With the revival of the brewing industry here in the United States it has also brought with it the strong upswing of craft distillers. Both industries are now a solid part of what makes up Portland’s strong culture of imbibing. It seems as more and more breweries open there are a solid amount of new distilleries opening as well.
On Saturday, February 28th, StormBreaker Brewing will be the host to their Inaugural Brewstillery Fest beginning at noon and running til 10:00pm.
Advance tickets for the inaugural Brewstillery Festival are now on sale for $20, which includes a tasting glass and 10 tickets. Tickets can be purchased here. Get them now as if you wait until that day of the event tickets jump up to $25.
StormBreaker’s Dan Malech states, “It is our goal to find some more ideal pairings. At the fest breweries and distilleries will be paired together to create the perfect pairing. There will be some beers created just for this event to go with a specific spirit, some aged in barrels from their distilling partner, and some that were always just meant to be.”
The 18 participating breweries include: Stormbreaker Brewing, Amnesia Brewing, Baerlic Brewing Co., Base Camp Brewing Company, Breakside Brewery, Cascade Brewing, Coalition Brewing, The Commons Brewery, Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House, Ecliptic Brewing, Ex Novo, Hair of the Dog, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Humble Brewing, Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, Migration Brewing Company, Upright Brewing, Widmer Brothers Brewing
The 12 participating distilleries include: 4 Spirits, Bull Run Distillery, Big Bottom Whiskey, Clear Creak Distillery, Eastside Distilling, Indio Spirits Distillery & Tasting Room, Stein, Parliament, House Spirits Distillery, Dry Fly, Oregon Spirits Distillery, Stone Barn Brandy Works.
Here is a rundown of the many of the pairings along with descriptions for many of them. You can also download the Brewstillery Program here.
Trader The Devil’s Coat
StormBreaker – Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Coat
Bull Run Distilling Co. – Temperance
This is the pairing we had in mind when we created the Brewstillery Festival. Aged for two months in a Bull Run Bourbon Barrel, your tastebuds will be thanking you in different ways as you go from whiskey to beer and then beer to whiskey. The complimenting aromas of oak, with flavors of vanilla and toffee, are always present as the beer brings big chocalate and dark cherry flavors, while the whiskey adds warmth and spice with a caramel finish to make this a tailored fit for any devil.
Bottom of the Barrel
Amnesia – 10th Anniversary Barleywine Aged in Big Bottom Bourbon Barrels
Big Bottom Whiskey – 91 Proof Bourbon
An obvious pairing but a beautiful one. The Bourbon will seamlessly intertwine between the beer and the spirit. Notes of vanilla, amaretto, pralines and slight sherry like flavors will marry and mirror the bourbon in an unmatched, glorious harmony that songs are written about.
The Noble Bomb
Baerlic – Noble Stout
EastSide Distillery – Cherry Bomb Whiskey
This beer-spirit pairing ranks among the best duos of all time. Hall and Oats. Macaroni and cheese. Sanford and Son. Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. Nutella and your finger. The striking aroma of the Cherry Bomb compliments the dry rounded finish of the Noble Stout in an inexplicable way that will stand the test of time, like any famous duo should
The People’s Hammer
Base Camp – Ripstop Rye Pils
Stein Distillery – Rye Vodka
Na zdorovje, comrade! Somewhere in Siberia, old farmers are huddled around the hearth and trying to weather another long Siberian winter, their rye fields sleeping away under a blanket of thick snow. A toast to us not freezing our asses off there with them! Pilsner and vodka find a common bond via the earthy, spicy taste of rye. This pairing is for everybody to enjoy, whether you’re proletariat or bourgeoisie (find somebody to give you a high five if you can pronounce “bourgeoisie,” comrade!).
Base Camp – S’more Stout
Stein Distillery – Bull Bourbon 2 Year Old
The Midnight Cowboy will grab you by the saddle horn and plait your lariat. Chocolate and smoke, vanilla and oak, this bourbon and stout combo might seem conventional to some but there ain’t nothin’ finer when it comes to partnering up good booze and good brew.
Pouring 3pm to 6pm
Eagle Cap: EXTREME
Base Camp – Eagle Cap Lager
Stein Distillery – Seven Devils’ Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Dark Rum
We paired up a silky-smooth aged Dark Rum, crafted from the crystalline waters of the Wallowa Mountains, with a Candy Cap ‘shroom-bomb lager brewed in homage to those same mountains. Picture this: a majestic giant eagle made from the darkness between the farthest stars, ripping through velvet clouds of maple syrup vapor and leaving a long-lasting series of vanilla- and spice-laden golden sonic booms in its wake. This bad mutha will caress your palate with the power and finesse of an avalanche playing flamenco guitar.
Pouring 6pm to close
Gin & Juice Gose
Breakside/Fat Head’s – Juggling Plums Gose
House Spirits – Aviation Gin
The savory saltiness and tart acidity of the Gose works in concert with the floral, spicy, and citrus character of Aviation. Both have a good bit of earthiness so they pair well on that level as well. Flavors of both become heightened, and you will continue to find different flavors when alternating sips of each. We also encourage you to add the Aviation to the Gose while trying this pairing.
Cascade – 2013 Apricot
Indio Spirits – Hopka
We paired these products together because of their complimenting aromatics and finishes. The Apricot has a nice fruit flesh character that pairs well with the resinous aromatics of the Hopka. Our Apricot has a pleasant acidity on the back end that balances out some of the heat and sweetness that finishes on the Hopka.
Smoke N’ Shine
Coalition – Georgia Smoke
Stein Distillery – SteinShine
The idea behind the pairing is a DIY Scotch…take the moonshine, an un-oaked whisky, and add some smoke and roast from the beer to emulate the barrel character, creating a semblance of a scotch or whisky in your mouth.
A Brief Respite From Oak & Puns
The Commons – Citrus Myrtle
Stone Barn Brandy Works – Quince Liquor
Funky and tart with bright floral and citrus notes, this pairing is refreshingly low alcohol and showcases both partners’ distinctive house styles.
The Oregon Expats
Deschutes – Dissociator Doppelbock
Clear Creek Distillery – McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey
Ideal pairing for when the winter months are breaking into spring. Notes of toffee, biscuit, and bread in the doppelbock pairs nicely with the toasty smoke note in the McCarthy’s. As you move between sips of each, you will taste sweet cherry notes, smoky peat, almond-like char, fruit cake and salted caramel, with a dry finish.
Ecliptic – Procyon Dry Hop Pale
4 Spirits Distillery – 4 Spirits Whiskey
NGC 4 is a galaxy in Pices. This name links us and 4 spirits distillery. This pairing is very refreshing.The Procyon opens up the whiskey and brings out flavors of honey and orange. The whiskey brings out the malt flavors and tropical notes of the beer.
Ex Novo – At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Brown Ale
Oregon Spirits Distillery – Ottis Webber Wheat Whiskey
The high desert and the valley unite in this silky-smooth pairing meant to be together. Round and subtle caramel and toffee flavors with a toasty backbone in the Brown Ale meld so well with the Wheat Whisky’s firm yet gentle approach. You’ll find notes of orange blossom honey in the whiskey and a very smooth finish on both drinks.
Cherries & Rye
Hair of the Dog – Cherry Adam From The Wood
Stone Barn Brandy Works – Straight Rye Whiskey
What Manhattan drinkers have always known….Feel free to combine.
Death From Above
Hopworks – D.O.A.
Parliament – Ghost Owl
Humble Saaz Saison Oregon Spirits Distillery C.W. Irwin Bourbon Reach for the Saaz Inspired by the first line of the CW Irwin description: “A perfect blend of old west and new frontier”
Laurelwood – Mega-Fauna IIPA
Dry Fly Distilling – Dry Fly Gin
We decided to try something a little bit different and go with a hoppy beer and a Pacific Northwest style gin. Megafauna has a very big hop flavor and aroma of tropical fruit, citrus, berry, grapefruit, passionfruit, earth & pine. While Dry Fly’s Pacific Northwest style gin has wonderful aromatics from its use of juniper, coriander, lavender, mint, Fuji apples and hops. After you try this pairing we think you’ll understand why we think this combination is Mega-Fly!
Barrel Aged Black Hearted IPA
Migration – Barrel Aged Black Hearted IPA
Indio Spirits – James Oliver Rye Whiskey
Local brewery and local distillery colloborate to age a Black IPA in a fresh Rye Whiskey Barrel to create an awesome and unique once in a lifetime seasonal. Drink up!
Upright – Upright Six
Big Bottom Whiskey – 111 Proof
I just likes the way it sounds, and it ties both the bourbon and beer together. – Alex
Boozy Brown Sugar
Widmer – Kill Devil Brown Ale
EastSide Distillery – Burnside Oregon Oaked Bourbon
How come you taste so good?! Brown sugar notes carry seamlessly through both the beer and the bourbon as you take drinks back and forth, making this a continuous flavor explosion that will leave you wanting more.
Stuart Ramsay Whiskey Back Red
Whiskey Back Red
Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve
Portland’s resident whiskey expert, Stuart Ramsay, has created beers to specifically be paired with whiskeys. The Red is a hybrid marriage of Scottish malt and Pacific Northwest hops. A malty, fruity companion for whiskies built around barley, the king of grains: single malt & premium blended Scotch, Irish, Japanese and American barley inspired craft whiskies.
Stuart Ramsay Whiskey Back Gold
Whiskey Back Gold
Old Forester Signature
Will pour after the Red Pairing. The Gold is an all-American golden ale imbued with malted barley, rye malt and flaked maize, with a Northwest hop character intended to balance the vanilla caramel sweetness of classic Bourbon and Rye whiskey.
And if you come hungry, StormBreaker will also be featuring some great, tasty food choices. Grand Cru will be unveiling their custom built hot dog & ice cream cart that proudly serves OlympicOlympia Provisions Hot Dogs and Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Sammys.
StormBreaker Brewing 832 N Beech Street Portland, OR 97227
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.