Monday is here and it’s for certain that the weekend didn’t last long enough. Still, it was quite memorable with lots of tasty beer to make an attempt at quelling our insatiable thirst.
On Thursday evening after much delay at the airport, Ashley Routson, aka The Beer Wench arrived in Portland for the weekend. The highlight of her visit was undoubtedly a Beer Mixology event at The Guild Public House that we at Brewpublic were so pleased to sponsor. Routson, as previously outlined in our recent interview with her, is the director of awesomeness at Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA, and one of the key figures behind the modern day beer mixology movement. We’ll get to the Guild event in just a moment, but first, let’s go back a bit…
On Friday we traipsed around Portland to show our guest some more of the city’s best beer spots. These included Lompoc’s 5th Quadrant, where founder Jerry Fechter was on hand with brewers Dave Fleming and Bryan Keilty. Fleming sampled us on the brewery’s specialty releases from the Sidebar. These included the newly released Batch 69 Baltic Porter, Rosemary Stout, Cherry Bomb – a tart and oaky delight, and various other delectable treats.
After spending a relaxing time at Lompoc sharing laughs and tasty beers with the brewers and a few other Portland area beer bloggers, we our way over to the nearby Bridgetown Beerhouse. Here we ran into proprietor Mike Waite who was tending bar. Waite served up a tasty pint of Boneyard RPM IPA in the bottleshop/taproom’s signature imperial pint glass.
Further into the deepest throes of North Portland, we landed at Plew’s Brews. St. Johns’ premier craft beer haunt, Plew’s had just tapped a keg of Bison Organic Chocolate Stout to toast the Beer Wench’s arrival. Simply delicious. NoPo Brew crew members Trevor Thurston and Heather Egizio joined us for a cold one. You will be sure to hear about Thurston’s forthcoming Defy Brewing Co., coming soon to the St. Johns’ neighborhood. At Plew’s we even were fortunate enough to bump into Elysian representative Dave Chappell, who took a moment to bang out a few beats on Plew’s bongos.
Our final Portland stop on Friday was Roscoe’s Pub, clear across town in the Montavilla Neighborhood of Southeast. No Portland beer trip is complete without a visit to see what publican Jeremy Lewis and Quyen Ly have pouring. And, to make matters more exciting, this fine day was Roscoe’s 2nd Annual Stout Summit, where a plethora of dark and delicious beers were available. Much buzz was surrounding Mikkeller’s wine barrel-aged Black Hole Imperial Stout. We couldn’t pass up on a pour of a rare 2010 Deschutes’ The Abyss barrel-aged Imperial Stout. A few other highlights included Upright’s Stout of Monte Fisto and Boneyard’s big and bad Suge Knite.
On Saturday afternoon, brewers across the state of Washington participated in an open house event, much like the previous weekend’s Zwickelmania in Oregon. So, we headed over to Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia River from the City of Roses, and visited two of the city’s brewpubs. First, we hit up Mt Tabor Brewing run by brewer and proprietor Eric Surface. Here, we enjoyed a cup of the warming Little Bull Stout. While at Mt Tabor, we ran into Michael Haines, co-founder and brewer at Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro, OR, who was out with his family sampling a few beers.
Shortly after Mt Tabor Brewing, we headed one block north to Salmon Creek Brewpub, where founder and brewer Larry Pratt and his wife Anna let us sample a few new beers including his Scotch Ale, and two from the zwickel – a light pale ale and a Belgian-style golden brewed with Westmalle yeast.
After a bit of rest, we headed out to The Guild Public House to get our main event going. Beer Mixologist Ashley Routson was there early along with brewers from Bison, Mt Tabor, and The Commons, to ensure that each brewer involved was on the same page as the pub. It was a go, and four of the most intriguing flavor combinations were born.
On Sunday, we unwound at By The Bottle with Bison Brewmaster Daniel Del Grande who was visiting for the weekend’s event. At BTB, publican Dave Nunez shared a rare bottle of 2006 Bison Farmhouse Ale that had been safely stowed in his walk-in. Also during this day, our friend Ryan Hargrave was treated by family to a special birthday gift. Since he was born on Leap Day, Ryan will soon be celebrating his eighth birthday (he’s really made 32 trips around the sun if you are worried). Ryan was asked to pick out any eight bottles from the cooler at BTB. As you can see by the photo below, it appears he chose wisely. He also cracked open a bottle of 2008 Deschutes The Dissident. Bueno!