The Cans Fest

Portland's very own canned beer festival has been a long time coming. With Reno, NV's success with a canned beer festival and a similar event in Arizona, it was only a matter of time. As the fast adoption of cans by craft breweries continues worldwide, many Oregon brewers are on the forefront.

Ever since opening earlier this year, The Guild Public House in the Rocket building on 11th and E. Burnside has made an emphasis on two things: sustainable and political non-profits and great craft beer. Those may seem like an odd combo, but here in Portland where most of us are liberals and we all love good beer, it actually is a perfect fit. The Cans Fest is the brainchild of owner Jesse Cornett, who undoubtedly will continue to push the envelope with future craft beer events.

Saturday July 9th 12-10pm
The Guild Public House
1101 East Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

More info on the festival below...

Breweries Along the Willamette River

I stumbled upon this cool video featuring some of the breweries along the Willamette River, including Brewers Union, Flat Tail, Gilgamesh, and a little info on a tequila distillery. If you have 7 minutes to kill, it is well worth your time.

Behind The Pint: Deschutes/Boulevard Brewmasters on their White IPA

Roughly a month ago Deschutes Brewing announced work on a new collaboration beer with Missouri's Boulevard Brewing and that the beer would be a first of its kind hybrid style "White IPA". If your wondering what they mean by "White" IPA the idea was to combine a Belgian-Style Witbier with an IPA. Of course a Witbier is a wheat based Belgian brew typically spiced with Coriander and Orange Peel but occasionally other spices as well.

Deschutes and Boulevard Brewing-White IPA Collaboration from Ritch Marvin on Vimeo.

It turns out that various versions of Deschutes collaboration have been masquerading themselves at the pub for a little while now under the name 31-25. Much like they did with Hop in the Dark brewers have constantly been trying out and tweaking the beer to see what people thought and they finally have settled on their final product which we sampled the other day with both Deschutes Brewmaster Larry Sidor and Boulevard Brewmaster Steven Pauwels.

Myself and Larry Sidor at the Craft Brewers Conference
Last week we had a rare opportunity to try the White IPA alongside the brewers and I can tell you that this will be a unique beer not only for combining IPA with a Belgian-Style Wit (because it really is not all that hoppy) but because its spicing that includes Sage and Lemongrass combined with citrusy NW hops to bring out both lemon citrus and herbal flavors. It will be interesting to try each breweries version side by side here in one of the few markets they both distribute in.

Bazi Bierbrasserie Opening Night

Yesterday much anticipated (by me, at least) Euro/Belgian bier bar and bistro Bazi Bierbrasserie opened its doors off of Hawthorne and SE 32nd to a delighted group of neighbors, Belgian beer lovers, and friends.

Upright Brewing: 2 Years and Counting

Back in March Upright Brewing celebrated its 2nd Anniversary with a party at the brewery and the bottle release of Four Play. Now after more than 2 years a lot has changed at the brewery, with more and more experimental beers and out-of-the-box styles, expanded production and distribution, and perhaps most significantly, a change to a new yeast strain that is slowly rolling out right now.

Compiled from footage of the 2 Year Anniversary party and a recent interview with Owner/Brewmaster Alex Ganum, Behind The Pint presents a video looking back at the past and into the future of Upright Brewing.

Upright Brewing:Two Years and Counting from Ritch Marvin on Vimeo.

Seattle Beer Week Presents Brewing up Cocktails

Today I leave for Seattle Beer Week, so I apologize if content is a little slow coming out this week, but I am going to try to keep up. I will be taking the train up to Seattle for the first time today, and I hear it is a pretty sweet ride. Other than all of the great beer events happening, of course (of which you can find a list of here), the main reason I am attending is to do two days in a row of events for Brewing up Cocktails. It is a big undertaking for us, and recent trips to San Francisco, Canada, and now Seattle can be taxing but also incredibly fun. These two days in Seattle could be some of the best yet, as we are really excited to be taking over the bars at two hot spots and maybe running into some Seattle beer writers like the Social Retard and the Urban Beer Hiker.

Tuesday May 24th 7-10pm
I understand the Shelter Lounge is a pretty new but happening place, and the outdoor area and fire pits look pretty awesome. We even get to take over an outdoor bar station and will be teaming up with recent conspirators Jamie Floyd and Ninkasi Brewing but mixing it up this time with some fine purveyors of lupulin - Hop Union will also be onboard.

In addition to the 5 classic Ninkasi cocktails, Hop Union is going to have a bunch of hop oils, tinctures, and extracts you can play with and even add to your beer or cocktail.

Wednesday May 25th 6-9pm
The next day we get to tend the bar at the big one - Brouwers Cafe. Most people that read this blog are probably familiar with the place, but if not, you should know it's one of the best beer bars on the planet, and maybe the best of the west coast. It is truly an honor to be doing an event here. We also will be teaming up with Hopworks Urban Brewing for the first time and we have come up with a whole new drink list just for them.

Welcome to the P.U.B.

I reported on Portland U-Brew & Pub way back in November, and owner Jason Webb and homebrew shop partner Aaron Gilham have been hard at work since. The concept of the P.U.B. is a homebrewing supply shop, brew-on-premises operation, and family friendly public house all in one. They are not the first to try this concept, but possibly the first in Oregon.

A Sour Beer Education with Van Havig

Here is a fun and educational way to spend a few hours. Van Havig, a previous president of the Oregon Brewers Guild and ex-Brewmaster at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Portland, is teaming up with the Portland Culinary Alliance to lead a tasting class on sour beers downtown at KitchenCru next Thursday May 26th.

5 Beers To Drink During the Rapture

To never say, "I'll be right back!" is a life lesson I learned at a young age from the legendary actor of stage and screen, Matthew Lillard (the Charlton Heston of 90's teen movies). Lillard starred in the classic film Scream, which taught that inevitably you won't be back and some awful death will befall you. No, you can't "take it with you," so you might as well "smoke 'em if you got 'em," and thus I dedicate today's post to the Five Beers to Drink During the Rapture.

Occidental Brewing: Industrial Era Meets the 21st Century

This is now the 3rd post I've logged on Occidental Brewing Co., and all before they have even brewed their first beer, but if you put your money where your mouth is, I wouldn't bet that would be the case much longer. I visited Occidental Brewing yesterday and they have come quite a long way and are moments away from brewing the inaugural batch.

PDX Summer School Fundraiser at Upright Brewing

(Samurai Artist - Allow me to take a second to plug a great event and non-profit that is at least tangentially tied to beer. This organization was founded in part by my friend and New School editor ElGordo's sister-in-law, Pat Prevost. More info below)

PDX Summer School, a local teacher-run non-profit that provides summer tutoring services for low-income, ELL (English language learners) students in outer southeast Portland, is holding a fundraiser from 6-8pm on Thursday, May 19, at Upright Brewing. There will be a silent auction for some great items, as well as a special cask release of dry-hopped Upright Five. More info is available at the event's Facebook page.

6:00 - 8:00pm
Thursday, May 19, 2011

Upright Brewing
240 N Broadway
Portland, OR
Suite 002 in the basement

Amnesia Single Hop Fest

Updated 6/3/2011: More info on the individual beers here.

Here is an interesting new event. Brewers have been playing with single isolated hop beers for quite awhile now and I remember my first experience being with Bison's line of Single Hopped Pale Ales was pretty eye opening. I believe that was the first time I had Simcoe and Summit hops isolated and it really helped educate your palate on what to expect from different varietals. More recently one of my favorite brewers Mikkeller started releasing single hop IPA's that were fantastic, the Nelson Sauvin varietal was especially revelatory and received a lot of love it or hate it reaction.

Portland Fruit Beer Festival

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival, a new event taking place June 11-12 around Burnside Brewing on East Burnside, has announced the main 15 outdoor taps, and it's a pretty sweet list (see it below). These are unique beers made with more esoteric fruits that go way beyond your McMenamin's Ruby Red and the like. In addition to the 15 beers listed, there will be another 2 taps of rotating rare and one-off kegs that will be announced soon.

Gooseberry and Marionberry Berliner-Weisse
Some of the beers I am most excited about: Block 15’s Psidium, a farmhouse ale made with Guava fruit; Laurelwood’s Pale Ale made with Southeastern Asian fruits and spices; Breakside's Mango IPA; and Widmer’s Himbeere Gose mit dem Eibisch brewed with raspberries and hibiscus. Yesterday I even got to try two beers straight from the barrel that Burnside Brewing has made for the festival, a Gooseberry Berliner-Weisse and a Marionberry Berliner-Weisse, both barrel-aged.

Cider Summit Portland

This is cool news: a real cider festival is coming to Portland, organized by the folks behind last year's Seattle Cider Summit, SBS Imports. Cider Summit Portland will take place on Saturday, June 11th, from 11am-7pm at Elizabeth Caruthers Park on the South Waterfront, and is presented by Barbur World Foods & Bushwhacker Cider.

Flat Tail Brewing Interview

Flat Tail Brewing out of Corvallis, OR, are approaching their first anniversary this July and are just now stepping out of their tiny brewpub and into other markets. Brewer Dave Marliave's untraditional approach to styles has piqued the interest of the Portland beer community as of late, and we had a chance to do a brief interview with the young brewer at the Spring Beer & Wine Festival.

Interview with Flat Tail Brewing's Dave Marliave from Ritch Marvin on Vimeo.

Portlandia Brewing

Before you know Portlandia you need to get Sticky.
Sticky is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a focus on interactive & motion media

Of course, most people know Portlandia as the short series on IFC about the city of Portland, OR, that has now become itself a part of the absurd culture it tries to lampoon. It is fitting, then, that a brewery would open using the same name. The brewery was founded by a bunch of relatively young Portlanders who operate a creative design studio named Sticky, and are the exact sort that would be the subject on an episode of Portlandia.

Breakside Brewery turns 1: No Breaks in Sight

Ben Edmunds celebrates his Birthday
Breakside Brewery will turn 1 this Saturday, May 14, and the plan is to celebrate in good style by offering drink specials and giveaways to the thirsty Portland customers who have helped the brewery have a successful first year. Drink specials include $3 beers all day and free toasts of the new 1st Anniversary Wheat Wine at 3 and 7 PM
More Info Below!

Base Camp Brewing

Southeast Portland is quite possibly the heart of our city's brewery and brewpub culture, and you can add one more to the ever growing scene with Base Camp Brewing. Unlike other recent startup breweries, it is neither a nano, nor does it have a well-known brewer or owner behind it, yet it enters the scene coming in big with a 20 bbl brewhouse with all the trimmings. To put that in perspectiv,e that is just about 3 times the size of Lucky Lab's NW Quimby brewhouse and twice the size of Upright Brewing's.

Beetje No More

Mike Wright man with a plan (?)

Beetje (\'bee-cha'\) is a Flemish word that roughly translates to "little", or "little bit". This brewery will live up to that notion for the foreseeable future.

So writes Beetje Brewing owner Michael Wright on the tiny Portland Nano breweries website. Beetje the brewery was/is a project that Mike started in the garage outside of his home in Southeast Portland with a 1 barrel nano brewhouse specializing in Farmhouse style ales. It was a venture he never thought would get approved by the TTB but when it was he made the best of it with his eccentric brand of farmhouse inspired ales. 

But possibly as soon as late fall the unforseeable future of Beetje is here and the "little" brewery that could will undertake a metamorphosis into something new.

New Brewery Week on The New School

One of the new breweries coming soon to Portland

Beginning on Monday May 9th The New School kicks off New Brewery Week which means we will be featuring one new brewery in the construction in the greater Portland metro area each weekday Monday through Friday. Some of these you may have heard about before but I can guarantee you that atleast a few you have never heard of and you will learn new information about the ones you have heard of. They range in size from Nanos to 20bbl brewhouses and maybe not surprisingly almost all are going to be in Southeast Portland. Further proof that Portland is the best beer city and the economy is not stopping peoples love of beer. Even crazier the 5 breweries I will be featuring are not all, I know of atleast 3 more in the works that have not been reported yet but there is little info so far. It's going to be an interesting couple years in Portland seeing who does well and who might not?

North American Organic Brewers Festival Announced

Press Release:


North American Organic Brewers Festival to serve up more than 50 organic beers,  
cider and kombucha at the nation's most earth-friendly beer festival  

With a motto to "Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time," the North American Organic Brewers Festival will host its seventh annual event June 24 through 26 at Portland's Overlook Park.  More than 18,000 beer lovers are expected to gather at the event, billed as the nation's most earth-friendly beer festival.

Ninkasi Conservation and Radiant

Ninkasi is on a roll. No I am not talking about their continued expansion and roll out of 6 packs but of the fact that I saw classic character actor Sam Elliott (you may remember from The Big Lebowski) roll out of Belmont Station yesterday with two bombers of their IPA. That and these two new beers hitting the market; One brewed to benefit the environment and the other to quench ones summer thirst. Ninkasi Conservation Ale is a rarity and should be on Eugene shelves now and Radiant the summer release should be hitting stores around June 1st.
More deets...

Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers - Winners!

Well I am a little surprised and disappointed to not see Laurelwood in the winners circle or even in the top 5 atleast our Breakside Brewers Bramble was among the top vote getters and I was also a big fan of the Logsdon Organic Farmhouse that has tied for first place. This is a huge win for both Logsdon and Hopworks. As the first public real chance for the public to try a beer from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales they come away with a big win. It is also a big win for Hopworks as the first repeat winner of PCTBB and to top it off their entry was the Winner of the PCTBB Homebrew contest from last year. Also both entries were Organic. Congratulations all around.
Hopworks Urban Brewery & Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales Win “People’s Choice” Vote at 2011 Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 4, 2011) More than 1,500 beer fans attended the 2011 Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers festival at Metalcraft Fabrication on Saturday, April 30 and selected Hopworks Urban Brewery’s Muscles from Brussels and Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales’ Seizoen Bretta as the People’s Choice champions. As the winners of the 2011 competition, Hopworks Urban Brewery and Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales earn the right to select the yeast strain for the 2012 event.

This is the first year we’ve had a tie in the People’s Choice voting,” says Oregon Brewers Guild Executive Director, Brian Butenschoen. “It’s incredible to see how this festival has grown as public appreciation for Belgian styles and flavor profiles increases."
The 2011 Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers festival marked the world debut of Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales. This is the second time Hopworks Urban Brewery has tasted People's Choice victory, the brewery also took home the coveted prize at the 2009 festival.  The top five spots (including two ties) in the voting went to: Ambacht Brewing Honey Triple, Big Horse Brew Pub Bear's Choice, Block 15 Brewing Co. St. Macarius, Breakside Brewery Brewers Bramble, Cascade Brewing Co. Chuggeté Pucker, Hopworks Urban Brewery Muscles from Brussels and Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales Seizoen Bretta.

The Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers festival started in 2007 as a celebration of Belgian style beers, with participating breweries producing beers from the same strain of yeast. This year 40 participating breweries created 43 unique brews, 39 of which were brewed using the Wyeast Laboratories Trappist High Gravity yeast strain. This strain is known for producing classic Belgian dubbels or triples with a balance of complex fruity flavors. 

Homebrew Competition Award Winner
Grand Prize-Rick Strauss

Bracket Winners
Dark/High-Rick Strauss
Dark/Low-Andrew Self
Light/High-Rick Hall
Light/Low-Mike Marsh

Visit for more details.

About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 75 brewing companies, 40 Associate or supplier members, and nearly 2,900 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, visit

Coalition Coalator-Rye Kölsch

As longtime proponents of Coalition Brewing's Coalator program that allows homebrewers to come in and guest brew on their 10 gallon pilot system it's nice to see them get some recognition in Portland Monthly Magazine and nicer still to have some of the beers "SNOB" Ritch and I created featured. It is also perfect timing as this Thursday at 6pm Coalition will be tapping the latest creation from Ritch his Rye Kölsch.

Local Beer News & Events

This week both APEX and Pelican Pub & Brewery celebrate anniversaries, Breakside continues their Cocktail Beers series, and Saraveza hosts a Beer & Cheese pairing on Sunday. But to begin, highly anticipated new beer bar Bazi Bierbrasserie inches closer to opening.

Bazi Bierbrasserie Now Hiring!
My new friends Hilda and Eric from the previously reported Belgian/European inspired new beer bar Bazi Bierbrasserie are on track for a late May opening off of SE Hawthorne Blvd. on 32nd. They have just put up an ad on Craigslist looking for Cooks and Waitstaff:
Bazi Bierbrasserie is now hiring! We're looking for energetic and passionate individuals who thrive on providing superior customer service. Server and line cook positions are available for both day and night shifts ranging from Part-Time to Full-Time.

Our hours of operation will be Sun-Thurs 11am-11 pm and Fri-Sat 11am-1am. Estimated opening date is May 24. We expect our customers to have a passion for Belgium beer, European cuisine, and soccer (we will be televising the Timber games).

If you share the same interests, please email your resume to with minimum of 3 references. Indicate in the subject line whether you are interested in a server or line cook position and whether part-time or full-time applicant. If you have previously applied, please do not resubmit your application. We are taking those into consideration as we begin scheduling interviews the week of May 9.
More News and Events below

Bridgeport's Summer Squeeze

This just in. In addition to the next release of Stumptown Tart, BridgePort Brewing is introducing another new beer for summer - a citrus- and fruit-laced beer called Summer Squeeze. Bridgeport calls it the perfect lawnmower beer that will bring relief to hot summer evenings through its crisp citrus finish. And I have to admit, their description of a base pale ale with a pinch of lemongrass and the East Asian citrus fruit Yuzu has me convinced. The beer is said to have a subtle Mandarin Orange-like flavor, with Austrian Aurora hops for bittering and NW Sterling hops for aroma. It's too bad this release is too late to get into the upcoming Portland Fruit Beer Festival.

The Beer Goddess of the Pacific Northwest

Lisa Morrison, better known as the Beer Goddess, may be the Pacific Northwest's greatest beer evangelist. Besides writing a regular column on RateBeer's The Hop Press, managing her own Beer Goddess website, and hosting a weekly radio show called Beer O' Clock on KXL, she is now a published author. Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest may be the perfect gift for a local beer geek, or a great first buy for those new to Cascadia or just visiting. The book's release gives me the perfect excuse to interview the Beer Goddess, something I have been wanting to do for a while.