Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Ale Festival Beer Commentary

I went to the Holiday Ale Festival last Saturday and was extremely pleased with the results. It was crowded of course but it seemed more reasonably crowded. A nice new addition to this years event was a clear plastic roof over the main bar. This didn't make the beer better but added a nice touch to the otherwise circus atmosphere.
I arrived late so I could only try a few before I had to return home for the evening. This is my review of the beers tried. As always this is only a review of how I liked them and some of their characteristics. This is not a review of how good of a beer it is or stylistically how close it adheres to BJCP guidelines. Note that as the night progresses I gradually become more intoxicated.

Brewery - Beer
Review Grade

Firestone walker - Union Barrel Fermented Porter
Very smooth strong chocolate notes (The sign for this beer had a return after barrel so fermented porter was on the next line. My friend who I went with asked me what a "Fermented Porter" was.) B+

Seven Brides Brewing - Weezin-ator
Extremely spiced, I didn't want to finish this beer when I started however my taste-buds became accustomed to it after a while and the spices mellowed out. It was much more palatable the more I drank. C

Collaborator - Aegir's Cauldron
Dark Baltic Porter, aged in bourbon barrels, for a long time...., VERY bourbon-y nice thick malt flavor B-

Lucky Labrador Brewing- Pavlov's Russian imperial stout
I didn't have a reason that I didn't like this beer. I usually love a good stout but I have no idea why this one did not make me want to drink lots of it. C+

Bridgeport Brewing Company- Old Knucklehead Barley Wine
Possibly the worst beer I had the whole evening. The process to get to this beverage was as obnoxious as the beer itself. The bar containing this treat was the one upstairs with only a handful of beers on tap. When I walked into the tent there was a crowd of obnoxious Oregon fans Screaming "OOOOOOO" so that was a blast. Then we had to wait in collective line that everyone who wanted beer from those few taps had to wait in and then distribute at the last second. Enough about ambiance... the first thing I though when I took my first sip was bubblegum, an obnoxiously strong flavor of bubblegum I couldn't get it off my tongue. When consulting others on the aroma that most defined this beer it was the same as mine. Maybe a bad keg maybe that's how it was supposed to taste. Either way I didn't like it at all. D

(I did however meet Santa Clause on this trip. Who assured me he was the real Santa and that he did not work for ol' Chris Kringle. I'm pretty sure he was telling the truth because of the conversation we had after. His response made me forget about my bubblegum barley wine. (Paraphrased but not embellished)

Me: So have people been asking you for gifts all night?
Santa: Yeah the misses at the north pole is always on my case I have to slip down here to get out of the workshop and let loose every once in a while. I told that her that I was at a charity event for kids. The real reason I'm here tonight is that the girls love the santa outfit.
Me: So do they sit on your lap when asking you for their Christmas presents?
Santa: (Devilish grin) Yeah the Santa outfit really helps with the ladies.
Me: They like the beard too I'll bet. (pointing at my pathetic attempt at a yule-tide facial hair)
Santa: Well you're going to have to work a little harder on yours to get the ladies (Stroking his beard)

I don't know if this was the REAL Santa or not but he made me believe in Christmas miracles. Whoever you are, mysterious bearded saint, thank you for your wizened outlook on life and the dating tips.

Cascade brewing - Sang Noir
Pretty sour did not expect such a sour flavor to come from this dark of a beer, I thought sensed a slight bourbon aroma does not come through on taste much. strong fruit taste I usually dont like sour beers that much but this one seemed like I could drink more. B-

Block 15 Restaurant and Brewery- Figgy Pudding Olde Stock
Spiced and Malty Sweet kind of a bourbon taste not exactly though hard to describe. C

At this point I am getting pretty drunk and even make a note of it. Also I dont know if its my imagination but everything had been tasting or smelling like it was bourbon barrel aged.

Colombia River Brewing Co- Paddler's Porter
Very Good! Huge chocolate undertones, very smooth with a slight vanilla taste. Minor burnt aftertaste. The best beer I had all night. It's kind of a shame I wish I would have had this earlier in the night so I could have given a better review. A

Coalition Brewing - Lost Glove
Very sweet aroma, mild hoppiness, not overly malty though just very sweet like unfermentable sugars, The hops comes through. I thought it had a thinner mouthfeel for how malty it was. B-

Lagugunitas Brewing Co.- Brown Mashuggana
I am pretty sure this was not a good beer, but don't quote me on that. At this point I was far too intoxicated to properly give this beer a chance. I

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beer the Societal (Not Just Social) lubricant

According to a new Study there is an even stronger link between beer and civilization. There is a great deal of circumstantial evidence in the article. However, wanting something to be true has always been a good substitute for evidence and hard scientific fact... right guys?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another one bites the foam

I finished off the last bit of my Rapist's Wit today. An overall great drinking experience but now I have 2 empty kegs that need filling. Anyone have some ideas on what I should brew next. I was thinking about trying to do a bourbon barrel aged BRRR like the Widmer Brothers are releasing under their limited release brothers reserve. If you look closely at the BAC it's coming in nicely at 10.4% up from the 7.12% of the original. Any other suggestions?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Deschutes Brewery Tour

This weekend I went up to Bend to go to a wedding (which was ridiculous) and while there I decided it would be a good idea to take a tour of Deschutes Brewery. While waiting for the tour to start we sat in the tasting room and were given 4 free samples equivelant to that of about a flight. I believe they do this to facilitate learning on the tour.

After the tour started we were directed to look at the two MASSIVE silos in front of the building that contained malted barley. All the spent grain is recycled in some way whether it is in their bakery, that supplies the brew pub with buns and bread, or taken to a farmer that uses it as feed for cattle.

Once inside the building I see 2 gigantic tanks with the which are the tuns for the original brew house (Right: inside mashtun). Which are still in use today. The Next stop on the tour is the employee break room, where each employee gets refreshing beverages after their shift. There is a closet with rotating tap handles for employees enjoyment and to the right of this fun door is a much larger door. The next passage to Narnia is the Hop Room where hundreds and hundreds of pounds of whole leaf hops are stored preparing to be dumped in hot wort.
Deschutes Brewery uses primarily Cascade hops in their beer according to our less than helpful ditz of a tour guide. (Shown left molesting bags of hops.)

The next stop on the tour is the huppmann room. This room is filled with possibly the most impressive pieces of industrial equipment I've ever seen. These were gigantic tanks with conical tops and not a single seam on them. No seams/welds are important in brewing equipment because bacteria can get trapped in the rough areas of the welds, causing the beer to have undesired flavors. These tanks were designed, built, and shipped from Germany to Bend. They had to close down several sections of the highway to transport the tanks to their final resting place at the brewery. (Note: The picture at the right are not of Deschutes a bunch of damn tourists were in the way.) After this we went upstairs and saw the lab and blind tasting room continuing on to the fermenting room. Pictures below:

Following the fermentation room was the bottling room it seemed a little small for the thousands of bottles that get passed through those doors. After bottling upstairs we went to the office section where every Jubelale bottle design was put on the wall.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Still Here

Hey everyone I just wanted to let you all know that I am still going to blog about my adventures in brewing. Unfortunately, drinking 15 gallons of beer is quite the task. One that I am up for but is taking longer that anticipated. It turns out that homebrew depletes much slower when you cant give bottles away due to kegging.
I fully intend on continuing my blog when I have something to write about but it would seem that quantity of posts is inversely related to my quantity of beer. If you have any ideas about something you would like me to cover or have ever wondered about beer I would be happy to research and post about it.
Leave topics in the comments below.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oregon Brewers Festival Reviews and drinking list.

Oregon brewers festival

Here is a list and short review of the beers I tried at the brewfest this year. Again reviews are not how good the beer is, or how well it sticks to style guidelines, just how much I liked them.

Day 1

Laughing dog black IPA - Forgot to rate not off to a great start.

Kona Coco-Loco - Coconut overtones but not overpowering a good, unique beer. B+

Pyramid Outburst- Forgot to rate

Cascade brewing summer Gose - sour bot refreshing B

Upright Reggae Junkie Gruit - terrible no hops F-

Hales Supergoose IPA- good standard Hoppy IPA B+

Summit horizon red ale - Forgot to Rate

My Emily ale house jells canyon IPA- overwhelming bubble gum aroma C+

Ninkasi brewing company maiden the shade amazingly robust hop flavor not overly bitter A+

Oakshire Overcast espresso stout - a very espresso-y beer. Thick B

Terminal Gravity Single Hop Double IPA - I couldn't pick out what its single hop was but definitely a double IPA B

At this point in the evening my taste buds stopped working and I decided my rating was over. Also it was getting late and I was getting really drunk.

Day 2
The second day I decided to try all full glasses instead of any samplers because the lines were so damn long.

Redhook big Ballard imperial ipa - Good and hoppy strong B

Rogue ales 21 - very malty almost a boch C+

Bayern Brewery Dump Truck Extra Pale Ale - Don't remember much about it but it was good. A-

Ram restaurant and brewery barefoot wit - I was really excited to try this one of the only wits at the beerfest but it let me down. Too many earthy undertones C+

Double mountain brewery and taproom the vaporizer - Mildly hoppy light beer refreshing B-

Three creeks brewing co Creekside kolach - Forgot to Rate

Natian brewery Destinatian I had never heard of this brewery so I decided to try it. Hoppy but smooth B-

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oregon Brewers Festival Preview

Beervana has an excellent preview of the Oregon Brewers Festival at their site. I would recommend checking it out before you go to the festival Today - Sunday. I will be there tomorrow from 3-close and Saturday in the morning. I'll probably end up going on Sunday too.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Portland Internatinal Beer Festival

This weekend I went to the Portland International Beer-fest in preparation for the Oregon Brewers Festival this weekend. Here is a quick list and review of the beers I tried there. Slightly disappointing that you could only have a 4oz. glass of most beers for your tickets. But it was a fun festival all around and I had a good time.

Beers are rated on how much I liked them not quality or accuracy of style

Brewery- name - style
Review GRADE

Cascade - mystery beer 2 - Elixir of Sin (just sex)
very sweet sour light beer not very good on a hot day surprisingly. D+

Spaten - Munich Dunkel - Munich Alt Dunkel
Extremely malty and sweet, very full mouth-feel B-

Double Mountain Brewery- Devils Kriek - Sour Blend
Very red, probably from some fruit added, again not very good on a hot day. Tasted like sweet and sour mix. C

Double Mountain Brewery- Molten Lava- American Double IPA
From what I could taste I believe that it had a very strong Northern Brewers Hops taste. Not overly bitter, refreshing B+

Firestone Walker - Velvet Merkin - Oatmeal Stout
First encountered this treat at the Winter Brewers Festival in Portland last year, and again when I tried to clone it for my own recipe. Not what you would think of as a great summer beer because it is very dark and heavy but to my delight it was very palatable and as good as I remember. B+

Rogue- John John Juniper Pale Ale - "Northwest" Juniper Berry Pale
To be honest I don't really remember drinking this one so well say it was nothing that stood out, not saying it was bad so I am not going to grade since I don't remember. Obviously was not bad but nothing that stuck out.

Urthel - hop-it - Hoppy Belgian Strong Pale
Tried this on recommendation from my brother. Started off very blonde and mellow but the bitterness came after I had finished drinking very unique not quite an IPA in bitterness but still pretty good. B

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

4th Annual Zoo Brew

Event Details:
Date: Friday, June 4th 2010
Time: 5pm - 10pm

The Oregon Zoo is having a evening of beer and beasts on Friday June, 4th. Some of the Northwests finest breweries will be on hand to present their beverages.

Tickets are $25 online at or will be $30 at the door. Includes commemorative tasting glass, 10 tokens and admission to the zoo after 4p.m. Extra tokens available for $1 each. The festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m., rain or shine (it's Oregon so chances are we will be seeing both).

Alameda Brewhouse
Blue Mountain Cider
Boyd Coffee Company
BridgePort Brewing Company
Cascade Brewing at the Raccoon Lodge
Crater Lake Root Beer
Deschutes Brewery
Fish Tale Organic Ales
Full Sail Brewing
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Klamath Basin Brewing Company
Kona Brewing Co.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Laurelwood Public House and Brewery
Lompoc Brewing Co.
MacTarnahan's Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing
Oakshire Brewing
Pale Horse Brewing Co.
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Pyramid Brewing Company
Red Hook Ale Brewery
Seven Brides Brewing
Southern Oregon Brewing
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Spire Mountain Cider
Trumer Brauerei
Widmer Brothers Brewing