Saturday, October 5, 2013

For all my Southwest Washington friends its going to be a beautiful day. Grab an IPA and sit out on one of the best decks on the Columbia river.

IPA Invasion V Brewfest

  • 11 a.m. 'til late |
  • Free admission |
  • All ages welcome; 21 & over to drink the ales

About IPA Invasion V Brewfest

All hail, Mighty Columbia! We raise a pint (or four or five) to thee!
Set on the banks of the lovely river at the McMenamins on the Columbia pub, this beer gathering pays homage to IPAs – that's India Pale Ales, hopped to the gill and sometimes quite high in alcohol content. Mmmm.... First brewed in England in the 19th century, IPA is a popular style of beer among American craft brewers, most notably here in the Pacific Northwest where our hops are abundant.
So settle in at one of the pub's outdoor tables (or indoors if it's a bit gloomy out), set yourself up with a selection of freshly brewed McMenamins IPAs handcrafted specifically for the occasion and just let the world float on by you....
• • •
McMenamins Breweries

East Vancouver Brewery
Vancouver, Washington
Brewer: Tega Chijavadze
Batumi IPA
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, the name of my hometown “Batumi” comes from a Greek phrase, “Bathus limen,” and means “deep harbor.” Since ancient times it has served as a natural port to fishermen, merchants and travelers on the coast of the Black Sea. This beer was inspired by it: light, fresh and loaded with the taste of citrus and minty hops to tickle and please your taste buds. Enjoy!
Malts: Golden Promise, Pilsen, Vienna, Wheat Flakes, Caramel Malt and Crystal-15
Hops: Chinook, Sterling, Mosaic and Citra
OG: 1.066  TG: 1.010  ABV: 7.2  IBU: 100+  SRM: 5

Queen Anne Brewery
Seattle, Washington
Brewer: Brian Lawrence
 Billy Club IPA
For a great flavor and mild citrus aroma, try this medium-bodied Northwest IPA. Its backbone is Chinook, Crystal and Centennial hops.
Malts: Premium Two-Row, Munich, and Crystal 30/37
Hops: Centennial, Chinook and Crystal
OG: 1.061  TG: 1.012  ABV: 6.32  IBU: 92  SRM: 6

Mill Creek Brewery
Mill Creek, Washington
Brewer: Charlton Fulton
 Epicenter Dipa
This massively hopped double IPA comes packed with powerful hop flavor and braced with a big malt profile. This one’s a sipper!
Malts: Premium 2-Row Malt, Gambrinus Pale Ale Malt, Munich Malt, Oat Malt, Amber Malt, Crystal 15-L
Hops: Nugget, Centennial and Chinook
OG: 1.075  TG: 1.006  ABV: 8.90  IBU: 88  SRM: 8

East Vancouver Brewery
Vancouver, Washington
Brewer: Craig Gulla
Trident Imperial IPA
This Imperial IPA is more on the malty side thanks to the use of darker crystal malts and about 5% Rye malt. Only two different hops were used, Chinook and Simcoe, the fermenter being dry-hopped as well, bringing the hopping to around four pounds per barrel.

Malts: Golden Promise, rye malt, C120, C150
Hops: Chinook and Simcoe
OG: 1.085  TG: 1.015  ABV: 9  IBU: 100+  SRM: 7

Spar Brewery
Olympia, Washington
Brewer: Kyle Jungck
Spar-Tesian IPA
This Artesian water IPA features Centennial, Golding and Simcoe hops, lightly flavored with white wheat and crystal-40 malts. With its smooth, full hop flavor this is the perfect easy-drinking beer whether you’re having a glass with a burger, or enjoying a pitcher!
Malts: Premium Pale, Cara-Munich
Hops: Centennial, Golding and Simcoe
OG: 1.060  TG: 1.009  ABV: 6.5  IBU: 80  SRM: 5

Edgefield Brewery
Troutdale, Oregon
Brewers: Matt Bergfield, Drew Phillips,
Bruce Loux and Will Gaither
Major Threat V Double IPA
This Major Threat is the fifth batch of our popular double IPA. The latest brew is a credit to its hop-packed lineage and sports roughly 2.5 pounds of fresh, whole cone hops per luscious barrel. The resulting amber-colored monster is a juicy hop bomb with a complex grapefruit nose and a killer piney after-bitter that will surely sate even the most ardent hop addict’s appetite.
Malts: 2-Row, Vienna, C-40, Red Wheat
Hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade
OG: 1.083  TG: 1.023  ABV: 7.74  IBU: 72  SRM: 6
• • •
Guest Breweries
Heathen Brewing
Vancouver, Washington
Transgression IPA
West Coast IPA is an understatement. This robust flavored, medium-bodied, sunset amber colored ale is hop forward to say the least. American hops take front stage with Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra collaborating on a five-tier assault. Hop additions started with first wort, hop bursting, four kettle hop introductions and a long, patient dry hop with three separate additions. Then to climax on the day before being kegged we actually run the finished beer over whole Simcoe hops stripping lupulin and creating even more aroma! Heathen Brewing deserves to be punished or commended for this hop transgression.ABV: 7.5%  IBU: 80

Loowitt Brewing Company
Vancouver, Washington
Shadow Ninja IPA
Swift and silent, full of flavor, this skilled, shadowy master of IPAs will take you by surprise yet honorably leave your palate intact. Aggressive late hop additions tempered with stealth, fleeting bitterness make Shadow Ninja IPA a formidable and respectable beer.
ABV: 6.8  IBU: 50+  SRM: 8

Mt. Tabor Brewing Company
Vancouver, Washington
Asylum Avenue IPA
Loaded with Amarillo, Cascade and Simcoe hops, this balanced Northwest IPA drives the hopheads insane. We use the hops generously from start to finish across a malted canvas of C15 and 2-row, creating a tasty and hoppy elixir.ABV: 6.3%  IBU: 64

Thursday, October 3, 2013

18th Annual Holiday Ale Festival.

Holiday Ale Festival toasts the spirits of the season

18th annual event offers one of the nation’s finest gatherings of winter beers

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sept. 20, 2013 – The 18th annual Holiday Ale Festival will take place Dec. 4 through Dec. 8 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. in the heart of downtown Portland. The popular event will feature at least four-dozen big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. From Belgians, barleywines and CDAs to winter warmers, porters and stouts, these beers have either been crafted specifically for the event or are hard-to-fine vintages, underscoring the event's reputation as one of finest gathering of winter beers anywhere in the nation.

Event hours are Noon to 10 pm Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany Northwest beer fests, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a beer that has either been made or blended specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn't commonly tapped in the state.

"Winter is a great time to be a beer geek," exclaimed Preston Weesner, event manager. "Savvy beer appreciators come from all across the country to sample these complex beers, which typically receive more thought and effort from the brewers.”

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $30 and includes the 2013 tasting mug and 10 taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $30 and include the tasting mug, 12 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are available for $65 and include the tasting mug, 28 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines (including special tappings) and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2013 mug, and is subject to the festival's capacity. Previous year's mugs will not be filled. Advance packages will be available online at in early October.

Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry over the five day festival under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events, a root beer garden, food vendors, beer pairings with cupcakes & cheese, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children's Cancer Association.

Returning to the event is the 10th annual Sunday Beer Brunch, taking place on Dec. 8 from 11 am to 1 pm on the upper level of Pioneer Courthouse Square. The auxiliary event features European pastries, cured meats and artisanal cheeses to accompany an assortment of exclusive vintage winter beers not available at the festival itself, plus special large format bottles to be shared. Tickets cost $75 and will be available at in early October.

For more information, visit

Portland Fresh Hop Beer Fest

If you missed either the Hood River Hops Fest or the Sister Fresh Hop Fest last weekend you can still make it to the Portland Fresh Hop fest this Friday and Saturday.
10.04.13 – Friday – 5:30-8:30pm
10.05.13 – Saturday – Noon-8pm
Oaks Amusement Park
7805 SE Oaks Park Way-Map
Portland, OR
Free Admission – Must purchase a glass to sample beer. #freshhops
$15/glass + 5 drink tickets.
$20/glass + 10 drink tickets
$40/two glasses + 20 drink tickets
21+ to drink – 1 person per glass – Cash only – Minors permitted –
SATURDAY – Glass sales til 7pm – Drink Ticket sales til 7:30pm.

Want to volunteer for this event – sign up online at-  People who volunteer on Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening can get their glasses and tickets and use them on Friday night.

Beer List as of 10/02/13 at 1 p.m. – This will change by Friday.

For a map of the Fest set up for brewers and vendors click here

Homebrewing Demo on Saturday afternoon by Portland U-Brew & Pub

Food Booths
50 Licks
Bella Luna Coffee
Doug’s Nuts
Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies
The Kronic Kettler
Urban German

Bottle Tap
Firebug Pottery
Illustrated Playing Cards
Oregon Beer Growler
Underdog Sports League
MV Marketing

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Solera Brewing

My wife and I dropped by Solera Brewery on our way back from a Bend trip this summer. Solera Brewing is right off Highway 35 in the tiny town of Parkdale. Many, many years ago we visited the Elliot Glacier Public House and Brewery which used to occupy the same space. I can't remember much about Elliot Glacier other than I didn't think the beers were very interesting, the space was pretty unremarkable and no one was there other than us and the bartender... so I suppose it's not at all shocking don't have much of a memory of the place.  A couple of years ago it finally closed and was sold to former Big Horse Brewer Jason Kahler and business partner John Hitt.  They renovated the historic building and added a new 7bbl brewery.  I figured I'd have to give the new brewery a try and see if it would succeed in creating an impression with me.
At first glance and when you walk in it feels like an old western saloon with lots of wood and a huge bar. When we arrived it was packed, with no seats at the bar and most tables taken. Not a problem, since I really just wanted to grab a taster tray of their beers and head out back for one of the most incredible views of Mt Hood that you will see.  We lucked out and were able to snag one of the last seats at a table on the back patio.  Great setting to enjoy a taster tray of six Solera brews.
The beers were all really good. On tap that day was Hedonist IPA, Devil's Food Imperial IPA, French Tickler (Saison), Plum Crazy (sour), New Breed ISA, Vaudou Dame (Voodoo Lady/saison).  All the beers were really good, but there were a couple standouts. We both really enjoyed the Plum Crazy sour (wife's favorite) and the Vaudou Dame.

The setting outdoors is really casual, which you'll either love or hate.  The tables and chairs are plastic fold-up (you can kind of tell from the pictures.)  The local guys sharing the patio with us were a little too rowdy, and their dogs were running around loose play-fighting.  No servers came out to see if we wanted or needed anything, so it's almost got a vibe like you're out in someone's back yard more than you're on a patio at a legit pub.  Thankfully the view totally makes up for those shortcomings.
If you're out that way for some hiking while the weather is still good or driving through on highway 35 to another destination, stop in. My impression? It's a cool little brewery with great beer in a cool little town and on a clear day the view of Mt Hood is amazing - truly remarkable.

7bbl brewery