Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MmmHop... Sing it with me now.

What the... Who are those dudes? 

Wait, what? THAT's the group Hanson??!? 

What happened to these guys? 

 They're all grown up... And... They're launching a beer?! 

That's right! To be released in 2012, Hanson is working on an India Pale Ale... and wait for it... It will be named MmmHop. Named after their MmmBop single (which hit #1 slot in 1997), the gentlemen follow the likes of Kiss and Def Leppard's Joe Elliot in barley pop singles. (I couldn't help myself)

I betcha can't wait to try one. #pdxbeergeeks born in the 1980's and now of legal drinking age (it kills me to even write that) - were you a Hanson fan? Are you looking forward to this beer?

Holiday Ale Festival 2011

 Well, #pdxbeergeeks... It's that time - time for the most glorious of West Coast Ale Festivals, big, deep, delicious ales (and some surprises, too!) starting this afternoon and running through Sunday in Portland's own living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

  • Wed 11/30: 2pm - 10pm
  • Thu 12/1: 11am - 10pm
  • Fri 12/2: 11am - 10pm
  • Sat 12/3: 11am - 10pm
  • Sun 12/4: 11am - 5pm
Get set for the tasty libations to occupy your tastebuds, as you test out standard holiday releases, some special releases, and mellow out with a Sunday Brunch option.

Our very own fearless leader, Michael (@mmcooljam) will be pouring today starting at 1 pm - check his twitter feed for location, and go say hullo! I'll be exploring the Holiday Ale Fest and all the Cheers for Charity opportunities on Saturday around noon, so please join up if you're headed there, too!

As always, this promises to be a fantastic experience - loads of great local beers, some exciting limited release beers, and tons of wonderful people. If you've got your #pdxbeergeeks shirt, don't forget to sport it and let others know that you're in the tribe! Thanks to everyone who continues to make Portland such a great place to be a #pdxbeergeek!

 Want the Holiday Ale Fest to go, on your mobile device? Get up-to-second updates on beer tappings and locations, maps/directions, daily hours of operation, special hotel packages and more directly on your mobile phone. Just visit

The rest of the nitty gritty below: 

Pioneer Courthouse Square
701 SW Sixth Ave
Portland, Oregon 97204
Directly on the MAX transit line!
The Festival also includes on-site food, mead tasting, festival merchandise and more!

*FREE* re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year's mug.

To enter and taste beers, the purchase of an initial tasting package is required. The package includes a souvenir mug, 8 beer tickets and costs $25 at the door.

Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 each. Previous years' mugs cannot be used; however, current year mugs can be reused on subsequent visits within the same yearly festival.

Cheers! Hope to see you all there! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Ten Holiday Beers of Lompoc Brewing

The Lompoc brewers have been as busy as elves preparing for the holiday season. This year, they are releasing 10 different holiday beers, including one for Chanukah. The Lompoc Holiday Beer Extravaganza will feature nine of these on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 4 to 10 pm at the Lompoc Sidebar, located at 3901 N Williams Ave. The tenth, a Chanukah beer, will be released at its own party on December 14.

This year's holiday seasonals include Blitzen Spiced Golden Ale, Cherry Christmas Sour Blend, Brewdolph Belgian Style Red, Holiday Cheer Robust Vanilla Porter, Jolly Bock German Style Bock, C-sons Greetings Imperial IPA, Bourbon Barrel Aged C-sons Greetings, Old Tavern Rat Barley Wine, Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat and 8 Malty Nights Chocolate Rye.

Special thanks go out to Lompoc Brewing and Chris Crabb for inviting #pdxbeergeeks for this media preview for nine of these great holiday beers.

The tasting panel -

Emily Engdahl - Dog & kid wrangler & co-founder #pdxbeergeeks

Jim Keyes - Homebrewer & husband of Emily Engdahl

Michael Umphress aka @mmcooljam & co-founder #pdxbeergeeks

Perry Bee of BrewmanceNW fame

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Burnside Brewing to Make Custom Beer For Burnside Skate Park

I was just sitting here working on a project for a friend when I was notified of an awesome collaboration. It seems Burnside Brewing is planning on making a beer to help raise funds for Burnside Skate Park.  The skate park just celebrated it's 21 anniversary in October. Funds raised from this beer would go back into the skate park, which recently just secured 501 (c) non profit status.

Here is a link for more information on this awesome collaboration from ESPN.  Also more information from skateboarding news sports blog on

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On The Road to Eugene With Brewvana and The New School - Part Two

The continuing saga of a road trip to Eugene...

Sixteen Tons

Ashley of Brewvana fame & myself
The third stop of our Eugene trip found us visiting Sixteen Tons, a local taphouse and bottle shop. I felt like a little kid in candy shop upon entering this establishment. The tap list was phenomenal.  I was excited to find a couple bottles of Black Butte XXIII on the shelves. Needless to say, those both came home with me. I enjoyed a Hop Valley Festeroo, as always Hop Valley never disappoints. Next time I'm in Eugene I'll certainly be going back to see what other exotics can be found.

Hop Valley

Private tour at Hop Valley
Our final stop of the day was slightly off the beaten path in Springfield for a visit to Hop Valley Brewing. We were treated with generous portions of food, refreshing beverages, and a tour of the brewery, all provided by Brewvana. This might be one of my new favorite place to frequent when travelling down to Eugene. Exciting things are happening here, new canning facility is up and running, with cans to be hitting the Portland area soon.

All in all, there was a good time had by everyone. If you haven't had a chance to "HOP" on one of the Brewvana Brewery Tours, I would highly recommend it.  As with previous rides the Brewvana team always takes the time to make sure their riders are very well fed and watered, and truly given a VIP experience. To view upcoming tours or schedule a trip with Brewvana visit the website.  Just tell them #pdxbeergeeks sent you...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cookies & beer!

Hello sour beer lovers! Tonight's Tap It Tuesday at 6 pm is "LIVE:Cocoa Gingersnap." This live barrel of NW-style sour ale is five different beers blended together to inspire thoughts of the coming holiday season. Slight hints of cocoa, dark sugar and spice greet you in the nose. Light notes of cocoa and sweet dark malts with notes of light molasses and spice on the palate lead to a slightly tart finish of molasses, spice and hints of dark plumbs. Cookies and beer, yum! 7.15% ABV, $6.50 glass.

Now on tap, our seasonal one-off Defroster, a deep and flavorful winter brew with a solid malt profile that is hopped English-style with Brewers Gold and Fuggles, and spiced with bitter and sweet orange peel to bring it all together. Sweet malts and light candy greet you in the nose. Light hop spice notes and malt on the palate lead to a smooth mellow malty finish with just a hint of hop spice and bite.

Also on tap, Sharp Wit, a NW-style sour wit beer which features bright lemon and dusty grains in the nose. A blend of sweet wheat and grains rolls across the palate, while hints of spice and lemon zest give way to a tart, lingering finish. 

Food specials at the Barrel House include a Smoked Chicken Royal Sandwich featuring house smoked chicken, Italian Taleggio cheese, onion, tomato & Royal Blue Pear compote on grilled purple Sang Royal bread ($4.5); Crepes Monsieur, delicious crepes filled with smoked ham, imported Gruyere cheese & Dijon mustard then covered with mornay sauce ($9); and our popular Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone Crepe, a delicious crepe filled with spiced pumpkin mascarpone then topped with a Kriek reduction & Bing cherries re-hydrated with Nightfall ($5).This week's soup du jour is Smokehouse Chili; the fresh fruit is Fuji apple; the sourette is Summer Berry; and the rotating compote is Royal Blue Pear. 

Brewed AwakeningBe sure to join us next Tuesday the 15th as beer expert Joshua M. Bernstein celebrates his new book "Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution" at Tap It Tuesday. Josh will start the evening as the guest tapper, then reveal some stories and insights about the world's craft brewing revolution, while signing copies of the book ($24.95). Want to see a trailer for the book? Click here!  

Have a great week. Servus! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

On The Road to Eugene With Brewvana and The New School - Part One

Angel the Brewvana Tour Bus

Ezra Johnson-Greenough of The New School
It was a cold wet Saturday, as a thirteen beer loving individuals all "HOPPED" on a bus in support of Brewvana Brewery Tours and The New School VIP trip to Eugene.  The trip left shortly after eleven, and before we knew it we were on the way to for a day of fun and adventure.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Learn to Homebrew Day at PDX U Brew!

A great group of people turned out at PDX U Brew, creating a CDA style recipe on the fly with ingredients brought in and contributed from different folks!
We brewed along side the local fire station (hilarious, since many of the firefighters there had my dad as an instructor before he retired, and were referring to me as *Engdahl's Daughter*).
I drank too many delicious beers, including the Sacred Smoke on tap from the PUB, we shared homebrews, harassed and harangued each other, and generally had a good time.
It was great to see so many friendly and familiar faces, and to hang out. We'll be enjoying the mystery CDA on tap at PDX U Brew when it's ready, so stay tuned for the date!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Want to open a brewpub? Looking for space?

Email in the pdxbeergeeks box this am says: "I'm hoping to attract a brewpub or craft beer bar to open near me. There's a space that just opened up - a former Mexican restaurant, 3200 sq ft, in a busy shopping center in Washington County near Nike & Intel. There isn't a brewpub for miles around. The address of the space is 17683B SW Farmington Road and the phone# is 503-201-9938.

I'm not associated with the space, I just want a pub in my neighborhood! How can I get the word out to people who want to open a pub?"

GET THE WORD OUT!!! If you know people who are looking for space and/or opportunity, let them know that area is ripe for the picking! {emily}

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stout Day 2011

Much like #IPAday, #StoutDay was a day to do what many of us already do; drink a great beer. But also like Ashley's vision for expanding the beery horizons for those unfamiliar with IPA's, Erin wanted Stout Day to showcase another worthy style. Is it necessary to have special days dedicated to specific beer styles? No, not really. But does the support of current craft beer lovers carry over into the less informed public, and do we have a chance at converting some otherwise uninformed imbibers to the craft beer revolution? Absolutely. Enthusiasm is infectious, and positivity breeds change.

Now, I'm not hoping or suggesting that we have a Gose Day, or a Wit Day... I don't need a Porter Day or a day dedicated to Reds... However, I love the idea of spreading the word, en masse, via the Twitters, for the good of craft beer everywhere.

Today, I toasted Stout Day with a Storm King from Victory. Dark, gloriously chompy, and velvety smooth, I dropped a Tea Forte chai spice infusion pyramid into it for a little twist.

As I pondered how to describe the drink in front of me (like midnight in India, chai spiced stout, darkness descending from a khaki sky...) I marveled again at this amazing community of craft beer supporters.

Good job, Stout Day. Even this -  the simplest action of choosing a stout over the other styles in my fridge - brought some creativity and newness to my palate this evening. Cheers to Stout Day!

Csons Greetings release from Lompoc

Lompoc Brewing Announces Release Party for  
C-sons Greetings & Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat

I for one have been a fan of New Old Lompoc for quite a while.  C-Sons Greetings is one of my favorite holiday beers. I'm excited to see it out again this year.  Hope to see some #pdxbeergeeks there. Cheers!  ~ Michael

PORTLAND, Ore. - Lompoc Brewing will release its perennial favorite C-sons Greetings and its Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat on Friday, November 11 from 4 to 11 pm at Sidebar, its tasting room located at 3901 N Williams Ave. Both beers will be available on draft and in bottles.

One of the most anticipated beers of the year, C-sons Greetings is a higher alcohol version of Lompoc's popular C-Note Imperial Pale Ale, brewed and dry-hopped with even more of the seven "C" hops - Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger. It features a deep copper color with a piney, citrusy, floral and resinous aroma. The full hop flavor and endless developing hop presence are balanced by a rich caramel malt finish. This is a big one at 8% ABV.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat Barley Wine was originally brewed in December 2009, then aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for 10 months and cellared for another 13. The dark amber-colored barley wine features a soft oak character with notes of raisins and figs. Get a designated driver, this beer comes in at 9.7% ABV. This beer was named in honor of legendary publican Don Younger.

The release party will also feature on tap 2007 Batch 69 Baltic Porter, a porter with hints of chocolate and black licorice that was brewed with a lager yeast for a much cleaner and smoother finish than a traditional porter; Bourbon Barrel Fermented Proletariat Red, fermented in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for two months for a malty body with strong oak and vanilla flavors; Bierz Brown, a dark brown beer with a malty body and strong chocolate and roast flavors; and Condor Pale Ale, a crisp and nicely hopped pale ale that's great for quaffing with comrades or enjoying alongside some pub grub.
As is the case with all of Lompoc's release parties, there will be complimentary appetizers to nosh while imbibing. Lompoc will release seven more holiday beers at a release party on November 29, and its Hanukkah beer, 8 Malty Nights, on December 14. For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oregon Tilth Hosts Annual Meeting at Laurelwood Public House

Today's post is by special guest columnist Connie Umphress.

Goschie Farms
Thursday, October 27 the Oregon Tilth hosted its Annual Meeting at Laurelwood’s Public House and Brewery on Sandy Boulevard. The event highlighted the passionate work done by Laurelwood’s brewers and chefs to incorporate organics into the menu. I was fortunate to meet Gayle Goschie, a local farmer who is making organic and “Salmon Safe” hops available to breweries. Goschie Farms has been operating in the Pacific Northwest since the 1880s. The farm grew eight acres of organic hops last year, next year it will farm 28 acres of organics, and this is in addition to the 350 acres of Salmon Safe hops they grow. The farm also hosted a visit by the Beer Blogger’s Conference 2011.