Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Holiday Ale Fest Roundup

As I walked into the Holiday Ale Fest this year at Pioneer Square the pleasant aroma of roasted nuts fills the air. I arrived to the fest just after 11 and there was no line at the door.  I walked right in and got my tickets and mug.  This year there was the option to upgrade an actual glass mug for the fest, I opted to just use the standard plastic mug for fear of dropping it on the brick floor.

Growlerwerks had a booth at the HAF and brought the prototype uKeg64 as well as the 3D Printed model of the uKeg128.  Once they reached the stretch goal they had  a scale model printed so they could see how it fits in the refrigerator.  The campaign just ended with $1,559,525 in funding.  Over 20X their original goal of $75,000.  Making the uKeg one of the most successful kickstarters ever to come out of Portland.
There was a huge selection of beers at the festival this year. I decided to try whatever sounded good this year instead of carefully planning out each beer and drawing the most efficient route to get from beer to beer.  This makes for a much more enjoyable drinking experience.

Firestone Walker Brewing Co - Luponic Distortion - Double IPA ABV: 8.5%
A huge citrus bomb with Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe hops all contributing to the aroma and flavor.  A really good beer but it didnt really stand out as something really different just a good solid IPA. B+
McMenamins Edgefield Brewery - Lord of Misrule - Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Mocha Stout ABV: 7.6%
Really solid stout, sweet cocoa coats the mouth with a thick mouthfeel and you can taste the rum barrels that this was aged in.  A very sweet cloying aroma comes off this dark brown ale. The flavor of coffee and rum are present as well as the milk chocolate. Probably one of the better beers I had all night. A-

No - Li Brewhouse - Whiskey Barrel Aged Winter Warmer - Winter Warmer ABV: 7.5% IBU: 72
Copper colored beer with a mild whisky aroma and  malt profile.  The beer is smooth and coats your mouth as its drank. Both a strong oak and whisky flavor come through from the aging almost a detractor to the flavor of the beer though, mild hop character is covered by the whisky.  C+

Old Town Brewing Co. - Bluth's Original Chocolate Banana Hefeweizen - Chocolate Bavarian - Style Hefeweizen ABV: 5.5% IBU: 1I was immediately drawn to this beer because of my love for Arrested Development. Light brown beer with a caramelized sugar aroma.  The more I drank this beer the more I liked it. Not a huge banana flavor or smell but the chocolate is very present.  Roasted and warm bodies semlls like roasted nuts and candied sugar.  Having a lighter mouthfeel and medium body this beer was a real treat to drink. B+

Kells Brew Pub - MIC Stout AKA Boom Roaster - Coffee Imperial Milk Stout  ABV: 7.0% IBU: 55
A dark black beer with a deep brown head MIC Stout delivers an aroma of an iced mocha like you ordered a frappuccino from Starbucks.  The taste was sweet brown sugar and had a strong coffee flavor.  Truly a treat for any coffee lover. B

Rev Nats - Providence - This was a hot cider and not in the booklet.  I had to try it because it is not often that a hot beverage is served at a beer fest, and this seemed like the perfect local to have one. A very satisfying beverage on this cold night with lots of cinnamon and spices .  I'm not usually a huge fan of Ciders but this warm selection from Rev Nats was pretty good. B-

Cascade Brewing - Gingersnaps - NW Style Sour Strong Ale ABV: 12.1% IBU: 7
A deep bark brown almost black beer wit a huge ginger aroma.  The taste was more ginger and a small addition of a tartness.  Overall I was not really impressed with this beer and I was expecting it to blow me away with the required 3 tickets for a taster. Cascade has an excellent selection of unique and adventerious beers and are pioneers in sour beer making but when the envelope is consistently pushed you are likely to get a beer not everyone likes.  I did however hear a lot of people saying they really loved it which was why I decided to use 3 tickets on it.  Just not for me I guess.  C-

Gigantic Brewing - Red Ryder BB Gun - Cranberry Saison ABV: 6.3% IBU: 22
A light orange beer with a tart and crisp cranberry aroma.  Th beer had a slightly sour musty flavor with a light body and medium mouthfeel.  This beer didn't try to drown you in a cranberry bog but it was enough to give it a distinct flavor and smell. B-

Oakshire Brewing - Prestidigitation - White Chocolate Milk Stout ABV: 7.0% IBU: 23
I described this beer as good and that was pretty much it so that is a good signal that I needed to stop reviewing beers and just finish out the fest.  I did give it a B though for what that is worth.

Another successful year at the Holiday Ale Fest I think I may get the glass next year if that is an option but I was afraid that I may have dropped the brick as the night progressed.  Hopefully it will still be an option next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment