Monday, July 28, 2014

Gigantic Brewing Company - Volta

High Volta?
It's another hot summer day here in Portland. Ugh, it's hot and unseasonably humid. Slogged home from work in the heat, feeling more than a little grouchy, and what do I find in the fridge? A fine, local, craft beer! "I don't think you've ever tried that one," said my lovely esposa.

Wow, am I a lucky man, or what? In edition to the tasty craft beer cooling it in the Kenmore, there was a big dish of fresh-baked, piping hot ziti on the stove. Oh, yeah. 

The beer was a bomber of Gigantic Brewing Company's Volta.  (My lady was correct--I've never tried it before.) The label proclaims it to be "a delightfully spicy fruity summer saison yet a beer for any season." The reported ABV is 8.4%.

The beer poured into my chalice an bright, golden orange hue with a bubbly white head. The head rose up to almost a finger thick and dissipated quickly. A frothy cap of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was Belgian yeast up front. Tropical and stone fruit. Banana. Clove and coriander.

Taste was banana, pear, apple and Belgian spices. Bready yeast and sweet caramel malt.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. No appreciable alcohol taste. Dry finish with fruit and spice left on the palate at the end.

Overall, this is quite a tasty beer. Decidedly different. More like the big brother of a saison. I liked it and would definitely drink it again. I'm giving Volta a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stone Brewing Company (collab with Beachwood BBQ and Heretic Brewing) Unapologetic IPA

All Apologies?
Yet another collaboration beer? Aren't these brewers supposed to be cutthroat competitors? You know, like Willie Wonka and Slugworth...wait, Slugworth actually worked for Wonka...never mind. How about...Edison and Tesla! Yeah, those dudes hated each others guts! Anyway, it looks like brewers are pretty darn lovey-dovey and collaborations are here to stay.

The collab I'm writing about today is a combined effort between Stone, Beachwood and Heretic called Unapologetic IPA. It's a double IPA with an ABV of 8.8%. I got it on tap at Oregon Hophouse. Was this three brewer effort worth the price of admission?

The beer was delivered to me in a stemmed tulip. It was a clear, golden orange color with a foamy white head. The head was about a 1/4 of an inch tall when the beer got to my table and it dissipated at a moderate rate. A good amount of webby lacing was left behind when the suds faded away.

Aroma was resinous pine and citrus. Sweet caramel malt with lots of tropical fruit and floral notes in the background.

Taste delivered exactly what the nose predicted. Lots of grapefruit and orange with a big blast of pine. When the beer warmed up a bit, the tropical fruit flavor really popped. Mango, pineapple and melon. Subdued malt flavor. Delicious!

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a sticky chew to it. Good carbonation. Barely a hint of alcohol. Citrus and tropical fruit flavors last for a while.

Overall, no apologies are necessary. Unapologetic IPA is a dang good beer. I'm giving this one a respectable BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Beer By Any Other Name...

If the name fits...
I volunteered to help serve up beer at the Oregon Brewers Festival this week--the bestest beer festest in the Westest. Hey, it's still going on this weekend here in the beautiful Beertropolis of Portland, Oregon. (It's pronounced ORE-UH-GUN, by the way. Learn it, love it, live it.)

One thing that always impresses me, other than the vast array of amazing craft beer poured at OBF, is the endless number of tacky/wacky names the brewers come up with for their special Brew Fest brews. I actually think there should be a special award for the best original beer name. Seriously.

Unfortunately for me, I ended up serving a beer with one of those original names: Stone Brewing Company's "Witty Moron". I think you can imagine what happened. Every other person in my line would step up and say, "Are YOU the Witty Moron?" Can you also imagine what my reaction was after hearing that repeated ad nauseum for 4 1/2 hours? My...gawd...NO!

Toward the end of my shift, I just couldn't help myself. "Wow, you're HILARIOUS! That's the first time I've heard that today! Seriously, dude, YOU are the witty one!"

Anyway, here are some of my other favorite beer names from this year's Oregon Brewers Festival:

Heathen Brewing Company - Mega Dank
Collaborator - Czech'd Out Pils
Kell's Brew Pub - Billy Ray Citrus
Golden Valley Brewery - Young Franken Stein

Working on the "hop" theme:
13 Virtues Brewing Company - Hoptimal Results IIPA
Alaska Brewing Company - Hopothermia Double IPA
Fitger's Brewhouse - Hoppulujah IPA
Lucky Labrador Brewing Company - Hopperopolis

I'm just wondering when the "hop" themes will finally run dry. I mean, how many more variations could there be? Of course, what's in a name, really? The bottom line will always be whether or not the beer tastes good. That Witty Moron? Meh. It was kind of an odd brew--a "black wit"--thus the oxymoron that led to the name Witty Moron. I'm not a fan of the beer. I like my wits pale and appropriately spiced. Witty Moron was...not that. Give Stone points for being creative, but I can attest to the fact that their fans at OBF were mostly disappointed. A few kegs of Arrogant Bastard would have been much better received. Of course, then all I would have heard all day... "Are YOU the Arrogant Bastard?"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oregon Brewers Festival 2014

Cheers! Prost! Woohoo!
It's almost here! The BIG one! The grandpappy of all Oregon beer fests, the Oregon Brewers Festival! 2014 will mark the 27th anniversary of this fantastic event. On Wednesday, July 23rd the gates will open at noon at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, in beautiful downtown Portland, and the awesome beer-drinking festivities will begin! Woohoo!

86 craft brewers from all over the country will offer tastes of over 30 different styles of beer to an anticipated turn out of over 85,000 beer lovers during this five day event. Your's truly, Wolf Linderman, will be there on Thursday the 24th as a volunteer! Yes, indeed, if you can find me, I will pour you a beer!

If you've never been to the Oregon Brewers Fest, where the heck have you been? Under a rock? People come from all over the country--heck, from all over the world--to attend the nation's longest running, most popular beer festival. Situated on the banks of the Willamette River, with a spectacular view of downtown Portland, the iconic Portland bridges and beautiful Mt. Hood in the distance, you couldn't ask for a better venue. The weather forecast for the weekend looks sunny and warm, too!

As always, there will be food booths galore, and you will want to bring a pocket full of cash. I suggest bringing a water bottle, as well. Hydration is key! Also, don't drink and drive! Keep yourself and other Portlanders safe by using public transportation. Numerous Trimet buses have stops nearby and there's a MAX station a block away from the main entrance. Find your way using the Trimet Trip Planner.

Dates
July 23 - 27, 2014 — "Always the last full weekend in July"

Times
Wed through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9pm
Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7pm
Token & glass sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off (8:30pm daily, except 6:30pm Sunday)

Admission
Admission to the grounds is free, but if you want to drink beer, you'll need $7 for the collectible tasting glass and $1 for each wooden taster token. Here's how it works, you'll pay four tokens for a full 12.8oz glass of beer, or one token for a 3oz. taste. Glasses and tokens are pre-sold up to two weeks prior to the festival at select local locations, including Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Belmont Station, Deschutes in the Pearl, Rogue Ales Public House and the Green Dragon. The festival is cash only, and there are 8 ATMs on-site.

Volunteer
Volunteers are still needed for weekend shifts! If you want to donate some time to this great event, click here.

Okay, here's what you've been waiting for, the 2014 Tap List:


Brewery
City
State
Beer Name
Beer Style
10 Barrel Brewing Co
Bend
OR
Cider Weisse
Berliner Style Weiss blended with green apple cider
13 Virtues Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Hoptimal Results Imperial IPA
Imperial IPA
21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco
CA
Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
Wheat Beer
Alameda Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Waterfront Park Extra Pale Ale
Extra Pale Ale
Alaskan Brewing Co
Juneau
AK
Hopothermia Double IPA
Imperial IPA
Amnesia Brewing Co
Washougal
WA
Crystal Red
NW Red Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Co
Boonville
CA
Summer Solstice
Summer Cream Ale
Ashtown Brewing Co
Longview
WA
Blackberry IPA
NW IPA w/Fruit
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
San Diego
CA
Sculpin IPA
IPA
Bayern Brewing
Missoula
MT
Bayern Amber
Amber
Bear Republic Brewing Co
Cloverdale
CA
Grand-Am
American Pale Ale
Beer Valley Brewing
Ontario
OR
Heavy Sugars Honey Ale
Honey Ale
Boneyard Beer
Bend
OR
Bone-A-Fide
Pale Ale
Boulder Beer Co
Boulder
CO
Shake
Chocolate Porter
Boundary Bay Brewery
Bellingham
WA
Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Pale Ale
Pale Ale
BridgePort Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Trilogy 2: Aussie Salute IPA
IPA
Caldera Brewing Co
Ashland
OR
Caldera Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter
Porter
Cascade Brewing
Portland
OR
Raspberry Wheat
Fruit Beer
Central City Brewing
Surrey
BC
Red Betty Imperial IPA
Imperial IPA
Cigar City Brewing
Tampa
FL
Blood Orange/Dragon Fruit Florida Weisse
Berliner Weiss with Fruit
Collaborator
Portland
OR
Czech’d Out Pils
German-style Pilsner
Coronado Brewing Co
Coronado
CA
Orange Avenue Wit
California Style Witbier
Crux Fermentation Project
Bend
OR
Off Leash NW Session Ale
NW Session Ale
Deschutes Brewery
Bend
OR
Dechutes Brewery Gluten Free
NW Gluten Free Pale Ale
Deschutes Brewery
Bend
OR
Ester the Farmhouse Maiden
Saison
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton
DE
Dogfish Head Oak Aged Strong Ale
Olde English Strong Ale
Drake's Brewing Co
San Leandro
CA
7x70 IPA
West Coast Style IPA

Dunedin Brewery
Dunedin
FL
Moon Reflects on Hibiscus
White IPA w/ Hibiscus Flowers
Ecliptic Brewing
Portland
OR
Perihelion Crimson Saison
Saison brewed with Rhubarb
Eel River Brewing Co
Scotia
CA
Emerald Triangle IPA
West Coast Style IPA
Elysian Brewing Co
Seattle
WA
Perfesser
Belgian Blonde Ale Fermented with plums and Brettanomyces
Ex Novo Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Black & Wheat
Fruit Wheat
Fearless Brewing Co
Estacada
OR
Peaches and Cream Ale
American Style Cream Ale with Peaches
Firestone Walker Brewing Co
Paso Robles
CA
Easy Jack
Session IPA
Fitger's Brewhouse
Duluth
MN
Hoppulujah IPA
North Shore Style IPA
Fort George Brewery & Public House
Astoria
OR
The Optimist
American Style IPA
Full Sail Brewing Co
Hood River
OR
Full Sail Cascade Pilsner
NW German Pilsner
Gigantic Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Who Ate All the Pies?
Strawberry Rhubarb Gose
Gilgamesh Brewing
Salem
OR
Radtke Radler
Radler
Golden Valley Brewery
McMinnville
OR
Young Franken Stein
Kellerbier
GoodLife Brewing Co
Bend
OR
Nothing As It Seems
Coffee Blonde
Grain Station Brew Works
McMinnville
OR
Epernay Weiss Beer
Champagne Wheat Beer
Green Flash Brewing Co
San Diego
CA
Citra Session IPA
Session IPA
Heathen Brewery
Vancouver
WA
Megadank
Hop Centric IPA
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Portland
OR
Belgian Apple
Belgian Style Fruit Beer
Kells Brew Pub
Portland
OR
Billy Ray Citrus
Cascadian Dark Session Lager
Klamath Basin Brewing Co
Klamath Falls
OR
Breakfast Blend IPA
IPA Brewed with Espresso
Kona Brewing Co
Kailua Kona
HI
Castaway IPA
American Style IPA
Laht Neppur Brewing Co
Waitsubrg
WA
Peach Pie Heffy
American Hefeweizen with Fruit & Spice
Lakefront Brewery
Milwaukee
WI
Wisconsinite Summer Weiss
Weiss Beer
Laurelwood Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Pale Pony ISA
India Session Ale
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
Hood River
OR
Straffe Drieling
Belgian Style Tripel
Lompoc Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Pamplemousse IPA
American Style IPA
Lucky Labrador Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Hopperopolis
Portland Style Pale
Maui Brewing Co
Lahaina
HI
Lorenzini Blood Orange Double IPA
Double IPA brewed with Blood Orange
Mazama Brewing
Corvallis
OR
Rasplendent
Raspberry Hibiscus Wit
McMenamins Concordia Brewery
Portland
OR
Double Helix Double IPA
Double IPA
Natian Brewery
Portland
OR
Portland Fog
Organic NW Golden Ale
Nimbus Brewing Co
Tucson
AZ
Old Monkeyshine Ale
Strong Ale
Ninkasi Brewing Co
Eugene
OR
Oktoberfestbier
Fest Bier
No-Li Brewhouse
Spokane
WA
Empire No. 8 Session IPA
Session IPA
North Rim Brewing
Bend
OR
Skyline
Belgian Pale Ale
Oakshire Brewing Co
Eugene
OR
Citrafonix
American Pale Ale with citrus

Old Market Pub & Brewery
Portland
OR
Cherry Derive
Kriek
Old Town Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Yosteamite Sam
Oregon Common
Omission Beer Co
Portland
OR
O’Shandy
Grapefruit Shandy Session IPA
Paradise Creek Brewery
Pullman
WA
Huckleberry Pucker
Berliner Weisse
Payette Brewing Co
Garden City
ID
Blood Orange IPA
Fruit IPA
Pelican Brewing Co
Pacific City
OR
Phil's Pils
Pre-Prohibition American Pilsner
pFriem Family Brewers
Hood River
OR
Hoppy Wheat
American Hop Forward Wheat Beer
Port Townsend Brewing Co
Port Townsend
WA
Extra Special Hop Diggidy
IPA
Portland Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Raspberry Oregon Honey Beer
Honey Beer with Fruit
Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub
Pendleton
OR
Huckleberry Wheat
Fruit Wheat Ale
Rock Bottom Brewery
Portland
OR
Cascadian Kölsch
Cascadian Kölsch
Rogue Ales
Newport
OR
Rogue Doppelsticke
Doppelsticke
Scuttlebutt Brewing Co
Everett
WA
Jalapeno Tripel
Belgian Style Tripel infused with Jalapeno & Serrano Peppers
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Chico
CA
Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout (Collaboration with Ninkasi Brewing Co)
Coffee Milk Stout
Sixpoint Craft Ales
Brooklyn
NY
Barrel Aged 3Beans
Coffee Cacao Baltic Porter
Sprecher Brewery
Glendale
WI
Abbey Triple
Belgian Tripel
Stone Brewing Co
Escondido
CA
Stone Liberty Station Witty Moron
Black Wit
Terminal Gravity Brewing
Enterprise
OR
Terminal Gravity IPA
IPA
The Dudes Brewing Co
Torrance
CA
Grandma’s Pecan Brown
English Style Nut Brown Ale
Three Creeks Brewing Co
Sisters
OR
Goldminer’s Daughter Pre-prohibition Common Ale
California Common Ale
Upright Brewing Co
Portland
OR
Old News Saison
Saison
Vertigo Brewing
Hillsboro
OR
Fresh Razz Wheat
Wheat beer with Fruit
Viking Braggot Co
Eugene
OR
Pineapple IPA
IPA-style braggot
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Portland
OR
Widberry
Black Raspberry Ale
Wild Ride Brewing
Redmond
OR
Whoopty Whoop Wheat
American Wheat with Lemon Peel