Hop Star

Anybody who knows the least about Chris Ormand knows the dude abides when it comes to craft beer knowledge.  The prime guy lurking in the back reaches of Belmont Station has been bringing mouthwatering geek beers since the shop was adjacent to the Horse Brass.  Anytime you can peer into the mind of such a brew nut, it is a good one.  Here’s a Q & A with Chris:

What sparked your interest in craft beer?

CO:  I started drinking on occasion in high school (didn’t everyone?), and I was never a fan of watery domestic brews, so I was mainly a Jack Daniels drinker in my early years.  I quit drinking from the time I was 19 until I was 23, and when I went into a liquor store for the first time (legally anyway) I was overwhelmed by the selection.  I f I recall, I started out by buying a 6pk of summit Extra Pale Ale and a 6pk of Pete’s Wicked something or another.  After that I was a confirmed “craft beer” buyer, and I never looked back.  A couple years later I moved to Madison, WI and was introduced to the wonderful brews from Capitol, Sprecher, and Bells.  It’s been all downhill from there…

In what capacity do you work with beer?
CO:  I’m the Buyer and Retail Manager for Belmont Station, a specialty beer store in PDX.  I’ve been with the Station for 4 years now, and in that time I’ve learned that the more I think I know about beer, the more there is to discover.
The man behind Belmont's beer selection
The man behind Belmont
If trapped on a dessert island with just one tap line, what beer would you choose to drink (yeah that’s a tough one)?

CO:  Dessert island, or desert island?  If it was a dessert island I’d have to go with a nice imperial stout to compliment all the chocolate I’d be eating.  If it’s a desert island then the choice is easy: DuPont Saison.  It’s light and zesty enough to drink when the weather is hot, complex enough that I wouldn’t quickly get bored with it, and strong enough that it’ll put me to sleep after a long day of figuring out how to build a radio out of coconuts.

Similarly, if you could have just one last beer, what would that be?
CO:  I would love to drown in a vat of Abbaye Saint Bon Chien, preferably vintage 2005.
Name five of your favorite brews (won’t hold you to these).

CO:  These are subject to change at a moment’s notice, but as of now I’d go with:

~Oppigard’s Well-hopped Lager
~Bamberger Aecht Schlenkerla Helles
~Moylan’s Hopsickle
~Cantillon Iris
~Green Flash West Coast IPA

Are there any beers out there that you would like to try that you haven’t yet?

CO:  Narke Kaggen Stormaktsporter.  It’s been hovering in the top 5 at ratebeer.com since it was released, and since it’s only available in Sweden would require a very, very expensive trade or a trip to Scandinavia.

Name one or more of your favorite food pairings?

CO:  My personal favorite pairing, compliments of Alex Ganum, the owner of Upright Brewing CompanyAnchor Steam and a fresh glazed donut.  Simple and perfect.

Thanks Chris!

Chris Ormand
Chris Ormand
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