Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hollywood Beverage Filling Crowlers in NE PDX

Heretic Brewing's Evil Cousin
poured from a crowler
I know what you're thinking: "A crowler? What in the Sam-frickety-Hill is a crowler?"

That's what I thought, too. Perhaps a creepy devotee of creepy 20th Century occultist, Aleister Crowley? Hmmm...that would certainly be interesting, but that's not it. Thank the Great God Horus for Google! I was able to find out that a crowler is an aluminum can that is filled individually, like a growler at a taproom or fill station, using a special machine designed and created by Dixie Canner Co. Read all about this coolest piece of equipment by clicking HERE.

When I read on Facebook that my favorite liquor store slash craft beer emporium, Hollywood Beverage had just installed a crowler machine, I had to make a special trip over there to see for myself.

I ordered a 32 ounce crowler of Heretic Brewing Company's Evil Cousin Imperial IPA from the lovely tap selection at Hollywood Beverage. The beertender filled up the can and sealed that puppy up for me in a matter of minutes. Way cool!

What I truly appreciate about a crowler is that it provides yet another option for craft beer lovers to enjoy fresh from the tap beer at home, camping, picnicking, wherever. Note that I paid an extra $1.35 for the can, but that's a price worth paying to a beer-toting vessel that keeps out all taste-destroying sunlight and carbonation-wrecking oxygen. 

The crowler machine in action...
Unlike a glass growler, the aluminum can crowler can keep the beer inside nice and fresh for days, until it is opened. Pfffffff! Even left unopened, a traditional glass growler will only keep beer appropriately fresh for 24 hours in the fridge. I've wasted a lot of fine craft beer that way.

The cans are 100% recyclable and far easier to transport than a glass container. Aluminum cans are also easier to transport and chill much faster than glass.

I anticipate you will soon find a large number of crowlers hanging out in my fridge. It should be relatively easy to mark the contents on the side of the can with a grease pencil. I'm surprised nobody came up with this idea a long time ago.

You'll find Hollywood Beverage at 3028 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97321. HERE IS a link to their current tap list.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part Two

It's a beautiful, crisp, sunny day in Portland. I just finished cleaning the remnants of my 2015 hops bines off my deck. That was a gooey, soggy mess. What to do next? I know! I'll finish my Christmas shopping! Presenting part dos of my anxiously anticipated, always appreciated Holiday Gift Guide. If you have a beer lover in your haus, I done did all the gift hunting for you. Hey, it's what I do. You're welcome!

(photo snagged from
First up, I found a very cool beer flight set from Bambeco. This stylish set of five flight glasses and taster tray is made entirely from recycled materials. The glasses are made from reclaimed wine cooler bottles and the tray is a repurposed wine barrel stave. The result is a unique and elegant flight that will impress your guests for years to come.

Portland 5 Beer Flight - Clear is priced very reasonably at $55, considering that each set is handmade right here in the U.S. of A. Click HERE for ordering information.

(photo linked from Portland
Growler Co.)
While we're on the subject of gift items handmade in the U.S. of A., here's one handcrafted right here in the best damn beer burg in the world, Portland, Oregon! Behold the latest from Portland Growler Company. These ceramic growlers are awesome. They come in a variety of styles and colors, but the gloss red is totally new and even more awesomer. (Man, I'm making my grammar checker freak out today!) 

I'm thinking there may be one or two beer-lovin' ladies out there who would LOVE to own a growler that matches her lipstick. My wife says these jugs provide a stylish panache that you don't typically find in a beer receptacle. It's a growler AND a fashion accessory! 

The gloss red growlers cost a little more because the glaze requires the precious metal cadmium to get that bright red color. I've seen these in person at a recent beer festival, and they are about a red as red can get. What a beautiful piece of pottery. You should own one...

The Loop / Gloss Red / 64 oz. Growler costs $79.00. Click HERE for more info.

(photo link snatched from
Gigantic Brewing)
Okay, it looks like I'm sticking close to home with my Christmas shopping this year. I've got another Portland-grown gift idea for you. How about a little label art to adorn the walls of your Beer-loved's man or lady cave?

Portland's Gigantic Brewing Company puts out some mighty fine beers, but their label art is amazing, too. Lucky you! They sell both!

Gigantic's labels are all designed by different artists. The artists are given complete artist freedom, which has resulted in some of the most amazing label art ever created. I'll admit it, whenever Gigantic puts out a new beer, I'm almost as excited to see what's on the outside of the bottle as I am to drink what's on the inside.

16 X 20 inch, high quality posters are available of a large number of label designs. They cost $60 each. Click HERE to check them all out.

(photo link from Things Remembered)
Wouldn't be cool if your Beer-loved could drink a beer out of a glass engraved with his/her very own, personal beer motto? You know, something like:


Whoa! How awesome would that be? I just got chills imagining it.

Well, you don't have to imagine it, Janet! You can get a set for four Spiegelau craft beer glasses, all engraved with whatever you want: name, initials, or previously aforementioned beer motto.

The set comes with the Spiegelau IPA glass, a stemmed glass, a pilsner glass and a hefe glass. That should cover just about all of your gift recipient's craft beer vessel needs. The price is $55, plus the cost for personalization of EACH glass, so this gift can be a bit Spendy McSpenderson, if you lack an economy of words. Still, it's a pretty cool gift.

The Personalized Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit is available from Things Remembered. Click HERE for ordering information.

(image snagged from Amazon)
I'm going to brag a little bit here. Sorry. Gotta do it. Given my consistent butchery of the English language in this little ol' beer blog, you would probably be surprised to hear that my son--the fruit my lions, the off of my spring--was recently appointed the newest Associate Professor of English at his mother's alma mater. How cool is that? I'm such a proud papa.

I was also quite touched when my boy told me that his appreciation for literature began when I would tuck him into bed each night and read him a bedtime story. That brought a little tear to my eye, especially considering that those stories were not always...let's just say "age appropriate" and leave it there.

I have no doubt that if the children's book parody Goodnight Brew had been around when my son was two, it would have been a regular in the bedtime story line-up. Hey! I have two granddaughters! I'm ordering this one ASAP!

Goodnight Brew is available in hardcover at Amazon for $12.58. Shipping is free with Amazon Prime. Click HERE to order.

Finally, a couple of stocking stuffers:

(image from
Even at age 50-zillion, I still like to find my stocking stuffed full of tasty goodies on Christmas morning. Hey! Here's a tip for you youngsters: don't forget about ol' pop's stocking! He's probably the guy who stuffed himself into that moth-eaten Santa suit every year, just to give you some extra holiday delights. He might not say anything, but if he wanders out into the living room on X-mas morn and finds that sock dangling there on the mantle limp and empty, his crusty heart will be breaking on the inside. On the INSIDE!

Feeling guilty, yet, you little bast*rds? Yeah, I hope so. Try to rectify your ungrateful oversights of Christmas Past and get your dad something for his stocking. You can start with these beer-flavored jelly beans! Honestly, that sounds just awful. Ack! But, in this situation, it really is the thought that counts.

A 1.75 ounce, beer can tin of Jelly Belly Draft Beer jelly beans sells for $10.03 on Amazon, with free shipping. Click HERE to order.

(image snagged from High Hoppage)
Stickers! What self-respecting beer lover doesn't want to cover every square inch of his/her bumper with beer stickers? Heck, I'd cover the fridge with stickers, if Mrs. BeerGuyPDX would allow it...but she won't. Something about not wanting to live in a frat house...blah, blah, blah...

These cool oval stickers are available at High Hoppage for only two bucks each. Yes, you will find the HOP and the IPA stickers decorating that rear windshield of the BeerGuyPDX mobile--right next to the Cascadian flag.

Click HERE to order the stickers and peruse some of the other unique beer-related items at High Hoppage.

Check out the gift items on my 2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part One.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

McMenamins Breweries - Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale 2015

'Tis the seasonal...
The holiday season is always a special time of year, but it is absolutely awesome in Portland, Oregon. Why? Well, if you know anything about me, you know that it's all about the beer. Oregon craft beer lovers absolutely revel in the releases of a multitude of highly anticipated seasonal, winter/holiday brews. There are so many! Quite a few are showcased at my favorite beer festival of all time: The Holiday Ale Fest. Oh, I can't wait!

One tasty, tasty holiday brew that I'm always anxious the get my lips on makes its appearance with very little fanfare. It's also available for a very limited time. I'm talking about McMenamins Breweries' Kris Kringle Traditional Yuletide Ale. This beer is only available at McMenamins locations from November 13th through December 25th. That's a mighty short window to get a pint of a dang delicious beer.

Here's what the McMenamins website says about the Kringle:

Just in time for the holidays, November 13th marks the release of this year’s McMenamins Traditional Yuletide Ale, Kris Kringle. The busy-as-elves McMenamins brewers have created another wonderful gift for your taste buds this holiday season. The 2015 version of Kris Kringle is a hearty and robust ale with a big and bold malt complexity as well as an intense and flavorful hop profile. This “winter warmer” highlights the rich, toasty, aromatic and chocolaty malt flavors as its very sturdy foundation. Generous amounts of two different hop varieties were added in five different additions, which delivers a magnificent and massive hop assault. There’s still some ginger and cinnamon added into the batch but the spices are a little more subdued than in years’ past. McMenamins brewers hope you enjoy this years’ version of our old Holiday favorite, Kris Kringle. Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year! 
Malts: Pale Ale, Munich, Wheat, 15L & 120L Crystal, Chocolate Hops: Centennial, Cascade 
OG: 1.068 TG: 1.015 ABV: 6.84% IBU: 76 SRM: 15
Buzz Words: Robust, Hoppy, Festive
I must say that the 2015 version of Kris Kringle is  probably the best I can remember. Delicious. I'm absolutely getting a growler fill of this brew before Christmas. You should, too! I'm giving the 2015 version of Kris Kringle a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cider Riot! Releases Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cider Cocktail

(photo courtesy of
Cider Riot!)

The latest in the Action Growler™ 2-Liter series from Cider Riot!® Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cider Cocktail brings together cold-pressed cranberry juice from Starvation Alley cranberry farms, NW apples, and certified organic hibiscus flowers.

Intense fruity hibiscus aromas and flavors lead into an off-dry mid palate, while tannins from the hibiscus flowers give Rudy’s a medium full mouthfeel with a tart refreshing finish from the cranberry juice.

The Action Growler™ allows you to take Rudy’s sledding, or snowshoeing without fear of breaking glass, it’s also practical for sharing and makes a perfect holiday gift.

Rudy’s pairs well with cheese plates, merriment, and festive affairs. We invite you to don your most festive cardigan, drop the needle on the hifi and crack open a frosty flagon of our Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cocktail. Pick it up at your local bottleshop or greengrocer today.

Cider Riot! is located in Portland’s North Tabor Neighborhood and is dedicated to producing flavorful, refreshing, dry ciders.

For more information about Cider Riot!, Action Growlers, or Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cider contact Abram Goldman-Armstrong 503-662-8275,

Saturday, November 14, 2015

2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part One

Is it really that time of year AGAIN? I honestly can't believe Christmas is only 42 days away. Why, it seems like just yesterday when I was taking down the crispy, brown Christmas tree and dragging it back to the alley under the cover of darkness... ahem... that is, I mean, I was carefully cutting up the Christmas tree and disposing of it properly in my official City of Portland green waste receptacle. Wait, it was just yesterday...

Yes, Christmas is right around the corner, so it's time to start posting my annual Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide. I do all the legwork--or in this case, fingerwork--so you can easily provide your beer-lovin', special someone with the perfect, beer-related Christmas gift. You're welcome!

Let's get this X-Mas party started!

(photo snagged from Amazon)
Just imagine your Beer-loved wakes up on Christmas morn to find a bottle of his/her favorite beer boxed up under the ol' Tannenbaum. (Hopefully, it's NOT a bottle of Bud, as pictured on the left.) Now, imagine further that the package is not an ordinary box. Oh, no, that would be too easy, my friend. That box is a devilish PUZZLE that must be solved in order to obtain the delicious brew (not Bud) inside!

Oh, the humanity! Oh, the hilarity!

The Beer Bottle Puzzle is available at Amazon for only $19.95, and shipping is free for Prime members.

Click HERE for details.

TIP: You probably wouldn't want to give your Beer-loved this gift and a set of power tools at the same time. I'm just sayin'.

(photo snagged from
It's my personal opinion that a beer lover can never have too many growlers. It also happens to be my wife's opinion that I have WAY too many growlers. Okay, I will admit that she probably has a point and I should pare my collection down a bit before I even think about getting another one, but DANG if I didn't find an awesomely cool mini-keg growler that I must own!

Man Crates believes men deserve better gifts and they've put together a sweet collection of gift packages with all kinds of themes and personalization options. Of course, some of those are beer-related and my favorite is the Personalized Growler Crate. Awesome!

The crate comes with a cool 64 oz. mini-keg growler that can be personalized with the gift recipient's name. The label is black chalkboard paint so you can denote the keg's current contents. How nifty is that? The crate also comes with said chalk, two enamel pint glasses, beer nuts, peanuts and the 33 Bottles of Beer book. The whole thing comes packaged in a wooden crate with a laser-etched crowbar.

The Personalized Growler Crate is $74.99 and can be ordered HERE.

(photo link from
Did you know that beer saved the world? It did, but if you don't want to just take my word for it, you can see for yourself by watching one of my favorite beer documentaries: How Beer Saved the World.

This entertaining and educational DVD should be in the collection of every beer aficionado worth his/her salt--or suds, as the case may be here. By watching this Discovery Channel documentary, your Beer-loved will be able to succinctly and eruditely explain how the discovery of brewing led directly to the birth of civilization. They'll know the important part beer played in the building of the Egyptian Pyramids. They'll understand the impact beer has had on world history. Basically, he/she will be an annoying beer smarty-pants, but it will be worth it.

How Beer Saved the World is available on DVD from Amazon for only $9.87, with free shipping for Prime members. Click HERE to order.

(photo snagged from ThinkGeek)
You know, the Holiday Season just wouldn't be the same without tentacles. That's what we always say around the Linderman house, anyway. We just love us some thick, muscular, sucker-embued, holiday tentacles.

Personally, I prefer Cthulhu tentacles over Kraken tentacles any day of the year, but you can't have everything. Hey, if you have a beer-loving, tentacle-loving weirdo living in your house, I have a GREAT gift idea for you!

ThinkGeek is offering a set of four Tentacle Pint Glasses for the low, low price of $19.95. Okay, that's not really "low, low" but the design is pretty cool. You can order a set by clicking HERE.

(photo link taken from
Bits and Pieces)
There's been a lot of stuff floating around on the interwebs about hammers lately--what with a Presidential candidate claiming he went all wacky and attacky on his mama with one. I'm not so sure I'm buying what that guy is selling, but I do know that there should always be room in any well-appointed toolbox for a brand new hammer. And if that hammer should also come equipped with a BOTTLE OPENER? Well, that's just icing on the cake!

This nifty Hammer Bottle Opener is currently on sale at the Bits and Pieces website for only $5.39! Deal! Check it out HERE.

(photo from
How many times has this happened to you? Your Beer-loved gets a new craft beer that he/she wants to share with friends, uncaps the growler and then you get stuck searching for suitable taster glasses. Somebody ends up with a jelly glass. Somebody else gets the Las Vegas shot glass. A couple of folks have whiskey glasses. Maybe a Dixie cup tossed in there for good measure. Not very impressive for somebody who is supposed to be "all about the beer" there, Maynard.

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a set of flight glasses, complete with serving paddle, just like the pros use in their brewery tasting rooms? Well, has just what your Beer-loved needs to impress his/her beer pals. The Anchor Hocking Craft Brews Beer Flight is a six glass set with a red brown wood paddle and sells for a very reasonable $21.99. What a great price!

Check it out HERE.

You'll find more beer-related gifts at my 2015 Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide, Part Two.