Thursday, March 1, 2012

McMenamins Double IPA Invitational

    Yesterday (LEAP DAY!) I went to McMenamins Double IPA Invitational at Cornelus Pass Road House in Hillsboro.  This was an a competition between different McMenamins brew houses to create the best Double IPA. I had attended a beer appreciation lecture by the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewers, Brady Romtvedt and Chris Oslin.  Brady was the creator of their Darkstar, one of my favorite Mcmenamins beers.  The beers they were serving were all double IPAs and had an ABV over 7%.  

About the beers (From McMenamins website):

Iron Fist IPA
Brewery: Oak Hills
Brewer: Anthony Balzola
O.G.: 1.072
T.G.: 1.013
ABV: 7.61%
Malt: Pale ale, Cara Vienne, Carapils
Hops: Citra, Chinook, Brewers Gold, Amarillo

Mad Hatter Imperial IPA
Brewery: Wilsonville
Brewer: Mark Goodwin
O.G.: 1.080
T.G.: 1.010
ABV: 9.1%
Malt: 2-row, Pale ale, Crystal, Carastan, Flaked Barley
Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Simcoe

Sun Hammer Double IPA
Brewery: CPR
Brewers: Brady Romtvedt, Chris Oslin
O.G: 1.074
T.G: 1.014
ABV: 7.74%
Malt: 2-row, Crystal, Oat Malt
Hops: Centennial, Simcoe

Detention Blues Double IPA
Brewery: Concordia
Brewers: Matt Carter, Kevin Lee
OG: 1.075
TG: 1.012
ABV: 8.13%
Malts: Superior Pilsner & Rolled Oats
Hops: Chinook, Simcoe

All the beers were pretty good but we were supposed to vote and choose what will likely be a regular Double IPA at their restaurants.  My reviews of the beers were as follows.

Detention Blues - Piney and sweet smelling after the first taste there is a very noticeable taste of alcohol and you should at 8.1%.  A very light color, almost straw.   Thin mouthfeel due to the high alcohol I believe.  Ok to drink but my least favorite of the four.

Mad hatter - Sweeter aroma slightly piney.  A light color hint or red.  Tasted  piney with a tiny hint of citrus towards the end.  A medium to light mouthfeel with a minor bite after completion.  Could really taste the toasty carmel malts.

Sun Hammer - Light color slightly red strong citrus nose coming through on the taste with a nice full body.  When drank a noticeable citrus and grapefruit. All around a good balanced beer with a full mouthfeel.

Iron Fist - Super piney aroma with an extremely light mildly red color. Great balance with a medium to light mouthfeel and a great aftertaste.

The beer I voted for was the Sun Hammer.  I thought it was the most well rounded beer and I felt I would like to drink more of it.  My ranking of the beers were as follows.

1. Sun Hammer
2. Iron Fist
3. Mad hatter 
4. Detention Blues

After my initial round I went back for another taster the cups were much smaller this time and while still a good deal for the amount of beer you get it was not as impressive.

While at this event I was checking into Untappd receiving three badges Leap Day, I believe in IPA Level 3, and Find the Source.  I also got a message from somebody that was at the tasting he came over and said hello nice guy.

We didn't stick around long enough to find out which beer one but I hope it was the Sun Hammer.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the Double IPAs. When the votes were counted, only nine votes separated first from fourth place. To our delight Sun Hammer Double IPA was awarded first. Hope to see you on the last Wednesday in March for our three owls release: Barn Owl Bitter, Great Horned Porter, and our distillers' first offering--White Owl Whiskey.


    Brewer, McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse

    1. Brady,
      It was great seeing you again after the beer appreciation class you held at the library. Ill sure try to make it to the Last Wednesday this month. I had a great time at the Double IPA Invitational.