Block 15 Hoppenings

By Matthew DiTullo

In the spirit of the season, we hopped into our car to get our taste buds wet at Block 15 Brewing in Corvallis, OR.  Despite slowly passing many fender benders and multi car pile ups on the 1-5 corridor, my fiancée, Kate, and I arrived with a big appetite and even bigger thirst.

block 15

Here’s a summary of great seasonal offerings from the pub.  These won’t be lasting long so be sure to get down while you can.

Hypnosis: This Bourbon Barrel aged blend is the perfect, sweet, winter sipper.  Hypnosis offered notes of dark sugars similar to toffee and caramel, with also vanilla, whiskey and charred oak.  A smooth drinking Barleywine, all this contained a well masked alcohol booziness.

Ol’ St. Nick: With British, Caramel and Honey Malts, and loads of Noble Hops, this 10% ale tasted not too far off from a sessionable beer.  With low bitterness, lots of spruce and pine from the floral aromatic hops and malted grains that began to shine as they balance out the finish.

12 Hops of Christmas: A holiday seasonal designed for the hopheads, 12 Hops of Christmas employs NW hops along English style malts.  In true Block 15 fashion, despite the 100 IBUs, 12 Hops of Christmas was clean and drinkable with strong citrus hop tones that dominated the drier, well carbonated palate.

Chocolate Porter: Dessert in a glass.  A dry, London style Porter that’s not only brewed with chocolate malt, but chocolate as well.  Sticky mouthfeel with flavors of sweet grains, vanilla, and loads of sugary sweet, delicious chocolate.

Cask Conditioned Alpha IPA:
A regular brewed beer at Block 15, this small kegged cask version offered much better nuances in regards to the ale yeast flavors.  With loads of NW Hops and some serious dry hopping, this IPA sported wonderful pine and citrus, residual bitter hops with a light sweet malt backing.

Nebula Oatmeal Stout: Ok, so maybe not a seasonal offering, but boy do I love this beer.  A pour of this is perfect on stormy Northwest days and I couldn’t leave without a full growler to enjoy up here in Portland.  With a pitch black appearance, Nebula embellished loads of roast, bitter-sweet molasses, anise, coffee, and chocolate.  All this supported by big, dark malted grain flavors.

The Block 15 Team
We also learned that Bourbon Barrel Aged Pappy’s Dark will be released at the Pub on February 1st.  This will be much anticipated, and just like Figgy Pudding, will be available on tap and in 750ml bottles.  Bbl Aged Pappy’s was received with high praise last winter in the Portland beer market, and the well-deserved hype will have beerheads going through extreme measures gathering bottles for their cellars.  Also on February 1st, expect the draft only release of Super Nebula, a Bourbon Barrel aged imperial version that has been aged on cocoa nibs.  Oregonians will be lucky to have this pouring at the brewpub, and expect a limited number of kegs to make their way to some prized drinking holes in Portland.  For those who attended the Brewpublic 2nd Brewniversary at Saraveza in October, you may have been fortunate enough to already have tried Super Nebula on draft.

Both Super Nebula and Pappy’s Dark kick off Bourbon Month at the Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery.  A month long celebration of Small Batch Bourbon Beers and a Bourbon centric food menu all 28 days of February.