Saturday, August 16, 2014

StormBreaker Brewing

We're gearing up for the upcoming Beer Bloggers Conference in San Diego this week, so stopped into StormBreaker Brewing in Portland for a tray this afternoon.  I'm told this is where Amnesia used to be before conveniently relocating closer to us in Washougal, but I never visited Amnesia at this location. It's a cool spot, in the up and coming Mississippi neighborhood.  Hipsters galore, food trucks, lots of people on bikes, etc.

It's sunny and warm out today, and they have a great patio with full service, but we decided to belly up to the bar inside where it was nice and cool. There's a pretty decent assortment of whiskey on hand so you can do whiskey pairings, which was tempting, but we really wanted to try the beer. 

We got a tray, one of everything they had on hand, including three seasonals.   There were 9 beers in total that we tried, and they were all good.  Nothing we didn't like. The best was probably the Mississippi Red, which was dry hopped with Citra and really refreshing.  There was a seasonal called Mon Petite Cherimoya, a light and fruity Belgian, that was also pretty awesome, totally different, slightly sweet and almost delicate.

We also got a Jucy Lucy, which is a burger with two patties stuffed with melted cheese, bacon and onions on top, and served with house-made waffle fries.  Awesome. 

We'll be back for sure, and next time hopefully can stay a bit longer and get a couple of pints.  But we picked up a couple of t-shirts and snagged some stickers for our fellow beer-blogger buddies who'll we'll be meeting up with in San Diego in a few days.

Great place!  Stop in if you're in the area!


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

OBF #27 Brought In 85,000 Attendees

Press Release: 
PORTLAND, Ore. – August 14, 2014 – There’s a first time for everything, and in the case of the Oregon Brewers Festival, it was a downpour on opening day. The 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival took place July 23 through 27 at Waterfront Park in Portland. And while the rain kept some at bay, the mud puddles quickly dried and by the end of the weekend, attendance numbers rivaled those of the year before, coming in at 85,000 attendees.

Beer lovers came from across the nation and around the world to join in the celebration; they included a group of brewers from The Netherlands who were invited to pour beer in the festival’s Specialty Tent. Event founder and director Art Larrance heralded the relationship a natural progression in the evolution of craft brewing worldwide, and announced plans to bring in brewers from New Zealand in 2015.

“Thirty some years ago, U.S. craft brewers were looking outside of the nation for beer inspiration,” explained Larrance. “Today, it’s come full circle; craft beer markets from around the world are looking to us for insight. We’re seeing a beer revolution in places like The Netherlands and New Zealand, and the emergence of a lot of innovative brewing. Our goals is to celebrate and share that with the craft beer lovers who attend our event.”

Amidst the celebration, the festival took time to honor the memory of those who involved in the beer industry who have passed away this year, including Jack Joyce, the founder of Rogue Ales who was to be this year’s Grand Marshal; and Vic Atiyeh, Oregon’s former governor who signed Oregon's Brewpub Bill into law in 1985. The Festival also donated $15,000 to The Dougy Center, a Portland non-profit that benefits grieving children and families, during the event's opening ceremonies.

Beer lovers enjoyed 88 beers in the main tents, and another 100 rotating beers in the Specialty Tent, which featured vintage, barrel aged, blends and one-off beers from the participants. All beer was served in tasting glasses, a change that was implemented last year to allow consumers to fully enjoy the sight, smell and taste of their beer. It has been announced that the Portland Police Bureau is requiring the festival to do away with glass in the future; the festival is currently working with a vendor to procure a high-quality clear plastic mug.

 In addition to beer tasting, there was live music all five days, food from six area restaurants, homebrewers brewing beer on site, and a collection of beer-related vendors ranging from wooden beer steins to glass blown pints to kilts. Minors and designated drivers received complimentary cups of handcrafted root beer in the Crater Lake Root Beer Garden.

Nearly 1,800 beer fans took advantage of the Hopworks Urban Brewery bike corral, where their bikes were monitored for free while they enjoyed the festival; their tips raised $500 for End Polio Now. The festival employed more than 2,200 volunteers to pour beer, sell tokens, and aid with recycling education.

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has succeeded, especially in Oregon, where 173 brewing companies operate 214 brewing facilities in 70 cities in Oregon. Portland has 56 breweries — more than any other city in the world – and the Portland metropolitan area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of breweries at 76. The total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.83 billion; the total annual economic impact from the Oregon Brewers Festival in 2013 was $31.2 million.

The Oregon Brewers Festival always takes place the last full weekend in July. The 28th annual event will take place July 22 through July 26, 2015. For more information, visit

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ninkasi Brewing Celebrates Fall With Two New Seasonal beers


Press Release:
EUGENE, Ore.—Aug. 13 2014—With the approach of the harvest and cooler fall weather, Ninkasi Brewing Company announces two lagers that are rooted in European tradition and celebrate the incredible ingredients of the Pacific Northwest. Oktoberfest, the newest addition to Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series, and Venn, the third Prismatic Lager Series release of the year, capture all that the region has to offer: some of the purest water in the Continental United States and Northwest-grown hops.

Available September through October, Oktoberfest is a Festbier lager crafted to honor the region’s great bounty. “Festbier is a unique Bavarian lager that’s made around the harvest time, similar to an Oktoberfest, but it has what German brewers consider to have a more hoppy presence,” explains Jamie Floyd, founding brewer and co-founder of Ninkasi. “Oktoberfest has a darker hue than most lagers and a toasty malt flavor with a sweet impression up front paired with an earthy and grassy hop flavor.” Brewed with hops grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, these hops were selected to impart the earthy, grassy flavor of traditional German hops.

Venn, available September through December, is a balanced Dortmund-style lager providing a deliciously easy drinking option for the crisper months ahead. “The most important characteristic of this style is its balance,” says Floyd. “All ingredients must be in perfect harmony, giving the beer a Noble hop bitterness with a rounded, sweet malt flavor.”

Both beers will be available throughout Ninkasi’s distribution footprint: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Oktoberfest Stats
Style: Festbier Lager
Series: Seasonal Release Series
Available: Sept.-Oct. 2014
ABV: 5.9
IBU: 25
Starting Gravity: 1058
Malt: Pilsner, Carahell, Cara Munich
Hops: Sterling, Willamette, Tettnang
Packaging: 22-ounce bottles, 12-ounce bottles, draft
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia

Description: To celebrate the harvest, we decided to brew a beer dedicated to the tradition of Oktoberfest. Using Pilsner malt and hops grown in the Northwest, this beer is our way of toasting to the great bounty that our area brings us. Cheers!

Tasting Notes: Our Oktoberfest has a slightly higher ABV than most Bavarian-style lagers, followed by a more prolific aromatic hop profile. With a deep copper color, this lager has a toasty malt flavor and a dry finish with earthy, grassy hop notes.

Food Pairings: Chicken, Duck, Rabbit, Pork, Potatoes, Spaetzle, Salads, Caramel Sweets and Cookies

Venn Stats
Style: Dortmund-Style Lager
Series: Prismatic Lager Series
Available: Sept.-Dec. 2014
ABV: 5.1
IBU: 25
Starting Gravity: 1050
Malt: Pilsner, Vienna, Carahell, Acidulated
Hops: German Magnum, German Hersbrucker
Packaging: 12-ounce bottles, draft
Distribution: Oregon; Washington; Idaho; Montana; California; Alaska; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia
Description: Venn is the definition of balance, where American craft meets European tradition. First brewed in 19th century Dortmund, Germany, the hallmark of the style is its sophisticated symmetry. Brilliantly marrying a perceptible Noble Hop bitterness with a rounded, sweet malt flavor, Venn is golden in color, clean and harmonious.
Tasting Notes: The hallmark of this Dortmund-style lager is the balance between perceptible Noble Hop bitterness and rounded malt flavor; making it deliciously easy to drink.

Food Pairings: Sausages, Spaetzles, Trout, Fondue, Potato Salad

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA, to two brewhouses, a 55-barrel and a 90-barrel brewhouse, located in Eugene, Ore.  Ninkasi’s Flagship beers—Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout—are sold throughout Oregon; Alaska; California; Idaho; Montana; Washington; Nevada; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The brewery remains privately-owned and is committed to community support and giving. Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers in-kind donations and support for organizations throughout its footprint.

Fremont Brewing Expanding

 Fremont Brewing, one of my Favorite breweries in Seattle is about to expand in a big way.  Here is the official press release that was sent to Freshpints.

Press Release:
August 6, 2014                   

Fremont Brewing Company Expands into Ballard
Urban Beer Garden in Fremont Remains Open

SEATTLE -- Fremont Brewing Company will move most of its production operations into a building located at 4700 Ninth Ave NW in Ballard, currently occupied by McCallum Envelope & Printing.

Established in 2008, the family-owned craft brewery has maximized the use of its 8,000 square foot facility in Fremont and will begin renovations of the 80,000 square foot facility in May of 2015 with the intention of being fully operational by the Fall. Fremont Brewing will use the original Fremont location as an experimental brewery

Fremont Brewing’s tasting room, the Urban Beer Garden, located at 3409 Woodland Park Avenue North, will remain open and is also currently undergoing expansion. The new space, featuring 20 tap lines and a fireplace, will open in September 2014.

The new production space will house a new brewhouse and new canning and bottling lines.  The renovations will target the highest energy and water conservation standards, maintaining Fremont Brewing’s commitment to sustainability. Fremont plans to hire an additional 35 to 40 full-time employees to work at the new facility.

“We chose Ballard because of its strong manufacturing base and besides, the new brewery is only one block outside of Fremont. Even though it’s very expensive, we’re committed to remaining in the City and we simply refuse to accept that blue-collar manufacturing jobs can’t coexist in the new Seattle,” said Matt Lincecum, Founder/Owner of Fremont Brewing Company “We look forward to forging a tight relationship with our new neighbors in Ballard and continuing our support of Ballard public schools and non-profit community organizations.”

About Fremont Brewing Company

Founded in 2008, Fremont Brewing Company is a family-owned craft brewery located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Home to maritime industries, artists, and free thinkers. Fremont is the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe.”

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Check out the Washington Beer Blog's excellent post on the coming changes to Fremont Brewing.

First time I saw Fremont Beer in my local store I had to stock up

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kells BrewPub Celebrating Its Second Year of Brewing On Friday.

Kells Brew pub is celebrating its second year of brewing this Friday

There will be two special tappings at 6pm and live music starting at 9pm.

The Special beers being tapped at 6pm:

Kells Barrel Aged Red: The brewers took their Kells Irish Red Ale  and barrel aged it for many months in Bull Run Distillery whiskey barrels. Honey and vanilla notes of whiskey dance in your mouth with the light toffee and red fruits of the ale. 5% ABV

Billy Ray Citrus CDSL: Billy Ray Citrus merges the dark roasty richness of a stout with the smooth, easy taste of a session lager. Two-row, caramel, carafa II (dehusked black malt) and Vienna malts are balanced by Northern Brewer, Hallertauer, Mt. Hood and Saaz hops, a great blend of the traditional European noble hops with the freshness of the Northwest. Fermented with lager yeast at room temperature gives this beer its fruity esters and a mild green-apple aroma.
210 NW 21st Ave
Portland,OR 97210

Finally found the Beer Camp Across America 12 pack.

Yep, as the title says....I finally found the Beer Camp Across America mixed 12-pack and the Beer Camp Across America Double IPA at my local QFC store here in Camas. I've been on the look out for it since I posted the Beer Camp Across America Double IPA press release on June 23 and the Beer Camp Across America Mixed 12-pack press release back on July 8th. Now I could have tried a bit harder to find it earlier by either going to one of the many Portland bottle shops or the big Liquor stores in Vancouver (Bevmo & Total Wine & More) but I was lazy and didn't.  I've also heard conflicting reports about how good or not good the collaboration beers are. Since I couldn't make it to one of the Beer Camps, and I didn't hit one of the PDX Beer Camp Across America tap takeovers, I'm happy to have the thirteen beers in house and can't wait to start sampling them.