Monday, October 31, 2011

Bison Brew Organic Gingerbread Ale

The lovely Ashley (of Beer Wench and Bison Brew fame) sent me some of Bison's Gingerbread Ale, and I have to say that it could not have arrived on a better day. When a girl is feeling grey and grumpy, what better to arrive from the adorable UPS man (at work, no less!) than beer mail from a far away friend?!

Departing work (I did make a valiant pitch to the boss to drink it at lunch) I scooted home and poured this delicious treat into one of my favorite glasses. Settling in the corner of the living room next to my spooky owl, in my favorite chair, I pondered the beer before me. I've never had Bison Brew before. Ever. I didn't know what to expect!

Now, to be fair, I purposefully avoided any reading of the bottle so that I wouldn't have any pre-conceived notions. I was thusly a bit surprised at how dark the beer poured. I was expecting something copper colored, but this was beautiful. A deep ruby/garnet backlit, deep brown beer, it pours with quick carbonation, lively fawn head, great retention, and fine lacing.

Nose is top notes of ginger, a little gingerbread cookie dough, malty, and molasses. Nutmeg and cookie flavors pull through the first sip, rounding out to a nice chompy drink. Full, velvety, and no harsh notes, I like the darker malts that lend some subtle chocolate/roasty that lingers at the finish.
This goes down very smoothly. Would be fantastic substituted for water in a pumpkin bread or brownies - and in or accompanying hearty fall soups. I love how the spices come through as just a whisper instead of a holler. This was really enjoyable, very drinkable, and quite tasty!

I'd have to agree, Bison Brew. Gingerbread *might* just be the new pumpkin. Thanks very much for sharing. This is one that I would recommend to fans of pumpkin beers, and a fun change-up to the fall fridge line up!

Meet the Geeks: Florida Edition: Sean Nordquist of Beer for the Daddy

Greetings from sunny (and hot and humid) St. Petersburg, Florida!  Thanks for letting me participate in this!

Name: Sean Nordquist

Hometown: Currently, St. Petersburg Florida.  Originally from Los Angeles, California.

Favorite Beer: The one in front of me.  There are soooo many to choose from that I simply can't pick one.  I tend to prefer hoppy IPAs and Imperial Stouts, but I am all over the map.

Favorite Beer Haunt: By default I have to pick the Ale and the Witch in Downtown St. Pete because it has a consistently awesome tap list and is so close to home.  But honorable mentions have to go out to Willard's Tap House in Largo, the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park, the Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor, and of course, the Cigar City Brewing Tasting Room.  All are excellent places to hang out and drink excellent beer and talk to great people.

What was the first craft brew you ever tried?  What did you think? That was a loooong time ago.  Hard to say which was FIRST.  I lived in Sonoma County in the early 1990s, and had access to a lot of great beers.  The ones I remember the most were Sierra Nevada and Anchor, Pete's Wicked Ale, and Rogue Ales.  I remember falling in love with Rogue brewing after trying their Shakespeare Stout.  Probably the beer that made the biggest impact on me, though, was Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard in 1997.  I think that opened up a while new world to me.

Do You Homebrew?  If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Yes, I have been a homebrewer (off and on) for over a decade.  I would say my best brew was probably my Imperial Stout called Dark Days of Spring.  It came out really well, and has aged very nicely.  One of my early attempts - Wailing Banshee Porter - was pretty damn good, too.  I am very excited to try my latest batch, Arrogant PandaWolf, an American Strong Ale.

How'd you hear about the pdxbeergeeks?  Well, I was already Twitterfriends with several of you.  I love what you guys are doing out there in Portland, and then was thrilled to see my old friend (and beer writing inspiration) Brian Yaeger joining you guys.

What does being a beer geek mean to you?  I think I try to follow the Sam Caligione philosophy of being an advocate for good beer.  An educator.  An enthusiast and evangelist.  And at the same time not being a snob or "that guy" who lords his knowledge and connections and cellar list over everyone else as though it makes him better.  Being a beer geek means I know a fair amount about beer, and can talk intelligently about it.  It means I represent the craft beer culture in a positive way when I go out, either by asking for it in restaurants and bars, or by behaving in a respectful fashion at festivals and tasting events.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US what would it be?  I see this really as a two layered answer.  First off, the US public at large needs to be educated about what beer really is and can be.  They need to know that the idea of "American beer" isn't the giant macros (which are not even American companies anymore) and cases of fizzy yellow water and the only goal being to get as drunk as posisble.  They need to learn that beer is not a single style, but has a breadth and depth they never imagined.  The people who say "I am not really a beer drinker" or "I don't really like beer" simply have not found the right one for them yet, in my opinion.  There is something for everyone.

The second layer of change needs to come within the craft beer community.  We have grown exponentially in the past few years.  Along with tremendous growth in the industry, the proliferation of beer bloggers, writers, websites, apps, and resources has been astounding.  The expansion is incredible.  But, like anything else, more does not always mean better.  I think there will have to be a contraction eventually and then an equilibrium will set in.  Along with that, I think that those of us who "represent" the craft beer culture need to think about the image we want to portray.  We can't stand and rail against the "swilling keggers and lowbrow macro drinkers" one day and then be incoherently intoxicated and sloppy and trashy the next while trying to claim the moral high ground.  An ugly drunk is an ugly drunk, no matter how good the beer is that got them there.  Unfortunately, I see too many "high profile" people in the craft beer world behaving in ways that - to me, anyway - reflect badly on the community as a whole.  I think we need to hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard than the pervasive, macro-dominated beer culture.

What do you love about Portland's craft beer scene?  Sadly, I can only comment on what I have heard from friends who live and have visited there.  But it sounds amazing.  I greatly look forward to visiting there sometime in the very near future.

Where can we find you on the web?
Magazine: Creative Loafing: Drink -
Twitter: @beerforthedaddy

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Happy Birthday, Jesse. Sad to see The Guild close, but glad that it means we'll get to hang out more.
It was good to see everyone; Jesse, Molly, Brittany, Jonathan, Shana, Erik, Erica, Violet, Justin, Stacey, and Brett!

I know that all the #pdxbeergeeks will be happy to see Jesse and Molly out and about in November while they get back into the swing of things outside The Guild.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to wish Jesse a Happy Birthday, and bid a fond farewell to The Guild!

Closing Night for The Guild

Tonight marks the sad end of one of my very favorite places to enjoy great beer in Portland. Jesse Cornett and Molly Aleshire have decided to move on from The Guild.

A special message from Jesse arrived in my in box this morning: "We're going out in style: Opening at noon for To-Go sales, with $5 growlers of Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome, Natian's Old Grogham Winter IPA, and Ft George Vortex IPA. There will be $2 pints of Ill Tempered Gnome starting at 4pm, and the festivities last thru close."

i hope you'll all head out to the Guild tonight to wish Jesse a happy birthday and a fond farewell.

Main floor of the Noble Rot building on 12th and E Burnside.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Supportland + #pdxbeergeeks + PDX U Brew = Awesome!

Attention Homebrewers and Brew-Curious! 

We have some exciting news to share with you about a couple of events happening with and at our friend's PDX U Brew -  First off, a week from tomorrow (on November 5th), we will be celebrating Learn to Homebrew Day:
Come brew with the #pdxbeergeeks! In celebration of Learn to Homebrew Day, we will have a brewing demonstration/participation for a collaborative brew created by the homebrewers of the #pdxbeergeeks crew. This special brew will be named by Katrina of Supportland, and we'll come back to enjoy it in December when it goes ON TAP at the PDX U Brew Pub! Raffle prizes, holiday shopping ideas, beer related gifts, extra Supportland points, and hands on info and expertise from the staff at PDX U Brew.

Are you brew-curious? Come see what it's all about!

There will be tons of homebrewing supplies, books & beer geeks to talk to about getting started!

Homebrewers are encouraged to bring bottles to share & discuss (get feedback! brainstorm with other homebrewers!)

Come visit with local artisans and see beautiful gifts from Mindy's Beer Gear, Bread & Badger Etched Pint Glasses, Oregon Tr'Ale gear, and more! Awesome gift ideas for the brewer in your life (or for your own wish list). Prizes and raffles galore, including a Brooklyn Brew Shop homebrew kit, and a copy of Stone Brewing's new book!

Party starts at noon and goes to 8pm, so drop in whenever you can!

We'll start brewing at 1 pm!

As always, the Pub will be open for food and drinks, with PDX U Brew's own beers on tap!

Come join the fun!

Questions about what's happening on November 5th? Contact or visit our Facebook page! 

 The second great bit of news to tell you all about is the PDX U Brew Collective - this is a fantastic opportunity for existing homebrewers and aspiring alike - from Aaron at PDX U Brew: "Our next Brewer's Collective will feature Vasilios Gletsos who is currently the Brewmaster of Laurelwood Brewing Co. He's a seasoned vet, and one of Portland's clutch brewers who has graced almost any brewhouse you could name. He graciously offered to help us brew, and speak with us about making spiced/fruit beers for the holiday season. Here is some more info: Something we’re starting here at Portland U-Brew is a “Brewers Collective”. We’re hoping for a different vibe than the traditional homebrew club. Judging others, and their beer will not be our main objective. We’re looking to build a community of like minded brewers passionate about their craft, that are willing to help others learn, and learn from others. 
We want professional brewers, homebrewers, and those interested in brewing to be able to get together, and learn from one another while doing what we love to do: BREW BEER! The idea is to get together once a month, and brew a beer together here at P.U.B. with our collective knowledge. The beer will then be tapped at the next months meeting. It’s free to attend, and its definitely lots of fun."
Please e-mail Aaron Gillham at with any questions you have. Cheers!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Night! Fort George North V Release!

I, for one, cannot wait to try North V. One of my favorite breweries, Fort George delivers consistently interesting and delicious beers. 

Come down to Belmont Station Friday October 28th from 5-8 pm for the Release Party of Fort George North V.  They will have 22oz bottles for sale (2 per customer limit 1 to enjoy and 1 to cellar).  And on draft Drunkin Pumpkin & North V!

North V 7.5%abv

"A Holiday tradition continues at Fort George Brewery with our Fifth rendition of the North Series. Originally brewed to attend the Great American Beer and Barley Wine Festival in Alaska we change this beer every year, but keep the Strong Ale base as a constant. Last year we imagined a Christmas Tree being thrown into the beer and devised a recipe that included spruce buds, cranberries and a giant candy-cane.

This year we took another Holiday Icon, The Fruitcake, and designed our Winter Seasonal in its’ honor. A mash of barley, oats, wheat, rye, rich caramel and honey malts are mildly spiced with Cascade and Saaz hops, fermented with Fort George House Yeast then allowed to condition on hand-splintered, rum inspired oak. A Glase Fruit concoction that includes cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel is dissolved into the finished beer to add the final touches. While designed and bottled to age, we are sure this version of the Fruitcake will not be passed down for generations, but opened and imbibed at many a cheerful gathering."

Hope to see you there!

Brooklyn Brew Shop Giveaway: and the winner is.................

Renee G!

Send me your mailing address and I'll get it sent out! (emily {at} pdxbeergeeks {dot} com)

Renee is the winner of the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Book that we were giving away, graciously sent to us by Random House/Crown Illustrated Books on behalf of the Brooklyn Brew Shop's Erica Shea and Stephen Valand!

Thanks to everyone who played! 

If you want a copy of this book, be sure to check your local, independent book store! A great one in our #pdxbeergeeks neck of the woods is our very own, Dr. Sci's! If you'd like to check it out, visit them on the web!

More giveaways to come, so stay tuned to the blog, check our calendar and Facebook pages for upcoming events, and make sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Barley's Angels Hop into the Holidays at Fort George

barrels for aging abound...
A week ago, I was at our family beach house on the North Oregon Coast, and saw on the twitters that there was to be a Barley's Angels Hop Into the Holidays meet up at Fort George Brewery in Astoria. Hey! I'm a lady (usually) and I like great beer (always), so I sent a tweet to The Beer Goddess, Lisa Morrison, asking if I could attend.

Lisa & Chris
Fort George is one of my favorite breweries, and I love the people and the beer - so an opportunity and an encouraging reply from Lisa to join up were all I needed to scoot my happy arse into Astoria last Saturday at 2 pm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Food Day 2011

Today's post is by special guest columnist Connie Umphress. It is a little different then what we would usually focus on, but the message is important regardless.

Just a note that today is Food Day, kind of like Earth Day, but for food policy reform. Oregon’s Governor Kitzhaber will be declaring it a statewide Food Day along with mayors and governors across the nation. You #pdxbeergeeks are practicing all the right things to be fringe Food Day participants. 

Beer is not included in the Six Principles of Food Day, per se, but many of our favorite brewers and brewpubs are sourcing locally, organically, and sustainably. These are right in line with the mission of Food Day’s founders. Even brewing your own beer is a component in the shift to a more sustainable lifestyle. Using growlers to transport local beer must be more sustainable than big beer’s aluminum cans, right?

“Americans are craving change—they are improving their diets and they want to steer food and farm policies in a more just and sustainable direction,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, organizers of Food Day. If you can, support the movement by attending one of the events in your neighborhood. If you cannot attend an event, support a local restaurant that takes advantage of amazing local agriculture. Farmer’s Markets, Community supported agriculture (CSA) and grocery stores with local roots are great places to exercise your right to better food, and a healthier local economy.

Celebrate those cold weather root vegetables, select an organic option next time you have a choice, and recycle your cans and bottles. It is all connected; clean food cannot grow where there is no clean water or air. Everyone and everything deserves clean and healthy food and water.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Matt Van Wyk

Next up in our meet the geek series is Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire fame.  You can often find Matt running around Portland promoting some Oakshire love.  We ran into Matt the other night at The Guild Public House for the Ill Tempered Gnome release.

Name: Matt Van Wyk

Hometown: Now: Eugene Oregon Back in the Day: Wilton, IA

Favorite Beer: Rodenbach Grand Cru if I had to choose.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Not sure I have a favorite beer haunt. Perhaps my bar room and kegerator. I control the TV.

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? Millstream something or other in Amana, Iowa. It was a college field trip of all things.  Loved it!

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Nope. I brew too much at work to love doing it at home.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? I met Emily at one of our beer releases and then found out about it at the Bloggers Conference.

What does being a beer geek mean to you? Being a beer geek is really all about just caring for the beer you drink, or serve, or make. Giving it it's appropriate due diligence.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be?   The one thing I might change is those who take the Beer geek/ beer connesieur/ Beer know it all too far.  It's just beer after all......

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene?  The variety in not only beers to choose from, but the different environments and establishments to find good beer is what I love most.

Where can we find you on the web?
Oakshire Brewing on Facebook
@Oakshire on twitter
@OakshireMatt on twitter

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brooklyn Brew Shop: Book Giveaway!

Aaaaah! The highly anticipated book from our friends at Brooklyn Brew Shop (Erica Shea & Stephen Valand) is hitting shelves soon - and while this book is definitely one that will get a lot of use, before you head out to place your order, you might want to keep reading.

For those in the New York area, the book launch party is November 1st - the rest of us will have to wait just a little while for the books to hit the shelves that day! In the mean time, you have a chance to win a copy of the book (chock a block full of recipes, history & helpful hints) right here!

Erica & Stephen attended the August Beer Blogger's Conference in Portland, delivering a witty, clever & informative presentation on their one gallon brew kits, a brief run down of the brewing process (including hilarious Craigslist inspired "want" ads for ale and lager yeasts), and a vision of bringing homebrewing to the masses.  As a homebrewer myself, I was at first unconvinced that these two fresh-faced Brooklynites could say anything that I didn't already know about the basic homebrewing process - but by the end of their brief presentation, I was sold - not just on their philosophy, but on *them.*

"After seeing them for years at the Brooklyn Flea Market teaching people how to brew in small batches, it’s awesome to see how their impact has now spread to all corners of the country.”—Shane Welch, President, Sixpoint Brewery 

“Since their launch of homebrew kits at the Brooklyn Flea, Erica and Stephen have been creating seasonal, easy to follow recipes and kits for the home brewer. Now with the Brooklyn Brew Shops Beer Making Book they have defined a true year-round farm-to-bottle guide for the home brewer that brings the joy of making beer to the farmers market. Make beer/Drink beer/Enjoy!”—Adams Dulye, Executive Chef, The Monk’s Kettle

Erica & Stephen know what they're talking about. They bring an unfettered perspective about homebrewing to those just starting out, and for those with more experience, a wealth of new ideas for unusual combinations, as they approach brewing from a more kitchen oriented mindset. With plenty of science and history peppered throughout, the book is enough to keep even the more knowledgeable set intrigued. In addition, their one gallon homebrewing kits would make a perfect addition to this book as a holiday gift set for the fledgling homebrewer in your life.

#pdxbeergeeks has a copy of this book to give away! 

... to enter to win, visit the Brooklyn Brew Shop site, then tweet us and/or comment here about which of their homebrew kits intrigue you the most! We'll pick one winner at random from the entries, and that winner will receive a copy of the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Book! You have until Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at NOON, PST to enter.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#pdxbeergeeks on #holiday: Great Divide Brewing Co., a self-guided tour

In addition to attending the #GABF, I had the pleasure of visiting several Colorado craft breweries... one of which was the mighty impressive (not to mention tasty!) Great Divide Brewing Company.

While I'm not sure of the details, it seems (?) that Great Divide recently opened their "party porch" (located in their Tank Farm) to the public... and, to get there, one must traverse through the brewery -- which is where my self-guided tour began :)! However, according to their blog, it appears that the "party porch" is now history; they need the space for more tanks/etc. With that, I'm happy that I was able to get there when I did!

OK, time for the photo tour! Apologies in advance :( for not being able to share the delicious aroma (hops) that filled the brewery...

above the entrance is a mighty large bottle of tasty #craftbeer!

and the tour begins...

ah, barrels... no doubt filled with (aging) tasty goodness!

i do believe... indeed :D

the bottling line...

...and, the finished product!

so many kegs, so little time :D

oh my, where to begin???!?

more decisions!

a shot from the "party porch"/Tank Farm

thank you, Great Divide! until we meet again...

Monday, October 17, 2011

An Evening With Coalition Brewing and Coalator Program

The fall harvest moon

Our hosts Coalition Brewing

Special guest brewer Brett & Jess Begani

The beer.  A coffee stout.

Gerrik of Baristador's and Brain of Short Snout Brewing talking shop.

It was an exceptionally rainy Tuesday evening in Portland while heading to Coalition Brewing.  As many of you probably know, Coalition hosts the coalator program which is designed to reach out to the local homebrew community, allowing participants the opportunity to work and learn alongside our brewers.  Fellow #pdxbeergeeks Brett & Jess Begani's recipe for a coffee stout was chosen to be brewed and served.  The stout was incredibly rich with coffee.  If you love coffee, you would love this beer.  It was nice to see a good turn out to help promote a friend and a great program.  For anyone who brews and wants more information on the coalator program can get more info here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Classic: Oregon Brew Crew needs you!


Do you homebrew? Do you want to help at a local homebrew competition? Feel like you could be a volunteer judge for a homebrew competition? 

Have we got an event for you! 

Headquartered in Portland, the Oregon Brew Crew is one of the oldest and largest home brewing clubs in the United States. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of home brewing and beer appreciation

This is an AHA/BJCP registered event.

Check out what's new this year!  We've added Cascadian Dark Ale and Fresh Hop categories as well as an award for the best new homebrewer!  In addition, we will be having a special Belgian Style taste-off to award a special "Best of the Belgians" award and prize, courtesy of Ambacht Brewing!

We need your help with judging, stewarding, and obtaining prizes - Visit the Oregon Brew Crew Fall Classic Site to register, sign up for judging, or to volunteer! 

 To steward, please contact Jeremie Landers at

Entry Deadline: October 22nd, 2011 by end of business day - please check the Oregon Brew Crew Fall Classic Site for complete details.

Judging:  October 29th at Hopworks Urban Brewery 
(8:30 a.m. - 4:p.m.)  Judges needed!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Interview Series : Meet the Geek : Duke Geren

*Meet our friend and fellow #pdxbeergeek Duke Geren! Duke was behind the bar at the recent re-opening of Mt. Tabor Brewing in Vancouver, Washington... and if you're lucky, you can find him down at FH Steinbart where he's always ready to lend a helping hand! 

Name: Duke Geren

Hometown: Santa Ana, CA but my dad was a career Marine Officer and I went on to work in the airline industry so I’ve been a nomad of sorts most of my life.

Favorite Beer: I have to pick one?  Deschutes The Dissident is probably my current favorite.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Either the Moon and Six Pence or Apex

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? I was living in Palm Springs at the time and our neighborhood pub had just gotten Widmer Hefeweizen on tap. It was the gateway beer for me.  Plus, when it was 115°F outside, it was damn refreshing.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: Yes, I’ve been homebrewing for about six years now and switched to all grain about a year and a half ago.  My current favorite is a Scottish Wee Heavy based on the same by Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar, Scotland.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? I met Emily at BBC11 and was immediately taken by her infectious attitude toward beer.  Naturally I started following the blog soon thereafter.

What does being a beer geek mean to you? It means not being afraid to let your craft beer freak flag fly and to get as many other people as possible to let theirs fly as well!

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be?  I don’t think I would change anything.  I think the US has been infected in a good way by craft beer.  The infection is spreading.  And there is no cure (Thanks to the diety of your choice).  Big Beer is scared.  And they should be.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene?  The amazing sense of community is overwhelming. From brewers, to bloggers, to drinkers, I have not met one person in the PDX scene that wasn’t open, friendly, sincere and passionate.  We are truly blessed.

Where can we find you on the web? @Dukester on Twitter and on a yet to be announced beer blog that I am working on launching this fall.  I’m hoping to approach Craft Beer and the PDX beer culture from an angle that has yet to be fully explored yet.  Follow me on Twitter and you will find out about that project when I’m ready to raise that Craft Beer freak flag!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#pdxbeergeeks on #holiday: day one, adventures in Denver!

Our guest posts from Erik (@epeep) continue today in the next installment of #GABF adventures - a part of our #pdxbeergeeks on holiday series. While some of you were at the Fresh Hop Festival here, close to home in Hood River, Erik was gallivanting about Denver, rustling up beery adventures of his own! - emily

Adventures indeed! So, I arrived to Colorado
sans problem... and made it into town; well, a tad out of town. Had plans to meet up with the Denver Brews Cruise (Denver's equivalent of Brewvana) for a brewery tour after a quick (key word) bus ride into town...

Though, sadly, not knowing Denver, I hopped on the wrong bus and ended up missing the tour :(. I did, however, make it downtown and was still determined to get to Strange Brewing... with that, I hopped on another bus and off I went!

En route, I realized that the bus wasn't really taking me to Strange Brewing -- bus ride #fail, indeed :/. That said, I arrived at the “closest” bus stop, walked the .8 mile to Strange Brewing... and, upon arrival, downed three delicious pints of ice water -- indeed, with the Denver sunshine at full force and the temperature approaching 90°, I was a sweaty mess :D.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

@epeep reports! #pdxbeergeeks on #holiday: #GABF: day two

and day two of the #GABF is under way!!!

sadly, as much as this very thirsty bear wanted into the #GABF, it was completely sold out. #sadpanda[bear], indeed ;(

along with the mitten...

...the pacific nw was, naturally, well represented :) were #pdxbeergeeks :D

my first #craftbeer of the evening: Willougbhy Brewing's Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter. thinking back, yes, i believe i had this one four times in a row :D! #nomnomnom

...and, my last: Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery's Addiction Coffee Imperial Stout. also had several helpings of this one!

Closing thoughts: While Friday night at the #GABF was no doubt a blast, it was definitely more (much!!!) crowded than Thursday. As well, of the attendees, there appeared to be less #craftbeer-minded folks. Thursday's crowd seemed to be there for the mighty rare & tasty #craftbeer; Friday seemed like more of a party scene, where people (not all, of course) would drink whatever you gave 'em. As for Saturday, I'm told it was also very crowded... plus, the selection of #craftbeer was often considerably less :(. With that, if planning to attend the #GABF in 2012, my advice is to go Thursday. I've also heard that the afternoon/”Members Only” Session on Saturday is well worth it... granted you know a “Member”/have an industry “in” ;) and can get tickets!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mt. Tabor Re-Opening! Guest Post by Perry of @BrewmanceNW

The wait is over. Eric Surface, Owner/Brewmaster of Mt. Tabor Brewing opened his doors last Friday night for his highly anticipated relocation project from Portland where he originally was brewing beer at Mt. Tabor. Information about Mt. Tabor can be found HERE. Mt. Tabor is actually a volcanic cinder cone.

Eric plans on having his first beer in the new 7 bbl system soon, perhaps November he hopes. He is working on the final touches, as getting the ball rolling is quite the difficult task. The beers we enjoyed last Friday night were brewed at the very close Salmon Creek brewpub, and on Eric's smaller nano setup. True, only 2 beers were available, but they were quite good, and just teasing the lot of us for future styles Eric plans to brew.
I was able to rush over after work, and got to the pub and tasting room shorty after the 4pm opening time. Eric stated there was a line down the sidewalk of some very thirsty locals and patrons. He shredded the paper off the windows, and fired up the taps right away with some very good help behind the bar (including fellow #pdxbeergeeks Duke Geren!). Glassware was still lacking, but the plastic still held a good pint which sold for $4.00 of the Asylum Ave. IPA (which was very limited and blew rather quickly) and the P5 Pale ale which was my favorite of the two. Both quite fresh tasting, and full of the good northwest hops which almost all of us love.

It was nice to see some other #PDXBeerGeeks at the event and local business owners enjoying the goods. Angelo of BREWPUBLIC attended and as usual was great to have some beer geek discussions. Also Portland's 'The Commons' (formerly Beetje) Brewmaster Michael Wright was there, and also filled me in a little on his work, and plans with his new location. He seems to be in the same phases as Mt. Tabor, but still a little ways off to have a functioning tasting room.
(Eric Surface of Mt. Tabor Brewing, and Michael Wright of The Commons Brewing)

Vancouver is in great need of some new and tasty craft brewers. Certainly Salmon Creek Brewpub has its place in Vancouver's beer arena, and Larry brews a mean beer and serves up some great food. I really love the fried mushrooms as well. Right next door to Salmon Creek Brewpub (which is only 1 block/street north of Mt. Tabor Brewing) is the well known By The Bottle. Soon close by, a new nano called Loowit Brewing will pop up somewhere soon as well. Plus others in Vancouver such as Heathen Brewing.

(Co-owner Dave pouring brews at the By The Bottle Taproom)
 I see some serious growth happening here in Vancouver where I currently live. I attempt to blog more about what is happening above Portland, and not actually in it. Though that is difficult since Portland's beer scene is huge, and well known around the country. Having 53 breweries within the city certainly helps. It will be nice to see Vancouver hit some high numbers and perhaps make a spot on the map like it used to have so many years ago.
At 8pm, a band setup inside the tasting room. Just that by itself was quite the task since the place was so packed. Also at 8pm, a march over to Mt. Tabor organized by Co-owner Arlene of By The Bottle took place. I was kind of working backwards and just arrived at By The Bottle when the mass of people left. At that time fellow #pdxbeergeeks co-founder Michael and I stated that it would be funny to see that group of people fit into the tasting room. Not that the tasting room was small, but the fact that so many people attended. It was quite the turnout.

Also fellow #pdxbeergeeks co-founder Emily Engdahl made a showing to support the grand opening of Mt. Tabor as well. It was very cool for local PDX'ers to pop up north and show the craftbeer love. Eric Surface was great to talk to, and seemed very excited to see all the love of his very hard work. The tasting room open on Fridays only, 4pm-Close. He will focus on brewing, and distribution around town to some favored grub spots and taps. He should eventually have some stouts, and others soon once the larger system is up and going. Be sure to stop in there and check the place out!

Mt. Tabor Brewing Co. 113 w 9Th st, 98660 Open Fri. 4pm to Closing

Cheers! Perry 

(Please excuse the quality of the images. I went there straight after work with an aging phone)