Spring Beer & Wine Fest 2011

Bill Night of It's Pub Night and Oregon Bottle Bill at the 2011 Spring Beer & Wine Fest

Here we are at the Spring Beer & Wine Fest in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been here since before 11AM. We started on a media preview tour with Lisa “The Beer Goddess”” Morrison in which we sampled not only the best beers and wines that the event had to offer, but also some of the best foodie items as well.

We’re currently sipping on an El Dorado Gold Lager. This small brewpub from Camino, California that only produces three beers. They also have their stout on tap.

Here’s a look at some of the beers we recommend at this year’s Spring Beer & Wine Fest…

Flat Tail Winter Session Ale: After winning the people’s choice at this year’s KLCC Brew Fest in Eugene, Flat Tail returns to the indoor beer fest forum with some favorable ales. The winter session is a German-American hybrid dark sessionable brew that rings in under 4% ABV. Drink three or four and don’t stress getting too faded. This is our buzz beer thus far (this could change). Also, taste Flat Tail’s Lemongrass IPA that melds hop character that lends itself to citrus tropical notes with natural lemongrass infused in the brew.

Flat Tail brewer Dave Marliave

Calapooia Chili Beer: Not as spiced up as previous batches, this Albany, Oregon brewery’s offering provides a subtle yet prevalent blend of multiple peppers. The nose is the key. If you like pepper, grab one of these. If it’s not enough twang for you, head over to Our Favorite Foods‘ spiced pickles who offer a nice welcoming burn.

Calapooia Brewing co-founder Laura Bryngelson

10 Barrel ISA: This Indian Summer Ale is another example of how sessions are coming to the forefront of craft brewing; a sort of backlash to the high ABV hops arms race of a few years back. Light and well rounded, this Bend, Oregon brewery’s profile features an array of mouthwatering back-end hops with a pleasant and supportive malt character.

Rock Bottom Volksweizen: This luring Northwest wheat beer is a spin on a traditional German favorite. Not so Reinheitsgetbot-friendly, this brew adds ginger and coriander to give it a crisp, thirst quenching zing. There’s also lots of bready character that allows for some sustenance amidst a world of libatious options.

Rock Bottom brewers Bolt Minister (left) and Charlie Hutchins

Duker's Dills from Our Favorite FoodsWe’ve still got to get back on the floor and find out what else to get on as far as beer options are concerned. Other recommended stops at SBWF influde the beer pretzels at Vibrant Flavors, the barrel-aged balsamic vinegar blends or Bistro Blends (the truffle oil and olive oil blend is amazing!), and the aforementioned spiced pickles of Betsy Walton’s Our Favorite Foods of Portland.

More to come… Cheers!

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