summit that kicked off on Friday night and featured 14 of this year’s top lupulin loaded brews on tap.

Friday was a nice day to stroll about Southeast Portland and take notice of the colorful leaves of autumn before soaking in some tasty craft brews at the newly opened Hawthorne Hophouse. Here, founder Leah Lockwood has curated a healthy selection of 24 rotating taps. Lockwood and her husband have been diligently working for a year to see their dream come to fruition and the result is quite impressive. In addition to offering a wide range of beers spanning from the likes of Caldera Pilsener to Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome, the Hophouse offers a range of locally sources fresh and reasonably priced food items such as their well received Portobello Sandwich and a handful of artisan burgers.

Friday night involved partaking in the offerings at Roscoe’s Fresh Hop Summit where we enjoyed Full Sail’s Hopfen Frisch fresh hopped Pils, a grassy and light quenching lager.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, we went to Hair of the Dog to get a taste of Bourbon Fred and Greg, a non-hopped beer made with gourds and Belgian sugar. The atmosphere at HOTD’s new digs as well as the food offerings are some of the best in town. We’re happy that founder and Brewmaster Alan Sprints found this place, as it seems to suit his flavor quite nicely.

Before venturing out into the spirited night of events on Saturday, we enjoyed some bottles of beer at home while taking in some of the World Series. Brewpublic’s D.J. Paul brought a bottle of Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin Imperial Ale that rivaled Southern Tier’s Pumking as one of the strongest, most pumpkiny brews to date. At 9% ABV ,it was a real warmer with a barrel of spicy and mealy gourd flavors.  Thanks for sharing, D.J.!

On Saturday and Sunday nights, Portland hosted a variety of Halloween festivities so we had to make our decision quite wisely. We opted to visit a few friends’ parties including a wine, cheese, and chocolate party where we enjoyed Three Fools Del Rio Red 07, brewed by our friend Joel Rea of Corvallis Brewing Supply. Though we are not always big on wine, this red blend was extraordinarily delicious. It even rivaled the bottle of Pumking we sampled at our other friend’s Dia De Los Musicos Muertos (Day of the Dead Musicians) party.

The weekend came to a head on Sunday, Halloween night. After watching some pretty terrible horror movies, we jumped in on The Night of the Living Ales 28th Street Pub Crawl organized by Lisa Morrison and Ezra Johnson-Greenough. The highlight was the final stop, Coalition Brewing, where Johns0n-Greenough’s peanut butter oatmeal stout poured along with Ritch Marvin’s Imperial Cascadian Dark Ale. Both beers offered deep dark warming complexities that were rivaled only by the zany cast of characters who lined up at the bar for Coalitor brews.