Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Interview Series : Meet the Geeks : Backdraught

We receive several unsolicited emails here at #pdxbeergeeks HQ, all are read, most deleted. This one certainly caught our eye. Beer? Classic trucks? Food? Three of our favorite things! Thanks for stopping by the blog to meet Backdraught!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lompoc Brewing 9th Annual Chowder Challenge


It's that time of year for the 9th Annual Lompoc Chowder Challenge. Please join us Saturday from 12-4, February 21st to help raise funds for Portland’s Community Transitional School,  Twelve chowders will enter, but only one will reign supreme. This will also be our fifth year of volunteering for the event, we recommend you show up early! The chowder rarely lasts until 4pm. Details below...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Dates For The Oregon Garden Brewfest




Oregon Garden offers perfect Father’s Day Gift, changes date of 11th annual Oregon Garden
Brewfest to Father’s Day weekend

Tickets are on sale now for the Northwest’s most scenic beer festival

SILVERTON, Ore. — The Oregon Garden has announced a new date for its popular Oregon Garden Brewfest, presented by Growl Movement. The 11th annual event, traditionally held in the spring, will take place June 19 through 21 this year, coinciding with Father’s Day. The popular Willamette Valley festival will feature 130 handcrafted beers, ciders and mead from more than 65 different breweries from across the nation. Event hours are Noon to 11 pm Friday & Saturday, and Noon to 5 pm Sunday. 

“We have moved Brewfest to June in hopes of better weather and to more fully showcase the beauty of the Garden,” said Brittney Hatteberg, regional marketing manager for The Oregon Garden. “We encourage guests to grab a beer and take it with them as they explore our 80-acres, and by mid-June the Garden will look spectacular.” 

Located in the historic town of Silverton, just an hour’s drive from the Portland metropolitan area, the Oregon Garden Brewfest also features live music from a dozen regional bands on two stages, local food, and a Brewer’s Tasting Dinner. The Oregon Garden Brewfest is for ages 21 and over on Friday and Saturday; minors are welcome all hours on Sunday. 

Admission ranges from $15 to $50, but all admission packages include a souvenir tasting glass and a number of tasting tickets; see ticket pricing and purchase in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-garden-brewfest-2015-tickets-13448706443

A full glass of beer costs four tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers pay a cover charge of $5 and receive a bottle of water. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles are available from various locations in Silverton. 

The fourth annual Oregon Garden Brewer’s Tasting Dinner will take place on the eve of the festival, June 18 at 7 pm. This six-course dinner, which features small plates paired with local beers from six area breweries, is attended by participating brewers, industry insiders and a few lucky beer aficionados; a limited number of tickets will be made available to the public this spring. 

The ideal way to enjoy the Brewfest is to book a room at The Oregon Garden Resort, a Moonstone Hotel Property located just steps away from the festival. Brewfest Packages starts at $239 and include accommodations, two 3-day admission passes to Brewfest (each pass includes a tasting glass and five tasting tickets), a food voucher for the Oregon Garden Resort’s food booth, a continental buffet breakfast and admission to The Oregon Garden. Packages can be booked here or by calling 503-874-2500. 

The Oregon Garden Brewfest is presented by Growl Movement and sponsored by Venti’s Café, Wave Broadband, Pepsi and The Oregonian/Oregon Live. For more information about the event, visit www.oregongarden.org/events/brewfest/.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

BJ's Brewing 15th Annual Grand Cru Beer



If you frequent BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse around the holiday season, then you are probably familiar with BJ’s Grand Cru and are looking forward to its return this season. While you wait, here’s the story behind this sensational Belgian Style Pale Strong Ale that we have all come to crave, savor and love.

Back in 1999, we decided that we wanted to create a very special brew to celebrate the new millennium. In the Belgian tradition of brewing, the term “Grand Cru” is reserved for the strongest, spiced ale that a brewer produces. In other words, the term “Grand Cru” signifies the most masterful brew. And to celebrate such a big event like crossing into the 21st century from the 20th, it just made sense that we produce our best, that we give guests our best- BJ’s Annual Grand Cru.

Setting out to brew a best-in-class golden ale, we used a special Belgian yeast strain in the brewing process. Belgian yeast strains produce a lot of flavors during fermentation – fruity flavor compounds called esters or spicy flavor compounds called phenols. The Belgian yeast we brew with produces a good amount of both esters and phenols. In addition to this special Belgian yeast strain, we also spice the beer with bitter orange peel and coriander to contribute even more fruit and spice notes. All of these factors make for a layered beer, full of complexity and flavor.

For the first 10 years after Grand Cru’s creation, we would tweak the recipe every year. About 5 years ago, however, we decided not to mess with the perfection and we went back to producing the original recipe for all of our restaurants. It was this recipe that went on to win medals at both the World Beer Cup and GABF, and it is this recipe that has come to be beloved by our guests.

Although BJ’s Grand Cru was originally created to celebrate the New Year, it is the perfect complement to any holiday celebration. Which is why we have moved its release date up to Tuesday, November 11th, in advance of Thanksgiving. It’s an innocent looking beer with its golden hue and magnificent, creamy head, but it packs a punch at 10% ABV. It pairs perfectly with pretty much all the sweet and savory hearty foods that we love to indulge in around the holidays, including your Thanksgiving dinner.

We can hardly wait till our first sip of this year’s batch of BJ’s Grand Cru! Again, it’s tapping on November 11th at all BJ’s Restaurants & Brewhouse locations.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Holiday Ale Fest Beer List



Brewers announced, tickets on sale for 
Holiday Ale Festival
19th annual event offers one of the nation’s finest gatherings of winter beers


PORTLAND, Ore. – Oct. 28, 2014 – Tickets are now on sale for the 19th annual Holiday Ale Festival, taking place Dec. 3 through Dec. 7 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in the heart of downtown Portland. The popular event will feature 53 big, bold ales in the main festival, plus another two dozen rare, vintage and specialty beers that will be tapped at various times throughout the event — including a vintage draft J. W. Lees 2009 Harvest Ale barleywine to be tapped at the start of the event.

This year’s participating breweries are 10 Barrel, 13 Virtues, 2 Towns, Alameda, Baerlic, Base Camp, Bear Republic, Burnside, Cascade, Coalition, Deluxe, Deschutes, Dick's, Dogfish Head, Drakes, Eel River, Elysian, Ex Novo, Fearless, Feckin, Finnriver, Fort George, Gigantic, Gilgamesh, Golden Valley, Hopworks, Kells, Lagunitas, Lompoc, Mazama, McMenamins Edgefield, Migration, Natian, Nectar Creek Honeywine, New Belgium, Ninkasi, No-Li, Oakshire, Old Town, Payette, Portland, Rock Bottom, Rogue, Rusty Truck, Santiam, Seven Brides, Sixpoint, Slanted Rock, Stickmen, Stone, Vertigo, Viking Braggot and Widmer. (For a complete list of beers, visit http://holidayale.com/the-beers-standard-release.php; a list is also pasted in below.)

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection: the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they send a beer that has either been made or blended specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn't commonly tapped in the state, underscoring the event's reputation as one of finest gathering of winter beers anywhere in the nation. These top tier breweries are supported by some of the nation’s most passionate beer appreciators who have the good fortune to be able to celebrate all their favorite breweries in one location.

A small sample of the lineup includes Cascade Brewing’s Gingersnaps, a NW style sour blend of red, spiced red and spiced quad ales aged in Bourbon and rum barrels for up to two years on spices; Eel River’s Gargantua II, an imperial strong ale aged on Bourbon vanilla beans and blended with a strong ale aged in Jack Daniels barrels for six months; Dogfish Head’s Rasion d’Etre, a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast that is rarely seen in the Northwest; and Stone Brewing Liberty Station’s New Desecrator, a black barleywine with nearly the same profile as Stone Old Guardian, but surrounded by de-husked darkness.

Beer alternatives include two ciders: 2 Towns Bourbon Barrel Aged Nice & Naughty, a specialty cider fermented with dark meadowfoam honey and aged in Bourbon barrels with spices; and Finnriver Stone & Pome Cider, a Bourbon barrel aged plum and peach cider. There is also a Triple Brett barrel aged sour session mead from Nectar Creek Honeywine, and Aurora Amber Braggot from Viking Braggot Co, with juniper berries, spruce tips and local blackberry honey.

To enter and consume beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. Advance ticket packages are available now through 11:00am PST on Dec. 3 at http://holidayale.com/advance-tickets.php; advance general admission tickets cost $35 and include the tasting mug, 14 taster tickets and express entry all five days. Advance VIP tickets cost $80 and include the tasting mug, 30 taster tickets, bottled water, access to VIP lines (including special tappings), VIP only vintage bottles and/or draft, and express entry all five days. (Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2014 mug, and is subject to the festival's capacity.) Door prices are the same, but do not allow for expedited entry.

A full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Previous years’ mugs will not be filled.

Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $10, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay (DDs are not allowed to consume alcohol).

Holiday Festival hours are 11am to 10pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany beer festivals, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

Attendees stay warm and dry under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features meet the brewer events, a root beer garden, food vendors, beer pairings with cheese, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children's Cancer Association. For more information, visit www.holidayale.com.


2014 BEER LIST
10 Barrel Brewing Co., TBA, Double Black Ale with Black Licorice
13 Virtues Brewing Co., Barrel-Aged MAX Stout, Imperial Stout
2 Towns Ciderhouse, Bourbon Barrel Nice & Naughty, Cider
Alameda Brewing Co., Admiration IPA, American IPA
Baerlic Brewing Company, The Great Bear, NW Red Ale aged on Beechwood
Base Camp Brewing Company, Dunkelrauch Weizenbock, Imperial Grätzer
Bear Republic Brewing, Do You Want to Build A Snowman?, Golden Barrel Aged Blend
Burnside Brewing, Jingleberry, Imperial Stout aged on Fresh Cranberries
Cascade Brewing, Gingersnaps, NW Style Sour Strong Ale
Coalition Brewing, Big Maple, Imperial Maple Porter
Deluxe Brewing Company, Dunkel the Halls...With Beer & Jolly, Dunkel Bock
Deschutes Brewery, Scarlet Flame IRA, India Red Ale
Dick's Brewing Company, Black Friday Stout, Imperial Stout
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre, Belgian-style Brown Ale
Drake's Brewing Co., Jolly Rodger 2014, Imperial Coffee Stout
Eel River Brewing, Gargantua II, Whiskey Barrel Vanilla Imperial Strong Ale Blend
Elysian Brewing Company, Knock on Nelson, IPA with Nelson Sauvin
Ex Novo Brewing Co., TBD, Mexican Chocolate Baltic Porter
Fearless Brewing Company, Ichabod, Pumpkin Ale, Spice/Herb/Vegetable
Feckin Brewery, Top O' The Feckin' Mornin', Imperial Espresso Milk Porter
Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Finnriver Stone & Pome Cider, Barrel Aged Plum and Peach Cider
Fort George Brewery and Public House, Santa's Dinner Jacket, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Red Ale
Gigantic Brewing, Red Rider BB Gun, Saison with Cranberries
Gilgamesh Brewing, Eastside Bandit, Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter
Golden Valley Brewery, Pinot Noir Barrel-Aged Tannen Boom, Barrel-Aged Belgian-Style Strong Ale
Hopworks Urban Brewery, The Incredible Abominable of the Enchanted Barrel Forest, Barrel Aged Imperial Winter Ale
Kells Brew Pub, MIC Stout AKA Boom Roaster, Milk Imperial Coffee Stout
Lagunitas Brewing Company, Scare City, Wheatwine
Lompoc Brewing, Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Cheval de Trait Belge, Belgian Strong Ale
Mazama Brewing Co., Noel Rouge, Imperial Wit
McMenamins Edgefield Brewery, Lord of Misrule, Rum Barrel Aged Habanero
Migration Brewing, Frankie Claus, Belgian Imperial Stout
Natian Brewery, Irish Water, Imperial Golden Ale
Nectar Creek Mead, Triple Brett, Barrel Aged Sour Session Mead
New Belgium Brewing Company, La Folie, Sour Brown Ale
Ninkasi Brewing Co, Doppelbock, Doppelbock
No-Li Brewhouse, Whiskey Barrel Aged Winter Warmer, Winter Warmer
Oakshire Brewing, Prestidigitation, White Chocolate Milk Stout
Old Town Brewing Company, Bluth's Original Chocolate Banana Hefeweizen, Chocolate Bavarian-style Hefeweizen
Payette Brewing Company, Bandito, IPA with Agave and Tequila Soaked Oak Chips
Portland Brewing, 2014 Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout with Coffee
Rock Bottom, Yul Brynner, Santo Poco style Strong Ale
Rogue Ales, BIG ASS BARREL Maple Doppelbock, German Style Doppelbock
Rusty Truck Brewing Co, Santaweizen, Weizenbock
Santiam Brewing, Golden Sultan, Belgian Golden Strong
Seven Brides Brewing, The 503, Barleywine
Sixpoint Brewery, Lump of Coal Porter, Robust Porter
Slanted Rock Brewing Company, Cordial Tease, Spiced Winter Ale
Stickmen Brewery & Skewery, Big Chocolate Banana, Dunkelweizen
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, New Desecrator, Black Barley Wine
Vertigo Brewery and Taproom, Busted Head Red, Imperial Red Ale
Viking Braggot Company, Aurora, NW Amber Braggot
Widmer Brothers Brewing, Frosty The Munchieman, Porter

Monday, October 20, 2014

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Jon Abernathy


We first Jon a few years back at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland, and we've managed to stay in touch since then. Jon has a new book called Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon available now, and we decided it was time for all of us to get to know him a little better. #pdxbeergeeks, meet Jon! 

Fat Head's Brewery in Portland to Finally Open



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Portland, Oregon -- (October 20, 2014) -- In a town that covets craft beer and great food, a new brewpub is about to take up residence in the heart of Brewtown. Fat Head's Brewery will open the doors to their much anticipated entrance into the Pacific Northwest on Monday, November 3rd, bringing their award-winning arsenal of craft beers to The Pearl District in downtown Portland.

Fresh off their Gold Medal win at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival (Alpenglow Weizenbock, German-Style Wheat Ale), an all-star crew from the Midwest will man the brewhouse in Portland. Head Hunter IPA™, a perennial winner at events ranging from The Bistro West Coast IPA Festival and National IPA Challenge to the GABF and World Beer Cup will be the cornerstone of the beer lineup, in addition to Bumble Berry Honey Blueberry Ale™ which was voted Most Refreshing Beer in America by Brewing News Magazine. Head Brewmaster Matt Cole had a hand in engineering the brewhouse system, which has a manageable structure designed to keep the beer fresh, with only a 10 barrel brewery but 13 fermentors and 12 bright tanks, giving him the flexibility to create a lot of different styles. Cole also notes that there will be a heavy focus on indigenous ingredients, so the Portland location will experience some completely different brews than their Cleveland counterpart, for example Zoobomb Dortmunder is in the works -- named after the weekly downhill bike ride. Patrons can expect 42 rotating beers on tap, from Fat Head's and other guest breweries across Oregon and all over the world.

Showcasing fresh, local ingredients in over-the-top pub grub, the food menu is anchored with Fat Head's signature munchies, burgers, pizza and Headwiches™-- sandwiches relatively close to the size of your head -- as well as specialties specific to the Portland location. Start with a selection of Habañero Hop Pickles, Pulled Pork Chili Fries, and slow smoked, whole Smokehouse Wings dry rubbed or lightly brushed in any one of the 8 house-made sauces. Then enjoy one of the colossal sandwiches like The Fat Italian™, ham, salami, capicola, and pepperoni, crumbled Italian sausage, provolone cheese, hard-boiled egg, banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, red onion and rosemary mayo; or Chick'n Little™, chicken fingers, Original wing sauce, provolone and American cheese, 2 fried eggs, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and hot cherry pepper mayo. A tribute to their Pittsburgh origins, The Southside Slopes™ was named to Maxim Magazine's Top 5 Sandwiches in the U.S.A. and features a mountain of kielbasa topped with sautéed pierogis and onions, American cheese and horseradish sauce. If you saved any room for a happy ending, try a house-brewed Root Beer Float with Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream and you'll leave fat and happy.

The restaurant seats 278 throughout the bar and dining room, with flexible booth and table seating to accommodate groups. The beautifully arched ceiling and heavily beamed architecture have been preserved and now feature Fat Head's signature logo murals throughout this family-friendly space. An expanse of giant windows along the front and side of the building allow for an abundance of natural light to pour in. The tanks of the brand new brewhouse built locally by JVNW are on display behind the entire back half of the space. Fat Head's unique style resonates throughout the pub from the fretboards adorned with their distinctive branding all the way to the ever-changing beer menu wall above the bar. "We've created an exciting, engaging environment for our customers to enjoy what we do best, indulge in the art of fresh, craft beer," says Cole.

Open seven days a week, Fat Head's Brewery is located in the heart of the Pearl District at 131 NW 13th Ave (at Davis St), Portland, OR 97209. The restaurant opens daily at 11 am. Children's menu upon request. Gluten Free and Vegetarian friendly options. Takeout is also available. Major credit cards are accepted. Call (503) 820-7721 or visit fatheads.com. Like Fat Head's Portland on Facebook @fatheadsportland and Twitter @FatHeadsPDX.