Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Everybody's Brewing Company - Hoppy AF Double IPA

Hoppy a Francais?
Hey, want to know a great way to irritate an Oregonian? Pronounce the name of the state Ory-GONE. Yeah, that's not going to do at all. It's Or-gun, or Or-uh-gun, but never, ever, ever, never, ever Ory-gone or Or-ah-gone. That's the way Mrs. Drysdale from The Beverly Hillbillies would pronounce it--all hoity-toity, highfalutin and completely WRONG.

Don't be a goober. Pronounce the name of the best beer state in the US of A properly, um-kay? I won't even get into the proper intonation for the word "Willamette" right now. We'll just save that for another day. (Dammit!)

Anyway, I'm supposed to be writing a beer review. Today, I'm drinking a bomber of Everybody's Brewing Company's Hoppy AF Double IPA. This beer comes from Washington, a state with a name that nobody should have a problem pronouncing.  Wait, I'm pretty sure it happens more often than we'd like to believe. I'm also pretty sure the folks up north of me would argue that they live in the best beer state in the US of A, and they would have some pretty solid talking points.

I picked this brew up at New Seasons for under five bucks. It comes with an ABV of 8.5% and 85 IBU's. The label advises that the beer was brewed with Galaxy, Citra and Chinook hops. Sounds right up my taste bud alley. Let's get the cap off and see what we've got here...

The beer poured into my IPA glass a clear, light orange color with a creamy, white head. The head rose right up to more than a finger thick with no coaxing. That head dissipated slowly and left behind big, webby patches of lacing all over the glass.

Aroma was lovely citrus, pine and tropical fruit. Sweet caramel malt. Herbal notes. Floral notes. Juicy, juice. Lucious in the nose, promising a big delivery of hoppy goodness.

Taste absolutely followed the nose. Orange, tangerine, grapefruit pith. Pineapple, guava. A tinge of dankness. Hints of stone fruit. Clean malt flavor. Wow, there was a whole lot of taste bud tingling going on.

Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Lighter body for such a big beer. I approve. This brew is very quaffable, even with the respectable ABV and robust hops profile. All those hops flavors were left playing around on the palate at the end.

Overall, this is my kind of IPA. It may not necessarily be yours, but I could almost swear that the good folks at Everybody's Brewing brewed this one just for me. I love it and will look for this beer in the cold case and on tap wherever I may roam. Good stuff! I'm awarding Hoppy AF a perfect BeerGuyPDX score of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Gigantic Brewing Company - Vivid Imperial IPA

Vivid-ly devoted to you...
The Craft Beer Revolution is an international uprising that I am solidly behind. Craft beer is everywhere! What I really love is that the innovation that made craft beer one of the fastest growing industries on the planet has shown no sign of slowing down. In fact, our brewer heroes just keep pulling more and more potable magic out of that proverbial hat each and every day. For a craft beer fanatic like me, a visit to the supermarket cold case is like a trip to Shangri-la. There's almost always something new and totally amazing waiting for me.

Today, I found a bomber of Gigantic Brewing Company's Vivid Imperial IPA in the fridge at my local Fred Meyer. The label immediately caught my eye because I am ALWAYS on the lookout for something new-to-me from Gigantic. These folks are PNW brewing masters. Picassos of the mash tun. Seriously, they rarely disappoint and often thrill my taste buds with their fermented masterpieces.

This IIPA was brewed with new-to-me New Zealand hops: Wai-Iti and Kohatu. Vivid comes with an ABV of 8.5%. As usual for Gigantic, the bomber is adorned with label art that is suitable for framing. Hey, I'm not really sure what's going on there, but it's cool and interesting. So, how's the beer? That's what we're here for, right? Right.

Vivid poured into my IPA glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color with a foamy, creamy, white head. The head rose up to more than two fingers tall and dissipated slowly. A thin cap and copious amounts of webby lacing were left behind on the glass.

Aroma was huge with tropical fruit. pineapple, mango, passion fruit. Light, indistinct citrus notes. Pleasantly dank. Sweet caramel malt. Wow! So much going on in the nose! Floral notes. Herbal notes. Did I already say wow?

Taste followed the nose. Lots of tropical fruit. Spicy herbal kick to it. Stone fruit. Peach. Definitely different! I love it!

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a chew to it. Good carbonation. Juicy finish. No alcohol harsh. Easy to drink.

Overall, this is an awesome Imperial IPA. Tons of flavor. Easy to drink. Plenty of wow factor. I accidentally tipped over my glass while I was typing this and shouted "NOOOOOOOOO!"

The dog went immediately for the beer that made it to the floor and went into a reverse sneezing fit. Hey, from a beagle, that's the ultimate olfactory compliment. I'm giving Vivid Imperial IPA a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4 and a Droolie. Excellent beer with a definite difference. I highly recommend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cheers to Belgian Beers Returns for its 10th Year...

(image courtesy of Cheers to Belgian Beers)
...celebrates Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain


PORTLAND, Ore. The Cheers to Belgian Beers festival annually celebrates the breadth of style and flavors of beers brewed in Belgium. This year’s 10th annual event will take place May 13 and May 14 at The North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook St. Hours are 1 to 9pm on Friday and Noon to 8pm on Saturday. The festival is unique in that it features up to 70 Belgian-style beers all brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain.

Admission to the event is free. In order to drink, it costs $20 for a souvenir glass tasting goblet and 10 drink tickets. Beers are available by taster only; most beers cost one ticket for a taste, though some may cost double. Additional tasting tickets are available for $1 apiece. Portland Perks and MercPerks are on sale now; advance tickets will go sale April 8 at The event is for ages 21 and over. 

Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place in The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Monk’s Deli and the Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available. 

While the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival showcases a single yeast strain, the Oregon Brewers Guild first holds a dart throw competition to determine the color and strength of Belgian-style beer that will be brewed for the event. Based on each participating brewery’s dart throw, the brewery will brew a Belgian-style beer that is either light or dark in appearance and either lower or higher in alcohol. Each year’s dart throw ensures there will be diversity in color and strength among the featured beers.

Belgian yeasts are incredibly diverse; this year’s selected yeast strain is Imperial Organic Yeast 58 Lioness, a yeast that shines in red to brown ales, but also works well for light colored beers. Lioness produces white fruit esters that are balanced with clove phenolic aromas.

The festival is still seeking volunteers, which receive a glass, 10 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC Servers Permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up visit

The event is organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 154 brewing companies, 122 associate or supplier members and more than 3,500 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cascade Brewing Expands Distribution Across the U.S.

(photo courtesy of Cascade Brewing)

PORTLAND, Ore.Cascade Brewing, which has been rapidly expanding into markets across the nation, has announced distribution deals in more than a dozen new markets.

The producer of award-winning Northwest sour ales has begun shipping its 750 ml bottled products to Alabama (Pinnacle Distributing); Connecticut (Sarene Craft Beer Distributors); Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia (Kysela Pere et Fils); Indiana and Ohio (Cavalier Distributing); Maine (Mariner Distribution); Michigan (Henry A Fox Sales); Minnesota (Clear River Beverage); South Carolina (Advintage Distributing); Tennessee (Bounty Beverage); Upstate New York (Gasko and Meyer); and Wisconsin (Johnson Brothers of WI).

"We are ecstatic to have found solid business partners who share so much enthusiasm in building the Cascade Brewing brand in their respective markets,” stated Tim Larrance, vice president of sales and marketing. “Aligning with such great distributors enables our retail customers and consumers to get the most up to date releases on all the Cascade Brewing products in cities where demand was previously high but availability was limited.”

Added Larrance, “We look forward to supporting our new wholesalers in their efforts to increase selection, volume and exposure for the Cascade Brewing portfolio of sour beers."

Cascade Brewing is known for its award-winning sour ales that feature a clean, lactic acid profile produced by a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria. The beers frequently rely on the use of fresh ingredients grown exclusively in the Pacific Northwest, including cherries, apricots, berries and grapes. Its blending house currently holds more than 1,500 French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels — plus nine foudres (giant wooden barrels that typically hold around 1,800 gallons of beer).

Look for Cascade products to arrive in the new markets in early May.

About Cascade Brewing
Cascade Brewing has been a pioneer in the sour beer renaissance since 2006 and is the proud innovator of the Northwest Sour Ale. Its distinctive sour beer blends feature fruit forward, barrel-aged ales with an emphasis on project year-to-year variation. These beers offer a complex array of flavors derived from Northwest grown ingredients, with each project year release capturing the unique subtleties of that year’s growing season. Cascade Brewing sour ales are brewed and blended in Portland, Oregon, and distributed in 31 U.S. markets as well as Canada, Japan, The Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hopworks Urban Brewery - Secession Cascadian Dark Ale

Free Cascadia!
What a beautiful spring Sunday it is here in Cascadia. The sun is shining and the tulips are blooming. There's Dogwood fluff wafting across the lawn and a gentle breeze is encouraging the giant Douglas Fir in my front yard to greet passersby with a friendly wave of her boughs. It doesn't get any better than this. Wait, it DOES get better! I'm sitting on my deck sipping on a delicious, local, organic beer!

Today, I'm drinking a Secession Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) brewed by Portland's own Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). Let's see what the label can tell us about this beer"

"Secession is a Cascadian Dark Ale. This beer style is characterized by an alliance of Northwest hop flavors as formidable as the Cascade Mountain Range and roasted malts as dark as the moonless night. Join the party and uncap a revolution!"

6.5% ABV and 70 IBU's. I purchased the bomber at Hollywood Beverage on Sandy Blvd. I don't recall the price. I don't think it was more than five bucks. Is this beer as truly revolutionary as the label proclaims? Let's find out!

Secession CDA poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish dark brown color with creamy, clumpy, tan head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. A solid ring and copious amounts of spotty lacing were left behind.

Aroma was citrus and resinous pine up front. Some floral notes. Sweet, roasted malt with some hints of cocoa.

Taste followed the nose. Big presence of Northwest hops. Indistinct, citrus pith and pine. Respectable bitter hops tang. Toasted malt. Notes of cocoa and toffee. Delicious!

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. A little bit of a sticky chew on the finish. That prominent hops bitterness was left behind on the palate at the end with just a little competition for attention from the malt.

Overall, I love this beer! And not just because of the beautiful Doug Fir flag featured on the label. This one is a keeper. Right in my wheelhouse when it comes to hops awesomeness. I'm giving Secession CDA a deserved BeerGuyPDX score of 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle actually abandoned the bone she was chomping on to get a close-up whiff of this brew.