Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse Turns One!

Congratulations to the Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse for turning one today! After getting off to a rocky start because of opposition from the neighborhood, they have proven to be an excellent addition. In celebration, there is an anniversary party starting today at 5 pm.

One highlight of this occasion is the announcement of a mug club. There are two different levels of membership, annual and lifetime. Annual memberships are $25 and limited to 40 individuals. Lifetime subscriptions are $100 and limited to 30 people. Perks to this are members will receive 18 oz. beers at 12 oz. prices and happy hour prices all day on Wednesdays. Also, after purchasing beers from 25 different breweries, members will receive a $25 gift card (one time only).  As an added incentive for annual members, if you order 100 beers from 100 different breweries you will receive a lifetime membership! This sounds like an incredible deal, and I hope to take advantage of it. More information for the mug club and events planned can be found here.

1856 Bottle Shop Now Open

A new bottle shop in town opens this weekend. 1856 is located 1466 NE Prescott, two doors down from Grain & Gristle.

The location is only 600 square feet, but will have over 350 beers, 250 wines, 50 ciders, and a variety of bitters and vermouth to choose from; there is a focus on regional and import selections.

Also included are seven rotating taps, with one tap always dedicated to ciders. It will be a nice addition to the neighborhood, so stop by and check them out if you live in the area. Just tell them the pdxbeergeeks sent you. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Behind The Dinner

I'm not even going to pretend on being a pro when it comes to food and beer pairings, that's why I leave it to the experts. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a meeting with the crew of Eastburn and the NW Regional Sales Manager for Firestone Walker, Travis Widdifield, to get an idea of what goes into planning one of these events.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Third Release in Alchemy Project : Old Embalmer '12

Barleywine Ale Is Third Release in Alchemy Project Series of Craft Beers Brewed for Cellaring

PORTLAND, Ore. – August 14, 2012 – Widmer Brothers Brewing has released Old Embalmer ’12, a barleywine style ale, the third offering in the brewery’s Alchemy Project. The Alchemy Project is a series of three bold, vintage-dated beers that can be enjoyed immediately or cellared to improve with age. Widmer Brothers will release limited quantities of each Alchemy Project beer every year.

Like all Alchemy Project beers, Widmer Brothers will brew Old Embalmer each year; however for this beer, the brewery will feature a different hop varietal in each vintage. Old Embalmer ‘12 features Bravo hops, a varietal is from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Bravo hop was chosen for its fruit forward flavors that will balance the beer’s strong malt bill.

“Old Embalmer Barleywine Ale is great upon release, but – true to its name – we found that it will also cellar exceptionally well,” said brewer Doug Rehberg. “This year’s beer was brewed with copious amounts of malts, and features Bravo hops, which provide earthy, fruity and floral qualities for a brilliant balance and velvety finish. We are excited to be bottling and labeling it as part of our Alchemy Project series and hope other beer lovers enjoy it too.”

Widmer Brothers first brewed Old Embalmer in 1999. At that time, Widmer Brothers’ brewer Doug Rehberg, who was interested in crafting a unique iteration of the style for the brewery, spearheaded the project to create Old Embalmer. Throughout the years, the brewery has offered the Old Embalmer barleywine at its Gasthaus pub in Portland, Ore. and discovered its age-worthy potential.

Old Embalmer ’12 will be available in 22-ounce bottles and 1/6 barrels beginning July 30.

About Old Embalmer ’12

Tasting Notes
· Big, malty character
· Notes of toffee, vanilla and sweet caramel
· Robust body
· Pleasant floral and herbal Bravo hop quality

· Malts: 2 Row Pale, Caramel 60L
· Hops: Alchemy for bittering, Bravo for aroma

· Original Gravity: 21.5 P
· Apparent Extract: 4 P
· IBU: 75
· ABV: 10.2%
· Color: 23 SRM

About the Alchemy Project
In late 2011, Widmer Brothers Brewing launched the Alchemy Project, a new series of high-end, bold, vintage-dated beers that are brewed for cellaring. Like fine wine, Alchemy Project beers can be enjoyed immediately, but the process of cellaring and aging these beers contributes to enhanced flavor profiles and complexities as the beers evolve with time. This series showcases that evolution.

The Alchemy Project will include three specialty craft beers each year. Each will be released in limited quantities, and the same three beers will be released every year. The series was launched with the release of Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11 last year, a follow-up to Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’10, which was initially released as part of the Widmer Brothers Brothers’ Reserve Series. Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout was the second Alchemy Project release, and Old Embalmer ’12 is the third.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing
What started as a dream for two ordinary brothers who just loved beer has now become a reality for two ordinary brothers who still just love beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their 20s, they dreamed of brewing unique interpretations of traditional beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen; today, the unfiltered cloudy beer is the company’s signature brew and one of the best-selling wheat beers in the country. Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Nelson Imperial IPA, Rotator IPA Series, Drop Top Amber Ale and Pitch Black IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Okto Festival Ale : Resurrected!

My favorite fall seasonal


Popular seasonal ale returns just in time to wind down summer, gear up for autumn and 
Oktoberfest celebrations

PORTLAND, Ore. – Aug. 13, 2012 – With summertime winding down, Widmer Brothers Brewing is bringing back its salute to Bavaria’s Oktoberfest. OKTO Festival Ale, available now through October, is an ideal brew to enjoy as the lingering hot days of summer give way to a slight autumn chill creeping into the air.

“We’ve been brewing OKTO Festival Ale for 26 years, and there is a reason that it’s a seasonal favorite: it’s the perfect beer for the transition from summer to fall,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing, “Inspired by the festivities and brews of Bavaria’s Oktoberfest, OKTO is an easy-drinking, full-bodied beer with distinctive flavors and a crisp, clean finish.”

OKTO Festival Ale has a sweet, malty flavor, and Alchemy and Willamette hops add mild bitterness. The brew’s subtle, floral and spicy hop tones are complemented by a mild fruity ester character, and the beer finishes crisp and clean on the palate. Considered one of the brewery’s favorite seasonal ales, OKTO Festival Ale is brewed for a short time each year and is available in limited quantities on draught and in six-packs at select retailers.

About OKTO Festival Ale

Ingredients and Profile:
Malts: Pale, Carapils, Crystal 77-L, Caramunich II
Hops: Alchemy, Willamette
Original Gravity: 13.5
Apparent Gravity: 3.75
IBU: 28
Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%
Color: 25 SRM

About Widmer Brothers Brewing
What started as a dream for two ordinary brothers who just loved beer has now become a reality for two ordinary brothers who still just love beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their 20s, they dreamed of brewing unique interpretations of traditional beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen; today, the unfiltered cloudy beer is the company’s signature brew and one of the best-selling wheat beers in the country. Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Nelson Imperial IPA, Rotator IPA Series, Drop Top Amber Ale and Pitch Black IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hop Harvest At Lucky Labrador!

Lucky Labrador Hop Harvest
6:00pm Tuesday, Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, August 28, 2012, 
(bring bines in any time during the day).

Come pick hops and enjoy the company of fellow hop growers and beer enthusiasts!

The annual Lucky Lab Hop Harvest celebration returns to Southeast Portland on August 28, 2012. NW hops are doing well this year and harvest time is right around the corner.

The Hop Harvest has grown year after year because there are so many reasons to attend. People who grow hops in their yard for shade or beauty can bring in the bines (vines), so they don’t go to waste. It is for people who love beer and those who appreciate all things local. Anyone with any type of hops is encouraged to drop off their bines during the day, but the fun starts when the picking begins. Even if you don’t grow hops, you can help by spending the evening picking the cones from the bines.

The Lucky Lab Brew Pub will brew “The Mutt,” a beer brewed with the hops yielded from the Hop Harvest party. The Mutt is an English Bitter that has a different hop character every year. Depending on the yield there may be another beer in the works.

The Lucky Lab Hop Harvest celebration has taken place annually for over 10 years, with the 2010 haul weighing in at 170 lbs. and in 2011, over 270 lbs. The goal this year is to break the 300 lbs. mark. Show up at 6:00pm, where we will gather around the patio and start the picking. We will have the barbeque grill fired up, so come spend the evening with people who have passion for beer or hops or gardening or simply live a local oriented lifestyle.

Lucky Lab

Friday, August 10, 2012

Who Likes Contests?

After digging through the ol' #pdxbeergeeks schwag box, we found a $25 gift certificate to Vintage Cocktail Lounge that was suppose to be raffled off at our anniversary event. In light of this, it seems like a good time to have a contest here on the blog.

Winning is easy!  All you need to do is comment here on this blog post with -
  1. One of your favorite beers, and
  2. Your favorite place to hang out in PDX and drink beer. 
  • Contest will run through Monday August 20th until midnight PST.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and announced Tuesday August 21st here on this blog post. You will have three days to respond in order to win. If not another random post will be chosen.
  • Only one post per individual, multiple posts will be tossed out.
  • Must live in Oregon or SW Washington to enter. 
See I told you it was easy! Let the games commence. Good luck!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Time For Evolution At Migration Brewing

One of the only pieces that will remain of the old logo. 
Change is in store for Migration Brewing this weekend. Migration received a cease and desist order in the summer of 2011 from Portland's Multnomah Athletic Club for copyright infringement of the MAC logo. I met the owners of Migration this week to discuss the situation. Of course, upset by this action, the decision was made to focus on the creation of a new design and avoid a costly, drawn out court battle. 

"It really allowed us to step back, look at ourselves and reevaluate who we are and where we are going" ~ McKean

Kudos to Migration for taking the high road and using this time to focus on making great beer and not lawsuits. Join the team from Migration on August 11th to celebrate the launch of the new logo. 

Multnomah Athletic Club logo

Old Migration logo

New Migration logo

From Press Release - 

Migration’s New Logo

Migration is excited to share the evolution of our company’s new logo. Why is Migration changing their logo? Simply said, we have chosen to evolve the logo due to a cease and desist filed by the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) last summer. Under the threat of being sued over this issue, we decided that we would prefer to spend our time making great beer rather than getting caught up in a potentially costly and time consuming lawsuit.

We are excited about the rollout of our new look and have worked hard to produce new tap handles, merchandise and marketing materials that better communicate our brand and company story. We appreciate the loyal support shown by our friends, customers and community and we look forward to keep following our passion of making great beer for great people. So please join us in raising a glass to our evolution Saturday, August 11th 2012 with specialty beers, giveaways, and a celebration focusing on the new logo rollout.

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Mid-Year Growth for U.S. Craft Brewers

Dollar growth up 14% in first six months of 2012; Total brewery count hits 125-year high

Boulder, CO • August 6, 2012—The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, has released strong mid-year numbers for America’s small and independent craft brewers1. Dollar sales were up 14 percent in the first half of 2012, while volume of craft brewed beer sold jumped 12 percent during that same time period.
Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first six months of 2012 are an estimated 6.0 million barrels. Despite a number of challenges, including decreased overall beer sales, the mid-year numbers show signs of continued growth for craft breweries. The industry currently provides an estimated 104,000 full-time and part-time jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.
“Generally, most craft brewers are continuing to see strong growth in production, sales, brewing capacity and employment, which is to be celebrated during challenged times for many of today’s small businesses,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. "Plus it’s a fact that beer drinkers are responding to the quality and diversity created by small American brewing companies. India pale ales, seasonal beers, Belgian-inspired ales and a range of specialty beers are just a few of the beer styles that are growing rapidly.”

Download a high-resolution version of this graphic.
The U.S. now boasts 2,126 breweries—an increase of 350 additional breweries since June 2011. The BA also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 1,252 breweries in planning today compared to 725 a year ago. Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 2,075 as of June 30, 2012 showing that 97 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers.
“Beer-passionate Americans are opening breweries at a rate faster than at any time since the day Prohibition ended for the beverage of moderation,” Gatza added. “There is nearly a new brewery opening for every day of the year, benefiting beer lovers and communities in every area across the country.”
1 The definition of a craft brewer as stated by the Brewers Association: An American craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Small: Annual production of beer less than 6 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50 percent of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

80,000 people help celebrate the 25th annual Oregon Brewers Festival

PORTLAND, Ore. – August 2, 2012 – They came, they saw, they drank: 80,000 people traveled from all parts of the world to celebrate the 25th consecutive Oregon Brewers Festival.  The four-day event took place July 26th through July 29th at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland.  
The four-day affair kicked off on July 26th with a mile-long parade of 800 brewers and beer lovers through the streets of SE Portland and across the Morrison Bridge. The group was led by PDX Pedicabs chauffeuring event VIPs, including Grand Marshal Tom Dalldorf, publisher of Celebrator Beer News, and four of the original festival founders: Art Larrance, Kurt Widmer and Dick and Nancy Ponzi. Members of the Transcendental Brass Band and a contingent of Cascade brewers pushing the official wooden keg followed, tailed by a hundreds of beer lovers and many costumed brewers, including Rogue monks and McMenamins Hammerheads. Once onsite, Dalldorf swung a wooden mallet and drove a brass tap into the official keg, heralding the start of the festivities as beer flowed for all.

In the two main beer tents, the OBF served 84 different craft beers, including two gluten free beers, from 14 states across the country. An additional 40 some beers were tapped in the Buzz and Sour Tent, which offered tastes of rare and specialty beers from the participating brewers, and ran out by the close of Saturday night due to an overwhelming demand.
The top five most popular beers had one thing in common: Fruit! Vertigo’s Tropical Blonde, 10 Barrel’s Raspberry Crush, Redhook’s Peach Trippel, Old Market Pub’s Cherried Alive and Cascade Brewing’s Razberry Wheat were top sellers. This year’s festival featured no fewer than ten beers made with an assortment of fruits, including key limes, cherries, raspberries, pomegranate, strawberries, peaches, plums and blueberries.
The festival grows in popularity every year, and beer lovers came from every state in the nation, and many countries around the world, to join in the celebration.  In addition to beer tasting, there was live music all four days, food from six area restaurants, homebrewers brewing beer on site, and a collection of beer-related vendors, ranging from hand carved wooden steins to glass blown pints to kilts.

Minors and designated drivers received complimentary cups of handcrafted root beer and free face painting in the Crater Lake Root Beer Garden. Staff from Everyday Prevention provided education on the potential dangers, risks, and unhealthy community norms associated with underage drinking in the same area.
More than 1,800 bikes were parked in the New Belgium bike corral, manned by volunteers for Transportation Solutions ByCycle. The festival employed more than 2,000 volunteers to pour beer, sell tokens, and aid with recycling education; plastic mugs from this and past year’s festivals were collected at exits to be recycled.

The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has succeeded, especially in Oregon, where 116 brewing companies operate 150 brewing facilities in 58 cities in Oregon. There are 51 breweries operating within the Portland city limits, more than any other city in the world; the Portland metro area is the largest craft brewing market in the nation with the most number of breweries at 64, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild. A recent survey of OBF attendees shows that the Oregon Brewers Festival annually generates an economic impact of more than $23.2 million for the local economy.

The Oregon Brewers Festival always takes place the last full weekend in July.  The 26th annual event will take place July 25 through July 28, 2013. For more information,  

Congratulations to Full Sail!


Full Sail Employee Owners Agree, Hood River, Oregon is a Great Place to Live and Make Beer

FSBC Blue Sheild Logo.jpgHood River, Oregon, August 2, 2012: Full Sail Brewing Company today was named to Outside Magazine’s fifth annual “Best Places to Work” list. Full Sail Brewing Company was ranked No. 55 out of 100 selected companies. Profiles of the top-thirty-performing small, medium, and large companies will be published in the September issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands August 14, 2012. The full list of 100 will be available on August 2ndhere.

Outside’s “Best Places to Work” project celebrates the innovative companies setting a new standard for a healthy work-life balance. The list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association and Best Companies Group. The yearlong selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in an office in the United States. Participating companies were sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. The experts at the Best Companies Group then analyzed the results and selected the companies that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.

In past years, Outside has highlighted 50 outstanding companies. This year, Best Companies Group determined that there were so many top-quality applicants that the list needed to be expanded. Outside editors agreed, and doubled the size of the list.

“We know we are incredibly fortunate to live and work in a place as amazing as Hood River. The mountains surround us and the Columbia River is just right next to our brewery. We are always grateful for the spectacular views that frame our days. We live in one of nature’s most amazing playgrounds, with sailing, biking, snowboarding, hiking everywhere you look. On top of all this we are actually lucky enough to be making some world class beers for a living. Thank you Outside Magazine for acknowledging what all of us employee owners know – Full Sail is a great place to work,” said Irene Firmat, Full Sail’s Founder and CEO.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate all 100 of these forward-thinking companies,” says Michael Roberts, Senior Executive Editor of Outside. “They believe success depends on helping their employees live more active and fulfilling lives. The kinds of benefits they’re providing—free fitness classes, flexible hours, subsidized healthy meals, lots of time out of the office—result in a more productive and engaged staff.”


FULL SAIL BREWING COMPANYSandra Evans / 541-386-2281 
Link to online press release:

OUTSIDE MAGAZINE:  Jada Williams/ / 646.649.4933    
About Full Sail Brewing Company
The independent and employee-owned Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot in the world. At this very moment our specialists in the liquid refreshment arts are crafting barley and hops into your next beer. Among the company’s most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA, Pale, LTD, Wassail, Session Premium, Session Black, and Session Fest lager. Founded in 1987, the Full Sail crew has been fermenting godlike nectar for 25 years.  Committed to brewing great beer and sustainable practices their award winning brews are now available in 29 statesThe Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub is open seven days a week. Swing by for a pintgrab a bitetour the brewery, or just soak up the view.  Visit us online at  or on Facebook and Twitter.

About Outside
Outside is America¹s leading active lifestyle brand. For more than 30 years, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, and Outside Books. Visit us online and on Facebook.

Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, and regional basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence. 

Founded in 1989, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the premier trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. Outdoor Industry Association seeks to ensure a healthy and diverse specialty retail and supply chain based on quality, innovation and service. To this end, OIA works diligently to raise the standards of the industry; increase participation in outdoor recreation to strengthen business markets; provide support services to improve member profitability; represent member interests in the legislative/regulatory process; promote professional training and education; support innovation; and offer cost-saving member benefits. Search for outdoor-industry jobs is at OIA’s career