By definition, the word “pucker” may refer to an irregular wrinkle or fold; even in an archaic sense, it may relate to an agitation or perturbation. Similarly, the terms “sour” and “wild” evoke imagery that doesn’t easily concord with a notion of taste. “Sour” is oft ascribed to putridity, acerbity, and rancidity, while “wild” is frequently a word pointing toward the barbarous, feral, and chaotic. Yet, when we think in terms of beer (at least those of us who enjoy healthy doses of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus), all of these terms can inexplicably become alluring and enticing. And though puckering sour and wild brews are absolutely not for everyone (same could be said of hoppy beers), they have won over the hearts and palates of many beer lovers in almost cult-like fashion.
Always ahead of the curve, Belmont Station, behind beer guru Chris Ormand, recognized the potential of sour and wild beers quite early. From a time whenCantillon and Rodenbach may have seemed far more unusual to today when Cascade Brewing has taken the leap into a world of tart complexity, Belmont Station has remained steadfast with its passion for the vast beer gamut. And now in its fifth year, Puckerfest continues to unleash more and more anomalous and mouthwatering choices during the week between Portland International Beerfest and Oregon Brewers Festival. Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Puckerfest happening July 18-24:
Our Fifth Annual Festival of Sour and Wild Yeast Ales runs an entire week! We’ll pour up to 14 funky beers on draft each day with the selection changing daily and special Meet the Brewer’s sessions:
Monday July 18 5 – 8PM Flat Tail Meet the Brewer Brewmaster Dave Marliave will be here to jump start Puckerfest with three very special beers:
Corvaller Weisse, a blend of 2 Berliner weiss barrels, one fermented with a traditional Lactobicillus/Kolsch yeast blend, the other with 100% Brettanomyces. Aged on Oak for over 4 months.
KSA (Kitchen Sink Ale), a no boil, barrel fermented, brown rye with cacao nibs, gotu kola, and cherry juice, blended 6-1 with Saison de la Tail.
Flat Tail 1st Anniversary Ale, a mash hopped blonde fermented in barrel, blended and re-oaked with French spirals.
Tuesday July 19 5 – 8PM Double Mountain Devil’s Kriek Night Every year the highlight of Puckerfest is Double Mountain night when Brewer/Owners Charlie Devereux and Matt Swihart present their Devil’s Kriek. This year they’ll have Devil’s Kriek 2011, vintage Devil’s Kriek, and Rainier Kriek 2011. And of course, Matt, Charlie, and fresh cherries too!
Wednesday July 20 6 – 9PM Upright Meet the Brewer Night and Belmont Station 14th Anniversary Beer Release. Alex Ganum & Gerrit Ill have a host of special treats for us. First off is the Bottle release of Belmont Station 14th Anniversary Ale, a special blend of four Upright beers, including three aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels, two with brett and lacto and one with apricot puree! The Belmont 14th Anniversary ale will also be on draft throughout Puckerfest. Also on tap:
Blend Love, the debut of batch 2, a mix of barrel-aged raspberry Six and two barrels of Four with raspberry, cherry and strawberry.
Lambicus Six batch 2, a single cask wine barrel aged Six with brett lambicus and a pinch of currants and cherry, over 1 year old, pretty sour and aggressive, very limited
1st Anniversary Ale, a keg we cellared of their apricot ale aged in Old Tom Gin barrels
Thursday July 21 5 – 8PM Block 15 Meet the Brewer Night Brewer/Founder Nick Arzner and Brewer/Lead Cellarman Matt Williams are sharing some of their extraordinary barrel aged beers with us:
Ferme de La Ville 2011 Farmhouse ale brewed with a touch of rye, wheat, golden naked oats & locally gathered honey blended with barrel and Brett matured farmhouse ales aged 9 & 12 months then cellared an additional 3 months. This is a special preview of this year’s Ferme ahead of Block 15’s bottle release August 6th.
Wonka’s Wit 2010 Vintage. Belgian style Wit spiced with orange peel, coriander, and locally gathered honey matured 7-14 months in Pinot Noir barrels with a blend of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.
Golden Canary 2011. A blend of open and closed fermented barrel matured golden ales from our Wild cellars, matured 6-20 months.
Enchanted Oud Bruin inspired brown ale matured 15 months in 2nd run bourbon barrels with Brettanomyces and lactobacillus. This is a special preview just for Puckerfest of the unblended release scheduled for Spring 2012.
Saturday July 23 4-7PM Big Horse Meet the Brewer. Brewmaster Jason Kahler will be here as we pour three of his fantastic soured ales: Cuvee du Ferme, a blend of Rye Saison, Sour Mash Wheat, and two year old Golden with Pedio & Lacto, plus Bear’s Choice Oak aged Sour, and Kriek!!!
Sunday July 24 Drink Up. Drain the kegs. Take your Tums!!!
But that’s not all: In addition to all the amazing beers in the Meet the Brewers lineup you can expect to find beers from:
BFM, BJ’s (the last remaining keg of Enfant Terrible, brewed by new Laurelwood brewmaster Vasilios Gletsos in 2006), Bockor, Boneyard, Boulevard, Breakside, Cantillon, Cascade, Deschutes, Gulpener, Jolly Pumpkin, Logsdon, Lompoc, Oakshire, Old Market, The Bruery, Walking Man and perhaps even more. Check http://www.belmont-station.com or http://www.puckerfest.com each day for the full tap list, or follow @belmontstation and/or @puckerfest on Twitter for daily updates!
The Biercafe´ will be open from Noon until 11PM each day during Puckerfest. So that we may serve everyone as quickly and efficiently as possible the Biercafe´ will be CASH ONLY during Puckerfest. Credit/debit cards may be used for beer to go in the store as always.
About Belmont Station: Belmont Station was founded as a specialty beer store in 1997 and is the oldest specialty beer store in Oregon. In early 2007 Belmont Station moved from its original location next to the Horse Brass Pub to its present space at 4500 SE Stark Street in Portland and added an adjoining Biercafe´. Belmont Station features over 1200 beers to go or consume in the Biercafe´ in addition to 17 rotating drafts. For more information call Carl Singmaster 503-232-8538.
Brewpublic’s thoughts on Belmont Station: For more than 14 years, Belmont Station has been forging the way for craft beer as purveyors, mongers, and taste makers for a city that has a grand history tied to proficient and prolific fermentables. At the heart of this – beer – in all its manifestations, interpretations, and articulations – stems from simple ales and lagers, and has expanded into new corners of philosophy and artistry. The pulse of all that is beer in the region can be taken by a perusing of the Station’s vast coolers, dry shelves, and bewildering rotating tap selections. If there’s some thing you’re seeking out beer-wise, and it is for legal sale within Oregon’s borders, a trip here is a wise one.