Wednesday, March 5, 2014

10th Annual Oregon Garden Brewfest

Mark your calendar for our 10th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest presented by Growl Movement, April 25-27, 2014.  

The festival will feature:
  • 65 breweries, pouring 130 beers, ciders and meads from throughout Oregon and across the country
  • Great regional bands on two stages
  • Amazing food from local vendors

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (#ogbf) for the latest updates. And make plans to attend the Brewer’s Tasting Dinner on Brewfest-eve, April 24th and the Seven Brides Brewfest Brunch at Seven Brides Brewing on April 25th.

Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26: noon to 11pm
Sunday, April 27: noon to 5pm (minors welcome Sunday only)


Purchase your 2014 Brewfest admission online now
Buy Brewfest Tickets

Advance Admission:

  • Single-day pass: $15 (includes: admission for any single day of Brewfest, a tasting glass & 5 tasting tickets.)
  • Three-day pass: $35 (includes: admission for all 3 days of Brewfest, a tasting glass & 10 tasting tickets.)
  • VIP: $50 (includes: admission for all 3 days of Brewfest, a tasting glass, 35 tasting tickets, a Brewfest t-shirt & a voucher for one item at the Oregon Garden Resort food booth.)

At-the-door Admission:

  • Friday: $15, $20 after 5pm (includes: admission, a tasting glass & 5 tasting tickets.)
  • Saturday: $15, $20 after 5pm  (includes: admission, a tasting glass & 5 tasting tickets.)
  • Sunday: $15 (includes: admission, a tasting glass & 5 tasting tickets.)
  • Three-day pass: $35 (includes: admission for all 3 days of Brewfest, a tasting glass & 10 tasting tickets.)
  • Silverton resident three-day pass: $25 (available Friday only, includes admission for all 3 days of Brewfest, a tasting glass & 10 tasting tickets.)
  • Designated Drivers: $5 (includes a bottle of water)
  • Minors: $5 on Sunday only (children 4 and under are free)
  • Oregon Garden Members always receive a $3 discount on Brewfest admission.


Volunteer at the event and receive free admission, tasting tickets and a t-shirt. Visit our Brewfest Volunteer page for details and to sign up today.

Tasting Tickets

Each taste is one ticket, and a full glass is four tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be available for purchase for $1 each. Please bring cash, as ticket sales are cash-only. There will be an ATM on-site.

Featured Breweries

We will feature 65 breweries from throughout Oregon and across the country, during our 2014 event.
If you are a brewery interested in participating, please contact Mary to be added to our waiting list:


We will showcase music from local bands on two stages, beginning at 5pm on Friday and Saturday. The music lineup will be available soon.

Overnight Package

Stay overnight at the Oregon Garden Resort, just steps away from Brewfest. The Brewfest package starts at just $209 and includes:
  • Accommodation
  • Two 3-day admission passes to Brewfest (each pass includes a tasting glass and five tasting tickets)
  • A voucher for a food item from the Oregon Garden Resort’s food booth at Brewfest
  • Continental buffet breakfast
  • Admission to The Oregon Garden
Book your 2014 Brewfest room now online or call 800-966-6490.

A Brewfest package is also available at The Grand Hotel in Salem. The package starts at $159 and includes early check-in, accommodations, transportation to/from Brewfest, breakfast and a late check-out. Book online or call 877-540-7800.

Sponsers: Growl Movement, Venti's Cafe, The Gallon House,  Bierhaus, Pepsi, Wave Broadband,
Oregonian/Oregon Live

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the 2014 event and reaching 8,500 people, contact Brittney at

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weekend in Tacoma,WA

view of downtown Tacoma and bay from our hotel

Gymnastics season has started for my daughter, Cate, which means I'm on the road with the family most weekends. One major upside to all this driving around the Pacific Northwest is that I have the opportunity to try lots of breweries I might not otherwise have occasion to visit.  This year is no exception, but you might not realize it because I have been seriously behind posting my stops.  Those of you who've known me for a while know that the main reason for starting was to keep all my friends up to speed on my beer-sampling adventures, in a more coherent way than blasting group texts to my entire contact list (as was my practice for years.) So, with this post I'm catching up to myself, and therefore all of you, by beginning to clear out my brewery backlog.

I'm going to start by telling you about our recent weekend in Tacoma,WA.  We drove up from the Portland area during a nasty snowstorm.  Fortunately the roads were clear once we got north of Clark County but it was not an easy drive.  So once we arrived in Tacoma we realized we were starving, and not being willing to continue driving around any longer, we found ourselves wandering into a familiar restaurant near our hotel,  Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits. We've been to the one in Vancouver,Washington a few times but this was our first time at the Tacoma one - it's pretty much exactly the same at both places. The food was decent and my kids were happy to get some pizza in the belly. I (of course) had the taster tray.  And the beers are ok, nothing really out there or too unique though.  The promotional materials on the table and on their website said they have a brewery, but I didn't see a facility or any evidence of a brew operation so I asked the waiter who does their brewing. He said they do it themselves, but I'm pretty sure they contract out with a local brewery.  Does anyone know? Just curious.

Taster tray at Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits

Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits website
Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits Facebook Page
Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits Twitter

After we checked into the hotel we decided to make a quick run and check out a couple other breweries, Tacoma Brewing Co and Wingman Brewers.

First up was Tacoma Brewing, a cool little nano brewery in downtown Tacoma. The space is pretty funky, kind of like maybe it used to be a coffee shop or a used bookstore and retained some of that atmosphere. Since Emily and I were just dropping in we didn't know that they were having a Wood Aged Beer Fest. Lucky us!  All the beers they had on tap were therefore wood-aged beers, so we didn't get a chance to try out any of their regular stuff.  Also, since they were serving special beers there was no taster tray was available. No problem - Emily and I just picked 2 beers off the list and checked out the space. We had Sugar Maple Aged Rye IPA and Spanish Cedar Aged Rye IPA. Both were really good and I plan to be back to check out the regular beer lineup soon.

Tacoma Brewing Co
FB page - looks to be the best option for current info.

Next up was Wingman Brewers, which is a few blocks past downtown Tacoma in an industrial area, but it's still really easy to find.  Wingman Brewers is a production brewery with a tap room....which just happens to be my favorite type of brewery to visit. As luck would have it, they were brewing when we showed up- nothing better than the smell of beer being brewed while you sit down to sample!

Wingman Brewers started out as a nano brewery (1bbl) and have since upgraded to a 7bbl brewery with 15bbl fermenters & 15bbl bright tank. They still use the old 1bbl system for test batches. Emily and I shared a taster tray of all the beers they had on tap, plus the guest tap.

 I've had the P-51 Porter before (and it's good) but it was great to try out the rest of their beers. The standout beer for me was the Single Hop Centennial IPA, just a great beer. But all the beers were really tasty -I would drink any one with out hesitation. Thanks to Colin, who was manning the bar, for taking Emily and I on a quick tour of the brewery. We appreciated hearing more about the operation, the history, and the specific beer they were brewing.  On the way out we picked up a couple cans of the Ace IPA, a bottle of the Big Baby Imperial Stout, and a couple of t-shirts. If you're in Tacoma you need to stop in and check them out.  It's a cool little brewery with great beer and nice people.  Emily says this one was her personal favorite in Tacoma because not only was the beer really good, but the people were cool and she liked the more industrial feel of the space - the bar is just a few feet from where all the magic happens.  She also picked up a shirt for herself and when she can add to her beer-wear collection she's pretty happy.
1bbl brewery now used for test batches 
Wingman Brewers Website 
Wingman Brewers FB page
Wingman Brewers Twitter

Side shot of the entrance of Harmon. Didn't want to get run over standing in the main road taking of picture from the front.
Our last stop for the night (and then we went back the next day before leaving town) was Harmon Brewing.  Tacoma's first brewery, Harmon Brewing has been brewing on 15 bbl system and serving up food in downtown Tacoma since 1997. They also have two other locations in Tacoma, the Hub and the Harmon Tap Room. I haven't visted those locations but I have been to Harmon several times now.

Many years ago I stopped in with a friend for the first time after a long weekend making the rounds of breweries in Seattle. Since Harmon is right off I-5, it was easy to make a quick detour on our way back to Oregon. I don't remember much about the visit since it was so many years ago, but my impression was positive so we now visit pretty much any time we're in Tacoma.  Each of the last three years we've had a gymnastics meet right down the street at the Tacoma Convention Center, so it's the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner with the family after a competition. One thing that I can always count on is that they have great food for the kids to eat.  As a parent this is always a concern, especially if you have picky eaters like ours. They also have great pub style food for the adults - Emily and I haven't had anything we didn't like yet, and some of the stuff (like the nachos) is so good it's easy to way overdo it.

Also, the downtown location is pretty big.  We brought some friends along to lunch with us and they had no problem quickly seating all nine of us together.  With five kids in tow, that was really nice not to have to wait around for a table.

You will find great beer at Harmon, of the usual styles: IPA, Porter, Pale, Blonde,and ESB. But I really enjoy the seasonal beers they have on so I usually gravitate toward them instead of the regular beers. The first night I just had the taster tray since it had been a year since the last visit. The second night I had the Stryker Stout and the Single Hop IPA, both excellent beers. We had a great time at Harmon and it was fun having our friends check it out for the first time as well. Harmon Brewing is a great choice for family-friendly food and beer in downtown Tacoma.
Tasters served on a ski tray.
Harmon Brewing Co. Website
Harmon FB page
Harmon Twitter

Downtown Tacoma has a lot going on you might not realize.  It's got some cool museums, great dining options, public artwork, and best of all some cool breweries to check out. Next time you're in Tacoma or passing by, take a detour to one of the great small breweries Tacoma has to offer.

23rd annual Kells St. Patrick’s Day Festival

PORTLAND, Ore. – Thousands of locals and expats will partake in live music, traditional dancing and Irish food and libations at the 23rd annual Kells St. Patrick’s Day Festival, the Northwest’s largest St. Patrick’s Day event. This year’s festival will take place March 14 through 17 at four venues: inside the venerable Kells Irish Pub at 112 SW 2nd Ave; in a festival tent in Kells’ back parking lot; at the new Kells Brew Pub at 210 NW 21st Ave; and in a festival tent in the Brew Pub parking lot.

The festivities will kick off Friday night with live music in the pubs and a black tie smoker – a boxing event that pits Golden Glove boxers from Ireland against the best amateur pugilists of the Northwest – in the festival tent. Over the weekend, a number of family friendly activities will also be offered in the festival tent, including face painting, Irish Wolfhounds, cheese sampling and family tree research. Throughout the festival, attendees can enter a raffle for a trip to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Live entertainment ranges from the traditional – with Irish dancing, bagpipers, and Celtic bands playing the fiddle, harmonica, guitar and Bodhran – to the popular, with the Neil Diamond tribute band Super Diamond headlining the Saturday night event. International sensation Shana Morrison, daughter of Van Morrison, will also play throughout the weekend. Shana is known for her unique and wide-ranging voice and genre bending style that blends pop, blues, rock, country, R&B and jazz.

Festival admission varies by day and location. See the schedule below for a complete breakdown of activities, hours, and costs per day for the festival.

Gerard and Lucille McAleese established Kells’ Portland location in 1990. In 1991, they began the tradition of a St. Patrick’s Day Festival that has grown into the largest Irish celebration in the Northwest. The McAleeses are some of Portland’s most respected philanthropists, and the festival is an official fundraiser for Providence Child Center.

In advance of the festival, the McAleeses “sweep the ceiling,” collecting folded dollars and quarters that have been hurled to the restaurant ceiling by the wait staff throughout the year. The amount of money collected is matched by the McAleeses and donated to Providence Child Center, which offers the only pediatric residential facility in the Northwest providing 24-hour skilled nursing care for children with profound disabilities and complex medical needs. Since its inception, the event has raised nearly $225,000 for Providence Child Center.

Serving the Northwest since 1983, Kells Irish Restaurant is a local family-run establishment that is consistently voted and ranked among the top Irish pubs in the United States; it has been named the number one Irish establishment in the U.S. every year since 2007 by noted food and restaurant critic Tom Horan. With locations in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, it is a touchstone of each community that stays true to its roots. For more information, visit

Kells Irish Festival Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 14
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave
Restaurant and Pub Hours: 11.30am to 2am
Live Music: Flight of Earls @7:30pm, Coming Up Threes @9:30pm, Grafton Street @11:30pm Pub Admission: $5 at 8pm
Festival Tent, 112 SW 2nd Ave (back parking lot)
Smoker (Boxing): Doors open 5pm, fights begin 7.30pm Admission: $20 at 5pm
Kells Brew Pub, 210 NW 21st Ave
Hours: 11:30am to 2am, minors welcome until 9pm
Live Music: Boys of Malin @8pm, Flight of Earls @10:30pm Admission: $5 at 9pm
Brew Pub Festival Tent, 210 NW 21st Ave (parking lot)
Hours: 4pm to 11pm, minors welcome until 9pm Admission: $5 at 9pm
Saturday, March 15
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave
Pub Hours: 8am to 2am, no minors
Restaurant Hours: 10am to 2am, minors welcome until 10pm
Banquet Room Hours: 11am to 9pm, minors welcome, full menu service
Cigar Room Hours: 8am to 2am, no minors
Live Music: Hanz Araki @2:30pm, Flight of Earls @5pm, Cul an Ti @7:30pm, Grafton Street @10pm, Coming Up Threes @12am
Pub Admission: $20 at 5pm
Festival Tent, 112 SW 2nd Ave (back parking lot)
Hours: 11am to 1am, minors until 5pm
Live Music: Murray Irish Dance @11:30am, Cul an Ti @12:15pm, Kells Pipers @2:15pm, Grafton Street @2:45pm, An Daire Irish Dance @4:45pm, Coming Up Threes @5:30pm, Kells Pipers @7:30pm, Shana Morrison @8pm, Super Diamond @10pm
Admission: $20 at 5pm; free T-shirt to first 500 guests
Kells Brew Pub, 210 NW 21st Ave
Hours: 9am to 2am, minors welcome until 6pm
Live Music: Molly Malone Irish Dancing @1pm, Boys of Malin @2pm, Comerford Irish Dance @4pm, Cul an Ti @4:30pm, Grafton Street @7pm, Kells Pipers @9pm, Flight of Earls @9:30pm
Admission: $10 at 6pm
Brew Pub Festival Tent, 210 NW 21st Ave (parking lot)
Hours: 12pm to 12am, minors welcome until 6pm Admission: $10 at 6pm
Sunday, March 16: Shamrock Run Day
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave
Pub Hours: 8am to 2am, no minors all day
Restaurant Hours: 10am to 12am, minors welcome until 10pm
Timbers Game: Live @12pm
Live Music: Full Schling @2:30pm, Grafton Street @5pm, Coming Up Threes @7:30pm, Flight of Earls @10pm
Pub Admission: $5 after 6pm
Festival Tent, 112 SW 2nd Ave (back parking lot)
Hours: 9am to 6pm, minors welcome
Live Music: Kells Pipers @10am, An Daire Irish Dance @10:30am, Coming Up Threes @11am, Molly Malone Irish Dancing @1pm, Kells Pipers @1:45pm, Shana Morrison @2pm, Murray Irish Dance @4pm
Admission: Free
Kells Brew Pub, 210 NW 21st Ave
Hours: 9am to 2am, minors welcome until 8pm
Timbers Game: Live @12pm
Live Music: Molly Malone Irish Dancing @11am, Kells Pipers @11:30am, Comerford Irish Dance @2pm, Flight of Earls @2:30pm, Cul an Ti @5pm, Kells Pipers @7:15pm, Grafton Street @7:45pm
Admission: Free
Brew Pub Festival Tent, 210 NW 21st Ave (parking lot)
Hours: 9am to 9pm, minors welcome until 9pm Admission: Free
Monday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, 112 SW 2nd Ave
Pub Hours, 11am to 2am, no minors all day
Restaurant Hours: 11am to 12am, minors welcome until 10pm
Banquet Room Hours: 12pm to 9pm, minors welcome, full menu service Pub Admission: $20 after 2pm
Festival Tent, 112 SW 2nd Ave (back parking lot)
Hours: 11am to 1am, no minors all day
Live Music: Comerford Irish Dance @11:30am, Cul an Ti @12pm, Kells Pipers @2pm, Shana Morrison @2:30pm, An Daire Irish Dance @4:30pm, Flights of Earls @5pm, Kells Pipers @7pm, Shana Morrison @7:30pm, Kells Pipers @9:30pm, Coming Up Threes @9:45pm Admission: $20 after 2pm; free T-shirt to first 500 guests
Kells Brew Pub, 210 NW 21st Ave
Hours: 11am to 11pm, minors welcome until 8pm
Live Music: Molly Malone Irish Dancing @12pm, Boys from Malin @12:30pm, Murray Irish Dance @2:30pm, Cul an Ti @3pm, Kells Pipers @5pm, Grafton Street @5:30pm, Flight of Earls @8pm
Admission: $20 at 5pm
Brew Pub Festival Tent, 210 NW 21st Ave (parking lot)
Hours: 11am to 11pm, minors welcome until 8pm Admission: $20 at 5pm
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub Facebook
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub Twitter
Kells Brew Pub  Facebook

Displaying Kells Schedule of Events 2014.pdf.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stone Brewing Go To IPA Released Today

ESCONDIDO, CA (March 3, 2014) – Intensely hopped and big-flavor brews are known to be quite the passion for Stone Brewing Co . Taking another step in their lupulin obsession, the craft beer company is pleased to introduce Stone Go To IPA. This vibrant hop-bursted session IPA is the tenth addition to Stone’s year-round lineup and, starting today, fans will be able to find the new release in 12-ounce bottle six-packs and on draft at retailers in all of the states where Stone beer is distributed.

Stone Go To IPA is 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and, therefore, considered a “session” beer. Session beers are defined as ales or lagers below five percent ABV, which allows for greater drinkability within a reasonable stretch of time. Stone Go To IPA is a very refreshing beer, loaded with intense peach, citrus and melon aromas and all the complex hop flavor that Stone IPAs are known for…meaning, it’s a hop bomb.

To achieve these glorious hop qualities and still maintain a low ABV, a technique called “hop bursting” was implemented. This contemporary approach involves infusion of a massive amount of hops during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out the robust flavors and aromas of the hops. Stone Go To IPA achieved its fruity, citrus notes by dry-hopping with mostly Mosaic and Citra, plus a complimentary addition of Cascade hops.

“Hop bursting really helped us overcome the challenge of making a lower alcohol full-flavored brew that doesn’t taste thin or watery,” explained Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “By using this method, we created an intense hop aroma and flavor along with a smoother bitterness. We’re thrilled to add this to our regular lineup, especially since most of us at Stone are ready to call this our own personal ‘go-to’ beer.”

Stone Go To IPA is brewed with nine different hop varietals and meant to be consumed fresh or within 90 days, before the bountiful hop characteristics fade. The session IPA will be available all year long, so IPA enthusiasts and curious craft beer novices alike will be able to satisfy their appetite for the almighty hop with this everyday go-to ale.

Stone Go To IPA Quick Facts:
Name: Stone Go To IPA
Stats: 4.5% ABV, 65 IBUs
Availability: 12-ounce bottles in six-packs, beginning March 3
Hops Bill: Mosaic, Citra, Ahtanum, Cascade, Crystal, El Dorado, Magnum, Sterling and 06300
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT and WA

 SteeleTasting notes, provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Pours light gold with a white head.
Aroma: The hop aromatics are mind blowing. Intense peach, citrus and melon flavors dominate the aroma in the best possible way.
Taste: Hop flavors continue to dominate, but are balanced by just enough malt to keep things reasonably in balance. But make no mistake, this beer is very, very hop-forward!
Palate: Dry and bitter, the finish makes you want to drink more!
Overall: This beer employed the hop bursting technique, which in essence is a hopping method where all or most of the bitterness in the beer comes from late hop additions in the brewhouse, like at the end of boil and in the whirlpool, instead of the more traditional approach where most of the hop bitterness comes from earlier additions at the start of the kettle boil. The result is a beautifully aromatic beer with substantial, but somewhat mellow, bitterness. The hop bursting also enhances the flavor retention of the hops, and combined with the dry hop, creates a very intense and complex hop flavor.
 creates a very intense and complex hop flavor.
Suggested pairings, provided by Stone Craft Beer Ambassador "Dr." Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Chips and salsa, ceviche, Cajun shrimp, oysters on the half shell, Buffalo-fried cauliflower
Soups and Salads: Cheddar cheese soup, tortilla soup, miso soup, Thai salad with peanut dressing, cucumber and mint salad
Entrees: Grilled salmon, stuffed poblano peppers, vegetable masala, jerk chicken
Desserts: Carrot cake, spice cake, persimmon tart, apple fritters
Cheeses: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cowgirl Wagon Wheel, Parmigiano-Reggiano, extra sharp Vermont Cheddar
Cigars: La Flor Dominicano Double Claro No. 42, Illusione hl Holy Lance Candela, Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Flor Fina Claro

Stone Brewing Twitter Page
Stone Brewing Instagram
Stone Brewing YouTube page