So… the meteorologist are saying something to the tune of 80 degrees this weekend in the Willamette Valley. Really?! Is summer going to grace us with a sneak preview? ‘Cause of late, the water levels have risen to the highest since 1996 when there was a big ol’ flood here. If you’ve been to the water front, you’ve probably noticed that the river isn’t far from the bridges. I digress…
This weekend, there’s a buttload of killer beer things cracking around Beervana. There has also been a bunch of great happenings that you might’ve missed out on (it’s easy to do ’round here). Okay, first let’s start with some of the events that have rocked this past week…
Sean Campbell’s Birthday Party @ The BeerMongers
BeerMonger No. 1 Sean Campbell is the friendly face behind The BeerMongers, a favorite Southeast Portland haunt of ours. The patrons’ love for Sean is undeniable. Folks showed up in droves to wish Sean a happy 39th beerthday – the 18th anniversary of his 21st – making a three time teenager. We love you Sean! (Check out our photos from the event HERE.) There was even a mustache competition, as May was declared Mustache May. Despite a hard fought ‘stache-off, beer geek Larry “Lars” Walters won the people’s hearts and upper lips with a bad-ass bushy bouquet. Congrats! Also at Sean’s beerthday, there was a cake, special bottles popped, and a number of noteworthy beers on tap including the premier of Two Kilts Brewing. Brewers Chris Dillon and Alex McGaw were on hand for the release, an extremely drinkable IPA featuring a blend of floral and citrus hops. The keg blew quickly. Also on tap was a rare Belgian treat, DeDolle’s Oerbier, and the remaining supply of Breakside’s Kellerbier, a dark sessionable brew.
Hottest Beer Ever?
We’ve had our share of pepper infused beers and have enjoyed many such as Lazy Boy’s Nacho Pils, Calapooia’s Chili Beer, and Rogue’s Chipotle Ale. Spice-wise, all of these don’t hold a candle to the gastronomically hellacious El Toro Brewing‘s Ghost Pepper Golden Ale that we were burned by at APEX. Served in 6-ounce tasters, this badboy lights it up with the Naga Jolokia aka Ghost chili pepper, the hottest pepper known to humans. This high piquance pepper, clocks in over a million on the Scoville scale, a unit of measurement that has Jalapenos in the 2,500-5,000 range and fiery Habaneros somewhere between 100,000 and 350,000 Scovilles. Beer is something we don’t normally sweat, but El Toro’s hellacious brew got the perspiration flowing.
Rock Bottom IRA Release
Thursday marked another release of Rock Bottom‘s IRA, a hoppy India Red Ale, in much the same style as Double Mountain’s touted IRA, but with a bit more toast. Brewers Charlie Hutchins and Bolt Minister were on hand as Rock Bottom provided patrons who were in house at 5:30PM a complimentary pint. We also had the opportunity to sample their DioBock, a seasonal May release commemorating hard rock legend Ronnie James Dio, purveyor of the devil’s horns rock hand gesture who passed away in May 2010. Another excellent beer quaffed was RB’s Kolsch, a perfect refresher for warmer days.
BridgePort Releases Two Fruit Beers
Thursday night BridgePort Brewing releases not one but two fruit beers. The third release of their Stumptown Tart was a strawberry infused treat. Weighing in at 7.7% ABV, this year’s Tart was the best yet. Lots of great fresh plump Willamette Valley strawberry flavor reminiscent of Brouwerij Huyghe Van Diest Früli but much bolder. A special rare firkin of the tart poured in the Knucklehead room where free samples were provided. (For more information on this year’s Stumptown Tart, check out our previous post HERE.) BridgePort Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton was on hand as well as Stumptown Tart pin-up model Bernie Dexter.
Also debuting on this fine evening was BridgePort’s Summer Squeeze, a sessionable fruit wheat beer made with dried lemongrass and fresh yuzu fruit juice. (For more information on Summer Squeeze, check out our previous post HERE.) BridgePort’s lightest beer to date, the refreshing Squeeze weighs in at an unimposing 4.5% ABV. A nice hop zest of Sterlings lingers to balance out the beer. We were stoked to quaff an imperial pint of this beer and look forward to many more over the course of the session season.
Awesome New Beers at MacTarnahan’s Taproom
It’s not always convenient for those of us on the Eastside of Portland to get over to MacTarnahan’s Taproom in the Northwest Industrial Area, but when we do, we’re most often happy we did. Right now, Mac’s has some new brews on tap that you might not have heard about but are top notch. In addition to the delicious seasonal Summer Grifter IPA and Pyramid Curveball Golden Ale that just returned again, Mac’s Taproom now features the MacTarnahan’s Full Bloom Craft Lager, a marriage of Bohemian and Northwest styles that features Pilsner and Carapils malts (6.3% ABV) and spiced up (35 IBU) with Nugget, Mt Hood, and Sterling hops. This beer is one of the best lagers to hit the Oregon market this year, so don’t miss it.
Also new at Mac’s Taproom is the latest release from Pyramid‘s Ignition Series, Uproar Imperial Red Ale. This citrus hopped brew (60 IBU) features a hardy malt underpinning and a bold alcohol level (7.3% ABV) that is well masked. A complex hop bill involves Nugget, Falconer’s Flight, Delta (XP-04188), and Amarillos that marry great with a unique malt character featuring 2-Row, Chocolate, C-120, and Oats. If you haven’t been by Mac’s recently, get on over there. For those who like fizzy yellow ad-junk swill, they’ve got Labatt Blue pouring, too – a result of NAB‘s recent takeover of MacPyraHat. Prost!
Okay, looking forward to the weekend, here’s what to check out here in Beer Mecca:
Fort George Meet the Brewer/Roscoe’s Wild Rice IPA Release
Earlier this week, we wrote about a new Roscoe’s IPA releasing at Roscoe’s Pub in Portland this Friday, June 3rd. Ironically, the beer is not named for the Portland pub but rather Astorian chef Peter Roscoe of Fulio’s Italian Pastaria. Fort George brewer Spencer Gotter will be in the house to sample out some other specialty brews like Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout, Coffee Girl Imperial Stout, and 1811 Lager. By George, get down there!
Portland Zoo Brew
Monkey around with the captive creatures at the Portland Zoo with a ton of beer on Friday June 3rd. For $30 (or $35 at the door), you get a commemorative tasting glass, 10 tokens and admission to the zoo after 4 PM (event starts at 5PM and goes til 10PM, gates close at 9PM). If you’re into zoos, then you’ll be happy to know that proceeds from this event will support the continued development of zoo programs and exhibits. For a complete list of breweries and more details, visit http://oregonzoo.org/Support/Zoo_Brew.htm.
Artisanal German Beer Tasting @ Belmont Station
To say that importer Mark Gerlach is impassioned about the small artisanal breweries he reps from Germany would be an understatement. Gerlach has been making the Portland rounds this week and will be on hand at Belmont Station, a Portland craft beer staple, to pour tastes of the distinctive Weissbiers from Hopf, the lagers brewed with a rare malt strain by Schonramer and the lagers brewed by nuns at Klosterbrauerei Reutberger in Bavaria. Gerlach has personal relationships with the brewers and is full of great stories. Like German beer? Than don’t miss out on this opportunity! This event is on Friday June 3rd from 6-8PM.
Everybody’s Brewing Meet the Brewer @ By The Bottle
If you find yourself over in Vantucky (America’s Vancouver aka “The Couv”) this Saturday, June 4th, don’t miss out on By The Bottle‘s free sampling opportunity with White Salmon, Washington’s finest. Everybody’s Brewing, just across the Gorge from Hood River makes some of the region’s best pale ales and lagers. Brewer/founder Doug Ellenberger will be in the house to greet thirsty patrons and talk about his family-oriented brewpub (one of the coolest around, too). For more information on this event, contact By The Bottle at (360) 696-0012.
Breakside Collaboration Fest
Here is the mother of all this weekend’s events. Breakside Brewmaster Ben Edmunds is crazy imaginative and makes some of the best beers in the world. When he’s not brewing up a storm at Breakside, he’s helping out at Upright Brewing or educating beer lovers with his Oregon Beer Odyssey. What can we say, we love the guy! Ben has teamed up with some of Portland beer celebs who are not actually professional brewers to create some of the zaniest and forward thinking beers ever. How about a Cascadian Steam Beer made with Oregonian beer writer John Foyston; a Meyer Lemon Kolsch made with beer champion Lisa “Beer Goddess” Morrison; an Imperial Saison made with the staff at the world famous Saraveza; and a Beet Ale with Ginger Brewpublic and LOLA Beer’s Margaret Lut. Can’t wait? Neither can we! Holy sh*t! This event is happening all day starting at noon on Saturday June 4th.
Amnesia 1st Annual Single Hop Fest
One of Portland’s best breweries, Amnesia plays like a fest year round with their spacious and relaxed out door patio and kick-ass beers. On Saturday June 4th starting at noon and running until 8PM, Amnesia welcomes a bunch of regional breweries for a one-of-a-kind event. All beers poured on this day feature just one hop varietal, making for a rather unique tasting experience. Looks for beers from Upright, Cascade, Caldera, Rogue, Double Mountain, Migration, and more, as well as two single hopped brew from Amnesia. Celebrate the bounty of the greatest hop-growing region on earth – Cascadia! For complete details, check out our events post HERE.
Chad’s Dusseldorf Alt Release @ Coalition
Wrap up your weekend on Sunday June 5th by sampling a beer from one of Oregon’s soon-to-be-newest breweries, Humble Brewing. This particular batch of Dusseldorf Alt was brewed on Coalition Brewing ‘s pilot system and will be featured as one of their Coalator Series brews. Humble Brewing’s Chad Freitag had the opportunity to showcase some of his brewing prowess here, brewing with a helping of rye and hopping only with Hallertauer. The keg will be tapped promptly at 3PM, and won’t last for long. See you there!
For a complete listing of events in and around Beervana, stay in tune with our comprehensive events calendar, found at http://brewpublic.com/category/events/ and if you have a regional craft beer event you’d care to share with us, email us at info(at) brewpublic(dot) com. Prost!