158. Pyramid Brewing – Curveball Blonde Ale
Jul26

158. Pyramid Brewing – Curveball Blonde Ale

I’m on my way home from Portland (via Seattle), and was surprised that Horizon Air offers a free beer on the flight.  It was supposed to be Full Sail LTD 03, but they were still serving last month’s beer – the Pyramid Curveball Blonde Ale.  I offer this review this review with the preface that I’ve discovered that, for some reason, beer seems to taste better when you’re on an airplane. It was very clear...

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157. Laurelwood Brewing – Organic Free Range Red Draft
Jul26

157. Laurelwood Brewing – Organic Free Range Red Draft

I’m at the Portland airport after an incredible week in “Beervana” – and I mean that as both a location and as an experience.  I had to take one last chance to have another local Oregon brew at the airport.  Fortunately, there was this Laurelwood Brewing location in the terminal.  The menu says, “This red blends 100% organically grown barley malts with loads of fresh Cascade hops. The result is a medium...

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156. Mt. Hood Brewing – Cascadian Pale Ale
Jul26

156. Mt. Hood Brewing – Cascadian Pale Ale

It’s my last morning in Portland before I head home, so I took the opportunity to walk around downtown a bit.  Henry’s 12 Street Tavern had been recommended to me, since they have over 100 beers on tap. Named after Henry Weinhard, it’s the original Blitz-Weinhard Brewery, which brewed beer on the site for over 140 years.  The Weinhard Brewery smokestack, an iconic element preserved in the development of...

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155. Bridgeport Brewing – ESB
Jul25

155. Bridgeport Brewing – ESB

I thoroughly enjoyed my pizza and pale ale at the Bridgeport Brew Pub, so I thought I’d have another half pint before heading back to my hotel to pack.  I had a great week at Full Sail Brewing for my Brewmaster Internship and had an awesome time at the Oregon Brewers Festival, but it was time to get ready to head home.  However, I thought I’d give Bridgeport’s ESB a shot.  The menu said, “BridgePort ESB is a...

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154. Bridgeport Brewing – Blue Heron Pale Ale
Jul25

154. Bridgeport Brewing – Blue Heron Pale Ale

I was having a great time at the Oregon Brewers Festival, but most of the beers were starting to run dry, and of those available, I had tried most.  So I decided to save my last token as a souvenir and grab some dinner as well as another couple beers at one of Portland’s many breweries.  When I went to the Brewers dinner, I got a chance to meet Bridgeport’s brewmaster, Karl Ockert, and, Jamie Emmerson, executive brewmaster...

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153. Dicks Brewing – Dicks Danger Ale
Jul25

153. Dicks Brewing – Dicks Danger Ale

While enjoying the afternoon under the tent at the Oregon Brewers Festival, I struck up a conversation with a fellow beer lover and discussed beers we had tried and enjoyed there at the festival.  I mentioned that I was looking for something malty, as I think my bitter taste buds have been killed by all these Northwest style IPAs.  He recommended the Dicks Danger Ale (5.2% ABV), so I thought I’d give it a try. It had a deep...

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152. Oakshire Brewing – Overcast Espresso Stout
Jul25

152. Oakshire Brewing – Overcast Espresso Stout

I was thoroughly enjoying my last day at the Oregon Brewers Festival, but I noticed I was down to my last few tokens.  So, I decided to head toward another Oregon brewery, especially one that had a short line – not because it wasn’t a good beer, but because a thick coffee stout wasn’t appealing to many on a hot Sunday afternoon.  However, my appreciation for Russian Imperial Stouts drew me to this one. It was very...

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151. Laughing Dog Brewing – Dogzilla Black IPA
Jul25

151. Laughing Dog Brewing – Dogzilla Black IPA

One of the trends I’m noticing in the craft beer industry is an attempt to shift perceptions of black/dark beers.  Beer geeks roll their eyes when they hear someone say, “Oh, I don’t like dark beers.”  So, I’ve noticed several “black” versions of regular beer styles – in particular, black lagers and black IPAs – in an attempt (I believe) to give beer geeks something different to...

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150. Natian Brewery – Destinatian
Jul25

150. Natian Brewery – Destinatian

I was having some issues with hoppiness, so I decided to go for something a little more balanced, and evening leaning a bit in the mellow-malty direction.  The Destinatian seemed to be what I was looking for, since it was brewed with honey, and it was from a local Portland brewery. It was brown in color and it had a nice, creamy head.  The aroma was fairly nutty and roasty with a malty, caramel-like sweetness to it. The body was...

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149. Three Skulls Ales – Hop the Plank IPA Draft
Jul25

149. Three Skulls Ales – Hop the Plank IPA Draft

I continued my mission to hit as many of the Northwestern breweries as I could at the Oregon Brewers Festival.  Just inside the tent was Three Skulls Ales from Seattle.  This festival was also helping me to dial in my palate to the type of hop bitterness I prefer.  After a few ridiculously hopped beers, I started to realize that I preferred my hoppiness around 70 IBU’s and this one fit the bill. It was an amber/reddish color and...

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148. Fearless Brewing – Fearless Scottish Ale Draft
Jul25

148. Fearless Brewing – Fearless Scottish Ale Draft

I was enjoying the Oregon Brewers Festival and wanted to make sure I could try as many local brews as I could.  I had never heard of Fearless Brewing,  but it said it was from Estacada, OR. The color was an almost dark amber-red color with a thick, creamy, tan head on it.  There was a nice obvious malty aroma to it that reminded me of caramel. The body was a bit lighter than I was expecting, but it did have a creamy mouthfeel to it. ...

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147. Pelican Pub & Brewery – Kiwanda Cream Ale Draft
Jul25

147. Pelican Pub & Brewery – Kiwanda Cream Ale Draft

There were some extremely long lines for the 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat and this Kiwanda Cream Ale.  I’m not sure that they were long lines because the beers were very good, or because the male to female ratio was very low and most of the females went for the watermelon wheat and cream ale.  However, I was optimistic because Jamie Emmerson, my brewmaster mentor during my Cuisinternship, had nice things to say...

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146. 21st Amendment – Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Draft
Jul25

146. 21st Amendment – Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Draft

After visiting Mt. Hood in the morning and stopping at the Horse Brass Pub for a Mt. Hood Hogs Back Stout pulled from the cask, I headed back over to the Oregon Brewers Festival.  As an occasional listener of The Brewing Network, I had heard of 21st Amendment and their Hell or High Watermelon Wheat beer.  Since hearing about it, I wanted to try it just to see what it was like. It was a very, very pale yellow color, and it had a soapy...

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145. Mt. Hood Brewing – Hogs Back Stout Cask
Jul25

145. Mt. Hood Brewing – Hogs Back Stout Cask

I had a free morning to explore Oregon and had a choice – do I head west and see the coast, or east and see Mt. Hood. Being from the flatlands of the midwest, I went to Ridgeline Lodge on Mt. Hood. It had some incredible views and it nice and relaxing. I was a bit surprised the ski lift was open and people were able to ski there during the end of July. I’ve attached a picture on the right so you can see how cool it was....

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144. Everybody’s Brewing – Daily Bread Common Beer Draft
Jul24

144. Everybody’s Brewing – Daily Bread Common Beer Draft

As I mentioned in my last post, it was a good day – a tour of the Widmer Brothers Brewery, the Full Sail Riverplace smoker, and a nice dinner and a few more Full Sail beers at McCormick & Schmick’s.  My friend/coworker and I headed up the Riverplace walkway to a place she was familiar with for a few more drinks.  There was an incredible view of the river and bridge while I enjoyed a Daily Bread Common from...

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Full Sail Brewing – Spotless IPA Cask
Jul24

Full Sail Brewing – Spotless IPA Cask

After taking the Widmer tour in the morning and having lunch at their Gasthaus pub, it was time to head south to Full Sail Riverplace for their smoker.  It was a nice event for brewers and a few others to get away from the craziness of the festival and enjoy some beers and cigars with the folks from Full Sail.  It was also a good excuse to have a small party for brewmaster John Harris’s birthday.  I wish I would have taken some...

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143. Widmer Brothers – Timbrrr Imperial IPA
Jul24

143. Widmer Brothers – Timbrrr Imperial IPA

Kurt & Rob Widmer, Me, Jamie Emmerson & Irene Firmat I was looking for something to do on Saturday morning before the Oregon Brewers Festival and the smoker at Full Sail Riverplace.  When I attended the Brewmasters’ dinner, I got a chance to meet Kurt and Rob Widmer (the Widmer Brothers), and they recommended I stop by to take their brewery tour.  Reservations were required, so I called and was able to get myself and my...

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142. Widmer Brothers – Drifter Pale Ale Draft
Jul24

142. Widmer Brothers – Drifter Pale Ale Draft

As I mentioned in my last post, I took the Widmer Brothers brewery tour with a friend/coworker (seen here), and had a few samples before the tour began.  The next on the list was the Drifter Pale Ale, which our guide told us was a bit of a West Coast pale ale – which used a lot of Summit hops and had a bit of citrus zest in it to give it a bit of a citrusy twist. It was clear and had a bit of a coppery/amber color to it.  There...

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141. Widmer Brothers – Hefeweizen
Jul24

141. Widmer Brothers – Hefeweizen

I’ve had a couple of great days at the Oregon Brewers Festival, and I thought I’d get out a bit and explore some more of the Portland beer culture.  When I met the Widmer brothers at the brewmasters’ dinner, they suggested I take a tour of their brewery.  The tours are only on the weekend, and require reservations.  So immediately following their recommendation on Wednesday, I made a reservation for the first...

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140. Upright Brewing – #6 Rye Beer Draft
Jul24

140. Upright Brewing – #6 Rye Beer Draft

One thing I didn’t mention about this day at the Oregon Brewers Festival was that a friend/co-worker lives here in Portland and worked the OBF for the evening.  Afterward, she and I went to the Rogue hospitality suite for a bit and then headed out to find something to eat.  We found a nice place next to the bridge that she was familiar with, and had a late dinner and a final beer for the day. As I mentioned in my review of...

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