A Big Day in Oregon Craft Beer Month

Today my Oregon Craft Beer Month goes down with a bang. Shortly I am leaving to get the day started off right at Widmer's outdoor beer brunch party. It comes with a brunch buffet, a beer blending bar and even a MAX ticket to get to the OBF.

Breakside Brewery: New Beers, New Bottles

If you make your way to far North Portland you may want to stop into Breakside Brewery to see the latest beers they have concocted. You may also be surprised to find that the brewery is now bottling in very limited quantities.

Behind the Pint: Oregon Brewers Festival Retrospective

On Thursday the biggest beer fest around Oregon Brewers Festival kicks off. While a lot of beer geeks have written the festival off organizers have made a concerted effort to bring back the hardcore with the "Buzz Tent" which was an ingenious idea. I personally attend the first day at opening every single year and then leave the rest of the weekend to the masses. Last year along with "SNOB" Ritch and Taplister I attended the parade for the first time and we made a pretty sweet video in our Behind the Pint series. It is most definitely worth a watch for appearances by: Mayor Sam Adams, Fred Eckhardt, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, Angelo De Ieso, Deschutes Brewmaster Cam O' Connor and more.

2010 Oregon Brewers Festival & Parade from Ritch Marvin on Vimeo.

Anatomy of a Kriek

A glass of the unique Rainier Kriek

It has now been over a week since I attended
Double Mountain's first ever Kriek Kamp. I have been working on this post since, but have had incredible difficulty summing it all up and distilling it down to a manageable size. The goal of the Kriek Kamp (as far as I can tell) is to educate folks about what all goes into crafting fine ales like Double Mountain's highly anticipated annual release, Devil's Kriek, and its newer companion, Rainier Kriek. I can easily sum up my experience: We Came, We Ate, We Toiled, but mostly... We Drank Kriek. But that would be an oversimplification of an amazing three days destined to live on in my memory as one of the best beer experiences one can ever have.

Yelp's On Tap

As I reported last Friday, Groupon is doing a Portland Beer Day this Thursday for the kickoff of OBF featuring lots of deals. But that is not the only deal that should be on beer geeks radar. Yelp has been supporting Oregon Craft Beer for years and my man Don B. the community manager has put together an amazing promo called Yelp's On Tap  that is a more approachable week-long event of discounted beers at some of Portland's best beer bars and breweries and all you have to do is ask for them.

3 Can't Miss Events for Saturday

Saturday July 23rd is a busy day for beer geeks. I am split between three events. I will almost certainly do Kenny & Zuke's Pickle Throwdown, but what I can make it to after that is completely up in the air.

Groupon's Portland Beer Day

Groupon, a shopping website that offers daily deals on local goods, services, and cultural events in 43 countries around the world, announces a partnership with the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation during Portland Beer Day on July 28, 2011, to raise money for scholarships.
On July 28th, in honor of the Oregon Brewers Festival, Groupon is dedicating the Portland, OR page of its website to deals that spotlight Portland’s brewing community. Groupon will be featuring Portland’s best breweries, restaurants, and beer bars while creating awareness and raising funds for the Glen Hay Falconer Brewing Scholarship. Groupon will donate $1 for each Groupon sold on July 28, 2011, up to $2,000 toward the scholarship fund.

The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation is a non-profit organization created to commemorate and celebrate the life, interests, and good works of Glen Hay, a well-loved and leading Northwest brewer. The mission of the Foundation is to contribute to the Northwest craft brewing community by providing opportunities for professional and aspiring brewers to further their knowledge and expertise. The Foundation is also committed to honoring Glen's broader interests by working with the Northwest Legends Foundation to contribute directly to local Eugene-based organizations that represent his ideals and passions. In 2011, the Foundation is offering two educational scholarships to the World Academy of Brewing at the Siebel Institute and one to the American Brewer's Guild.

Groupon, launched in November 2008 in Chicago, features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, eat, see, and buy in more than 300 markets around the world. Groupon uses collective buying power to offer unbeatable prices and provide a win-win for businesses and consumers, delivering more than 650 daily deals globally. For more information, visit http://www.groupon.com.
Groupon is also sponsoring our upcoming Brewing up Cocktails One Year Anniversary Tiki Party.

Stone/Tröegs/Homebrewers Collaboration Cherry Chocolate Stout

Along comes another of what is probably a winning entry in Stone Brewing's collaboration series of beers. This one is unique in that it's a winning recipe from some homebrewers who collaborated with Stone, along with much-loved east coast PA brewery Tröegs. Between two beloved breweries and some acclaimed homebrewers, a Cherry Chocolate Stout seems like a can't miss proposition. More on this new beer below...

Top 5 Summer Beers

pic from Chow.com

Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but after the first hot bright days of summer earlier this month, I began compiling my list of favorite go-to beers for these hot days. Unfortunately those days have been few and far between, but with a little luck there are a lot more on the horizon. After much consternation I have come up with two different Top 5 lists of my current favorites: one for bottles and cans or supermarket beers, and the other of beers only found on draft around the Portland metro area. These days summer is the time of six packs or four packs for me. Typically my fridge is stocked with a lot of singles of new stuff, but when the hot weather comes I want standbys that will keep me refreshed and that I can drink copious quantities of without getting overly intoxicated. Every year the options are getting slightly better, especially with the canned beer revolution and more breweries putting their beer in 6 packs.

Brewing up Cocktails' Tiki-Style 1 Year Anniversary Party

It has been one whole year since we founded Brewing up Cocktails and began exploring the overlap of craft beer and craft spirits. That means it's time to celebrate with a special Tiki-themed party in just a few weeks (July 30th) at The Hop & Vine. Thanks to sponsors Kona Brewing and Groupon we will have an outdoor, thatched roof tiki bar and will be roasting a whole pig luau-style. The drinks will, of course, be tropical in nature, using beers from Kona and other fine breweries, and will including fresh ingredients like pineapple and coconut. It's the kind of party that perfectly takes advantage of The Hop & Vine's backyard patio.

PDX Beer Week presents "The Love of Beer"

As the big announcement of the first annual PDX Beer Week is coming soon the first news of one of the marquee events has been released. The long awaited premiere of filmmaker Alison Grayson's documentary of the women of the craft beer industry "The Love of Beer" will debut at the Bagdad Theater on beer week's opening weekend Saturday August 20th.

Anchorage Brewing's Whiteout Wit Bier

When longtime (over 13 years) Midnight Sun Head Brewer Gabe Fletcher announced he was leaving to open his own brewery, it created quite a buzz. Anchorage Brewing Company has already even receive a coveted spot the portfolio of famed beer importers Shelton Brothers. The new brewery features 100% barrel-aged beers all using brettanomyces. The only other American brewery doing this--as far as I know--is Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, Michigan. The first of Anchorage Brewing's beers, Whiteout Wit Bier, has made it to Oregon, and I picked up a bottle to check out.

Mindy's Beer Gear

Beer swag is common. Everyone has their favorite brewery t-shirt or pint glass, but extra cool and unique items are rare--it is only so often you get a Fort George slap wrist can coozie. Recently I stumbled upon some extra cool swag from Mindy's Beer Gear, all handmade locally from real beer labels, postcards, 6-pack holders, or any other brewery materials Mindy can get a hold of. Her products--handmade wallets, handbags, bracelets and belts--are of high quality and classy designs that she already has in a catalog on her website. Items can be ordered custom made and in singles or in bulk. Just check out what she has to offer...

Stone's collaboration Japanese Green Tea IPA to benefit Tsunami Relief

Today Stone Brewing officially announced their next collaboration beer and this one is for a great cause, Japan Tsunami Relief and it's brewed alongside other Japanese brewers Baird and Ishii and is fittingly both American and Japanese in nature as an IPA brewed with Green Tea. All of the details below the jump.

No Minimum Beers & Cigar Pairings this Sunday

It is likely you have heard about the Beer & Cigar Pairing event this Sunday 7/10 from 5-7 at the East Burn but what is now different is that you do not need to pre-purchase a ticket and it is now a more casual affair where you can buy your beers and cigars individually without committing to the entire package. Come hang out with myself, Ed Ryan of PDX Cigars and Dave Selden creator of 33 Beers for the release of his new 33 Cigars booklet on the East Burn patio.

East Burn
1800 E Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

Hey, It's International #IPA Day, Same as Any Other Day!

UPDATED! 7/8 1:30pm:
A response to criticisms of #IPAday was issued regarding many of the questions raised. Scroll to the bottom of this article for my rebuttal to their statement.

Yesterday I was just sitting around thinking that there are not nearly enough IPAs and IPA-related events. Then, lo and behold, beer blogger and brewery marketing consultant The Beer Wench and bloggers all over the country (world?) announced the first ever International IPA Day, which will take place via twitter, facebook, and blogs on August 4. This all caught me off guard, because I never got the memo we were all supposed to talk about it. As a Portlander, you were probably thinking the same thing as I was: 'what makes August 4th more IPA day than every other day?' Luckily, I learned a few things via The Beer Wench's website.

Chad Kennedy's New Bend Brewery - Worthy Brewing

The latest edition of the Bend Bulletin sheds some light on departing Laurelwood Brewmaster Chad Kennedy's new brewery project in Bend, called Worthy Brewing.

First Look: Coalition Brewing's New Patio

This Friday the small brewpub that could, Coalition Brewing off of SE 28th on Ankeny, debuts itsepic new outside seating area in the large parking lot located behind the building sharing space with the Grilled Cheese Grill. The new space promises to be one of the best locations for sun and beer this summer and expands the seating capacity greatly from the tiny pub.

Review: Sierra Nevada Ovila Saison

Sierra Nevada is best known for one thing--hops. The brewery may well be keeping the pale ale category alive while everyone is moving towards full blown IPAs. Thankfully these guys don't limit themselves to being a one trick pony. In collaboration with The Abbey of New Clairvaux, SN has launched the Ovila series, beginning with a bubbel earlier this year and now this just-released Saison.

#OCBM Picks of the Week

Oregon Craft Beer Month is just getting started. Honestly I am only excited about a few events this month. The overall calendar on the OCBM website is stuffed with a lot of filler events, but there are no doubt lots of fun things to do. It's not really that much different then the variety of events throughout the rest of the year, but there are a good number of things condensed into one month. So I am going to do my best to filter through them and offer my Top Weekly Picks. Here are this week's:

Oregon Reigns at the Mecánico

Photo by Pete Strong/Itemizer-Observer

Now craft beer fans have another reason to visit Independence, OR. In addition to the Chatoe Rogue and its associated hop farm, Independence has seen the recent opening of the Mecánico and will be the future home of Oregon Reigns Brewing. While 2010 seemed to be a huge growth year for new breweries in the Portland metro area, it seems like the trend is spreading throughout the state in 2011, with more small towns adding brand new craft brewers. Some of these new ventures, such as the Mecánico, are taking very Portland-esque hybrid concepts to the rest of the state. We will see if they catch on here.

Beers & Cigars a match made in Heaven

This should be a fun original event for Oregon Craft Beer Month. A little over a year ago I attended a Cigar & Rum pairing event at the late great Alu and it was put on by Ed Ryan cigar expert and Jacob Grier master mixologist and I attended with New School editor "El" Gordo. Even before that I met Dave Selden who masterminded a late great beer blogging institution himself called BSbrewing.com. Little did we know that Jacob and I would end up spinning off our own events Brewing up Cocktails, Dave would end up starting his own side project that blossomed into a huge success 33 Beers and Ed would continue to be a champion of all the best vices cigars, beer, wine and cocktails with his work in cigar brokering and repping with Mountain Peoples Distribution.

Video: Young Brewer in Training

The world's next Vinnie Ciluruzo everybody...gotta start em' young!