ben edmunds

Beer Lists: Breakside’s Collaboration Fest & Amnesia’s Single Hop Fest Revealed

By  | 
It’s another busy weekend in PDX, beginning today with the annual Zoo Brew and continuing Saturday with two mini fests: Amnesia’s Single Hop Fest and Breakside Brewery’s Collaboration Fest. All of them are worthy of your time. While the Amnesia and Breakside events have seen previous coverage on this blog and others, no one has reported much on the individual entries that will be available at each event. I spent a little time catching up with the various brewers to bring you much more detailed lists that you will find below.

Amnesia Brewing
832 N. Beech Street
Portland, OR

1.Amnesia: Dusseldorf Alt (Saphir)
2. Amnesia: Cream of the Crop, cream ale (crystal)
2a. Plus a special Cream of the “Hop” version in which the Beer is ran through a “Hopperator” over whole leaf crystal Hops while being poured!
3. Burnside: Virgil Rye Ale (Amarillo)
Brewmaster Jason McAdam decided as usual to mix it up with this one, adding Rye but also Coriander to accentuate the citrusy notes of the Amarillo hops and spiciness of the Rye.
4. Caldera: Pilot Rock Porter (Willamette)
Their smooth, light, creamy, and chocolatey porter brewed year round is brewed typically with just the single hop.
5. Cascade: Spring Pale (Cascade)
6. Coalition: Wheat the People, American Wheat Ale (Northern Brewer)
7. Double Mountain: Cluster F#%k (Cluster)
Spurred to action by the Amnesia Single Hop Festival, we ring in the summer with this hop-forward IPA. Clusters were the dominant hop in the US brewing industry literally for centuries, and the forerunner of many of our modern Northwest varieties. They have a unique aroma with quite a bit of citrus and a heft of herbal goodness. The Clusterf#ck recipe features Clusters in the kettle, in the hop back, and especially in the fermenter for dry-hopping. Pilsner and honey malts form the baseline; Clusters make the melody. 6.6% ABV, 75 BU. Clusterf#ck will be on tap in limited supply at select beer bars, and at the Double Mountain Taproom in Hood River.
8. Migration: Black Hearted, Black IPA (Centennial)
I asked co-owner Colin Patrick Rath about this beer and why in the hell they would call it a Black IPA and not a Cascadian Dark Ale:

“we are going back and forth as to which to call it. I guess the Black IPA over Cascadian Dark Ale is leaned to due to its name, which is “Black Hearted Ale”. We just released it yesterday. It sits at about 7% ABV with about 68 IBUs. It’s black in color, medium body with a nice bready malt profile with no lack of piney citrus spiciness from the 100% centennial hop additions.”

9. Rogue: Imperial Pilsner (Sterling)
10. Upright: Engelberg Pilsner (Tettnanger)
This is a special dry-hopped version of Upright’s year round single hopped pilsner. Should be excellent in the supposedly 80 degree weather we are having on Saturday.
Amnesia Brewer Sean Thommen added:

“As you can see, we tried to line up a variety of beers that range in style and strength. Some might come to this event thinking they’re going to an IPA fest when in fact our goal is to showcase the versatility and differences between the hop varieties, which includes even malty or low percentage beers where hops are used as a supporting character. We hope to challenge the taster to pick up the sometimes distinct and often times subtle differences between the breeds. Hops are an important means to creating the infinite myriad of styles in beer, and this is a celebration of those differences. Hope to see you there!”

Personally I am really looking forward to trying Double Mountains Clusterfuck, oops I meant Cluster F#%k.

Over at Breakside Brewery they have come up with another unique idea for a beer festival. Brewer Ben Edmunds has asked a number of industry folks (none of whom are professional brewers) to brew one-off batches of beer with him at Breakside. The concepts for each beer are unique and developed by the collaborator.

Pricing and pours start at $10 for a tasting glass and four 6oz drink tickets. Additional drink tickets for 6oz pours are $2 or you can get regular sized pours at regular prices. This event is CASH ONLY for the tasting package. Regular restaurant service will continue around the event as well. Starts at Noon and runs throughout the day.

Breakside Brewery
820 NE Dekum
Portland, OR

These are the Collaboration Beers as Ben Edmunds describes them:
Meyer Lemon Kolsch
Lisa Morrison came to us with the idea of doing a German-style kölsch infused with Meyer lemons. The idea immediately reminded me of a radler or shandy, and this is where we went when brewing the beer. Meyer lemons are significantly less tart and more perfumey than other lemons, and they can even come off as having more of an orange-like citrus quality than a stereotypically ‘lemon’ one. We ended up using a mix of fresh zest and peel—about 1.5 lbs total—all in the kettle. The beer is lightly hopped with Tettnanger and brewed almost exclusively with Weyermann Pils. This was the first of the collabo beers that we brewed, so it’s had almost two months to condition; I haven’t tasted it since it went into kegs about a month ago, and at the time it was tasting nicely balanced then; I’m hopeful that another month has really let it round out. 5% ABV, 26 BU
Oregon Common
John Foyston’s beer is the most traditional in some ways and the most hard to define in others. John wanted to make a nicely balanced amber beer with a distinctively Oregon character—something in the vein of an alt or California common, featuring mainly Oregon ingredients. We based the malt bill off of the one that we had used for our strong alt, replacing the German ingredients with Great Western’s Oregon Select and Melanoidin malts, amongst others. For hops, we used Willamette Valley varietals that had more ‘German’ character: US Saaz, Vanguard, and Mt. Rainier. The Rainier’s come through really nicely on the end, and for a beer just under 6%, it session really well. 5.8%, 36 BU
Strong Saison
Tyler and Jonathan from Saraveza came to me with what might have been the most challenging set of requests: they wanted to brew a beer in the same vein as Avec Les Bons Voeux from Dupont, using the same yeast as was used in Tyler the Elder, and with a dank Northwest hop character. Alex Ganum saved the day on this part, providing a pitch of the French Saison yeast and a bale of whole leaf Crystal hops. We brewed the beer to 9.5% alcohol and let the (notoriously persnickety) Upright yeast ferment as high as 84 degrees. The beer dried out nicely, and the hop character really pops. It’s almost like a Cascadian double farmhouse ale. 9.4%, 45 BU
Margaret Lut slicing up beets
Margaret’s Beerscht
In the same way that the Saraveza beer was inspired by another brew, Margaret’s beet ale (hence ‘Beerscht’) takes its cues from Odell Brewing’s Mad Farmer ale. We roasted thirty pounds of beets and added the beets and their juices to the mash tun. On brew day, we took some pictures, and folks who saw them said that the results looked like a pepperoni pizza. The beets used on the hotside contributed a good bit of fermentable sugars, but not a ton of color or flavor, so we added beet juice to the finished beer to give it a more distinctive beet character. The beer has a nice spice note from the addition of dried ginger, and it is quite full bodied despite all of the adjuncts. 7%, 12 BU

That’s a lot of Beets
Personally I am most looking forward to trying Lisa Morrison’s Meyer Lemon Kolsch and despite my better judgement, Margaret’s beet beer. I hate beets and I have had a few beers with beets and hated those, too, but the early word is good and I like to try beers with unusual ingredients no matter how much they gross me out.

I hope to make it to both festivals. If you see me buy me a beer.

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]


  1. ElGordo

    June 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    “I hope to make it to both festivals. If you see me buy me a beer.”

    What, are you turning into Sad Scott now?

  2. Samurai Artist

    June 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

    There is a little sad scott in all of us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *