Cheers to Belgian Beers

Cheers to Belgian Beers Aims (literally) for a Different Approach.

We just caught wind from Oregon Brewers Guild’s Brian Butenschoen about this year’s Cheers to Belgian Beers competition going down at Lucky Lab’s NW Quimby pub.  According to Butenschoen, the event “started two years ago to help introduce Oregonians to the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium.”

2007’s inaugural event, held at OBG President Van Havig’s Rock Bottom brewpub in downtown Portland featured ten brewer and ten beers.  2008 saw the numbers grow at the second event hosted by Roots Organic Brewing.  Last year’s display exhibited 18 brewers showcasing 20 Belgian brews.  During these first two years, the festival has been restricted to brewers from the metro area employing one specific yeast strain.  Butenshoen says “During the past two years, almost all brewers have used the same Wyeast yeast strain, to emphasize the educational opportunities for the brewer and consumer and to minimize cost.  In year one, Wyeast 1762 the Rochefort yeast strain was used.  In year two, Wyeast 3522 the Aredennes yeast was used.”  Butenschoen announced that this year’s strain will be Wyeast’s 3822, Ingelmunster.

Another change in the way things will work this year is the manner in which the style of brews will be selected.  In an announcement released by the Oregon Brewers Guild the following guidelines will be implemented for 2009’s CTBB:

Lucky Lab brewers Abby and Ben
Lucky Lab brewers Abby and Ben

Peoples Choice Award with Benefits

To be considered for winning this award you must use the chosen yeast strain for 2009.  The People’s Choice Award Winner gets a number of benefits:
Hosting the next years Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers – this may change in 2010.
Picking next years yeast strain. Picking the benefiting charity for next years event.

Profits from the event Go to a Charity

$2,800 was raised for Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2008.  The charity chosen for 2009 by Abby Sherrill of the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company will be the Oregon Humane Society.

What’s with a dart toss to chose a beer style?

Due to concerns about any particular yeast strain driving most of the beers towards one beer style, we decided to hold an event to slightly randomize what people are brewing.  This event gives us an opportunity to promote Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers well in advance and give everyone enough time to brew and age the beer they will end up brewing.
In 2009 on January 6th, we will throw darts at the Horse Brass Pub at 7:00 p.m. for that randomization.  The Dartboard will be set up such that your dart throw will determine whether your beer will be above or below 6% ABV, and whether it will be golden or dark in color (with the break point somewhere in amber range).  Please note: that means you will always be able to brew something in the 6% /Amber range.

Cheers for Belgian Beers is all about crazy styles
Cheers for Belgian Beers is all about crazy styles
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers
Friday May 1st, 2009
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
Noon-10 pm
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall
1945 NW Quimby
Portland503.517.4352
Admission is Free.
$5 for tasting goblet which is required to taste.
$1 for tastes.

3822 Ingelmunster Ale (formerly known as Wyeast 3822 Dutch Castle)

This unique Belgian ale yeast produces spicy, phenolic and tart aromas. Very tart and dry on the palate. Phenol and ester production balanced, for beer with a complex finish. High acid producer.

Alcohol tolerance: approximately 12%

Flocculation: medium-high

Apparent attenuation: 74-79%

Temperature range: 65-80°F (18-27°C)

Read more on 2008’s CTBB on John Foyston’s Oregonian Beer Blog.

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