Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beer really does make you happy.

I guess beer really does make you happy!

Researchers from Indiana University found that just a taste of beer can trigger a rush of chemical pleasure in the brain.  Link to the article on

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

7th Annual Cheers to Belgian Beers Festival

The 7th annual Cheers to Belgian Beers is being held at the end of the this week on Friday and Saturday. Its once again being held at Metalcraft Fabrication in Portland and will feature over 50 Belgian inspired beers to sample.

Festival Details: Friday April, 19th, 2013 5:30-8:30pm + Saturday April 20th, 2013 Noon-8pm 
Location:  Metalcraft Fabrication-723 N Tillamook St.-Portland
Admission:  free- 21+ only-$15 for five drink tickets and a stemmed tasting glass, which is required to taste. $20 for ten drink tickets and a stemmed tasting glass which is required to taste.
This year there will be no one yeast strain – breweries will send their best Belgian-style Ale.
Additional tastes are $1 and can be purchased at the festival entrance. Glass sales end at 7pm. Ticket sales end at 7:30pm. Only one sample per person at one time and we will only be doing sample size pours i.e. no full glasses. Some of these beers are very strong so don’t drink on an empty stomach and drink plenty of water. Food is being served by Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies Friday and Saturday and KOI Fusion on Saturday from Noon-6pm. Tents and seating outside. Bike Parking supplied by Bike Racker.
Buy Tickets in Advance:
Interested in volunteering on Saturday?
More Info check out the Oregon Brewers Guild

BEER LIST: PDF link to complete list/brewery/style/name/yeast/abv
Brewery Name of Beer A.B.V.
13 Virtues Brewing Co. Ben Franklin’s Flanders Brown 6.5%
Alameda Brewing Co. White Peppercorn Saison 4%
Ambacht Brewing Ginger Farmhouse Ale 6.5%
Breakside Brewery French Fennel Farmhouse 6.2%
BridgePort Brewing Stumptown Tart 7.8%
Buckman Botanical Apple Beer 8%
Burnside Brewing Co. Barrel Aged International Incident 8%
Caldera Brewing Dubbel 7.5%
Cascade Brewing Chuggit Pucker – the three way 11.5%
Coalition Brewing Sourpuss 3.8%
Deschutes Brewery – PDX Over Here! Beer 8.3%
Double Mountain Brewery White Rider of Conquest 8.7%
Double Mountain Brewery Pale Death 9.3%
Fort George Brewery Forbidden Wonder Fruit Ale 6.7%
Gigantic Brewing The End of Reason 8.3%
Gilgamesh Brewing Cranberry Saison Sour 5.3%
Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic Apple Ale 5.8%
Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic Belgian Pale Ale 6%
Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic Belgian Abbey Ale 8.5%
Humble Brewing Rye Saison 6.5%
Laurelwood Brewing Co. Twisted Trippel 9.3%
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Peche ‘n Brett 10%
Lompoc Brewing Cellar D’or 4.9%
Max’s Fanno Creek Brew St. Fanno 9.4%
McMenamins C. P. R. Cornelius Pass Farmhouse Ale 5.42%
McMenamins Crystal Saisons in the Abyss 4.52%
Oakshire Brewing Bier De Mars 6.5%
Occidental Brewing Co. De Keuze 7.5%
Old Market Pub & Brewery The Devin 9.1
Old Town Brewing Co. Goulet 5.3%
Omission Brewing Bier de Table 3.4%
Pelican Brewing Co. Grundy Love 5.8%
pFriem Family Brewers Belgian Strong Dark 10.0%
pFriem Family Brewers Saison 6.5%
Phat Matt’s Brewing Co. Phat and Witty 5%
PINTS Brewing Co. Valyrian 6.5%
Portland Brewing Portland Brewing’s Restoration 8.6%
Portland U-Brew & Pub Tigers Blood 8%
Rock Bottom A Stunning Indictment of the Establishment 5.1%
Rogue Ales Beard Beer 5.6%
Sasquatch Brewing Co. Grand Cru Blond 7.5%
Solera Brewery The Fez 4.2
Stickmen Brewery Meyer-Bay Saison 5.8%
Stickmen Brewery Zuipen 5.3%
The Commons Brewrey Emilie 6%
Track Town Ales Fieldhouse Saison 7.5%
Upright Brewing Bright Moments 5.8%
Widmer Brothers Brewing Entendre Saison 7%
Worthy Brewing Co. Farm Out 7.3%

Sunday, April 14, 2013

HWY 14 brew tour

Back in March on a beautiful clear but cold day, my wife and I found ourselves without kids for the afternoon.  Since it was such a beautiful day we decided to take a drive down Highway 14 and hit the new Amnesia Brewing in Washougal.  After Amnesia, we planned to hit a winery further down 14, then backtrack to Backwoods Brewing since it wasn't opening until 3pm.

Our first stop in was in downtown Washougal at the newly-opened Amnesia production brewery and tap room. Since I live in Camas, I actually go to Washougal frequently, but usually I go to A Beer at a Time which is in a different part of town. It's impressive to see the changes to downtown Washougal - lots of old buildings being renovated to bring in new business. I remember the old pawn shop that used to occupy the space that is now Amnesia, and wow what a change. The pub space is actually pretty small but is very nice and light with wood booths and a huge L-shaped bar.  They had quite a few beers, both regular and seasonals. I of course ordered the entire taster tray. Like the Portland Amnesia, they offer a small menu of food options.
I haven't been to the Amnesia PDX location in forever so it was nice to once again sample the excellent beers that the brewers at Amnesia are putting out. All the beers were great but two really stood out for me, The Trail Hazer (dry hopped pale) and the Milk of Amnesia (oatmeal milk stout). After we finished up the taster tray we were on our way up Hwy 14 in search of the winery.  But it was farther away than we thought, and as we were driving my wife looked over and noticed we happened to be right across the river from Hood River. So right then and there we decided to bag going to the winery and instead make a spur-of-the-moment trip to our favorite brewery and pizza joint, Double Mountain Brewing..... Once again I'm sounding like a broken record, but Double Mountain is one of the best breweries in Oregon - the beer is excellent and the pizza is out of this world.

So we ordered a nice big pizza to nosh on and my wife enjoyed the Black Irish which is a Dublin-style nito stout and I had a taster tray of the seasonals which were the White Rider of Conquest (Belgian style-strong Pale), Red War (Belgian style-strong Red), Black Famine (Belgian style-quad), Molten Lava (Imp IPA), and Project 48 (dbl IPA).
After relaxing for a bit and finishing up our beer it was time to hit the road and head back home towards Backwoods Brewing.
Backwoods brewing really is a bit backwoods.  It's in Carson, which is off Hwy 14 a couple of miles. I would imagine that unless you live there or are doing some sort of outdoor recreation during the warmer months you might never go through Carson. Backwoods is actually behind a grocery store/post office. If you are using navigation it will put you in the front of the building, so just keep going around to the back and you will see it.  Once you walk in, you instantly feel comfortable. The pub has a friendly rustic vibe. We went straight to the bar and ordered a taster tray of all the available beers and some stout-braised brisket nachos. I was expecting beers that were a bit raw and maybe not so good, since they're a new brewery. But I was pleasantly surprised. All the beers were really tasty and the nachos were good as well.  The beers that really stood out to me were the Clear Cut pale, Ridge Run Stout, and the Log Yard IPA.

With the established breweries (Walking Man and Everybody's Brewing) and now Amnesia Brewing and Backwoods Brewing, plus a couple of new-comers (Railside Brewing and Acadian Brewing and soon-to-open Mill City Brewing) now you can do a nice little Hwy 14 brew tour.

Backwoods Brewing