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 http://oregoncraftbeer.org/ctbb. 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 www.ocb.events-connect.com.

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 www.oregoncraftbeer.org.

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.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Portland Brewing Partners with Local Legend Dark Horse Comics


The Collaboration Brings S.M.A.S.H. to Life

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 15, 2016) – With the huge support following the inaugural launch of Portland Brewing’s S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale, it’s only fitting the summer seasonal becomes the city’s newest super hero. Portland Brewing teamed up with local icon, Dark Horse Comics, to create a one-of-a-kind comic book cover in honor of S.M.A.S.H.

Artist Ron Randall brings the sessionable pale ale to life. "This poster was a blast to draw – a cool beer on a warm summer day can indeed feel like an epic conquest,” noted Randall. “It was fun to embody that image in a classic, over-the-top, superheroic struggle against the evil forces of Thirst.” 
The illustration highlights S.M.A.S.H.’s powerful combination of one hop and one malt by turning them into characters. Captain Simcoe Hop is seen riding a bottle of S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale across the Willamette River with his trusty side-kick, Vienna Malt. Their goal — take down the evil villain, Summer Thirst.

Ron Randall will be signing the exclusive S.M.A.S.H. posters at various locations throughout Portland this summer. Portland Brewing is also giving away 50 limited-edition 64oz. growlers featuring the S.M.A.S.H. comic cover between May and July. Want one? Just text SIMCOE to 55678 to be entered into the contest and you could win one. 

Be on the lookout for special events, featuring Portland Brewing and Dark Horse Comics this summer, including during Portland Beer Week in June. S.M.A.S.H. Pale Ale is available now through August in six-packs and 22 oz. bottles as well as on draft in select locations. 
ABV: 5.6% | IBU: 35

# # #

About Portland Brewing Company
Celebrating thirty years of passionate brewing in the Rose City, Portland Brewing looks ahead to a future of unwavering obsession over what our civilized world simply can’t live without: great beer. Founded in 1986, the brewery is one of Portland’s craft brewing pioneers and remains committed to the city for which it is named. Portland Brewing is located at 2730 NW 31st Ave., Portland, OR 97210. Find out more information on its website, Facebook andTwitter pages.

About Dark Horse
For 30 years, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, the company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers. Check out its website, Facebook and Twitter pages

Thursday, April 14, 2016

No-Li Brewhouse - Komrade Imperial IPA

In Pacific Northwest,
Beer drinks YOU!
Hey, does anybody else remember perestroika and glasnost? That was the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. Ronnie Raygun started talking about real life star wars and the other guy (the one with the birthmark on his forehead) flinched big time. It was like the "New Coke" of Communism. Looking back, those were kind of the good ol' days. At least, we thought we knew who the bad guys were. Now? I'm more a-scured of the nutjobs next door than I ever was of the Ruskies! Waxing nostalgic for the Cold War--who'd a-thunk it?

Anyway, everybody else across America thinks the folks living up here in the Pacific Northwest are big, fat commies. Truth be told, we do have some of the most politically progressive denizens of the US of A in our large, urban areas, but get out into the countryside of the PNW and you'll find a lot of conservatives. There's quite a political divide between the country and city folks, for sure, but there is one thing we all agree on: BEER. A tasty cold one--or two--can bridge any ideologic chasm, absolutely.

I'm only bringing up this subject because today I'm reviewing a new, seasonal beer from No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane, WA: Komrade Imperial IPA. Let's see if this beer is friend or foe, shall we?

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, reddish amber color with a bright white, creamy, foamy head. The head rose up to more than a finger thick and dissipated slowly. Copious amounts of sudsy lace were left behind. Quite a pretty beer.

Aroma was citrus hops and earthy malt. Some tropical fruit and floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Indistinct citrus medley with some pine and tropical fruit in the mix. Sweet malt well-balanced against the bitter hops. No alcohol hot detected in this 8.1% ABV beer. I found it to be quite an easy drinker that did not remain in my glass for long.

Medium mouthfeel and good carbonation. Smooth, semi-dry finish. Hops and malt flavors remained on the palate at the end in perfect harmony.

I like! I would have no problem drinking this lovely IIPA again and again. I'm giving Komrade Imperial IPA a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.