Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geeks : Dan Culver of Brewpublic

Dan Culver of Brewpublic, aka @thehopfather
Name: Dan Culver

Hometown: Aberdeen, WA

Favorite Beer: Impossible but most of the time it’s a fresh IPA

Favorite Beer Haunt: The BeerMongers and/or The Horse Brass

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? Pike Brewing IPA. I spit it out, and said what the hell is that. I obviously wasn’t ready for an IPA. The first one I enjoyed more
than once though was Alaskan Amber.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Not currently and I don’t have time to drink home brew when there are so many other great brewers creating beers for me to drink.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? Beer Blogger Conference 2011

What does being a beer geek mean to you? Being deeply involved in the craft beer culture.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? Remove archaic prohibition style laws from certain states.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? The amazing diversity of breweries, beer styles, pubs, and events.

Where can we find you on the web? Contributor on and on twitter @thehopfather

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Waiting in Line at #GABF

words from Erik have been few today - but he was awaiting entry to GABF at 5:30pm this afternoon... 

And sent this picture:

From @epeep: "the #GABF countdown is on... T-minus 10 minutes :D #pdxbeergeeks on #holiday"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#pdxbeergeeks on #holiday: day one, plane ride!!!

@epeep is on his way to #GABF!
The first transmission from Erik, our #pdxbeergeek in the field, on his way to the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado! Follow along as we hear from @epeep for more #pdxbeergeeks on #holiday!

It's official, #GABF 2011 has begun! Woke up at 2:03 this morning after a fulfilling 57 minutes of sleep; nope, not able to sleep... is it Christmas morning or is the #GABF about to begin? Oh yes, that's right, the #GABF is Christmas :D.

Now at PDX with my triple caramel fudge mocha, studying the #GABF floor plan and researching the many breweries that I shall soon enjoy! Under an hour to go 'til we lift off... #cannotwait :O!!!

Upon arrival, I hope to head into town for a visit to Strange Brewing (been dying to try their Cherry Bomb Belgian Stout & Paint It Black Honey Coffee Stout). Will also likely hit up Great Divide Brewing (Yeti Imperial Stout) and Breckenridge Brewery (Vanilla Porter!).

Can't say I'll be able to try 2,400 beers today, however, hopefully I'll be able to try at least a few (hundred ;]) once the festival begins!

I am indeed excited about what's to come and look forward to passing along the latest as I receive (and experience!) it :D. Stay tuned on the twitters (#pdxbeergeeks) & on for more to come...

signing out, for now :]

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Scott Nikiel

Scott Nikiel
Name: Scott Nikiel

Hometown: Redmond, Washington

Favorite Beer: Westvleteren 8 (but since I can’t usually get that, Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is pretty great too), or, to quote Charlie Papazien and so many others, the one in my hand!

Favorite Beer Haunt: Avery Brewing in Boulder, Colorado is a fantastic place to hang out, but there are few places that have as many quality local and international brews as the Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse in Boulder. (In case you couldn’t tell, I just moved from Boulder and haven’t discovered a lot of new places in Portland yet.)

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? Well, if you consider Paulaner a craft brewery, their Hefeweissen was my first craft brew, and I had it on a train out of Munich with a bar of German chocolate for breakfast when I was 18. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Yes, I’ve been homebrewing for almost three years now. I did most of my brewing with a good college buddy of mine, but I will continue brewing with my girlfriend now that we’re in Portland. To date, I would have to say my favorite has been my Jasmine Green Tea Rye Pale Ale, which will certainly be brewed again.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? My girlfriend and I went to the final day of Portland Beer Week and saw the tent set up in the beergarden. I’m really excited to get involved!

What does being a beer geek mean to you? As a beer geek, I find I am introducing people to new beers and take it upon myself to nail down the “gateway” beer for people so that they can start enjoying beers as much as me! I spend entirely too much of my paycheck finding and trying new beers, particularly the rare and obscure. I also enjoy relaxing with a few friends and geeking out over some new and exciting fermented goodness.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? The “I drink beer because it’s cheap and it gets me drunk” attitude. I’d rather stay sober longer so that I can try more beers!

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? I’m really excited about all of the local hops! As a homebrewer there’s not much that’s more exciting than good quality, low cost hops!

Where can we find you on the web?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interview Series: Meet the Geeks : Pennsylvania Edition: Dan Garber / @Royal_Hopulence

Meet Dan! Aka @Royal_Hopulence
Name: Dan Garber

Hometown: Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Favorite Beer: Almost an impossible question... If I had to pick, Victory's Golden Monkey

Favorite Beer Haunt: Craft Ale House in Limerick, Pennsylvania

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? It was HopDevil at Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and my thought was "Wow, this is beer??" From a Lite beer background with Yuengling being my go-to, HopDevil was a big change, for the better.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Another tough question... I think the most solid, enjoyable beer I make is my Belgian witbier, but my favorite might have to be the imperial breakfast stout I made recently, at 14%ABV. Jury is still out until I get to taste the pumpkin porter that I just bottled on Sunday, though.

How'd you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? From you, on twitter!

What does being a beer geek mean to you? It means being open to new things, as well as old things, in the beer market. It means being an ambassador of beer, and not judging others on the beer they choose to drink, even if it is Bud Light. It means knowing beer, and educating others about beer, and not being a snob about it. Nobody knows everything there is to know about beer, as the market, styles, and methods are changing and adapting every day with the craft beer revolution we are experiencing right now.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? There are a few things, but foremost would be the outright profiteering by both breweries and consumers. The breweries that release limited batches for ridiculous cost, or charge five times the price per ounce for a 750ml bottle compared to a sixer of 12 oz bottles, and the people who attend events to obtain limited release bottles and then sell them on eBay for exponentially more than the bottles cost, it's detestable. 

What do you love about Portland's craft beer scene? I'll have to let you know once I make it out there to check it out!

Where can we find you on the web? On twitter, @Royal_Hopulence

Monday, September 26, 2011

Part Two: The return home from Eastern Oregon: Guest Post by @DrSci

... continued from Friday's post... 

For the rest of the trip (turns out I hit 4 out of 6 on the Barley Trail), we made it to:

Beer Valley, Ontario, OR. (bottles , 4 taps for samples & growler fills only, no pub, odd hours – 2 to 6 Thurs/Friday, 11-3 Sat.)   Ended up with a case of beer…

Highlands Hollow, Boise, ID.  Full pub, open at 11am, good food, no taster trays, first pint at lunch hour was $1.50.  Liked the Hippie Shake.

Prodigal Son, Pendleton, OR. – good food, the beer was good, have to go with Tyler on this one.  I really liked the Fatted Calf stout, but Barley Brown’s was still the overall winner of the trip.

Mt. Emily Alehouse, La Grande, OR.     . . . . I was warned . . . .but I didn’t listen . . . my mistake . . .

On the way home:
Full Sail Brewing, Hood River, OR.  – this is the Brewmaster’s Reserve tray – decent.  The Old Boardhead 2011 needs to age some more…

Friday, September 23, 2011

Part One: A visit to Barley Brown’s: Baker City, Oregon: Guest Post by @DrSci

For my latest adventure, my family and I took off on Labor Day weekend and spent a week in Eastern Oregon.  This would be our fourth time out here, but this time I knew to look for beer…

Living in the Portland area, we tend to be kind of spoiled with 30+ breweries in close proximity.  Knowing we had an entire week out in the Eastern part of the state, I did a little research on breweries ahead of time.  There aren’t a lot in the same area, but more on that later.  The notable ones that I wanted to visit were Barley Brown’s in Baker City, and Beer Valley in Ontario.  I had enjoyed beers from both brewers at places such as Beermongers, Saraveza, Plew’s  and Belmont Station.  I wanted more!

Something cool happened while talking about with fellow #pdxbeergeeks about this on Twitter.  I had a few messages from Shawn Kelso, @BarleyBrewer, the brewer from Barley Brown’s!  He asked me to let him know when I got into Baker City so we could meet.  Awesome!

Anyway, after spending our first night at Emigrant Springs State Park (near Pendleton), we left for our main site, Farewell Bend State Park (below), about 20 miles North of Ontario.   Beautiful, huh?

The two parks are only about 120 miles apart, but this was on Labor Day.  Everything was pretty much closed.  I couldn’t stop anywhere between campgrounds for lunch or dinner.  That night I had to rely on what I had in my cooler, Deschutes Red Chair NWPA and Widmer Brrr.  Not bad to fall back to, but I wanted the fresh stuff!

After spending a good part of Tuesday at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, NE of Baker, we headed into town to the Barley Brown’s Brew Pub (2190 Main Street, Baker City, OR.)

I felt pretty geeky sitting outside the pub waiting for 4pm to roll around.   I had flashbacks to the days of waiting at the theater for the premiere of Empire Strikes Back.  My family sat in the van with me, patiently reading their books. 
At last, it was 4!  The doors opened and they started moving tables and chairs out to the (large) sidewalk for those people that wanted to eat outside.  We were invited inside.

Wait – you think I sounded like a geek in the last paragraph? . . . . Any Dr. Who fans out there?  From the outside the pub looks like it is kind of small.  This was like walking into the TARDIS. 

The inside of the pub is BIG!  I was very surprised.  It is a beautiful, 1940s brick building with big solid oak booths, a beautiful stamped tin ceiling….I only wish I had thought to take pictures of the interior.  We ended up being seated right next to this display of the fermenters:

I ordered my taster tray (Only $6!!!) and asked the server to let Shawn know we were there, as he had asked.

On the taster tray, starting with the obvious….the sample with the lemon is the Coyote Peak Wheat,  a nice American Hef.  Clockwise from there, we have the Awesome CDA, Speed Wobble IRA, Cerveza Negra Caliente, Tankslapper IIPA, Shredder’s Amber Wheat, Tumble Off Pale Ale, the Whiskey Malt, and of course, Turmoil CDA.  The beer in the center is the Jubilee Golden. 

Not paying attention, I went with the first beer the server wrote on the list, the Cerveza Negra Caliente.  Yeah, okay, I haven’t taken any Spanish classes, but yes, I do know that caliente means hot.  I just wasn’t thinking.  This was a pepper beer.  Great way to burn the palate at the start of a tray.  

I like pepper beers if they aren’t too overpowering and this was a great example of how to do it well.  It was just unexpected.

Right after I got surprised by this spicy beer, Shawn came out and we talked for about 5 or 10 minutes.  I had to admit to him that I wasn’t expecting the peppers for my first beer.  We talked about brewing (of course) and about fresh hops (three days before, my brewing partner and I had made our first fresh hop IPA).   Shawn tells me he isn’t sure if he will get to a fresh hop beer this year. He just “doesn't have a lot of tank space and time to rally up some hops”.

I learned that the Awesome CDA was a beer that Shawn had brewed with local home-brewer, Jason Spriet for the Pro-Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF).  This was Jason’s award winning recipe.  I had just tried Awesome a few days earlier at Belmont Station, a remnant from the CDAbe-Fest.

If you are going to the GABF this year, Shawn and Tyler from Barley Brown’s will be there, pouring Awesome, along with their GABF medal winning beers:  Turmoil CDA (2010 Gold), Shredders Wheat (2010 Silver), Disorder Stout (2010 Silver), Tumble Off Pale Ale - multi time medal winner, TankSlapper and WFO IPA.  Pretty cool stuff!

I got back to my taster tray and started in on dinner.   The Caliente went very well with my meal, the Death Burger (two patties, onion rings, cheese, a slice of ham).  Great combo.

About 15 minutes later, somebody else comes out to me with a lovely parting gift.  This was friggin’ amazing!  They gave me a bottle of their 2010 Chaos!  This made my day….hell, it made the entire trip for me.  The bearer of the bottle was Tyler Brown, the owner of Barley Brown's!  We talked for a few minutes about some of the beers I had been sampling and then my family and I got back to dinner.

Here’s a photo of Shawn (left) and Tyler swiped from their website.

I liked all of these beers, but my favorites were the Tankslapper and the two CDAs.  In fact I saved the Turmoil and the Awesome for last to try side-by-side.  The Turmoil gave me an almost coffee flavor, while I got more of a roast grain flavor from the Awesome.  While it was a close call, I had to give the nod to the Awesome…what can I say, I like the deep roast flavors.

After dinner, Lyn and the kids went out to walk around the nearby park while I wandered around inside the pub taking a couple of pics.  I ran into Tyler again, and we ended up talking for the next half-hour or so.  I guess Tyler was more involved in the brewing in the beginning, but Shawn is now the go-to guy for the beer.  Tyler deals more with the restaurant side of things.  They make a good team!  Tyler says this about Shawn: “Mr. Kelso is my favorite brewer in the world and you can just imagine how cool it is to be able to hang-out and drink his beers . . . . every day!”

From what I remember, the 3 fermenters in the earlier picture all had a 4-barrel capacity and Shawn works hard to keep their beers in constant production to keep up with demand.  We are so lucky that Tyler and Shawn take the time to drive the occasional keg out here to the Portland area!

Especially when Tyler says “Shawn pours his soul into our beers and treats every one with respect from grain to glass.  Shawn brews what we would like to drink . . . and then we try to drink it all, and sell what we can’t.”

Smart thinking, though…  The pub has just completed the purchase of this building across the street and they are just now planning for expansion.  Tyler and Shawn are whetting our appetites for more possible beers to make their way out to PDX!

I didn’t get many details, but imagine being able to plan for more and bigger fermenters, new gear – from the ground up!  What a blast!  Once this gets going, we can hopefully expect to see more of their beers out here.  Shawn says “Hopefully next year the expansion will help me make what I want when I want.”

Tyler said the whiskey malt is a local favorite and that people will wait for it to come on tap for growler fills.  I was told Lisa Morrison had recently paired it with cheesecake at a beer/food pairing event.

Tyler and I also talked about the GABF and how Turmoil was received before there was a category for black ales

Did I mention that Turmoil won a Gold medal at last year’s fest?  

Another tidbit . . . Tyler and Shawn took Turmoil to GABF for the first time in 2006.  They had some repeat visitors at their booth from Stone Brewing. 

Strangely enough, the next year, the Stone 11th anniversary beer was a "black IPA." 

Now, they’re not saying Stone copied them, but “they damn sure drank Turmoil a year before they came out with their version.”

Remember the Bend Ale Trail that I wrote about a few weeks ago?  Turns out there will be an Eastern Oregon version, a beer tag, like a hunting tag to fill out.  This Eastern Oregon Barley Trail will involve a lot more work than the Bend trail, though. 

To fill out the tag, you will need to visit Prodigal Son in Pendleton, Mt. Emily in La Grande, Terminal Gravity in Enterprise, Mutiny Brewing in Joseph, Barley Brown’s in Baker and Beer Valley in Ontario.  Pendelton is at milepost 210 on I-84, Ontario at milepost 376.  Enterprise and Joseph are to the Northeast of La Grande, on US-82. 

This will be a heck of a “pub crawl” to fill out that tag.  I thought the Trail was a really cool thing to be able to tell you about . . . . and then Oregonlive had a post about the tag this week.  Not quite breaking news, anymore.  : )

Tyler and I talked about some of the other breweries on this “trail”.  He highly recommended the Prodigal Son brewery in Pendleton, so we made sure to go there for dinner on the last night of our trip.

Overall, I had a great time at Barley Brown’s Brew Pub.  If you are driving through Baker City and can make it there for dinner time (they open at 4pm, Monday thru Saturday) it is well worth it.  The beers are consistently good or great, as is the food. 

......... to be continued............ 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Interview Series: Meet the Geeks: Maine Edition: Carla Companion/The Beer Babe

Carla! The Beer Babe
Name: Carla Companion, AKA "The Beer Babe"

Hometown: Syracuse, NY (currently living in Portland, ME)

Favorite Beer: Too many to name, though I really, really enjoy Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA. But it depends on the day.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Novare Res Bier Cafe, Portland, ME

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? I'm actually having a hard time remembering exactly what my first craft beer was, though I bet it was at Red Hook in Portsmouth, NH. I went there for my 21st birthday and had beer and dinner there - I tried most of the beers and was very happy to go on my first brewery tour at the same time. I remember bringing home a growler (my first ever) and drinking the beer the next day.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: I am usually more of an "assistant" homebrewer to others, since I have neither a good stove nor a backyard. I help friends brew, and of course, taste beer. Though I am intrigued by the 1gallon beer kits that I saw at the Beer Blogger's conference - I might actually be able to pull that off in my tiny kitchen.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? Mostly on Twitter, you're all very active over there and I like seeing that kind of unity within a community. I hope that New England beer geeks can achieve the same level of recognition. Also, at the 2011 Beer Blogger's Conference, I met many of the pdxbeergeeks and was adopted as an honorary member. :) Thanks!

What does being a beer geek mean to you? There's a great quote that I think sums this up pretty well (subsitute "geek" for "nerd):

"Nerds, like us, are allowed to be un-ironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-your-chair-can't-control-yourself love things. When people call people nerds, it's like saying, 'You like stuff,' which is not a good insult at all. As if one can be too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness." -John Green, author and video blogger

Beer geeks are just unabashedly in love with the process, history, taste, and everything else behind beer, and their enthusiasm is an infectious and delightful thing to be around. The beer community in general is very cross supportive, and we are all just geeking out to the wonders of brewing.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? No more beer commercials unless it's really about how the beer tastes. Horses? Bikinis? Frogs? Volleyball? None of these things have anything to do with why I would buy a beer, so let's cut the stupid ads altogether and advertise our beer based on its characteristics. I also think that would have the lovely side effect of furthering the disintegration of beer gender stereotypes.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? PDX's beer scene, what little I have seen of it, is pretty sweet. The number of breweries and beer-centric establishments is astounding, and I would probably spend my entire budget on beer if I lived there just trying everywhere! I also like that some of the most well-known beer personalities (Fred, Lisa M., Terri F., etc.) are out your way and there's a pretty good chance of running into them out there. Beyond that, I don't feel like it's fair to comment on PDX's beer scene since I was only there for a weekend, but I have to say I was treated very well and treated to some excellent beer while I was there.

Now, PWM's beer scene, if I might be so bold, is also worth exploring. I'd love to host a PDX beer geek for a "cultural exchange" in Maine. Some highlights of the PWM beer scene? Allagash just relased one of their "coolship" beers which is one of the only spontaneously fermented beers ever made in the US with one of those rooms where the windows are open at night so whatever yeast is around can come in(!), Novare Res is a Belgian Beer paradise in a little alleyway downtown, we have some fabulous new brewers and a couple of dark beers here to die for. Any PDXers want to get a tour of the "other" Portland, let me know and I'll hook you up with some great beer!

Where can we find you on the web?
My blog is
I also write for Rate Beer's "The Hop Press" at
Twitter @beerbabe
The Aleuminati (Ning)
Beer Bloggers Unite (Ning)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meet the Brewskies!

“What do you do with a great idea that’s too far beyond your financial means? Some might say put it to the side or maybe write a business plan and seek investment.

What you may never hear someone say is “build it fictionally!”

As crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what Dave Vanz and Jon Wallace have done to open up their first location of The Brewskies: a brewery/bar mix featuring signature and local craft beer. Upon visiting the website some may find themselves wondering if The Brewskies is an actual bar, as all the content will paint the picture as if it were real.”

Dave Vanz took the time to sit down with me and flesh out the vision for their adventure,explaining what it is about The Brewskies that’s so unique in the world of craft beer!

me: I want to give our geeks a feeling for what you envision, personally, beyond the press release… Can you talk a little about that & maybe some insight to how The Brewskies got started?

Dave: I think I've always liked Craft Beer since I was old enough to drink (of course) but I didn't really pay much attention to it or give it its props. But in 2008, I was working in Michigan where I ran a big social network. I wanted an excuse to drink so my buddy and I decided that we would go blog on beers at this place called The Rochester Mills Brewery. They had 13 beers on tap so we ordered the sampler which put 26 glasses on our table. Since it was like a Monday night no one was really there, until this group of girls came in and walked by the table and said "Are you guys alcoholics or something?"(We had all our empty glasses stacked in a pyramid and wouldn't let the waitress take them because we liked the way it looked.)

me: Ha!

Dave: Needless to say these girls asked us what we recommended. It was such a good time we did it again, but then went to another brewery and this time brought this real cheesy photoshopped image of us with the saying "Blogging on Beers with the Brewskies" a couple days later we went back to the brewery and realized our sign was still on the table. When we went to take it, the manager asked if they could keep it because people were coming in asking if they could try the beers that The Brewskies tried.    

  We were shocked as this was only our second blog. We actually didn't believe him, but we left it anyways. As time went on, we kept traveling around Metro Detroit doing this and people started joining us.Honestly it was like a family.                                    
                                Dave: What I didn't anticipate finding was the culture behind the craft beer scene. WE LOVED IT.

me: That's what we love too!!

 Dave: We started to realize the artistic culture behind it. We saw sketch artists doing "sketch offs" at local breweries; we saw local musicians and other creative people and started to realize this was pretty awesome. It was in 2009 that I started to wish there was a place that sold all the best Michigan beers in one location. That's when the idea of opening up our own bar started to cross my mind. After talking to a friend (and brewmaster) he suggested we come up with a signature beer called The Brewskie. The idea started wandering from there.

In the end, our goal was that we were going to go big and open up a location and then open up more in other states. All locations would look the same, but based on which state it was located in, would determine which beers were on tap. So if you went to The Brewskies in Oregon,the atmosphere would be the same, The Brewskie would be on tap, but all other taps would be filled with Oregon beers.

me: Genius. I LOVE this story.

Dave: Our goal was to support the local brewers who weren't capable of distributing out of state. I ended up pitching the idea to the founder of BD's Mongolian BBQ, but he said it wasn’t his thing. So I tried other routes. Unfortunately all routes ended with no cash flow. That’s when my partner Jon Wallace and I started talking. Jon is an amazing sketch artist and was looking for an outlet to draw. We decided that it would be fun to tell the story of The Brewskies through comics. But actually start it from the beginning where we start building the bar.

me: So fun...

Dave: In one of our comics we even have a social media guy come in and pitch the brewmaster on marketing. we want it to be as realistic as possible. (Minus the bird character and the dress up Viking.) Well....I guess the Viking could be real....

me: I love the Viking! What's next?
Dave: I have been to the Renaissance Festival.... so we needed something to make money with...We decided t-shirts would be it.Who doesn't love a fun shirt?

me: Absolutely! Tees are so fun!

Dave: So now that it's online, our realization was that we are not in any particular state; why not still find a way to support specific states local craft brewers like was originally intended? That's when we decided to say that we want to dedicate each month to a specific state. Since we talk about the bar as if it’s real, we'll talk about what beers are on tap. I'll be reaching out to local bloggers and brewers to find out what their favorites are. But the rule is it can't be a big brewery with big distribution.

me: BRILLIANT! This is a seriously fun, unique slant,and a very fresh take on blogs & sites on craft beer!

Dave: If we find unique things about the brewmasters,we may even feature them in our comics. like we did in this one with Ray Sherwood from Sherwood Brewery who kinda resembles Rob Zombie (or at least that’s the joke)

“Every month out of the year, TheBrewskies will celebrate the craft beer culture out of a specific state. Their support will focus on smaller breweries whose distribution isn’tthat of company’s like Samuel Adams, Bells Brewery, etc.

Serving their famous BrewskieBurger and a variety of other menu items, The Brewskies is built to become a favorite gathering place for those who fancy the local craft beer culture.”

me: Fun!

Dave: While this is all fictional, we hope to actually learn more about breweries across the states and at the same time teach others about them through comics. Our dream is still to open up a reallocation. We're hoping this fictional adventure will actually lead to that.

me: I think it's such a cool idea.

Dave: Thanks :)

“With art already being a staple in the craft beer scene, this is a perfect blend to begin building the future of The Brewskies. And with beer and food obviously unavailable to sell, they will start with custom-designed apparel to celebrate the company and the craftbeer culture.

Brewskies Apparel will feature the main characters in the comics along with fun crafty sayings that any beer lover would enjoy wearing.

me: What can we do to help? When do you get your tees ready?

Dave: We're working on one right now…

(secret conversation ensued, wherein the tee’s theme was revealed to me…)

me: LOL. Mum's the word. What else can we look forward to on your site? Do you have anything slated for Oregon yet?

Dave: Somebody was on our group page fighting over July (for Oregon) but a guy from Michigan had already called it. Then another guy from Washington said Oregon and Washington should do September and October. Since we weren't ready yet, I was thinking about making Oregon in November...

me: Yes, probably Oregon geeks looking for July since we do Oregon Craft Beer Month in July, though September would correlate with Fresh Hop Harvest...

Dave: We hope that when we sketch people in our comics or talk about specific local beers that the supporters of those people and beers will enjoy the recognition and share it with their friends. It's a grass roots effort. Although I want this to grow big, there's nothing but creative ideas building this and we like it like that. It's pure human innovation with no corporate strong hold.

me: We're alike in that way with #pdxbeergeeks! No underlying corporate purpose - just people getting together over local craftbeers! Just 'cause we love it.

Dave: In many ways it was a blessing the investor I talked to didn't take it. He wasn't passionate about craft beer or art; he was just a smart business man who'd made it by serving delicious food. What I appreciated was that he said he liked the idea, but it wasn't for him

me: So this is an opportunity to grow it from the ground up, with support from other people who truly love craft beer and supporting local!

progress is being made over at The Brewskies!

Dave: Exactly. We look at The Brewskies as a Craft Beer Family. Our hope is that people will identify with what we're doing and in some way turn around and say "I'm a Brewskie.” We want people to be a part of this. My friend in Washington is sending me his top favorites when it comes to local beers. We're asking people on Twitter. We want people to share their love and support for their local watering holes

“Although this might not sound fictional,the story in fact is. All the way from building the bar, hiring marketers, and deciding which craft beers will be on tap, the entire journey of the bar will be told through comics.”

Dave: Everything inside of me wants to be working in the craft beer world.

me: And I want to go into community building with craft beer full time. Ha! Small world!

Dave: I've been trying to do the same thing with craft beer community building. One thing I like about this project is that it's giving me more reason to network outside of my living area with craft beer.

me: I am telling you, this craft beer world is soooooooo small, it is like a family. I love it.

Dave: I think you've just become a Brewskie.


Dave: I can now call you sister Emily. HA!

me: ...and you're an honorary #pdxbeergeek!

Dave: YAY!

Thanks so much to Dave of The Brewskies for taking the time to chat with me. Keep an eye on these guys!

The Brewskies have an ever growing presence online – and as they create and expand their virtual brew pub, you can visit them at or find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Tigg Orr of Fork & Pint

Tigg Orr of Fork & Pint
Name: Tigg Orr

Hometown: Topsham, Maine

Favorite Beer: Tie: Lompoc Brewing’s C-Note/Otter Creek’s Stovepipe Porter (Middlebury, VT.)

Favorite Beer Haunt: BeerMongers

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? First was probably a beer by Gritty McDuff’s in Portland, ME.  Their Best Bitter I think?  As I recall, I was enlightened.  Never looked back.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: I do!  Favorite to date is probably the Mango Hefe brewed this summer.  Still trying to brew a IPA hoppy enough for my palate!

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks?
Through mutual friends and Facebook.

What does being a beer geek mean to you? Well, for me, to “geek out” is to fully immerse yourself in a subject and to become an authority on that subject.  I love the beer scene in Portland and hope to become as involved as I can in it on all levels!

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be?  I think we’ve come a long way since Jimmy Carter righted the terrible wrong, but there’s work to be done still.  I think my mission would to be to educate the general beer drinking public on the many styles of beer that are available and the quality of the beers being produced today.  If people want to drink a pilsner, there are better ones out there than what the mega-breweries are producing.

Where can we find you on the web? ,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geeks : Pete Dunlop of BeervanaBuzz

Pete Dunlop : BeervanaBuzz
Name: Pete Dunlop

Hometown: Clarkston, Wash

Current Town: Portland, OR…since 1989

Favorite Beer Haunt: So hard to choose around here. I know Laurelwood well because it’s close. I really like the vibe at Migration and Coalition. Hair of the Dog has the most exquisite beers. Beermongers is the friendliest. Horse Brass has the best rotating list. The Oregon Brewers Festival is my absolute favorite place to be.

Homebrewer: I homebrewed for 12-13 years, but quit several years ago. I had several consecutive infected batches…something about sanitation. That was it. Some sort of bug got in there and I couldn’t get rid of it.

Favorite brew: I made a lot of heavily hopped ales, but my best brew was a lager called Wise Ass Red Bitter. I made it during the winter in 1995 or so…fermented for a month in the garage. The weather cooperated once, but never again.

Pdxbeergeeks: I learned about you guys as part of my immersion in the Twitter culture at BBC11. I’m now getting a constant feed of relevant beer info, which is great.

What does it mean to be a beer geek? Being a beer geek means thinking about good beer 24/7. If you find yourself thinking about good beer even when you aren’t drinking, you are most likely a beer geek.

What to change about the beer culture? I’d like to see us move away from the bottle and can culture. Locally produced beer consumed at the pub or taken home in a growler or keg is good for the environment and good for craft beer. Transporting macro brews thousands of miles to sell by the bottle or can at Wal-Mart is bad beer policy.

What do I love at PDX beer scene? The seemingly endless number of pubs and brewpubs that have excellent beers, good food, great ambiance and friendly brewers. Best of all, the list keeps growing! This is why we are Beervana.

Current project: The Beermuda Triangle: Inside Portland’s Craft Beer Scene. This eBook will be available soon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Day In The Life Of Short Snout Brewing

I had the opportunity to hang out with up and coming nanobrewer Brian VanOrnum (of Short Snout Brewing) a while back, and thought it would be fun to do a short video about homebrewing. Well three months later I finally got around to completing it. Little did I know it would be used for his upcoming Kickstarter campaign to help make his dream of actually becoming a licensed brewer a reality. Rest assured #pdxbeergeeks will do everything in our power to help him with this. To be continued...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Virginia Edition : Jeff of Huck Fins Beer Buzz

Name: Huck Fin (Jeff Bowles)

Hometown: Mostly Blacksburg, Virginia. I still maintain an office and man cave/crash pad in Fincastle, Virginia.

Favorite Beer: It varies but I like Pale Ales, IPS’s and Kolsch style beers the most. If I had to pick one right now it would be Hoppyum by Foothills Brewing Company.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Like a sailor, I have one in every port, in Blacksburg it would be The Cellar. They have a great draft beer selection, great food and an adjoining to go craft beer store. Oh yeah, and my daughter works there.

Do I homebrew: Yes. My favorite is Huck’s Big Ass Ale II. I’ve made 4 more batches of the big ass but can’t quite get the same taste back. It’s made with lots of hops and a high alcohol content. I usually brew with the partial mash technique where I steep grains in warm water before adding malt and boiling.  I’ve made 39 batches over the last two and ½ years, mostly clones of beers that I or Mrs. Fin like!

How’d you hear about pdxbeergeeks? I went to the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland and had the great opportunity to hang out with a bunch of them!

What does being a beer geek mean to you? I like finding out from my friends the latest news concerning craft beer. It also gives me inside information on where and what to drink that I would not otherwise be privy to. My beer geek friends are also quite entertaining, if you know what I mean…

If you could change one thing about the beer culture in the U.S. what would it be?  The distribution system. We need to free the beer so that there is equal access to all beers for all the citizens of these United States.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene?  I love the variety of beers and beer lovers found throughout the PDX craft beer scene. Everywhere I went in the area there were great people loving and sharing great beer. Some of it was a little too hoppy though… Just kidding!

Where can we find you on the web? 
YouTube huckfin21 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Stanley the RV Edition : Maria of The Roaming Pint

Name: Maria Scarpello

Hometown & Current Town: Born: Omaha, Nebraska - Claim Lawrence, Kansas as my home base - Current town is wherever our wheels are...

Favorite Beer: Anything from Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence Kansas, 1554 by New Belgium, Full Sail Amber Ale, La Folie by New Belgium, Survival Stout from H.U.B. and yes I like a damn PBR once and a while. So shoot me.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Free State Brewing Co.

Tell us a little about what you do in the craft beer community! How do you make your way in this craft beer world? I travel around the U.S. with Brian, my other half, in our RV, named Stanley, touring breweries all across this great nation. We've started a website for other craft beer lovers that like to seek out great beer destinations when they travel.

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? It was probably the Free State Golden Wheat and I probably thought it was served too warm. I'm not going to lie, it did take me a little while to turn around, but now that I have I'm not turning back. Free State Brewing Co. were the first ones to teach me that good beer shouldn't be served ice cold, that only masks the flavor.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date:
I do not, but Brian did. He has been wondering lately if it would be possible to brew a small batch in the RV. We have VERY little space, so when I say small batch, I mean like a growler, maybe two. We will have to closely watch temperature control and are unsure if vibrations from driving on the road will affect it at all. If anyone has interest in this please contact us for suggestions! **

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks?
- Emily contacted me and the rest was history! TRP first visited PDX in Oct. 2010

What does being a beer geek mean to you? It means I care about the quality of beer in my glass and enjoy supporting such an incredible community of craft beer lovers.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be?
Beer laws that make it tough for homebrewers and microbreweries to be as successful as they can be.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene?
I love the laid back vibe I got from Portland, everything from the food trucks to the beer. Easily in the top 5 in the US!

Where can we find you on the web?
@TheRoamingPint on Twitter

RV Locator:
@WhereIsStanley on Twitter

(** those at #BBC11 will appreciate that the information for Brooklyn Brew Shop was passed along to Maria & Brian)