Thursday, May 26, 2016

Russian River and Firestone Walker Introduce “STiVO,”

Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Co & Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Santa Rosa, CA and Paso Robles, CA—After a lengthy courtship, Russian River Brewing Company and Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced today the imminent arrival of STiVO—an immaculately conceived mashup of their respective craft pilsners, STS and Pivo.

A collaborative beer made by Russian River owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo and Firestone Walker’s Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, STiVO Keller Pils was brewed to commemorate the 2016 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest on June 4. It will be released at the fest, and will thereafter be available for a limited time at select draft accounts in Firestone Walker markets nationwide.

Both brewers say that STiVO is as much a testament to personal friendship as professional collaboration.

“This beer has 10 years in the making,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Vinnie and I respect each other immensely as brewers, but more important, we’re good friends.”

Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Co & Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Brynildson noted that when the Cilurzos built their brewery, Vinnie Cilurzo would call regularly seeking technical input. Conversely, when Firestone Walker established its Barrelworks wild ale facility, the brewing team leaned on Cilurzo for his expertise. Cilurzo even gifted his original bottling line to Barrelworks. In 2014, when Russian River was undergoing a brewhouse expansion, Firestone Walker temporarily brewed Pliny the Elder to help keep the taps flowing (“That was the ultimate collaboration,” Brynildson said). Both brewers are also founding members of Hop Quality Group.

“It had to be inspired…”

Naturally, over the years, pressure began to mount with regard to a potential collaboration brew. “People have been asking us for years about a collaboration beer, but we never wanted to force it,” Brynildson said. “It had to be inspired.”

Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Co & Firestone Walker Brewing Co
That inspiration finally struck when they began discussing the idea of a collaborative pilsner to commemorate the 2016 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest.

“Neither Matt nor I started out as pilsner brewers when we each got our start in the craft beer industry, but it’s a style we are both passionate about,” Cilurzo said.

Added Brynildson, “I think people were expecting us to come out with something like Pliny The Elder-meets-Double Jack on steroids, or some extreme barrel-aged beer. But it ultimately came down to us wanting to make the type of beer we personally like to drink when we’re hanging out.”

The result is STiVO, a happily arranged marriage of the STS and Pivo recipes. “Our water philosophies and malt profiles were already essentially the same, and our yeast strains were pretty similar, so it really came down to how we wanted to handle the hops, and the overall weight of the beer we wanted to make,” Brynildson said. 

Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Co & Firestone Walker Brewing Co
“Although many pilsners from around the world have influenced me, none give me more inspiration than Pivo,” said Cilurzo. “Blending our two pilsner recipes to create this special brew for the 2016 Firestone Invitational seemed only natural. Natalie’s and my friendship with Matt and the Firestone Walker family is at the very heart of this beer.”

Cilurzo and Brynildson ultimately split the hops down the middle between Pivo’s German Saphir hops and STS’s Alsatian Aramis hops, both of which belong to the new wave of European hop cultivars. 

“These hops are more similar than they are different, and they blend really well together,” Brynildson said. “They don’t taste like fruity American hops, but they’re not like Old World Hallertau hops, either. They’re perfect for this idea of a new age hoppy pilsner.”

Cilurzo and Brynildson also bumped up the front-end malt for a slightly higher gravity and a resulting ABV of 6.3%, a distinct notch above the 5.3% of STS and Pivo while still remaining dry and super drinkable. Also, like STS, STiVO was racked to kegs unfiltered and will be presented in the classic keller style, naturally carbonated and slightly hazy.

As Brynildson put it, “STiVO is the desert island beer that Vinnie and I would share if ever we were thrown off the boat together.”

Portland Fruit Beer Festival Announces Beer & Cider List

Courtesy of Portland Fruit Beer Festival
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Portland, OR - 
The 6th annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival announces their largest beer & cider list yet, with more participating breweries and cideries than ever before. The festival also makes a new home at a larger and greener location in the North Park Blocks. Twenty-Nine Breweries and Seven Cideries combine for Thirty-Six regularly pouring taps, plus a selection of rare and rotating tap lines that will shift through even rarer small kegs throughout the festival. All together over 60 different beers will be poured.

This year's beer/cider list is also the most diverse and regional yet, with more breweries from across the country but still a majority from Oregon. The brewery list highlights Portland favorites like Burnside Brewing, Hopworks and Breakside Brewery. From south of Portland comes Deschutes, Ninkasi and Sunriver. From Washington and California, Fremont Brewing, Lagunitas and Ballast Point Brewing enter the festival for the first time. There are also brand new buzz-worthy breweries like Culmination Brewing and 54-40 Brewing.

A world class selection of local food vendors will be on-hand to soak up the beer and cider and provide sustenance. Covering four of our favorite beer drinking food groups: HOT LIPS Pizza, Sausages & Pretzels from Urban German Grill, BUNK Sandwiches and Fifty Licks Ice Cream. Hot Lips will also have their all natural fruit sodas for non-alcoholic refreshments for adults and kids. 

The three day, all-ages festival is open to the public and underage or non-drinkers at no extra cost. Tunes will be provided by all-star DJ's each day and an alternative Burnside Brewing Co. can garden will offer affordable and crushable non-fruit beers to the masses. 

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is now seeking OLCC certified volunteer pourers with special double ticket bonuses for some shifts. Fill out the form to volunteer here


Alameda Brewing: Saison and Black
Saison with black currants
Inspired by amber saisons of France and the English tradition of combining black currants with beer, we brewed this tangy, garnet colored ale for your summertime enjoyment. Starting with a Belgian pilsner malt base, we add specialty Belgian malts for a nutty, fruity flavor, wheat malt for body and black currants for a bright, earthy berry sharpness. The French saision yeast finishes dry, keeping you coming back for another and another. 7.9% ABV

Ballast Point: Mango Even Keel
our ideal beer for easy drinking. This hoppy, session ale gets a flavor boost from mango, which perfectly plays off the citrusy hop bouquet. With fruit, hops, and a low ABV, this beer truly is on another level. 3.8% ABV – 40 IBUs

Block 15 Brewing: Guelah Papaya (IPA with Papaya puree)
IPA brewed with Citra, Azacca, & Galaxy Hops, conditioned on yellow papaya and then dry hopped with Citra, Azacca, and Halleratau Blanc Hops.  A tropical fruit jam session. 7.3% ABV

Breakside: Lightning Punch
Sour ale fermented with a mixed culture of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus and lemons. Dry hopped with an experimental hop from Roy Farms that smells like fresh Oregon strawberries. I'm lovin' it. 5% Abv and 5 IBUs.

Burnside Brewing: Guanabana Gose
a house lacto-cultured Gose carefully soured in the kettle and brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops and Jacobsen sea salt. A cold side infusion of fresh lime zest and soursop purée gives this beer a refreshing twist.  Abv 4.5%, ibu 10

The Commons:  Butterflies Hovering
Saison with pineapple and kaffir lime leaves ABV: 5.9%

Culmination Brewing: Sun Rey
Sun Rey is a tea radler brewed with Jasmine Pearl tea lime and raspberries and kettle soured with lacto for a tart and refreshing summer sipper. 4% ABV and 5 IBUs.

Deschutes Passion Fruit IPA
Passion fruit concentrate was used in this brew contributing tropical, tart fruit character. Juicy citrus aroma and flavor is highlighted by fruity hop aromatics and delightful caramel malt notes in the background. 6.4% ABV and 62 IBUs.

Dogfish Head: Romantic Chemistry IPA
What you have here is a serious India Pale Ale shacking up and hunkering down with mango and apricots. At the same time! Romantic Chemistry is brewed with an intermingling of mangos, apricots and ginger, and then dry-hopped with three varieties of hops to deliver a tropical fruit aroma and a hop-forward finish. It’s fruity, it’s hoppy, it’s tasty! 7.2% Abv and 40 IBUs.

Ecliptic Brewing: Blood Moon India Session Ale
Blood Moon India Session Ale is named after the color of the Moon at the peak of a Lunar Eclipse. Blood Moon has a bright orange color from the Blood Orange used to brew it.  Lime zest and 100% Citra hops are also added to make this beer pop with zesty citrus flavors and  aromas. ABV 4.5  IBU 65

Ex Novo Brewing: Cactus Wins the Lottery
Berliner Weisse with Prickly Pear. Pink and sour with a sweeter fruity finish.  4.2% Abv.

54-40 Brewing: Cucumber-Honeydew Bright Ale
Crafted with nearly 400 lbs of honeydew melon and well over 100 cucumbers! The resulting fruit beer is crisp and refreshing with a wonderful bright melon nose and fresh cucumber taste. 5% ABV 12 IBU

Fat Head’s: Apricot IBUsive IPA
Our IBUsive IPA aged on apricots for a month. 7.2% Abv and 75 IBU’s.

Fort George: Chasing the Dragon
Light bodied blonde Kettle sour, with Dragonfruit, and black currant added post-fermentation. Slight sweetness with a tart finish. Enjoy chasing the dragon to the bottom of your glass! ABV: 5.4%

Fremont Brewing: Cantaloupe Summer Ale
Summer Ale tastes like tangerine flower in a glass—endless days distilled into the sweet nectar of barley and hops. Four hundred and twenty reasons to enjoy this beer. Summer Ale is our answer to bigger is better. One grain, one hop. Simplicity…yet so much more. “Beer has food value, but food has no beer value.”—VWP. 5.2% ABV

Gigantic Brewing: Gigantic & Juice
Gigantic IPA with Pineapple, Tangerine and Grapefruit juices. 6.7% Abv and 70 IBUs.

Hop Valley: The Fruit Man 2016
This beer is a first in a series of fruit beers, and is brewed to blend the boundaries of both “fruit beer” drinkers, and “Hop Forward” beer drinkers. It is an American wheat ale hop bursted and dry hopped with copius amounts of simcoe and mosaic hops, and peach and apricot pureed and added to the fermenter to accentuate the qualities of these two varieties. Fruit and hops in harmony, two fruits two hops, one beer, one love! 6.25 % Abv and 25 IBUs.

Hopworks: POG IPA
The unofficial drink of Hawaii. Blend of Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava mashed together with a NW style IPA. 6.3 % Abv.

Lagunitas: Calamansi Equinox
We dosed our creamy Equinox Oat Ale with Calamansi for a lil' kumquaty, mandarin-orangey blast. This one's packed full of real beer flavor and all the things you yearn for! 8.0 ABV %

Laurelwood: Kiwi Wit (Name TBD)
A small portion of this beer was soured which will give it a nice tartness. The grist is pilsner malt, lots of various types of wheat, and a bit of rolled oats. It uses Mosiac and Galaxy hops to help accentuate the kiwi. This is about all we know right now, other than it should be ready, or close to it, by the media event. Hope this information is helpful. 5.1% ABV, 20 IBU's

Lompoc Brewing: Raisin Hell
This Oatmeal Raisin Rye is reddish in color with a malty body and a chewy, raisin flavor. Malted rye and rolled oats were added to the mash with 60 pounds of raisins added to the fermentor. 6% ABV

Ninkasi Brewing: Ginger & Juice
Ginger and Apricot Farmhouse Ale
Crisp and complex, this Saison is crafted in the traditional farmhouse- style with subtle hints of real ginger and apricot. Distinctively fruity and slightly peppery with an energetic effervescence, Ginger & Juice finishes dry and satisfying, perfect after a long day’s work. 5.5% Abv 25 IBUs
Ruse Brewing: Patchwork (Strawberry Basil Tart)
This tart ale is kettle soured then conditioned with a touch of basil and a copious amount of local strawberries. 4.8% Abv

Sixpoint: Raspy Sauce (Raspberry Berliner-Weisse w/ Raspberry-Jalapeño syrup)
The true Sixpoint Sauce. We made a special variation of our Lil' Raspy for this year's Fruit Beer Fest using our Raspberry-Jalapeño syrup. The OG Lil' Raspy rocks a low ABV with a soft, white, fluffy cap and the raspberry puree he’s brewed with gives him a pinkish hue. He might be little, but he’s jammed with 300lbs of raspberries per batch and just for this festival he's been dosed with our special sauce. Additionally a sour lactic fermentation makes Raspy Sauce a sweet, tart, and slightly spicy sensation. 4.3% ABV

Stormbreaker Brewing:  When I Fruit, I Fruit for the Timbers
Log slices? Cantaloupe slices? This beer is what we hoist over our heads after each goal. We aged this crisp, light, easy drinking blonde ale on 180 lbs. of cantaloupe, which extenuates the flavors of stone fruit and citrus.  And even though they ‘Can’t Elope’, it’s the perfect marriage of beer and fruit. ABV: 5.2%

Sunriver Brewing: Blueberry Pancake Pale Ale
This beer combines the doughy, bready and biscuit character of three outstanding British pale malts along with a healthy dose of NW blueberries.  The resulting brew is reminiscent of a stack of blueberry pancake.  Beer for breakfast anyone? 5.8% Abv.

10 Barrel Brewing: Plum Spectacular
From Tonya comes a small batch kettle sour made especially for the Portland Fruit Beer Festival. It has a crisp, clean, assertive sourness with loads of plums. Exactly what Portlanders love in a sour! 6.4% Abv and 10 IBUs.

Upright Brewing: Jasmine Pearl Pils
is a delicately layered beer based on the classic German lager style but with the addition of Townshend's Dragon Pearl Jasmine tea and both whole dried lemons and lemon peels. The beer is light, floral and fruity with a satisfying finish.

Widmer Brothers Brewing: Le Ferme de Pêches
Belgian Style Spelt Farmhouse with Peaches
6.2 % ABV 24 IBU


Cider Riot: Chaos de Tejas Blood Orange Amarillo Hopped Cider
Oregon-grown Amarillo hops from Crosby Hop Farms lend their zesty citrus notes to a cider made with Blood Orange Puree from Oregon Fruit Products. A perfect summer quencher. 6.9% abv

Finnriver Farm & Cidery: Black Stave
A special edition of Finnriver's well loved Black Currant Cider, farmcrafted with organic Washington apples, fermented dry, stave aged for depth and then married with an oaked, funkey currant ferment. A limited release of the award winning, contemporary dark fruit cider made with wood. 6.5% Abv.

Hi-Wheel: Tamarind Ginger Fizzy Wind
Crisp and tart citrus based and spiced with tamarind juice and ginger. 6.8% Abv.

Portland Cider Co.: Boysenberry Hop
By blending Oregon boysenberry with an off-dry cider infused with citrus spice New Zealand hops, we have created a crisp and colorful cider for your pleasure. This is the first in Portland Cider Co.'s summer hop series limited release ciders.

Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Spicy Mango Tepache (Pineapple Cider)
The crowd-pleaser returns with a mango twist!  Spicy hot ¡Tepache! with Ghost Peppers and fresh mango juice.  3.2%  ABV

2 Towns Ciderhouse: Throne of Thorns
A limited release fruited cider brewed with fresh-pressed NW apple juice and Oregon-grown blackberries and raspberries. Fermented with a special Vinho (sic) Verde Portuguese yeast strain to bring out all the exceptional characters of the fruit. Dry, high in acid, but rich in ripe cane-fruit character, the Throne of thorns was created with spring in mind. 6% Abv.

Wildcraft Cider Works: Oregon Kiwi Berry
We bring you our inaugural batch of Oak Aged Kiwi Cider.  This cider began at the start of winter when we received 900 lbs of fresh kiwi berries straight from the vineyard.  Whole kiwi berries fermented wild on the skins for two weeks before pressing the juice and allowing a natural referment in neutral American Oak barrels.  After 4 months of barrel aging, we blended the Kiwi wine with our wild Ida Red, Melrose and Gravenstein cider lending a balance of fruit-forward Kiwi aromatics and flavor, rounded oak tannins, and spicy Gravenstein flavors that blend harmoniously into one of the most exciting and unique ciders we’ve ever tried.
Enjoy the Wild. 6.8% Abv.

(Subject to change, these small kegs will rotate throughout the 3 day festival.)

Almanac:Tropical Platypus
Almanac: Apricot de Brettavill
Almanac: Farmer's Reserve Blackberry
Ballast Point: Watermelon Double IPA
Bend Brewing:  Plum Provisional Sour
Bend Brewing: Lovely Cherry Baltic Porter
Wander Brewing: Sour Cherry Millie
Wander Brewing: Cranberry Fruit Puncheon
Fat Head's: Gin Barrel Aged Prickly Pear Saison
Hopworks: Smoke Cherrywood and Cherry Doppelbock
Breakside: Bourbon Barrel Aged Sour Rye Beer w Coconut
Hop Valley: Pinot barrel aged Blueberry Saison
Cider Riot: Blueberry Cider
10 Barrel: Peche
pFriem: Frambozen
pFriem: Oude Kriek
pFriem: Blabier
pFriem: Peche
Cascade:Shrieking Violet
Cascade: Orange Crusher
Cascade: Grapefruit Wheat
Burnside: Lime and a Coconut
Golden Valley: Cerisely Funky
Golden Valley: Bramble in the Barrel
Wildcraft: Cherry Quince

WHAT: Portland Fruit Beer Festival

WHEN: Friday June 10th 11:30am - 9pm, Saturday June 11th 11am - 9pm, Sunday June 12th 11am - 6pm

WHERE: North Park Blocks (downtown Portland) entrance at NW Davis Street between 8th & Park ave.

PRICE: $25 (includes a branded cup & 12 drink tickets). Advanced ticket purchasers get 3 Extra Drink Tix at

LINKS:, Portland Fruit Beer Festival on Facebook, @FruitBeerFest on Twitter, @FruitBeerFest on instagram.

Upright Brewing Releasing Oregon Native, A Patton Valley Vineyards collaboration

Courtesy of Upright Brewing Co
5/26/2016 Portland, OR - 
Upright Brewing is proud to announce the release of one of our most exciting projects yet -- Oregon Native. This barrel fermented wild ale is a collaboration with Derek Einberger, a winemaker at Patton Valley Vineyards and the beer uses their pinot noir grapes to blend the line between wine and beer. Upright will be debuting the beer at Patton Valley Vineyards on Memorial Day, Monday May 28th, and then it will be available in the Upright Brewing tasting room on Thursday June 2nd

Waxed dipped bottles of Oregon Native will be on sale for $20 each with a 3 bottle per person limit at the brewery.

About Oregon Native:
Oregon Native is a collaboration with Derek Einberger, winemaker at Patton Valley Vineyards. The beer combines their estate pinot noir grapes with our method of cask fermentation on whole fruit, the idea being to highlight the varietal and make a pinot beer, not simply a grape beer. To keep it from becoming too busy on the palate, we avoided the usual mix of yeasts and bacteria employed here for their vineyard culture, yielding a profile without excessive peaks, allowing the nuance of the fruit to show in both aroma and flavor. Aged in casks from both Patton Valley and Fausse Piste, the Oregon Native expresses a truly local character. 

Grains: two-row, vienna, wheat
Hops: 2012 harvest Columbia, aged at room temp.
Also: pinot noir grapes
Brewed: September 21st 2014, bottled September 24th 2015
Yield: 106 cases, 5 kegs, 7.75% abv.
Courtesy of Upright Brewing Co
Patton Valley Vineyards Release Party on Memorial Day Weekend
May 26 -30th 11:00-5:00pm
Patton Valley Vineyards
9449 SW Old Hwy 47, Gaston OR 97119
(P) 503-985-3445
Fact: There is one beverage Oregonians find as satisfying as Pinot. Duh, beer. Join us for the release of the first vintage of “Oregon Native” a collaborative brewing effort between Upright Brewing and PVV. Upright taps, Pinot Noir, and a wine glass = awesome.

Join us on Saturday, May 28th to meet Derek (our fantastic winemaker) and Alex (the genius and brewer behind Upright)!

Tasting Fee $15 Quenches Summer Thirst with List of Craft Brewers’ Seasonals

Boulder, CO • May 24, 2016—As summer quickly approaches, a few things come to mind–beaches, cookouts, baseball games and enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. None of those are complete without craft beer.  That’s why—the Brewers Association (BA) website for beer lovers— has released its list of summer seasonals produced by small and independent craft brewers throughout the country.

Summer seasonals are typically the second largest seasonal (behind fall), and seasonals are the second largest style category behind all India Pale Ale (IPA) styles combined.  Last year, during the 13 weeks leading up to September 6, summer seasonals accounted for 14% of volume in scan data from off-premise sales (source: IRI Group).

“Small and independent craft brewers continue to lead when it comes to releasing some truly rewarding summer seasonals,” said Julia Herz, publisher of “These beers are as versatile to pair with good times outside as with what’s on the summer menu at your local restaurant and at home.

Most of the summer seasonals featured in this list are lighter in body and aim to be refreshing and more sessionable. Additionally, there is frequent use of fruit, especially citrus, in many of these selections. Not only is summer the peak season for a lot of fruits, the lighter beer styles associated with summer lend themselves nicely to highlighting fruit flavors, rather than overpowering their subtlety.

A selection of summer seasonals includes:

·         Brenner Brewing Co. | Butterfly Farts | citrus ale | Milwaukee, WI
·         Arcadia Brewing Co. | Cheap Date | session ale | Kalamazoo, MI
·         Perrin Brewing Co. | Grapefruit IPA | Comstock Park, MI
·         Public House Brewing Co. | Thorn & Heat Strawberry Wheat Ale | St. James, MO
·         Burnt City Brewing | Retrofit Lime Radler | Chicago, IL
·         Fiction Beer Co. | Do Not Touch the Flamingos | apricot saison | Denver, CO
·         Meadowlark Brewing | Teddy Roosevelt American Badass | oak-aged imperial wheat IPA | Sidney, MT
·         Kannah Creek Brewing Co. | Apricot Sour | Grand Junction, CO
·         Squatters Craft Beers | Bumper Crop Honey Lavender Ale | Salt Lake City, UT
·         Carver Brewing Co. | Garden Brau Hefeweizen | Durango, CO
·         Dogfish Head | Festina Peche | neo-Berliner Weisse | Milton, DE
·         Cricket Hill Brewing Co. | Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale | Belgian blond session | Fairfield, NJ
·         Spellbound Brewing | Peach IPA | Mount Holly, NJ
·         Coronado Brewing Co. | Berry the Hatchet | ale brewed with berries | Coronado, CA
·         High Water Brewing | Cucumber Kolsch | Pittsburg, CA
·         Tin Roof Brewing Co. | Not Too Sweet Watermelon Wheat | Baton Rouge, LA
·         SweetWater Brewing Co. | Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple | Atlanta, GA
·         Avondale Brewing Co. | Strawberry Kolsch | Birmingham, AL

Refuel & Refresh with the Right Pairing

"As summer nears and the farmers markets begin to overflow with tomatoes, tender greens, fava beans, peas, peaches and more, our palates shift to wanting lighter, refreshing beverages,” said Adam Dulye, Brewers Association Executive Chef. “This summer you’ll see many lighter styles including pilsner, kolsch, gose and wheat beers to bring relief to your palate.”

To add to the bliss of the season, Chef Dulye has specially created this recipe that perfectly pairs with these summer beers.

Courtsey of & Brewers Association

Read’s 2016 Summer Seasonals for the leading list of seasonal selections and descriptions. To round out the experience consider seeking out seasonal craft beers at your local neighborhood brewery and taking a tour.

About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSM, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, AHA National Homebrewers Conference, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

Monday, May 23, 2016

.50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener.....Yes Please

Hopefully you've seen my Instagram page by now.  If so, you know I tend to post all my beer photos on Instagram and other social media sites. I also enjoy randomly rolling through my Instagram feed checking out other beer-centric feeds, and one of the feeds I enjoy checking out is Bullets2Bandages.

A couple weeks ago, Eric Montgomery, the Sales Manager from Bullets2Bandages, reached out to me after seeing my Instagram feed and wanted to know if I wanted to check out one of their products. Of course I was!

Before I go any further - In full disclosure, the .50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener in the picture above was sent to me for free from Bullets2Bandages.

So a bit about B2B:

Bullets2Bandages was started by Erik Spalding and Cole Evans,ex Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers. After leaving the Military, Erik and Cole started B2B as a way for people to say 'Thanks" to current service members, veterans, and the families behind the soldiers and veterans.  B2B also donates at least 15% of profits to Veterans' Charities.

The .50 caliber bullet that I received is once-fired military grade ammunition. Its really well-crafted, and U.S. made with a powder coat of gloss blue and engraved with my logo.

This is my first time actually handling a .50 caliber bullet shell and wow, let me tell you it's impressive in size and weight. The first time I used it to open a bottle, I realized the impressive size and weight will just pop the cap right off with no issues. I also used it to open a wax-covered bottle and let me tell you its the first time I have ever just popped a cap off with wax on it. Normally this process involves using something else to cut into the wax, and then wedging the opener in to try to pry the cap off. Not a problem with the .50 caliber opener. Along with the ease of opening bottles, its just plain impressive to look at. Check out the photo of the .50 shell opener in front of the Spiegelau IPA glass - It's almost as big as the glass, and hey it just looks great in beer photos.

 B2B has many different options with bullet openers. They have the .50 Caliber opener that can be designed with all sorts of options, they have a  Bourbon Barrel Wood 7.62 Bullet Openera 7.62 Bullet Key Chain opener, and they even have a 20mm Bottle Opener.

Please go check out their offerings. They have something for everyone, and can customize the look for a variety of different users and occasions. For example, they can print your charity name, a branch of the military, or even a sentimental message for the groomsmen (and bridesmaids!!) at your wedding.  Don't get too sappy, it is ammo after all.

Also if you're not looking for a bottle opener,  they have all sorts of cool other products such as these killer 30mm Tap handles. Check out the exclusive page for other items.

As we head towards Memorial Day, where we remember the brave men and women who died serving in the country's armed forces, the Bullets2Bandages bottle openers and other B2B products are a great way to say “Thank You” to those who died and to current service members and the veterans that have fought for our freedom and safety.
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Bullets2Bandages Twitter
Bullets2Bandages Facebook

3-Way IPA Summer 2016 A Fort George, Barley Brown’s, and Melvin Brewing Collaboration

Courtesy Fort George Brewing


Chris Nemlowill: “Straight up, mad props for your hops. If your kettles had kicks, they’d dunk on Motumbo.”

Jeremy Tofte: “Word. All your ickies are stickies and your drank is dank.”

Tyler Brown: “My Brewers! Bring it in.”

3-Way IPA is a collaboration based on mutual admiration. It’s a chance to share ideas and techniques with some of the world’s finest IPA brewers. Ultimately that knowledge is utilized in the brewing process and refined over the course of extensive beta batch testing. Four test batches were brewed this year, each with subtle changes to ingredients, amounts, and timing of additions.


Tyler: “Shoot for 7.4?”

Chris: “7.3 ABV works for me.”

Jeremy: “7 point 35, right down the middle. Call it a sessionizzle.”

Tyler: “Fo shizzle.”

Courtesy Fort George Brewing

With the grain bill the goal was to produce an ultra-pale color, creating a simple yet solid canvas for maximum hop expression. 2-row barley is the base with additions of Pilsner, C15, and wheat (although Carapils was used in one test batch). A lower than average mash temp decreased the amount of residual sugar. This allowed the beer to have sweetness derived from the hop character rather than the malt. Astoria’s slow sand-filtered water is ideal for brewing. This was enhanced with gypsum and calcium chloride to decrease the mash PH and improve hop utilization.


Jeremy: “Mo’ hops, mo’ money.”

Chris: “Long as my pint is phat, I don’t give a f*** where my IBUs at.”

Tyler: “I feel ya. Make the beer, don’t let the beer make you.”

Hop additions were as follows:
1st - Apollo hops for bittering - a high alpha hop that tends to exude grapefruit notes and contributes to an elaborate citrus character as it interacts with the aroma hops.
2nd - Simcoe, and a lot of it. This addition is 2x the quantity of the 1st addition.
3rd - Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic, added later than the average 3rd addition to decrease bittering and magnify the pleasant citrus character.
Dry Hopping – Double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Citra. These hop additions create peach, pineapple, and grapefruit taste and aroma. The second dry hop addition is roused with CO2 to boost the hop efficacy.

Courtesy Fort George Brewing


Jeremy: “We cool?”

Chris: “Keepin’ it real.”

Tyler: “One love.”

Look for Fort George 3-Way IPA in 16-ounce four-packs and draft starting the week of June 13th and throughout the summer. Fort George beer is distributed exclusively in the Pacific Northwest. For a preview join Chris, Tyler, and Jeremy at the following release parties:

Boise, Idaho - Thursday June 9th - 5pm to 9pm
PreFunk Beer Bar - 1100 W Front St
3-Way IPA and an assortment of taps from
Fort George, Barley Brown’s, and Melvin Brewing

Portland, Oregon - Friday June 10th - 5pm to 9pm
White Owl Social Club - 1305 SE 8th Ave
Live music from Brass Monkeys - no cover
3-Way IPA and an assortment of taps from
Fort George, Barley Brown’s, and Melvin Brewing

Seattle, Washington - Saturday June 11th - 5pm to 9pm
Brouwer’s Cafe - 400 N 35th St
Live music from Brass Monkeys - no cover
3-Way IPA and an assortment of taps from
Fort George, Barley Brown’s, and Melvin Brewing

Fort George Brewery
1483 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103