Scenes From Microhopic 2

Bailey’s Taproom was host to Brewpublic’s Microhopic 2, a special event showcasing some of Portland’s smaller and coming breweries. The night kicked off with a bang when the taproom opened promptly at 4PM as several microbrew enthusiasts approached the bar for their first impression of some delicious brews.

Highlights of Microhopic 2 included the inaugural beer tapping of Beetje Brewery. The 1.5-barrel Southeast Portland outfit headed by brewer-owner Mike Wright presented a quenching light Urban Farmhouse Ale. Wright has stated that his goal is not just producing Belgian-style beers, but “every day drinking beers, not super-complex-monster-bombs” adding  “There are plenty of breweries covering that arena.”

Such a beer was that of Hillsboro’s Vertigo Brewing, who have been expanding their production size to accomodate seven barrel batches. For over a year, brewers Mike Haines and Mike Kinion have been producing an unbelievable amount of beer on a one-barrel brew system. For Microhopic 2, Vertigo brought a special one-off imperial IPA known as Friar Gone Wild, a beefed up rendition of their flagship Friar Mikes IPA. Over 100 IBU of hop bitterness with a mealy malt spine to accompany, the Friar was a hop head’s go-to brew. And it wasn’t alone on this night.

Natian‘s Big Block IPA packed a monstrous wallop of hop character as well. Brewer Ian McGuinness, a true nanobrewer, has also been cranking out hand crafted beer on he and partner Natalia Laird’s minuscule one-barrel system located in Northeast Portland.

Also on the hop wagon was Breakside‘s boiterously spiced Texas Brown Ale, one of brewer Ben Edmunds’ first batches of commercially produced beer, brewed in 11 gallon batches. Deep and dark in body, the TBA could be safely described as a brown IPA or India Brown Ale. With a deep amber-brown body constituted of rich malts, the signature characteristic was the presence of bold citrus hoppiness. Edmunds and Breakside co-owner Scott Lawrence were in attendance for this event. Their brewery plans on an expansion in the not so distant future, and we look forward to trying more of their brews, which, so far, have all been delightful.

Coalition and Migration breweries proudly represented the neighborhood around East Burnside and 28th Avenue at Microhopic 2. Both breweries have given their hood a strong craft beer presence since opening in the last year. Coalition brewer-owner Elan Walsky, his partner Kiley Hoyt, and manager Meghan Letters were all in attendance to share in the tapping of Coalition’s King Kitty Red, a full-bodied and heartily hopped amber ale with a pleasant bitter kick coupled with robust malt sweetness. Migration’s triumvirate also was in house as well. Owners Colin Rath, McKean Banzer-Lausberg, and brewer-owner Mike Branes represented and their sneakingly sessionable Migration Pale Ale, the 5.5% ABV copper-colored flagship of Southeast Glisan.

Returning from the first Microhopic event at Saraveza was the brewers of Big Horse and Mt. Tabor Brewing, both equipping the night with more hopped-up and delightful offerings. Big Horse brewer Jason Kahler of Hood River had originally been slated to bring his Blacksmith Striker Cascadian Dark Ale, but the beer needed more time to finish out, so folks were treated to Big Horse’s Pale Rider IPA, dosed heavily with CTZ hops and featured a winning 6.7% ABV spine to match. Mt. Tabor brewing of Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood brought their Little Bull Stout to the rodeo. With a deep opaque black body and a handsome gray-tan head on top, Little Bull appeared more like an Imperial Porter than a stout, at 7% ABV and over 100 IBU. From talking to folks in attendance and just from our taste buds, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that this could be the favorite brew of the evening. Brewer Eric Surface and owner Brian Maher have simply been killing it with their beers since opening in true nano style. We are looking forward to a ramped up version of Little Bull for Brewpublic and Bailey’s KillerBeerFest on October 23.

Microhopic 2 was a fun-filled, craft beer fueled good time. Thanks very much to Bailey’s Taproom’s staff consisting of owner-bartender Geoff Phillips, bartender Michael O’Connor, and Nick Rivers. These guys busted their butts to make the event a success. Thanks also to all the breweries who shared their delightful beers. Hopefully another Microhopic event will come along in the not too distant future. Cheers!