On Saturday, February 21st. Oregon’s original brewpub will host its 22nd Annual Hillsdale Brewfest at the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House. This is a day where all 22 McMenamins breweries deliver the beer that they want to see be entered in this summer’s Oregon Brewers Festival.
The festival that is also known as the “Battle for the Belt” will take place in the pub and the covered and heated back tent. Doors open on Saturday at 11:00am and the festival will run until close around 1:00am. Entry is free and all ages are welcome however those that want to partake in the “Battle” must be 21 years of age or older.
The 22nd annual Hillsdale Brewfest pits 22 of the finest ales from McMenamins breweries against each other for the chance at winning a championship belt, bragging rights and inclusion into the Oregon Brewers Festival.
If you feel that sampling 22 beers is quite the task, McMenamins serves all 22 beers on two separate taster trays of 11 beers each. Last year we tackled this feat by sharing both trays amongst two of us.
The beers cover the spectrum of brew styles – from hefeweizen to oatmeal stout, barleywine to smoked amber ale and beyond. Each taster casts one ballot that lists his or her top three choices.
Here is a breakdown of each of the two taster trays.
Czech It Out
Inspired by a beer that has been with us for more than 170 years and a man who has been sitting with us for 25 years at the Thompson house, I present you with Czech It Out. Based and fermented with Czech malts and yeast with an added boost of PNW brewer, this Pils is a blend of old and new school. Brightly lit with a higher ABV and subtle hop profile, this is an easygoing palate pleaser.
Brewer: Jen Kent
Hops: Sterling, Crystal
OG: 1.066 TG: 1.018 ABV: 6.19 SRM: 4 IBU: 20
Words to Live By: “Beer is a gift from God. It will carry you through all adversities.” — The Bartered Bride, a Czech opera and it’s opening chorus
Black Days Dark Lager
Brewed for the long, dark days of winter, Black Days Dark Lager is sure to please all the German lager drinkers out there. Based on the Munich-Dunkel style, our latest lager is crisp and easy drinking with a nice malt flavor and a touch of roastiness.
Brewers: Matt Carter, Dave Kosanke
Malts: Heidelberg, Dark & Light Munich, Acidulated, Melanoidin, Aromatic, Blackprinz
Hops: Perle, Ultra
OG: 1.054 TG: 1.016 ABV: 4.9 IBU: 28 SRM: 18
Words to Live By: “I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night.” — Greek Proverb
Hot Break Habanero Extra Pale Ale
This spicy Pale, made to heat up your insides on a cool winter night, features Brewers Gold hops with habanero peppers for an added kick. The smooth, light body and a little heat makes this extra pale drinkable in any weather!
Brewer: Kyle Jungck
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, 15L Crystal
Hops: Brewers Gold
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.009 ABV: 5.05 IBU: 40 SRM: 4
Words to Live By: Variety is the spice of life.
John Barleycorns Brewery
Day Tripster Oatmeal Pale
There is nothing better than starting out your day with a pint as you make your way through the cosmos. This is a Northwest-style pale ale with an aggressive amount of rolled oats, which add a sweet, creamy body to the beer along with a cereal malt aroma. An ample amount hops were blended and added throughout the brew to make sure you know you’re drinking a Northwest Pale. The slight bitterness and floral citrus aromas balance out the sweet malt flavors and make the beer inviting.
Brewer: Tim Proctor
Malts: ESB, Rolled Oats, Victory, Caramel Vienna
Hops: Nugget, Centennial, Citra, Falconers Flight
OG: 1.053 TG: 1.012 ABV: 5.29 IBU: 45 SRM: 8
Words to Live By: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
McMenamins on the Columbia Brewery
Apple Jack Ale
This is a full-flavored ale with a winter kick. The flavors from the malt have blended with apple cider, apple spice, and oak infused with our own Aval Pota as well as Jack Daniels and cinnamon. Aged for 6 weeks, this is a smooth winter drink that carries the season in every pint.
Brewer: Matt Freeland
Malts: Pale, Munich, Victory, Amber, C135, C120, Roasted Barley, Carmel Vienna
Hops: Sterling, Perle
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.010 ABV: 5.16 IBU: 21 SRM: 21
Words to Live By: “Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” — Bill Meyer
Drifting along? Fell asleep amongst the flowers for a couple of hours? Awake and inhale the swirling floral aromas and discover the pungent, tropical hop flavors of this well-balanced IPA. We tamed the bitterness and malt flavors to showcase the blend of late addition Northwest hops (pine, citrus, grapefruit) in the kettle and Australian Galaxy pellets (passion fruit) in the fermenter. Smell, sip and savor.
Brewer: Tyler Newton
Malts: Pale, Wheat, Munich, Amber
Hops: Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, Galaxy
OG: 1.060 TG: 1.010 ABV: 6.4 IBU: 70 SRM: 6
Words to Live By: A fool is one who doesn’t recognize a fool, or more often, one who does recognize a fool but does not send him away.
Roy Street Brewery
Confined Spaces DIPA
Not enough room in the mash tun, the fermenters are too close together, if I could only fit four more kegs in the cooler…these are problems I think most brewers have. This beer is a tribute to big things coming out of small spaces. This DIPA combines excellent malts and the finest hops to produce a well-rounded, hearty brew that will keep your taste buds begging for more.
Brewer: Brian Lawrence
Malts: Marris Otter, Brown Malt, Vienna, Rolled Oats, Crystal 30/37
Hops: Bullion, Citra, Galaxy
OG: 1.085 TG: 1.014 ABV: 9.16 IBU: 98 SRM: 12
Words to Live By: Cars in the car lane, bikes in the bike lane, pedestrians on the sidewalk. Seems easy enough.
Oak Hills Brewery
L-Train Cascadian Dark Ale
L-Train Cascadian Dark Ale
This batch of Cascadian Dark Ale is blazing a new trail at the Oak Hills Brewery. Brewed with Briess Black Prince malt, a dark porter-like color is imparted without a heavily roasted and astringent flavor. This gives center court to the array of hops that make the L-Train such a standout brew. A moderate bittering addition lends a good opening hop bite while copious amounts of centennial hops in the flavor and aroma additions give a double-doubles worth of piney, citrus character. Finally a monster dunk of Mosaic hops, the MVP of the new hop breading wave, were added to a bright tank to give the L-Train its power forward pineapple aroma.
Brewer: Stephen Harper
OG: 1.060 TG: 1.011 ABV: 6.32 IBU: 59 SRM: 30
Malts: Premium Two-Row, Black Prince
Hops: Centennial, Nugget, Mosaic
Words to live by: Rip City baby! – Bill Schonely
East Vancouver Brewery
Cherrysh the Moment
Enjoy this delicious porter, simple and yet complex, with various layers of hints and flavors. It is light on the palate and dry toward the finish. Rich flavors of dark chocolate and coffee are smoothly blended with hints of vanilla and dark cherries. Patiently aged and elegantly balanced between bitter and sweet, just like our existence, this Porter creates a moment. And the moment is all we have to cherish… Cheers!
Brewer: Tega ChijavadzeA
Malts: Pale, Crystal C75, Victory, Chocolate, Roast, Honey, Wheat Flakes
Hops: Nugget, Sterling, US Golding
OG: 1.056 TG: 1.009 ABV: 6.0 IBU: 27 SRM: 39
Words to live by: Carpe diem.
Cerberus Wild Ale
Tart and funky, this three-headed beast is a blend of Belgian strong ale, golden ale and Berliner Weisse. All three were aged together in a Hogshead Whiskey barrel from the Edgefield Distillery and inoculated with a Belgian wild ale strain, Brettannomyces bruxellensis, to create that pleasant, earthy tang that pervades this balanced wild ale.
Brewers: Nathan Whitney, Bruce Loux, Will Gaither, Jesse Grover
Malts: Pilsen, DextraPils, Crystal C40, 2-Row, Munich, Heidelberg Malt, Pale Wheat, Acidulated Malt
Hops: Tettnanger, US Golding, Santiam, Sterling, Centennial
OG: 1.053 TG: 1.002 ABV: 6.58 IBU: 23 SRM: 5.5
Words to Live By: Three beers are better in one.
Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewery
What happens when the Roadhouse brewers and distillers unite to make the ultimate big beer? Behold the DEATH STAR. Built from 1,000 pounds of malt and capable of destroying minds in a single blast, this sinister ale has enormous body and bold notes of candied raisins, dark cherry, and brandied figs. Thirty months of cellar time transformed huge hoppiness into a citrus-blossom icing just bitter enough to have you longing for another sip. So raise your glass and yield to the dark side!
Brewers: Chris Oslin, Brady Romtvedt
Malts: 2-Row, Optic Pale, Munich, Crystal C75 & C120, Black, Carafa II, Flaked Barley
Hops: Centennial, Simcoe
OG: 1.21 TG: 1.035 ABV: 11.09 IBU: 100+ SRM: 30
Words to Live By: The force is strong with this one.
This is a medium-dark lager beer with a light toasty malt aroma and smooth malt flavor. Nugget, Sterling and Tettnanger hops provide a soft Continental hop bitterness to counterbalance the malt. Lager yeast, cool fermentation, German malts and cold conditioning produce a beer with a hint of sweetness and a clean, soft finish.
Brewer: Tom Johnson
Malts: Pilsen, Vienna, Munich, Crystal, Black
Hops: Nugget, Sterling, Tettnanger
OG: 1.053 TG: 1.009 ABV: 5.7% IBU: 20 SRM: 13
Words to Live By: “Deserve your dream.” — Octavio Paz
Lumber-Sexual India Pale Lager
Are you a man’s man? Are you a tough, bearded, and rugged testament to the Northwest and all her untamed beauty? After a long day’s work do you long for a beer with the clean, refreshing taste of a quality pilsner and the hoppiness of a premier Northwest IPA? Well, look no further my burly friend because we’ve got the perfect thing for you. Dry-hopped twice for extra hop aroma, “Lumber-sexual IPL” explodes with hop notes of citrus, tropical fruits and evergreen. Unlike a standard IPA, the use of lager yeast results in a cleaner tasting beer that allows the hops to shine through. A mild pilsner malt flavor rounds out this refreshing and crisp craft lager. Each pint is packed with hops while still remaining light in body, making this a true session beer. Even if you aren’t a lumberjack, at least you can drink like one!
Brewer: Justin Azevedo
Malts: Pilsen, Carapils, Special Aromatic
Hops: Chinook, Citra, Centennial, Meridian, Mosaic, Simcoe
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.008 ABV: 5.42% IBU: 70 SRM: 5
Words to Live By: “He was a wise man who invented beer.” — Plato
This Golden Ale has a slight twist. We used peppers instead of hops in the keg for several weeks to give this beer its kick. You might wonder where this idea sprang from. Back in the early ’90s there was a beer called “Crazy Eddie’s Chili Beer” that had a pepper in the bottle. I thought it was great, most of my friends were not so sure. I hope that you enjoy its warming qualities. Cheers. Brewer: Gary Nance
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal C40
Hops: Chinook, Cascade
OG: 1.042 TG: 1.009 ABV: 4.27 IBU: 20 SRM: 4
Words to Live By: The sun can’t shine on one dog all the time.
Lost Frisbee Dry Hopped Amber Rye
Need to take your mind off another lost Frisbee? Take a break from your search and enjoy a pint of delicious Amber Rye Ale. This American-style amber ale is deep coppery brown in color. Medium-bodied and balanced, this beer is characterized by toasted malt flavors and a light fruitiness. Crystalized rye malt is included in the mash to lend a spicy and mildly sour note, and it was dry hopped with Falconer 7 C’s hops. See how that works; you already forgot about that lost Frisbee!
Brewer: Ryan Mott
Malts: Pale Malt, Crystal Rye, Crystal C60, Chocolate
Hops: Nugget, Cascade, Chinook
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.009 ABV: 5.29 IBU: 36 SRM: 16
Words to Live By: “Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.”
Mill Creek Brewery
This special American wheat beer is made with 50% wheat malt and 50% barley malt. Forty-two pounds of blueberry puree was added toward the end of fermentation to give this wheat beer a soft purple hue and a distinctive berry flavor and aroma.
Brewer: Charlton Fulton
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat
Hops: Horizon, US Golding
OG: 1.050 TG: 1.008 ABV: 5.42 IBU: 15 SRM: 6
Words to Live By: Sometimes it’s better to understand than to be understood.
The Admiral’s IPA
This IPA is made with three different hops and three types of grain. The Premium Two-Row, Vienna and Carastan 30/37 give this beer a light golden amber color while producing a mild malty base. The Chinook and Brewers Gold hops provide modest bittering to tone down the malts and infuse the beer with multiple layers of hop aroma. The Perle hops are added at the end to add an additional layer of aroma. This beer is good any time of the year, so enjoy. Cheers!
Brewer: Doug Ashley
Malts: 2-Row, Vienna, Carastan 30/37
Hops: Chinook, Horizon, Cascade, Galena
OG: 1.072 TG: 1.011 ABV: 7.87 IBU: 50 SRM: 14
Words to Live By: Buy a man a beer, he wastes an hour. Teach a man to brew, he wastes a lifetime.
Old Saint Francis Brewery
High Top Double IPA
Take a trip to the top with this Double IPA. Brewed with excellent malt varieties to showcase a mellow malt flavor yet chewy and flavorful. Slight bread and grain complexities relax on the tip of your tongue. The dry hopping of the tank allows bold hop flavors to hit you on a high note! Floral aromas start your experience. Notes of lemon citrus and mild tropical fruit round out the middle of the hop flavor. Lingering hop bitterness doesn’t overpower-it leaves your tongue on a high note of enjoyment! Overall, it’s a smooth drinking experience for those who enjoy the High Top moments of life!
Brewer: Michael “Curly” White
Malts: Pale, Maris Otter Pale, Pilsen, Aromatic, Victory, Dark Munich
Hops: Centennial, Nugget, Cascade, Meridian, Falconer’s Flight
Dry Hop: Meridian, Falconer’s Flight
OG: 1.077 TG: 1.014 ABV: 8.2 IBU: 90 SRM: 7
Words to Live By: Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you. — Walt Whitman
High Street Brewery
Boysenberry Cream Stout
A healthy helping of Lactose and a hint of Boysenberries give this nice little winter refresher a crisp and creamy finish.
Brewer: Hanns Anderson
Malts: Pale, Blackprinz, Roast
Hops: US Golding, Crystal
OG: 1.055 TG: 1.015 ABV: 5.16 IBU: 20 SRM: 30
Words to Live By: Good friends, good beers, good times.
West Linn Brewery
Go ahead and put away that tiny shovel and half-empty Nutella container, because I’ve once again done my part to bridge the gap between happy hour and dessert. Three different types of chocolate, including Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, found their way inside, along with French oak chips that have been marinating in McMenamin’s own Phil’s Hazelnut Liquor. Add a dash of vanilla bean, and when those flavors combine, you got a tall glass of Captain Planet. So, while you cast your vote for a double IPA, we both know what beer you will be jonesin’ for after that late night ice-cream-out-of-the-carton meeting.
Brewer: Jacob Willson
Malts: Pale, Flaked Barley, Wheat, Crystal C15, Chocolate
Hops: Nugget, US Golding
OG: 1.051 TG: 1.011 ABV: 5.16 IBU: 13 SRM: 26
Words to Live By: What would the world be like without Nutella?
One of the oldest styles of fermented beverage, the braggot-a cross between unhopped ale and mead-was a popular beverage among British natives until it was replaced by its less unwieldy cousin, hopped beer. Our braggot features a smooth, biscuity malt body that balances out the flavors from Scottish heather and Oregon blackberry honey. A small amount of cinnamon and ginger were added, staying true to the old recipes. We only made one small hop addition for its preservative value.
Brewers: Dan Black, Drew Phillips
Malts: Pale, Victory, Rolled Oats
Adjuncts: Blackberry Honey, Cinnamon, Ginger
OG: 1.085 TG: 1.010 ABV: 9.67 IBU: 16 SRM: 18
Words to Live By: “I got rock ‘n’ roll to save me from the cold. And if that’s all there is, it ain’t so bad.” — Motörhead
The Spud-nik Russian Imperial Stout
This is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed by a guy from Idaho. The beer practically named itself. I launch this beer into the orbit of your olfactory sense and tastebuds with the confidence of relaying a victory signal back to the Highland Pub and Brewery. Blacker than the blackest black, rich, malty, roasty, and chewy enough to qualify as half a loaf of bread, this brew will give you a lot to process. So take your time, enjoy your company and cheers to a wonderful life. Na Zdorovya!
Brewer: Tyler Staples
Malts: Pale, Chocolate, Rolled Oats, Roasted Barley, Crystal 135/165L, Crystal C15, Munich
Hops: Chinook, Cascade
OG: 1.093 TG: 1.018 ABV: 9.67 IBU: 73 SRM: 49
Words to live by: “There is no truth which stupidity can’t make use of.” — Robert Musil
So head to the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House on Saturday to drink, vote and be merry – and may the best brewery win. One thing we know for sure that it will be a McMenamins that wins the “Belt”!
Hillsdale Brewery & Public House
1505 S.W. Sunset Blvd.
Portland, OR 97239