Monday, April 27, 2015

Laurelwood Brewing Company - Green Mammoth Imperial IPA

An IIPA of mammoth proportions?
Do you know what I love about living in Portland? Yes, I do love all of the wonderful, fantastical beers that seem to just drop from the sky, and I believe I've made that abundantly clear, but I also love the dedicated beer drinkers in this burg. Seriously, you can run into a beer fanatic just about anywhere in Portland. Right out of the blue, when you least expect it, you'll find yourself engaged in a deep conversation about beer with someone who absolutely knows what he or she is talking about, and not just in a bar. In a coffee shop, the dentist's office, the laundrymat; beer lovers are everywhere in Stumptown!

Just the other day, I found a bomber of Laurelwood Brewing Company's Green Mammoth Imperial IPA in the cold case at Grocery Outlet. I think it was five bucks. Score! When I brought it up to the register, the cashier asked me what I thought about it. I advised him that it would be my second time drinking it and he subsequently launched into an in-depth comparison of Green Mammoth to Laurelwood's Green Elephant IPA and Megafauna IIPA. See what I mean? People in Portland know their beer. 

"Slow it down there, Mr. Cicerone. You're putting my eggs on the bottom of the bag," I said. Well, not really, but that would have been cool...if I had thought of it. Anyway, what do I think about Green Mammoth, you ask?

The beer poured into my glass a clear, deep, golden orange hue. The bright, white, creamy head rose up to more than two fingers thick. Retention was impressive. Chunks and clumps of copious lacing were left behind all over the glass.

Aroma was hops and more hops. Citrus, pine and tropical fruit all mixed together in a delightful, hoppy symphony of smell. Caramel malt lurked in the background.

Taste followed the nose to a tee. Yum. Grapefruit, orange and tangerine citrus. Enough bitter hops zing to give the salivary glands a poke, but nothing too wild. Tropical fruit. Guava and some pineapple. Tasty, clean malt flavor. Just a hint of the alcohol contained in this 9% ABV brew.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Surprisingly smooth finish. What an amazing, easy drinker, considering the true IIPA pedigree. Bready malt and resinous pine hops flavors were left in a very balanced tussle on my palate at the end. Nice!

Overall, this is my kind of IIPA. Perfect for me. Laurelwood never disappoints, especially when it's an IPA in my glass. Here's another flawless rating: 4 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle gave it a puddle of approval.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Buoy Beer Company - Czech-Style Pilsner

It's a Buoy!
Make no mistake, I am a totally devoted to the craft beer brewed right here in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I live smack-dab in the middle of this amazing beer mecca. If you know anything about Portland, you know that there is no shortage of world class breweries for me visit. Dozens are mere minutes from the front steps of Casa de Wolfgang, and I frequent most of them, as this little blog can testify. However, I do get the itch to travel from time to time, and when I do, there are many other fantastic beer towns to be found in this state that I very much enjoy.

Astoria, Oregon is a coastal city that I never get tired of visiting. Not only is it a beauty of a town, situated on the mouth of the Columbia River, it has a magnificent beer culture all it's own--and it's growing. One of the most recent additions to Astoria's jewel-studded craft beer crown is Buoy Beer Company. They make some mighty fine ales and lagers. Tonight, I'm happy to be drinking one of the latter: Buoy Czech-Style Pilsner. 6.2% ABV and 32 IBU. My good friend Chris at PortlandBeer.com spotted me a bomber along with a big bag of swag from the recent Craft Brewers Conference held here in Portland. Thanks, Chris!

The beer poured into my pilsner glass a clear, golden yellow color with a bright, white, foamy head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated quickly. Minimal, spotty lacing was left behind. Pinpoint carbonation rose up from the bottom of the glass throughout the entire drink. Quite a beautiful beer.

Aroma was light lemony, grassy hops and bready malt.

Taste was mildly bitter, lemony hops. A little spicy, herbal bite. Biscuity, bready malt.

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate lively carbonation but with a pleasant creaminess on the finish. Both hops and malt flavors were left behind on the palate at the end. Clean, crisp with plenty of taste.

Overall, this is probably one of the very best American pilsners I've ever tasted. Lovely stuff! I could drink it all day and I really wish I had more than one bottle. The Wonder Beagle is drooling up a puddle for it, too. I'll see you the next time I'm in Astoria, Buoy Beer Company!

I'm giving this brew a very respectable Beer Guy PDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4 AND a Droolie.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

11th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival...

...announces new dates and adds import bottle garden

Eco-conscience beer festival will serve up more than 50 organic beers, ciders & meads

Drink me, I'm organic!
PORTLAND, ORE – April 23, 2015 – The world’s only organic brewers festival, the North American Organic Brewers Festival will celebrate its 11th years with a new date: the event has moved away from its traditional June weekend to August 13 through 16 at Overlook Park in North Portland. Event hours are Noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday and Noon to 5pm Sunday.

“Another beer promoter chose to move his Portland beer festival to our June date,” explained event founder Craig Nicholls. “Since we share the same pool of volunteers, and in many cases attendees, we opted for another date to benefit both events. The good news is August gives us a much better chance of drier summer weather!”

The NAOBF encourages brewers and beer lovers to “Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time.” Designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living, the festival serves up 50 organic beers and ciders from more than 30 different breweries. Some of the breweries are certified organic, but most brew a one-off organic batch just for the event. Styles run the gamut from Ambers to Belgians to Wild Ales, with a bit of everything in-between. (A complete list of participating breweries in included at the bottom of this release.) The event also offers live local music, organic food and sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits in a beautiful park setting.

This year’s event will also feature an exceedingly rare opportunity to sample draft beer from Pinkus, the world’s first certified organic brewery. Along with Pinkus Ur-Pils and Münster Alt on draft, the festival is introducing the Merchant du Vin Organic Bottle Garden, featuring 11 bottled beers and cider from Pinkus in Germany and Samuel Smith’s from Yorkshire, England.

“When Samuel Smith’s opened in 1758 and Pinkus in 1816, chemical fertilizers and pesticides didn’t exist – all beer was organic,” stated Tom Bowers, district manager at Merchant du Vin. “Viewing the beer world from this historic perspective, these brewers chose to become the trailblazers of organic brewing for the modern era. By including Samuel Smith’s and Pinkus in this year’s festival, NAOBF has expanded the opportunity for festival goers to not only experience amazing beers from the world’s original organic brewers, but to taste history.”

Admission into the NAOBF is free. The purchase of a $7 reusable, compostable cornstarch cup is required for tasting beer, as are tokens, which sell for $1 apiece. A full cup of beer costs four tokens and a taste costs one token; select beers and ciders may cost double tokens. Patrons receive an extra token with a validated Tri-Met ticket or a ticket from the Hopworks Bike Corral (one discount per person).

The NAOBF is a family friendly event, and minors are welcome with parents. A kids area offers art activities, face painting and a root beer garden with complimentary Crater Lake Root Beer for minors (and designated drivers).

The NAOBF is known as the most earth-friendly beer festival on the planet. Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch cups made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Electricity needs are met with biodiesel generators. Volunteers receive organic cotton t-shirts (returning volunteers can wear past T shirts and get extra tokens instead). Food vendors are required to employ sustainable practices, and onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste and are supervised by recycling czars.

The NAOBF encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail; the Yellow Line Overlook Park Station is adjacent to the festival. Attendees can also take advantage of the Hopworks Bike Corral, where volunteers watch over bikes for free (donations are appreciated and support the BC to Baja Bicycle Odyssey).

Why brew organic? Today's agriculture relies heavily on chemicals and often causes erosion and depletion of soil nutrients through loss of biomass. Organic farming is a growing industry that reduces erosion, pollution, and water shortages by using natural methods to fertilize crops and to fight pests and disease. A well-established organic farm can often produce higher yields than a conventional farm. Organic farming is typically more labor intensive and provides more agricultural jobs per acre than conventional farming. Workers on organic farms are also safe from the health hazards of working with pesticides and herbicides. Using organic ingredients to make beer produces a beer with the highest possible purity and also supports the small but growing industry of organic farming.

For more information about the NAOBF, visit naobf.org.

2015 Participating Breweries

13 Virtues Brewing Co.
Agrarian Ales
Alameda Brewing Company
Beau's All Natural Brewing Co
Bison Organic Beer
Coin Toss Brewing
Eel River Brewing
Falling Sky Brewing
Finnriver Farm & Cidery
Fish Brewing Company
Fort George Brewery
FOTM Brewing Co
Gilgamesh Brewing
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Kells Brew Pub
Lakefront Brewery, Inc
Lompoc Brewing
Loowit Brewing Company
McMenamins Concordia
McMenamins Crystal
McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse
McMenamins Edgefield
Natian Brewery
Nectar Creek Mead
Ordnance
Pinkus
PINTS Urban Brewery
Reverend Nat's Hard Cider
Riverbend Brewing
Samuel Smith’s
Thirsty Bear Brewing Co.
Two Kilts Brewing Co.
Uinta Brewing Company
Vagabond Brewing
Viking Braggot Company
Widmer Brothers Brewing

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ex Novo Brewing Company

As in "from scratch"...
With over 80 breweries located within the greater Portland metro area, I imagine it must be difficult for a new start-up to be a stand-out. What can a brewery do to be different around here? How about making it a non-profit? Hey, that's different. It's also pretty darn...Portland.

Ex Novo Brewing Company is that non-profit brewery. Their website advises that 100% of their profits are donated to partner organizations that "are doing good work and doing it well." The current list includes Mercy Corps, Impact NW, International Justice Mission and Friends of the Children. You mean I can drink tasty beer, chow down on delicious pub grub AND support some awesome humanitarian causes all at the same time? That's probably about the best thing I've ever done with my beer money!

I paid Ex Novo Brewing a visit for the first time last night. It's located on my side of the water at 2326 N. Flint Avenue. It's just a hop, skip and a jump from Moda Center, Oregon Convention Center and the hubbub of the Lloyd District. There are a few tables out on the sidewalk and the interior decor is clean, modern, industrial chic. I counted at least a dozen taps of Ex Novo brews. My beer shunning spouse was most pleased to find an extensive selection of whiskey behind the bar. A couple of Burnside Bourbons on the rocks saved me from an evening of the stink eye for taking the missus out to yet another "beer joint" on date night.

The Ex Novo menu provides some very tasty food options. I was most impressed with Bacon for the Table. For $8, a shaker pint filled with half a dozen pieces of crispy, premium bacon was delivered to our table. It's that simple and that awesome. I'm telling you, there was some serious bacon envy vibing through the room.

For my first beer, I ordered the Eliot IPA. I found it to be a citrus-y, pine-y, tropical fruit-y delight. The substantial hops bitterness was balanced nicely against sweet caramel malt. Very drinkable and quite a pretty brew. The creamy white head dissipated slowly and left loads of lacing behind. 6.6% ABV and a reported 65 IBU.

I also had a Jacked-Up Farmhouse Ale. Delicious tropical fruit aroma and flavor. Another easy drinker that came with 7.4% ABV and 10 IBU. Excellent!

Truthfully, there are only a handful of taprooms and/or pubs that I frequent. Ex Novo is going on my shortlist. The service was stellar and the atmosphere was chill and relaxed. Excellent beer. Delicious food. Add all this to the fact that it's not too far off my route home from work and, well, the planets are aligned to make Ex Novo my new favorite. 

 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cascade Brewing Announces Sour and Wild Invitational During CBC


PORTLAND, Ore. – In celebration of the national Craft Brewers Conference taking place in Portland this month, Cascade Brewing will be hosting the inaugural Sour and Wild Invitational from April 14 to 18 on the production side of the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St.

The Sour and Wild Invitational will feature a number of exclusive Cascade blends alongside unconventional – and in some cases rare – sour and wild beers from breweries around the country. There will also be a limited food menu available, as well as a merchandise and bottles sale station. Hours for the event are 3pm to 11pm April 14-16, 3pm to Midnight April 17 and Noon to Midnight on April 18. There is no admission to attend the event. Admittance will be limited to ages 21 and over.

The event will sell 8-oz pours of the specialty beers; payment is by cash or credit. The lineup will rotate throughout the five days. Following is an ever-growing list of guest breweries/beers that are scheduled to appear:

  • 7venth Sun Brewing, Dunedin, FL: Watermelon Berliner, Square Peg & Round Hole
  • Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME: Resurgam & Golden Brett
  • Almanac Beer Co., San Francisco, CA: Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry & Rum Barrel Peche
  • Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach, CA: Tart Simpson
  • Block 15 Brewing, Corvallis, OR: Peche & Golden Canary
  • Crooked Stave, Denver, CO: Motif & Nightmare on Brett
  • de Garde Brewing, Tillamook, OR: Special Rouge & Saison Deuxieme
  • Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City, UT: Old Sage Brett & Golden Brett
  • Green Bench Brewing, St. Petersburg, FL: Push It & Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Sour Stout
  • Jester King Brewery, Austin, TX: Ol' Oi & Nocturn Chrysalis
  • Logsdon Farm Brewery, Hood River, OR: Seizoen Bretta & Cerasus
  • New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO: Love Blackberry Oscar & Love Cherry Felix
  • Night Shift Brewing, Everett, MA: Ever Weisse & Orion
  • Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, MO: TBD
  • Real Ale Brewing, Blanco, TX: Tenebrae Aeterna & Imperium
  • Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa, CA: Supplication & Beatification
  • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Capitola, CA: Cellarman & Palimpsest
  • The Bruery, Placentia, CA: Befuddlement & The Wanderer
  • The Commons, Portland, OR: Citrus Myrtle
  • The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, CA: Framboise de Amorosa & Cuvee de Tomme
  • Trinity Brewing Co, Colorado Springs, CO: Koelorado, 365 Day & Red Swingline
  • Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN: VinoSynth White, VinoSynth Red, Dantalion & Permission Slip
  • Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, NC: Red Angel, Medora Blackberry Raspberry Sour & Genesis Blonde Sour



Cascade Brewing, which is known worldwide for its NW style sour ales, will be featuring dozens of its sour beers; some of the highlights include Cheri d’Amour, Cherry Bourbonic, Hibiscus Rose, Honeycot, Mad Mango, Manhattan 2013, Melon Melange, Pineapple Wheat, Shrieking Violet, Vintage 2011 Elderberry, Vintage 2012 Frite Galois and Vintage Blackberry 2009.

Cascade will also be selling vintage bottles of past favorites, including, but not limited, to Apricot 2012, Bourbonic 2011, Figaro 2012, Kriek 2012, Sang Noir 2012, Strawberry 2012, The Vine 2012 and Vlad the Imp Aler 2011.

The Cascade Brewing Barrel House will be open regularly scheduled hours and will operate independent of the Sour and Wild Invitational. For more information, visit www.cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com or call 503-265-8603.

About Cascade Brewing Established in 1998, Cascade Brewing is a pioneer of the Northwest style sour beer movement. Under the ownership of Art Larrance and the direction of brewmaster Ron Gansberg, the Portland, Ore. brewery eschewed the “hops arms race” of the Northwest and instead chose to focus on sour ales, employing local fruit and barrels from the region. Today it has grown from several oak wine barrels to more than 1,400. It also produces a number of non-sour beers in its SW Portland brewery. Cascade Brewing has two pubs, the Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub in SW Portland and the Cascade Brewing Barrel House in SE Portland. The brewery currently distributes its bottled sour beers in California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and British Columbia. For more information, visit www.cascadebrewing.com

Oregon Reaches Craft Beer Milestone


Oregon's craft brewers make 20% of the beer sold in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 13, 2015) — The Oregon Brewers Guild announced today that Oregonians bought 585,000 barrels of beer produced in Oregon in 2014, a 14.3 percent increase over 2013. Oregon continues to lead the U.S. in the percentage of dollars spent on craft beer.

Oregon’s breweries crafted 1,641,000 barrels of beer during 2014, a 16.9 percent increase from the previous year. Oregon employment figures continue to strengthen, with the state’s brewing companies adding 800 jobs in 2014 and directly employing 7,400 people during Q3, 2014 according to the Oregon Employment Department.

“The numbers don’t lie, Oregon Craft Beer is #1” says Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “20% of the beer sold in Oregon is craft beer made in Oregon. We were the first state to reach this milestone goal. We also added 800 new jobs in Oregon a 12% increase over the same quarter in the previous year. ”

In addition to strengthening the local economy, Oregon’s 179 brewing companies donated to their communities in 2014, equaling $2,450,000. In total, the brewing industry contributes $2.83 billion to the state’s economy and employs roughly 30,000 people directly and indirectly.

In 2014, 20 percent of the 2.921 million barrels of all beer — both bottled and draft — consumed in the state were made in Oregon. For draft beer, that percentage is even higher, with Oregon breweries producing an estimated 60.0 percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon. Oregon continues to lead the U.S. in the percentage of dollars spent on craft beer in retail stores with a 36.69 percent share in 2014 according to IRi. Portland is the largest craft beer market in the U.S. by dollars and share with a 39.3 percent share in 2014.

Oregon had 220 breweries operated by 179 brewing companies in 71 cities across Oregon on 12/31/2014.

Brewery count by city and region:

58 in Portland — 83 in the Portland Metro Area 
12 in Eugene — 40 in the Willamette Valley 
22 in Bend — 29 in Central Oregon 
6 in Medford — 23 in Southern Oregon 
5 in Astoria — 22 in The Coast 
2 in Baker City/Ontario — 12 in Eastern Oregon 
5 in Hood River — 11 in Mt. Hood/The Gorge

Oregon’s craft brewers shipped 1.056 million barrels outside of Oregon in 2014 to all 50 states and all U.S. territories. Of that total, 22,000 barrels were exported outside the U.S. to 7 Canadian Provinces and 32 countries around the world. Craft beer production in the U.S. grew 17.6 percent in 2014 and now represents 11.0 percent of the total volume of beer brewed in the United States.


About Oregon Brewers Guild The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 138 brewing companies, 100 associate or supplier members and more than 3,500 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, see http://www.oregoncraftbeer.org.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Do's and Don'ts for PDX Craft Brewers Conference Visitors

Welcome to Portland!
The 2015 Craft Brewers Conference is coming to Portland next week! Wee! Good times! Breweries and taprooms throughout this wonderful beer town will be rolling out the foamy headed carpet for 11,000 craft beer professionals from all over the world. The main event will be held at the Oregon Convention Center, so I imagine the Lloyd District is going to be jam-packed with folks wearing t-shirts from breweries I've never heard of before. Timbuktu Craft Brew and the like. That's cool.

A multitude of special events have been planned all across the city, and I expect it will be quite a chore to find an empty bar stool at many of my most favorite beer emporiums. That's okay, I can share Beervana for a week...sigh. (I have to remember that it's not all about me...even though it is all about me.) In reality, the conference is for members only, as are many of the planned special events. Thus, it's not such a big deal for us local beer consumers--not like a full-on public beer festival or anything. For the average citizen of Portland, it might just as well be a convention packed with dentists and plumbers. Only a select few have those golden tickets. But, of course, the influx of bucks into the local economy is always welcome, so THANKS, CBC!

I've been contacted by a few soon-to-be attendees who have expressed an interest in grabbing beers with locals and checking out some of the real Portland flavor. I'm more than happy to oblige! However, I must inform you that we don't use the phrase "Keep Portland Weird" for nothing. You will find that while very friendly, Portlanders are largely reserved and a bit stand-offish, until they get to know you...or you buy them a beer. Most of the denizens of Rose City are very comfortable in their own skin, prefer function over fashion, and have a high level of respect for individualism. That's just how we roll.

If you've never been to Portland before, I have a few unsolicited tips for fitting in with the locals, if that is your desire. 

1) DO use public transportation. Portland's public transportation is top notch. There really isn't anywhere in the city that can't be reached by train, bus or streetcar. Parking can get scarce downtown and there's often a shortage of taxis at peak hours. We don't have Uber in Portland--an ongoing issue that won't be resolved before CBC begins next week. For some reason, I get the most resistance on this particular tip than anything else. It's like visitors think I don't know what I'm talking about. (Here comes the eye-rolling and the upturned noses.) Yes, I understand that some folks just can't imagine living one week without an automobile and that rubbing elbows with the unwashed masses in a city bus is their worst nightmare. Seriously, though, I live in this burg and I don't even own a car. $5.00 will get you a full day pass that works for all modes of public transit. It really is the best way to get around town, not to mention that a bus driver is the most dependable designated driver EVER.

2) DO visit a few dive bars. I would love to see some CBC attendees spread a few tourist dollars among the little guys. You will find that many smaller pubs and bars have damn good tap lists here in Stumptown. We enjoy drinking our favorite local brews in friendly, familiar places. And if you're really interested in getting to know some local folks, spending time in a local watering hole is the best way to do it. If you want to get off the beaten path, drop me a DM and I'll hook you up.

3) DO get out of town, if you can. Many of Oregon's best craft breweries can be found in other cities near Portland, within a 1-2 hour drive. Astoria, Hood River and Bend--the most prominent "other Oregon beer towns"--are worth a visit just for the gorgeous, scenic drives; (You might actually see a Bald Eagle!) but there is amazing beer to be had from breweries like Fort George, Buoy, Double Mountain, pFriem, Logsdon, Boneyard...you get the idea. 

4) DO keep your politics to yourself. When George W. Bush visited Portland in the early 90's he was surprised by the large number of protesters that greeted him. That vociferous rabble prompted Prez B to refer to Portland as "Little Beirut". (I'm just trying to give you a little background and perspective about the overall political atmosphere here in Portland. It's overwhelmingly...progressive.) Generally, Portlanders don't like to talk about politics and consider it inappropriate public discourse. Thus, I strongly recommend leaving the Ted Cruz for President t-shirt at home, if you really want to enjoy rubbing elbows with the local folks. I'm just sayin'.

5) DON'T wander around under bridges at night. Portland has a relatively low crime rate and it's a safe town under most circumstances. Walking across the beautiful bridges that span the Willamette River after the sun goes down is generally safe, but don't venture underneath them. Nothing good goes on near the water at night. Stay safe, walk the streets in groups and know your route before you hit the sidewalk.

6) DON'T use an umbrella. If it rains next week, and it probably will, act like a real Portlander and walk through the drizzle like it's sunshine. Only tourists use umbrellas in Portland.

7) DON'T talk about Portlandia (Grimm is okay, though). We are SO over Portlandia. Well, we were actually over it two years ago. Nobody wants to talk about that show. Yes, I saw Fred and Carrie at the medical marijuana clinic last week, but who cares? Now, Grimm is cool and we still like that show. We are also still mourning the loss of Leverage. Please feel free to commiserate and buy us a round. 

8) DON'T use the word "hipster". Hipsters are mythical creatures that don't really exist. Much like gnomes and Republicans.

9) DO take a PDX carpet pic. DON'T post it to Instagram. I'm just imagining a multitude of PDX carpet pics with the hashtag #CBC15. Let's not see that happen.

Enjoy yourselves, oh intrepid craft brewing professionals! Welcome to Portland! Drink up all the beer! Our local brewers will make more!


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Double Mountain Brewery - Gypsy Stumper IPA

That's logger, not lager...
Double Mountain has done it again. Man, oh, man! This fantastic brewery and taproom in Hood River, Oregon has long been one of my most favorite places to visit on Planet Earth. Excellent beer and delicious pizza? Come on! What more could anyone possibly want? How about yet another wonderful IPA? Yeah, that works for me.

Today, I'm drinking a Gypsy Stumper IPA. There's a story behind the name of this brew. The bottle proclaims:
"This hard working IPA is named for the little known crew that cleared a mountain so we could ride in style. Assertively hopped and vigorously balanced."
Gypsy Stumper IPA comes with an ABV of 7.5% and 80 IBU's. I picked up the pint bottle at New Seasons this afternoon. The cool label features the silhouette of a rugged lumberman holding a chainsaw, with majestic Mt. Hood in the background. Does the taste live up to the imagery? Let's find out, shall we?

The beer poured into my IPA glass a slightly hazy orange color with a foamy, bright white head. The head rose up to two fingers thick and dissipated slowly. Copious amounts of lacing left behind all over the glass.

Aroma was citrus and pine up front. Tangerine, Mandarin orange and lemon peel. Tropical fruit in the background. Hints of pineapple and passion fruit.

Taste followed the nose. Big on citrus and pine. Tangerine, orange and lemon. Appreciable hops bitterness that segued into mild, earthy malt. A bit of hops spiciness was left punctuating the juicy, tropical fruit flavor at the end. 

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. A bit of a dry, subdued finish but the flavor lingered pleasantly on the palate for a long time. 

So many IPA's are ridiculously, massively grapefruit-y nowadays. Many come with syrupy sweet malt profiles, too. Gypsy Stumper is like a "return to sanity" IPA. It is VERY drinkable and I could sip one anywhere, anytime. Excellent and I'm kicking myself for only picking up one bottle.  I'm giving Gypsy Stumper IPA a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.