The People's Top 5 of 2011, A Look Ahead to 2012

2011 was a big year for craft beer

2011 was a peculiar year. For myself, personally, 2011 was filled with ups and downs. Some notable lows made the summer and fall months particularly difficult, but thanks to a strong finish, lots of wonderful craft beer related festivities, and America’s greatest growth yet in the craft beer boom, 2011 proved to be a year worth remembering.

We asked a number of craft beer minds to share with us some of the most memorable brews and brew events of the year as well as what they perceived as emerging trends in our industry. In picking the brains of many prominent characters who greatly impact the craft beer scene both locally and nationally, we seek to unfold what 2012 might have in store for us. Thanks to all who chimed in, and if you didn’t get your two cents in, feel free to comment with yours. Cheers! -Angelo

Brewpublican Dan Culver inspects a pour of Breakside's Rye Kolsch run through a fruit randallName: Dan Culver, aka the HopFather

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Contributor to Brewpublic

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Boneyard – RPM IPA
Block 15 – Imagine
Surly – Abrassive Ale
Port Brewing – High Tide Fresh Hop IPA
Cascade – ’09 Vlad the Imp Aler

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

I’ll go with collaborations, barrel aging, increased growth of craft beer (breweries), festivals and/or beer weeks every week of the year, and the unfortunate passing of Don Younger

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

April Brews’ Day, Bellingham, WA
Central Oregon Beer Night at Beermongers during Brewpublic Killer Beer Week
Imperial IPA Summit at Roscoe’s
Beer Bloggers Conference
Don Younger’s Wake at the Horse Brass (wouldn’t say “favorite” but definitely most memorable)

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Great craft beer of course, doing at least one blog post every month, and maybe even those 12 beers of the Apocalypse

twitter: @thehopfather


Plew's Brews owner Randy PlewName: Randy Plew

Location: St Johns, Portland, Oregon

Position: Owner of Plew’s Brews

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011?

Firestone Walker Double Jack Draft
Rusty Truck Fender Bender Amber
Freemont Interurban IPA
Occidental  Hefeweizen
NoPo Hairy Buffalo

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Home Brewer Bill sb444
Don Younger Passing
Hammer Head IPA 25th Birthday
Rogue Voodoo Donut Maple Bacon Ale
Captured by Porches’ Beer Bus

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Plew’s Winter Beer Fest
Burnside’s Fruit Beer Fest
Lucky Lab’s Big Beer Fest
Organic Beer Fest
Cans Beer Fest



James Book of Ninkasi Brewing Company (photo courtesy of noprsa.org)Name: James Book

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Position: Marketing Director / Ninkasi Brewing

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

21Amendment / Ninkasi  — Allies Win The War
Ninkasi — Total Domination —with the understanding that my title probably negates my vote’s credibility, SORRY I really do love these beers (too much)
Sun King – Osiris Pale
Burnside Brewing – Oatmeal Pale
Deschutes – The Abyss



Andrew Wegman, General Manager of Birra DeliName:  Andrew Wegman

Location: Tualatin Oregon

Position: General Manager, Birra Deli

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • Red Hook Pilsner
  • Hop Valley VIPorter
  • Southern Tier Creme Brulee
  • Lagunitas Bavarian
  • Calapooia Chili Beer


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Sour Beers growing in popularity.
White IPA’s
A lot of great Brewery Collaborations.
Lots of new great fresh hop beers.
A lot of great beers being paired with foods at restaurants.

Birra Deli in Tualatin, Oregon5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Craft Beer Month Tastings, Trivia night, Book Signings, and deals at Birra Deli
North Meets South Food and Drink Jubilee, at the Benson Hotel
Fort George Release Party
Oktoberfest
Winter Beer Fest… yum

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

More Collaborations, and more food and beer pairings…



Erin Grey Kemplin, Oregon rep for Stone BrewingName: Erin Grey Kemplin

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Oregon Regional Brewery Rep, Stone Brewing Co.

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA
  • Lips of Faith La Terroir
  • Boneyard RPM IPA
  • Cantillon Vigneronne
  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Canning
Sours
BBA
Return to session ales
Everyone owns a brewery


Upright brewer Gerritt IllName: Gerritt ILL
Position : Upright Brewing, Brewer

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

  • Such a wide range of styles being brewed.
  • Barrel aging is becoming more and more common
  • Beer events. They are growing exponentially.
  • Using a hose indoors is still fun

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?


What do you most look forward to in 2012?

-Washing kegs.


Bolt Minister of Portland's Rock Bottom BreweryName: Bolt Minister

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Assistant Brewer at Rock Bottom Brewery

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • That “Hipster” small beer that Upright and Laurelwood caloborated on
  • Sang Noir from Cascade
  • Widmer’s Cranberry Bog beer at OBF
  • The current tart cranberry sour on at Cascade (I’m a sucker from cranberries)
  • And our Rock Bottom Fresh Hop Pale – wish we could make it all year

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Hopefully the emergence of small beers that a few folks did catches on
The continued success of canning craft beer
Continued positive economic impact of craft beer during a down economy (jobs etc.)
Oh yeah Kid Rock starting a brewery in Michigan-Beer bar festivals creating buzz for beers outside of breweries

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Lucky Lab Strong Ale Fest
NAOBF
Hood River Hop Fest
Astoria Brew Cup
Holiday Ale Fest

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

World Beer Congress



NJason Randles, Digital Marketing Manager at Deschutes Breweryame: Jason Randles

Location: Bend, Oregon

Position: Digital Marketing Manager at Deschutes Brewery

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Double Mountain Vaporizer
Deschutes Brewery The Stoic
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Boulevard Brewing Saison-Brett
Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1. Cans! More and more breweries are jumping on board.
2. IPAs continue to be on fire.
3. Craft drinkers still can’t get enough of barrel aged imperial stouts!
4. The sheer number of new breweries opening in all of our backyards
5. Texas overturning antiquated “beer” laws, thanks to Jester King Brewery

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

SAVOR, The Little Woody, Philly Craft Beer Week, Fresh Hop Celebration (Denver, CO), 1st Annual Central Oregon Kick-off to Oregon Craft Beer Month

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

The release of Conflux No. 1 – Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog Collaboration. The blending of Fred, Adam, The Stoic, and The Dissident is going to be amazing.

Twitter: @JasonRandles



Super beer geek Jason SmithlingName:  Jason Smithling

LocationPortland, Oregon

Position:  Fake blogger – The Newest School (http://thenewestschoolbeerblog.blogspot.com/) / PDX Beer Year (http://tinyurl.com/pdxbeeryear)
What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011?

Bayerischer Bahnhof Brettanomyces Lambicus Berliner Weisse
Block 15 Strawberry Fields
Firestone Walker 100% Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin
Bruery Oude Tart with Sour Cherries
Upright Brewing Belmont Station 14th Anniversary Ale


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

The loss of Don Younger
Celebrating women in craft brewing (LOLA, Alison Grayson’s ‘The Love of Beer’ documentary)
A return to session beers
Sneaking glassware into events that only offer plastic
Over-hyped, limited beer releases seem to have reached a tipping point


5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Apex 1st Anniversary
Belmont Station’s Puckerfest
Bruery Reserve Society Initiation Celebration
Lost Abbey/Port Brewing 5th Anniversary party
SNOB Ritch’s Beer & Sushi pairing night at Roscoe’s

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Rumored pre-OBF sour festival at Waterfront Park (as announced during the 2011 ceremonial tapping)



Jeremie Landers sits out from of Belmont Station's Biercafe with a flight of wild alesName: Jeremie Landers

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Oregon Brew Crew competition chair, avid homebrewer

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Deschutes The Abyss 2009 (soured)
The Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme

Pizza Port/Oakshire collaboration I-5 Imperial Brown Ale
Widmer Rotator IPA Falconer’s Flight
Russian River Don the Younger


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Sadly, the death of good friend and master publican Don Younger, the re-legalization of transporting homebrew out of the home (Oregon SB 444), the establishment of the first Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Wyeast Labs begins exclusive testing of McPolanders Czech Lager yeast with Oregon Brew Crew members, Ben Love and Van Havig leave their respective breweries to begin their own Gigantic Brewing

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Holiday Ale Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, Zwickelmania, Fresh Hop Tastival

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Hopefully seeing Wyeast Labs make public the strain (tentatively named) 1499 McPolanders Czech Lager Yeast in a future Private Collection release ~crossing fingers



NoPo brewer and Plew's beertender Trevor ThurstonName: Trevor Thurston

Location: St Johns, Portland, Oregon

Position: Beertender at Plew’s Brews, keg hauler, homebrew evangelist

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Firestone Walker Double Jack, Logsdon’s Siezoen, Terrapin’s Hopsecutioner, NoPo Brews Hairy Buffalo, and the Leipziger Gose. Plus many more!

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

A/B going to pellets, CDA‘s ( again), farmhouse and sour beers, nano breweries being successful and growing, the Brewing Up Cocktails series.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Plew’s Brews Winter Beer Festival, Cheers to Belgian Beers, Lucky Lab Barleywine Tastival, Organic Beer Fest, Saraveza’s IIPA Fest !

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Finding an investor to start my brewery, the second annual Plew’s Brews Winter Beer Festival, more great NoPo Brews events, and checkin out some White IPA’s…

If you have a photo of yourself (preferably in beer mode), that would be splendid, too.

Website: www.nopobrews.com



Widmer Bros brewer Jacob LeonardName: Jacob Leonard

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Brewer at Widmer Bros Brewing

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • 2011 Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde Summer Brew
  • Stiegl Goldenbrau
  • Heater Allen Pilsner
  • Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

The amount of new breweries that are in the works.
Brewers re-discovering sessionable beers.
Hop blends and the diversity that they offer.
Traditional-style craft lagers.
I think the most obvious trend is the Nano-brewery.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Sasquatch Beer Festival
Zwicklemania
Portland Fruit Beer Festival
Oregon Brewers Fest Brewers Dinner
Brewers Burger Brawl at The Hop and Vine

What do you most look forward to in 2012

It sounds simple, but I just look forward to enjoying more Northwest beer (the best beer on the planet!) with my friends.



Brewpublic's Marc Demeule

Name:  Marc Demeule

Location:   Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec

PositionAgronomist, beer taster, beer traveler & hop grower, contributor to Brewpublic

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Top 5 beers from a Québec brewery

1-    Le Trou du Diable    Dulcis Succubus Saison, hopped with New World varieties, aged in Dolce noble rot wine barrels with brettanomyces.
2-    Le Trou du Diable    V 5th anniversary beer, claymore scotch ale aged in Jack Daniel barrels.
3-    Le Bénélux        Grande Armada reserve American strong ale Grande Armada aged for 6 months in Whiskey barrel
4-    Les brasseurs du temps    Obscur désir Imperial stout
5-    Microbrasserie d’Orléans    Jean dit Laforge Imperial stout

And my 5 best from outside Québec province.

1-    Southern Tier     2XIPA  Imperial IPA
2-    Sierra Nevada     30th anniversary,  Our brewers reserve grand cru
American strong ale
3-    Stone        Lukcy Basatd Ale  American strong ale
4-    Meantime        London Porter
5-    Hill farmstead     Vera Mae  Saison


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

More and more breweries did create barrel aged beers
Sour beers slowly appears in Québec breweries

There is close to 15 breweries in Montréal area, and rumors of new projects for 2012

The tragedy of the closure of the Alchemist brewery in Waterbury, Vt after a water flood

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

– Get back to Portland for vacation
– 2nd edition of the Winter Warmer festival in Montréal

marc@brewpublic.com



Arlene Nunez, owner of By The Bottle in Vancouver, WA

Name: Arlene Nunez

Location: Vancouver, Washington

Position: Owner, By The Bottle

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

There are two criteria to make this list:

1.) It has to be a beer that I have never tried before this year, and…
2.) of course it has to blow my palate out of the water

In chronological order:

1.) Siera Nevada HOPTIMIUM Imperial IPA-Chico, CA
2.) Great Divide CHOCOLATE OAK-AGED YETI Imperial Stout-Denver, CO
3.) Browar Amber GRAND Imperial Porter-Poland
4.) Traquair HOUSE ALE-Scotlan
5.) Avery DUGANA Imperial IPA-Boulder, CO

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1.) collaborative efforts from Breweries at opposite ends of the earth
2.) hybrid beers: smoky doppelbocks, oatmeal pale ales
3.) the pros embracing the homebrewers, the brewers of the future
4.) hype beers that I won’t mention
5.) defining moment: Angelo DeIeso, Best Bartender in Washington, By the Bottle. Hey, if I was a brewer, all of my top five beers would be my beers.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

1.) BREWPUBLIC Killer BeerWeek
2.) Bridging the Taps with Saraveza

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

1.) Who’s Your Daddy?, the first ever beer festival in Vancouver, WA, the Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend
2.) The developement of the beer scene in Vancouver
3.) The ever increasing creativity and innovation of the craft brew scene that seems to have no limits.

http://bottledbrews.com



Brant Kunze (right) and Shawn Meyer of BottlesName: The collective staff at Bottles

Location: 5015 NE Fremont St., Portland, Oregon.

Position: all

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

1. 72 eldarodo fresh hoped ipa (New Belgium and elysian)
2. bad bunny imp. cream ale (Alameda)
3. fatili four (Upright)
4. Pumking (Southern Teir)
5. falling street fresh hop (Alameda)

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1. cans
2. different types of ipas (cda, white ipa, winter ipa)
3. sour
4. the new packaging (multi breweries in the same package)
5. tap take overs

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

1. organic beer fest
2. start of the oregon craft beer month with the timbers
3. fruit beer fest
4. can beer fest
5. obf

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

The night before the end of the world. And all the beers we get to drink with an apocalyptic reference!



Beer aficionado Seth Kelton at Saraveza's 2nd Annual IIPA FestName: Seth Kelton

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Beer advocate and all around friendly presence in the Portland craft beer scene

Top 5 Beers:

5. Cascade Saison Minuit: Dark Saisons are hard to come by & this Minuit’s roast/chocolate notes combined with a slight funk, were spot on.
4. 10 Barrel Smoked Apple Stout: Had this from their Pub’s “Big Handle Series” back in late July. A legitmate “Sweet & Savory” beer. The stout was super smokey, the apple hints were just right & the thick mouthfeel (for a medium ABV stout… 6%ish from memory) all made for a standout experience.
3. Logsdon Kili Wit: Their Fresh Hop Seizoen earned tons of praise and I predict the Kili will follow suit. The best American Wit I’ve had to date. Track it down.
2. Breakside/John Foyston Collaboration Steam Beer: Tried this during Breakside’s Collaboration Fest. Easy drinking, amazing flavor, makes me wish this style was more widely/readily available.. *Attention Mr. Edmunds & Mr. Foyston: This beer should be year round. Please make it happen!
1. Hair of the Dog Adam from the Wood (from bottle): Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s the “obvious” choice, but I must give credit where it’s due. This is the definition of a World Class brew.

Trends of 2011:

-Expensive Beer: Lots of barrel aged projects hit taps/bottles this year. Highlights include $9.50-$11.50 for a 12oz draft glass & $25 bottles. All of which came from Oregon breweries. Yikes
Pumpkin Ales: Saw quite a few variations this Fall, way more than I’ve ever seen. Though I dig this idea, more are misses than hits for me. Look forward to seeing more examples of the style next year.
-Fruit/Experimental Ales: With the success of the Fruit Beer Fest & a number of crazy beers being released featuring: Habanero/Lime, Beets, Rooibos, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, etc, there was a good amount of creativity displayed. With the number of Oregon breweries growing steadily, the battle to set yourself apart will only grow.
-Beer Fests: Yep, I’d say (without doing any research) there averaged 3-6 per month in 2011. Dang it, if my cupboards at home can’t take any more of souvenir glasses! But I must give props to some newbie fests which focused on: Saisons, Scottish, Sessions, Smoked, Chili, Fruit, Pumpkin, Coffee, you name it.

Future Prediction:

-High Quality Beer/Food Joints opening: Though I only eat out maybe once a month, reading the Food/Draft/Bottle lists for places like the recently opened Les Caves, one year in Grain & Gristle, Saraveza, and Hair of the Dog Tasting Room, all seriously make me reconsider my perpetual diet. Rather than focusing on one dynamic to pull in customers, the idea of high quality eats, atmosphere, and a strong focus on beer all in one location, is enticing and will certainly be expanding across the state. Belgian Waffles, Gourmet Coffee & a Saison for brunch? Yes, please.



Name: Marty Ochs

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Position: National Sales Director at Ninkasi Brewing Co.

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

These may not be new- but they were new to me and made an impact –

  • Mikkeler – The American Dream
  • Good Life – Sweet As Pale Ale
  • Elysian  – Pumpkin Stout (one of their crazy variations)
  • 21st Amendment – Allies Win the War (I know this is a collaboration with us, but it was ridiculously good)
  • Ninkasi – Ice 9, Whiteaker Block Party Beer (yes, it’s ours, but I just had to vote for this single batch beer we did for the block party that was amazingly smooth and unique, a golden pale ale.

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

  • Chains opening up to regional and local sets more rapidly.
  • LA is about to explode with craft opportunities without the pay to play gangster style of sales San Francisco has.
  • The seemingly lack of BA focus on market share while patting everyone on the back for volume growth.  Moving the dial on share will be the goal for the industry.
  • The separation of on premise accounts that utilize their craft knowledge to ride or push the craft trends in their region vs on premise accounts that follow their distributors direction and loose customers.
  • The continued growth of IPA in the NW is still astonishing.


5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

I will choose events off the radar…

  • Mountain Bike Oregon.  They have a small but growing beer garden that makes the event more amazing!
  • Dirty Dash – drink stations and running in mud!!!
  • Whiteaker Block Party
  • Holiday Ale Fest in PDX – not off the radar but fun.
  • CBC in San Francisco – learning and drinking together at last.

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

CBC every year.  The continued growth of craft in all regions throughout the US.  Sierra Nevada CANS.  …and a specialty series we are developing here at Ninkasi along with our continued expansion!!!!



Jeff "Beervana" AlworthName: Jeff Alworth

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Beervana Blogger, author

Five faves:

  • Worthington White Shield
  • De Struise Aardmonnik
  • Ninkasi Helles Belles
  • Lompoc Voodoo Mild
  • Breakside Grisette (of course!)–though the Devon White Ale rocked, too

Trends/moments

Looking forward

I always look forward to the moment when cask ale sweeps the state, so what the hell, I’ll look forward to it again this year.

http://blogspot.com/beervana

Twitter: @Beervana



JT Thompson of Smuttynose and Portsmouth BrewingName: JT Thompson

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Position: Minister of Propaganda at Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • Sunner Kolsch
  • Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
  • Smuttynose Short Batch #13: Satchmo on cask at NERAX North
  • Thornbridge Halcyon-Portsmouth Brewery American Mild
  • The cask-conditioned German helleses, from breweries I’ve never heard of (and can’t pronounce) that keep showing up around New England.  I’m never sure when they’re going to appear, but I’m damned glad when they do.  Watching the carbonation during the pour is pretty amazing on its own.

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

  • Lagers seem to be coming back, thank god.  Even in traditional english ale strongholds like Portland, ME are starting to see craft lagers in more bars and restaurants as well as more locally brewed lagers.  Hooray!
  • Sierra Nevada and New Belgium’s quest for for East Coast production facilities.  Even though other breweries have opened second facilities, I think the mystique and brand cache of these two have really caused people to think fundamentally about what it means to be a craft brewer.  I don’t think anyone is going to kick either of these breweries out of the club for opening a second facility, but these moves are both massive game changers.  I can’t imagine that anyone cared when Pyramid opened its second brewery or even RedHook for that matter.  Seeing two leading breweries with such brand authenticity look at second facilities makes you question a few things though, which is good thing.  Nothing good can come from keeping the same rigid definitions as our segment of the industry spreads into uncharted territory.
  • Brewmasters on Discovery Channel is a definitely a high water mark, even though I don’t think its impact will be very long-lasting. While the show was incredibly high profile, people will have a hard time convincing me that this was any kind of a sell-out move or shark jump.
  • It would be impossible for me to tell you how many times someone told me over thew course of 2011 that they ‘want to get into brewing or are ‘thinking about starting their own place.’   The number of tire kickers and dreamers is amazing.  Who would ever have thought that a bunch of guys with beards would be the new belle of the ball?
  • One trend that’s driven me batty this year, in part because I see beer geeks, beer writers and even brewers (who should know better), is the use of ‘Brett’ and ‘sour’ to mean things that aren’t necessarily either sour or brewed with Brettanomyces.  Brett doesn’t give tartness to a beer and lactobacillus doesn’t impart a sour flavor.  Describing beers accurately is very important and the casual and incorrect usage of these terms kind of reeks of laziness.


5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

I don’t get out to too many beer events but i’ll go with what I’ve got.

  • NERAX and NERAX North-The two best cask beer fests in America are incredibly fun to help put on and attend.  The range of beers, particularly the British beers, is unmatched in this country.
  • Mondial de la Biere in Montreal.  It was odd being at a beer fest in another language, but it was great to see such a vibrant beer scene.  The entire city gets filled with brewers and beer drinkers.  It’s a lot more laid back than US beer fests too.
  • Craft Brewers Conference is always worthwhile too.  Most of the time when you get to see your brewer friends at beer events, there are lots of beer drinkers on hand.  CBC is the one time where you can catch up kind of away from the public.
  • Passport is a local beer and food pairing event that Smuttynose helps organize.  It takes place at Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth’s living history museum.   Tables are set-up amongst colonial buildings each one features a different beer and food pairing.  Guests can mill about the grounds and enjoy the setting by the water while eating and drinking.  We raise lots of money for New Hampshire Public TV and Strawbery Banke    There isn’t another beer event like it!


What do you most look forward to in 2012?

On a local level, I’m most excited about construction on the new Smuttynose Brewery and on a broader scope, I’m excited to see how craft beer continues to mainstream from its niche and am very curious to see what will happen with all these small nanos that are opening in droves.  I’m afraid we might be heading for another shake-out but I hope I get proven wrong.



New Old Lompoc's Dave Fleming Name:Dave Fleming

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Head Brewer, Lompoc Brewing

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

1.Arbutus Pale Ale Duncan BC
2. Founders Centennial IPA ( there rye is wicked good too)
3.Boston Beer Works Red Sox Red
4. Three Creeks Five Pine Porter
5. Sierra Nevada Fresh hop Estate ( the list above is in no order of preference)

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1.craft beer is thriving in this economy
2.hoppy ipas are still popular
3.everybody and there brother still thinks, Portland would be a great place to open a brewery
4. Eugene only has five breweries
5. Low alcohol beers are still not popular

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Cheers to Belgian Beers at Metalcraft Fabrication, Boonville Brew Fest, Skamania Lodge Brewfest, Fresh Hop Ale Hood River and Lucky Lab’s Barleywine and Big Beer Fest obvisouly no bias here and the above lists are in no order of favorites

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Actually brewing my joke answer to “hey Chowder (or fill in the nickname Squirrel, Rick a Shee, Flem, Flemdog, Mad dog, Hemmy, Spaz, Pine Marten…) what are you gonna brew next I always respond with: Honey Jalepeno Lavendar Lager… it sounds nice to say but im not sure on how its gonna drink ….so i think i finally have to do it after 5 years of using that as my answer when i don’t know what i am actually brewing next.



Alex Ganum of Upright BrewingName: Alex Ganum

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Founder and head brewer of Upright Brewing

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Double Mountain Rainier Kriek, Widmer Himbeere Gose mit dem Eibisch, Commons Fleur de Ferme, Silver Moon Little Red Pils, Burnside Gooseberry Berliner Weisse

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

One trend I see is more small production breweries with tasting rooms, at least in Oregon.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

My Beery Valentine, Single hop fest at Amnesia, CTBB, Van Havig tribute night, tastings at Snob Ritch’s

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Gigantic Brewing. I hear it’s going to be huge! Also, drinking more cider at Bushwhacker!



Breakside Brewer Ben EdmundsName: Ben Edmunds

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Head Brewer at Breakside Brewery

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

Oregon Only

  • Flat Tail 1st Anniversary (aka Wild 5 Blonde)
  • Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam from the Wood
  • Upright Special Herbs
  • Laurelwood Biere du Printemps and Organic Pale Ale
  • Oakshire La Ferme du Funk and Heart-Shaped Box

Outside of Oregon

  • New Belgium Le Terroir 2011
  • Odell Myrcenary
  • Weyerbacher Sixteen
  • Allagash Coolship Resurgam
  • Chuckanut Kolsch

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

-Increase in the number of lower alcohol styles being produced

-“Festivalization” of the beer production calendar–it always feels like we’re making a beer special for a new, specialized fest!

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

At Breakside, we hope to have a second brewpub up and running by the end of the year. It’ll be a challenge to get it done, but we’re optimistic. I’m excited to see what all the new breweries in Oregon do, both the places from established folks like Gigantic and Worthy, as well as the spots from new folks to the industry. I’m also excited to keep collaborating on fun one-off beers with good friends from all over the beer community.



Oakshire's Joe JasperName: Joe Jasper

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Position: Head Brewer and Production Manager at Oakshire Brewing


What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)
  • Watershed IPA
  • Overcast Espresso Stout
  • Ill Tempered Gnome
  • Pliny the Elder
  • Supplication

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

More barrel aged “wild” beers
More bourbon barrel aged “strong” beers
IPA’s are increasing in ABV and IBU’s across the board
Beers infused with herbs are becoming more common and more “approachable”
Session beers are also becoming more common (but not necessarily more approachable)
5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

NAOBF
OBF

www.oakbrew.com



Ben KilduffName: Benjamin Kilduff

Location : Portland, Oregon

Position: Beer Advocate and contributor, Brewpublic.com

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

*Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
*Russian River Supplication
*Alpine Great
*Terrapin Moo-Hoo
*Laurelwood Imperial Workhorse IPA

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

I haven’t really noticed any new trend necessarily, but when I had Dechsutes Dissident I started to get into the Oud Tart and Flanders Red styles a lot more.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

PIB, HAF, and Organic Ale Fest. I went to the my Saraveza IIPA Fest and liked it very much. I don’t spend a lot of time in that part of town but that was a lot of fun. I also can never resist Concordia Alehouse’s Beer Brawls

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

More Flanders Red and Oud Tart styles.



Name: Josh Grgas

Location: Portland, Oregon
Position: Manager and Beertender at The BeerMongers and The Commons Brewery respectively
6 beers:
(1) Bruery Tart of Darkness – I’m a fanboy. I’m surprised my entire list isn’t Bruery beers. The ultimate crush: a delicious sour stout with a surprising Rodenbach Grand Cru acid profile
(2) Heater Allen Abzug – I’m getting older and I want things to be slower and easier. I hope they make more of this next year.
(3) Block 15 Super Nebula – I’m not ashamed to say this is by far my favorite barrel aged stout made in Oregon. This list easily could have been split between Block 15 and Bruery beers. I have the shirts to prove it.

(4) Cantillon 2005 Lou Pepe Kriek – Oh Fuck. Damn. Cannot speak. Need More.
(5) Fantome Magic Ghost – Green beer. Not young, literally green. Mad Scientist Brewer Dany says the color comes from strained spinach. This continues to boggle my mind despite trying multiple bottles.

(6) Fresh Westvleteren Blonde – My friends probably want me to shut up about this beer. Once again, I’ve a growing affinity to the interesting but uncomplicated. I’ll be silent now.

3 Trends
:

(1) I’m pleased, but hopefully not pretentiously so, that non-IPA styles are starting to garner more attention. I notice more people leaving their comfort zone and getting excited by variety.

(2) The growing recognition of beer as a formidable competitor to wine in the culinary world. Beer has a lot going on that wine wishes it could produce. It’s consumers are also nicer and bite way less.

(3) More great, passionate people entering the industry and chasing a dream. I truly believe more great beer being produced or recommended will only help the local and national culture.
I have several trends I dislike, but I refuse to rain on this fun, nostalgic parade.

5 Events:
(1) Bailey’s Anniversary – Geoff Phillips is one of my beer mentors. He runs my favorite bar in Portland and his anniversary party is always at the top of my list. Get the early admission, bring some snacks and geek out.

(2) Fruit Beer Fest – I thought it was a great idea. And several brewers stepped up with seriously innovative beers. I’m really excited for Round 2
(3) BeerMongers Anniversary Festival – It was one of the hottest weekends of the year, but that didn’t take away all the fun I had organizing a beer fest.

(4) WWJB: I could tell you but I’d have to kill you
(5) Wildwood/Block 15 Beer Dinner – Everything. Was. Delicious. The artichoke soup and Ferme de la Ville Provision really opened my eyes to the possibilities of paired flavors affecting taste.

Next year, I’m looking forward to enjoying more beers with a bunch of truly great people.

DJ Paul

Name: D.J. Paul

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Available/Brewpublic Contributor

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

1. Heart Shaped Box – Oakshire Brewing : My first exposure to this fine single batch beer was at Brewpublic’s “My Beery Valentine” at Saraveza. The cocoa nibs, cherries, espresso and vanilla beans overwhelmed the senses. Oh, and it was aged in a Heaven Hill barrel to give this beer its magical shine on Valentines Day.

2. Ching Ching – Bend Brewing : Great Berliner Weiss during summer beer season. Just the right amount of tartness. I remember having this in July at CheeseBar during their Brewer DJ night and sought it out afterwards. Saraveza carried it in bottles and was occasionally found on tap in Portland. Plus it won a Bronze Medal at 2011 GABF.

3. Thumbprint IIPA – New Glarus Brewing Co. : I brought back this 4 pack from my summer trip back to the midwest. This Imperial IPA from the highly respected New Glarus brewery put forth a brew that was very hoppy but had a nice malt back to make it one of the more approachable IIPA’s on the market.

4. Lolita – Goose Island Brewing Co. : This wild ale aged on raspberries in wine barrels served from a 22oz bottle shared around a campfire during a Memorial Day weekend camping trip made the dampness of all the rain we received go away….well at least temporarily in our minds.

5. It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer To Make Great Wine – Russian River Brewing Co. : This lower alcohol session ale brewed by the guy that usually goes to extremes was an excellent take on a nice warm afternoon thirst quencher. Of course there are some noticeable hops but this brew was inspired to share with the wine makers of Northern California to get them thru harvest season.

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1. Amount of brewery openings that continue to take place in Portland. Which ones will stand the test of time?

2. Emergence of the Berliner Weiss style of beer here in the US.

3. Lower alcohol beers making a comeback.

4. Breweries rethinking their distribution and marketing strategies to keep their beer to more local, regionalized growth.

5. Too many new Portland area beer festivals that take away from the uniqueness of what a festival should bring to the customer.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?:

1. Inaugural Eugene Beer Week

2. Killer Beer Week Pumpkin Beer Fest

3. Saraveza/Brewpublic IIPA Fest

4. Bend Brewfest

5. Glen Hay Falconer Brew-Am Golf Outing

What do you most look forward to in 2012?:

Gainful employment.


Oakshire Brewmaster Matt Van WykName: Matt Van Wyk

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Position: Brewmaster at Oakshire Brewing

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must):

So many to choose from. Here’s a few: Block 15’s Golden Canary, Bend Brewing’s Ching Ching, 10 Barrels PB and J beer, Breakside’s Gin Barrel Sour Double Wit, and how about Skookumchuck Wild Ale.

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

  • The largest of the US craft Breweries are attempting to appeal to the beer geek as much as possible by producing a lot of one off beers.
  • Craft Beer in Cans is on the rise.
  • Food and Beer continue to be a match made in heaven.
  • 20 something’s are starting with craft beer rather than discovering it later in life.
  • The amazing growth in the craft beer industry is unparraleled. It will be intweresting to see how it shakes out.

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

  • SAVOR in Washington DC
  • GABF
  • Oregon Brewers Festival
  • Portland Cheers to Belgian Beers
  • and of course Brewpublic’s Killer Beer Week

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

I’m looking forward to becoming a Totally Dominant Oregon brewery in 2012. 😉  In reality, I look forward to some very exciting growth at Oakshire, both locally and into our distribution network. All of our beer programs should see significant growth in 2012 and we’ll be branching out to some new things. I really look forward to sitting down with my Brewpublicans and enjoying a pint or two. Cheers!


Hilda Stevens of Bazi BierbrasserieName: Hilda Stevens

Location: Portland, Oregon

Position: Owner of Bazi Bierbrasserie

What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

  • Stillwater Ales Cellar Door
  • Ellezelloise Hercule Stout
  • t’Gaverhopke Extra Quad
  • Struise Pannepot Quad
  • Oude Gueuze Tilquin a l’Ancienne

What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

Collaboration between brewers across the globe, Sour beers, Hybrid beers, Belgian styles, Westvleteren coming to the USA

5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

Cheers to Belgian Beers, Holiday Ale Fest, PDX International Beer Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, PDX Beer Week

What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Celebrating our one year anniversary in May. Anyone that has taken this journey understands the rollercoaster ride to make it through the first year.



Ashley V Routson aka The Beer WenchName: Ashley V Routson

Location:
Berkeley, California

Position:
Director of Awesomeness, Bison Brewing // Founder, DrinkWithTheWench.Com // Founder, BeerMixology.Com


What are 5 of your favorite beers that you experienced in 2011? (If you are a brewer, it is okay to list your own if you must)

1. Saison De Wench, Bison Brewing: Belgian Farmhouse Ale brewed with roses, hibiscus, lemongrass and pink peppercorn. This has been the 3rd commercial beer recipe that I’ve helped design and brew from start to finish, which is a really exciting personal achievement.
2. Firestone Walker XV Anniversary Ale
3. Sang Noir, Cascade Barrel House
4. Gin-Barrel Double Wit, Breakside
5. Helles Belles, Ninkasi


What are 5 trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2011?

1. Beer Cocktails – Not necessarily a new concept, but definitely something becoming rapidly popular across the country. So much, in fact, that I created a website with the goal of being the foremost resource on beer cocktails — beermixology.com.
2. Rye – Rye has been used as a brewing grain for years, but these days it seems to be increasing in popularity. Many breweries are using rye in non-traditional styles, which is very interesting.

3. Fruit Beers – Noticing a lot of brewers stepping outside of the box and using fruits not commonly used in brewing.

4. Collaboration Beers – Everyone and their mother seems to be collaborating these days and, for the most part, some really fun and interesting beers have been produced as a result.

5. “Proprietary” Beers – Beers brewed with ingredients grown on brewery grounds, mostly hops. They are still very rare, but increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, it is impossible for most breweries to be “farm to brewery” (for several reasons, but I won’t get into it now).


5 favorite craft beer events of 2011?

1. Holiday Ale Fest (Portland, OR) – Quite possibly, the most important event of the year, for obvious reasons. This was my first Holiday Ale, and definitely not my last.
2. Legendary Boonville Fest (Boonville, CA) – 2 nights and 3 days of camping with brewers and industry folks, enjoying epic craft beer and awesome food. Can’t really get much better than that.

3. Lagunitas Beer Circus (Petaluma, CA) – First time experience. Total freak show and, since I’m a total freak, I loved it.

4. Great American Beer Festival (Denver, CA) – Although not my first GABF, this was my first time going as a brewer with a beer on the floor and in the competition. Nothing can really express how much of an honor it was.

5. #IPADay (International, via Twitter) – This was the first social media based event that I organized for the craft beer industry. Thousands of people from 6 continents and several countries joined the virtual craft beer celebration. I also hosted an IPA fest at the Napa Marriott, which raised about 2k for a local LBGT charity.

Runner-up: Firestone Walker From the Barrel Event (Paso Robles, CA) – First year this event was kicked off. Barrel-aged beer, Bourbon, Port wine, cigars and lots of great food… Needless to say, the night was epic.


What do you most look forward to in 2012?

Professionally, I’m looking forward to furthering my involvement and impact in the craft beer industry and continuing to innovate and push the boundaries. I am also excited to return to some of the events I attended for the first time last year, as well as work on developing some of my own new and interesting concepts.

Personally, I’m looking forward to is launching BeerMixology.com at the beginning of the year. I also hope to continue to build my personal brand, as well as collaborate with other beer writers for the advocacy of better beer.

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