2012 Beer Bloggers Conference Announced

The 3rd annual Beer Bloggers Conference will take place July 13 - 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, IN!!

For more information on the conference and the pre-conference excursion in Chicago, visit website: www.beerbloggersconference.org
"Indianapolis submitted an excellent bid to host the location and was the winner of the vote by beer bloggers who selected among the four possible locations. All four locations (Austin, Asheville, St. Louis, and Indy) would have made great hosts but we believe Indianapolis won out for its central location, the support of some vocal local bloggers, and the good timing of a July conference. Indianapolis now has over 40 breweries in the state and this is growing quickly within another dozen or so expected to open within the next year. Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis was the recipient of eight medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. Not only did Sun King lead the field in total medal count, its four Gold Medals were the most won by any single brewery.We have the support of the Brewers Guild of Indiana, which is hosting one of our conference dinners, and World Class Beer, a two-time conference sponsor that has arranged for dinner and a tour in its million-case-strong Monarch Beverage warehouse.
If you choose to join the pre-conference excursion in Chicago, you can fly into that city on Thursday, July 12th, in time for dinner at the Goose Island brewpub. After dinner, we’ll have a blogger-led brewpub tour in Chicago. Not only is Goose Island providing dinner, they are stepping up to provide bus transport back to Indy the next day. We will arrange another Chicago-area brewery visit on Friday morning before we depart for Indianapolis.
The conference content is not yet set. We will reach out to the beer blogging community in the coming months for suggestions about content and speakers. We are working on details of the European Beer Bloggers Conference as well and hope to announce it within a week.
Sorry for the delay on both conferences – it takes a long time to solicit location bids, gather the opinions of beer bloggers, and then work out the details of the conference. In the end, we think it is time well spent. If you have never attended a Beer Bloggers Conference, make 2012 the date you join us."

Sierra Nevada Brewmaster Steve Dressler coming to Portland

Steve Dressler, Photo from AllBrews blog
Here is some cool breaking news: Sierra Nevada's Brewmaster Steve Dressler is headed for Portland to host a couple of events next weekend. On Saturday November 5th Woodstock Wine & Deli continues their annual tradition of tapping a huge vertical of one of the best beers of the holiday season Sierra Nevada's Celebration. This year Brewmaster Steve Dressler will be there in person to talk about all 7 vintages of Celebration that will be on tap. The tasting begins at 1pm and goes all day.

4030 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
Neighborhoods: Woodstock, Southeast Portland
(503) 777-2208

Next Mr. Dressler heads over to Division's recently opened public house the Sunshine Tavern for a unique Beer Camp event. Not the same as SN's Beer Camp the Sunshine Tavern has been putting on a series of beer education events and this one will fall under it's umbrella.

Join Steve as he walks campers through the premium ingredients and time-honored brewing techniques used at Sierra Nevada. Steve will lead an hour-long tasting of Sierra Nevada beers including several unique brews not readily available in Oregon. After the tasting the campers will be treated to a full on Brewers Dinner.

Saturday, November 5th
Camp starts at 4:00pm with dinner to follow
Cost: $60 (gratuity not included)
Please call 503.288.6200 for a reservation.

Deschutes Brewery names Two New Brewmasters

Deschute's Cam O' Connor
From a press release today we learn that Deschutes has hired two new Brewmasters, actually promoted from within for two brand newly created positions. For a second there I thought I was reading about outgoing head honcho brewmaster Larry Sidor's replacement but no there is no mention of Larry and its specifically mentioned these are new positions. Many know Cam O' Connor for his work as Head Brewer of the Portland pub for years before heading back to the main production facility in Bend. Congratulations to them both.
Press Release:
Pushing Forward with Passion: Deschutes Brewery Names Two New Brewmasters
Two brewers who have been critical in the success of the Bend, Oregon brewery step into new, expanded roles
27 October 2011 – Bend, Oregon –Deschutes Brewery has promoted Cam O’Connor and Brian Faivre to two newly formed brewmaster positions. The two, who have been instrumental in the development of such game-changing brews as Hop in the Dark, Red Chair NWPA, Gluten Free Ale, the soon to be released Chainbreaker White IPA, and others, were chosen for their abilities to both innovate and lead.  
Brian Faivre
“Pushing boundaries and experimenting with new beers is what defines us as a company,” said Gary Fish, president and founder of Deschutes Brewery. “Brian and Cam have been instrumental in creating many of the new beers that have been brought to our fans over the last few years. The fact that we were able to promote from within the brewing department is a testament to the strong team of brewers we have here at Deschutes, and we are looking forward to seeing their creativity continue in their expanded roles as brewmasters.”
Cam (pictured below in the brewhouse) was the first brewer at the Portland pub when it opened in 2009, has been responsible for crafting many of the exclusive experimental beers served there. He has also worked on labors of love like Hop in the Dark, which wasn’t released formally until it had gone through 22 rounds of tinkering. He joined the company in 2004 after spending a couple of years with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Cam holds a bachelor of arts in biology with a minor in chemistry, and has completed the University of California Davis Master Brewer Program.
Brian (pictured below with hop bales) has been with Deschutes Brewery for five years and worked in various roles in the brewing department, most recently as assistant brewmaster for production technology. With a background in computer science and software development, Brian brings this precision to the brewhouse - optimizing recipes and developing operating procedures. He holds a bachelor of science in computer science and has also completed the University of California Davis Master Brewer Program.
Both Brian and Cam have played critical roles for the past several years in the ongoing success and growth of Deschutes Brewery. In their new roles as brewmasters, they will continue to help guide the development of the company’s future.

About Deschutes BreweryLocated on the banks of the Deschutes River in beautiful Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is in the business of daring people to expect more from their beer. That’s why we started off back in 1988, selling Black Butte Porter at a time when others were sure a dark beer would never catch on. Our brewers love to buck convention, especially if it makes someone nervous.  For us, however, the highest praise is a raised glass and a toast of “Bravely Done!”  For more information about Deschutes Brewery and its courageously crafted beers, please visit www.DeschutesBrewery.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/Deschutes.Brewery or on Twitter at Twitter.com/DeschutesBeer.

Review: Bruery/Elysian/Stone La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado

I recently received a sample of the latest addition to Stone Brewing's Collaboration series of beers and this is one I have been anticipating for awhile La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado. This entry is a collaboration between The Bruery, Stone and Elysian Brewing and is a unique Pumpkin beer that plays on each brewers strong suits: it's an amber ale brewed with pumpkins grown on Stone Farms, yams, rye, toasted fenugreek, birch bark, and lemon verbena.

Ultimate Guide to Night of the Living Ales 2

For too long there was nothing fun for the discerning craft beer drinker to do on typical party holidays such as Halloween loved by children and adults alike. No more. Last year Night of the Living Ales debuted in Portland as a pub crawl along SE 28th but this year it has grown up and become a full blown mini Halloween festival taking place in a warehouse space, fittingly a brewhouse and with an attached covered outdoor beer garden. The badass and unique beers have only increased and the entertainment promises to be sensational.

The New School's Eugene VIP Tour with Brewvana

On November 5th The New School is teaming up again with Brewvana Brewery Tours for the second installment of our new monthly special tour series. This trip we are heading to Eugene, OR for a special VIP Tour of some of the cities best breweries and taphouses.

As a bonus Ninkasi Brewing and Jamie Floyd will be co-hosting the tour, providing beer for the bus and readers of The New School get a huge 30% Off if you use the special promo after the jump...

5 Questions with Angelo De Ieso of Brewpublic

We conduct a lot of interviews here on The New School mainly of brewers and a few business owners mixed in but this may be the first time we have interviewed a blogger, Angelo De Ieso but then again he is a business owner and his bizness is Brewpublic. This weekend marks the 3rd anniversary for the blog, a milestone in these terms and in celebration he presents Killer Beer Week that has been going on since Sunday culminating in Saturday's Killer Beer Fest and finishing with a refresher Brunch at The Hop & Vine. Here are 5 questions for Angelo De Ieso:

Video: The Making of Deschutes Jubelale Label Artwork

In this video is documented the artistic and branding process that went into this years Deschutes Jubelale. It's a fun glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes.

Interview: Elysian's Owner/Brewmaster Dick Cantwell

Dick Cantwell & Kim Jordan at GPBF photo by Northwest Beer Guide
(Part 1 coverage of Elysian's Great Pumpkin Beer Fest & upcoming Roadshow in Portland)

I have been wanting to sit down with Dick Cantwell one of the Owners and Brewmaster of Seattle's Elysian Brewing for awhile now and finally managed to track him down around the previous weekends Great Pumpkin Beer Festival at his new production brewery in Georgetown. Besides being on the Board of Directors for the Brewers Association he operates what is probably Washington's most high profile brewery and recent deals with New Belgium Brewing are offering expanded growth incredibly apparent in the huge new space Elysian has constructed in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. I wanted to ask him about that but perhaps even more so what it is like to be considered the master of Pumpkin beer, he may be considered the cult favorite styles shaolin master at this point.

Elysian's The Great Pumpkin Fest & Roadshow

(Part 2: an interview with Elysian's owner/brewmaster Dick Cantwell)

The weekend before last I finally got to attend the Great Pumpkin Beer Fest in Seattle at Elysian Brewing's new production brewery. This is one of those fests that was on my own bucket list to check out someday, and I do not think it could have been a better year, as this is the one where it went big time. The fest moved to a brand new, not-yet-opened production facility Elysian has built in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. The space is expansive, with a huge parking lot and massive warehouse brewery.

The Rise of Block 15

Nick Arzner in Block 15's cavernous cellars - Photos by "SNOB" Ritch
Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery in Corvallis, OR, does not have hundreds of years of history. It doesn't have cobwebs and dusty bottles and air filled with wonderful clean brettanamyoces to spontaneously ferment its beers. However, if you try some of the beers coming out of the cellars located under an old block in downtown Corvallis, you might just second guess that. On a recent visit ahead of this weekend's release of La Ferme De Demons, we got to try both a Flanders Red and a "white" framboise straight from barrels. We also learned of Block 15's first 12oz bottled beer coming in November.

Behind The Pint with Sierra Nevada's Terence Sullivan

During Portland Beer Week's California Brewers Night at APEX I interviewed one of Sierra Nevada's original head brewers, Terence Sullivan, who now heads up the brewery's Beer Camp series of beers. This was one of the more enjoyable interviews I have conducted, as Terence was always full of wisdom, insight, humor, and great stories. We touched upon the growth of Sierra Nevada, as it has become the #2 craft brewery in the country, and also on Fresh vs. Wet Hops, wherein Bill from It's Pub Night (the foremost debater) on the subject jumps in. Enjoy.

Black IPA vs CDA Revisited

Stone Brewing's frontman Greg Cock is continuing his campaign against Cascadian Dark Ales with an article yesterday written for CraftBeer.com and a video filmed during the GABF with Oregon's own gold medal winner for the CDA category, Shawn Kelso of Barley Browns. Greg is at his most reserved in the video, but he uses this chance to highlight his arguments for calling the style Black IPA and mentions by name some of Oregon's most vocal proponents for the CDA moniker. There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have a CDA, let alone a Black IPAfrom Stone or anyone else right now, if it were not for the Cascadia region of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Also, I am pretty sure Greg is remarkably reserved in this video because he was afraid of getting pummeled by the Barley Brewer. In the words of Alex Ganum, "I don't believe in CDA, I believe in SKA (Shawn Kelso ale)!"

Gold Medal Winning brewer Shawn Kelso ready to bring the hurt

Hopworks & Burnside Brewers Dinners

Fall is here and with it comes a new round of Brewers Dinners to celebrate the season, with many of the fine fresh hop, Oktoberfest, pumpkin, and even winter warmer seasonal offerings from your local brewery. Coming up next week are two big dinners, one with Burnside Brewing on Tuesday and the other from Hopworks Urban Brewery on Thursday. Take the jump to take a look at each dinner's menu and details.

Portland U-BrewFest

Portland U-Brew, aka P.U.B., opened its doors just a few months ago in the Sellwood neighborhood of Southeast Portland. With the goal of creating a homebrewing community outside of the central city in mind, the P.U.B. crew has put together its first brew fest this coming weekend.

If you're not familiar with the P.U.B., they do something no one else in town does, which is combine a homebrewing supply shop with a brew your own beer on premises and an on-site pub that pours both housemade beers and guest taps. More of The New School's coverage here.

This Saturday from 11am-11pm & Sunday from 11am-9pm is a great chance to check out what these guys are all about. The mini fest will be pouring P.U.B. beers alongside those of other local brewers. See the full brewery and beer list below.

Press Release: 16th annual Holiday Ale Festival

The beer geeks favorite fest is coming back November 30th. Let's cross our fingers there are no odd re-entry rules and no pin-up girls this year. Press Release:

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oct. 11, 2011 - The 16th annual  Holiday Ale Festival will take place Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave. on the MAX Light Rail line. The popular event will feature four-dozen big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter night. From IPAs, Belgians and barleywines to winter warmers, porters and stouts, these beers are crafted specifically for the event or are hard-to-fine vintages, helping secure the event's reputation as one of the nation's preeminent winter beer festivals.

Event hours are 2 to 10 pm Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. To avoid the lengthy lines that often accompany Northwest beer fests, the recommended days for attendance are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Holiday Ale Festival is for ages 21 and over.

What makes this festival standout from other similar events is the beer selection; the festival works with every brewery involved to make sure they can send a beer that has either been made specifically for the event, or is a rare or vintage beer that isn't commonly tapped in the state. According to festival manager Preston Weesner, "It's about the fans. This is a once-a-year event and these beer lovers are here to support their favorite brewery. When they get up to the taps and find something special, it further solidifies their support of Oregon craft brews and strengthens our reputation in the beer world as THE place to drink beer."

To enter and consumer beer, the purchase of an entry package is required. The general admission package at the door costs $25 and includes the 2011 tasting mug and eight taster tickets. Advance general admission packages cost $25 and include the tasting mug, 10 taster tickets and expedited entry all five days. Advance VIP packages are available for $50 and include the tasting mug, 20 taster tickets, a bottle of water, access to VIP lines and express entry all five days. Express re-entry requires a wristband and the 2011 mug, and is subject to the festival's capacity. Previous year's mugs will not be filled. Advance packages are available online at www.holidayale.com.  

Once inside the festival, a full mug of beer costs four taster tickets, and a four-ounce taste costs one ticket. Certain limited release and special tappings may not be available in full mug pours, or may cost double tickets. Additional beer tickets can be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers in a party of two or more may purchase a designated driver wristband for $5, which includes Crater Lake Root Beer or bottled water for the duration of the stay.

Despite being held outdoors during one of the coldest months of the year, more than 17,000 festival attendees stay warm and dry under clear-topped tents that cover the venue. Gas heaters create a cozy ambiance beneath the boughs of the region's largest decorated Christmas tree. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features on-site food, event merchandise and a coat and bag check that raises funds for the Children's Cancer Association.

Marin Brewing Meet the Brewer at APEX

Whenever APEX Bar in Portland puts on an event, you know it is going to be a good time. Next Thursday, October 20th, from 5-9pm they will be hosting Arne Johnson, the brewer from Marin Brewing in Larkspur, California. Marin makes some great beers and we rarely see them on draft here, so I am stoked to get a chance to have these on tap. I'm especially curious about the Orange & Black Tangerine Porter and the 2011 GABF Gold Medal Winner Three Flowers IPA.
On tap will be:

RedHook mixes things up with new Blueline Series ESB & Winterhook

After a tumultuous year that included a rebranding of their entire line of beers and new bottles RedHook Brewing is seeming to hit it's stride now with a coordinated marketing campaign and new beers that both harken back to their olden days and reach for the future. In the last month I have received samples of their new expanded selection of 22oz bomber bottles, winter seasonal Winter Hook and their Blueline Series Extra Special Birthday beer.

Flat Tail Brewing: Creative beers in unusual places

Photography by SNOB Ritch

One of the most interesting breweries currently operating in the state of Oregon is Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis. Only a year old now Flat Tail is still very unknown and somewhat overshadowed by the other locals like Block 15 the beer geeks darling and the more established Oregon Trail Brewing. But Brewer Dave Marliave is quickly changing things by stepping out of traditional expectations while taking what seems like an 'anything is possible' attitude to brewing that is turning heads.

The New - New School

Come Monday morning The New School will shuffle off this digital coil and be reborn again. It has been approximately 1 year, 10 months, and 10 days since The New School started, and it has had pretty much the exact same design the whole time with no changes to its look and feel, just the occasional rotation side bar graphics. Finally, and after much urging, I recently decided to actually pay a substantial amount of cash out of my own pocket to hire a web designer to reimagine The New School, and it is going to be worth every penny. The thought of it being out of my control and paying for something that does not generate revenue was hard to swallow at first, but as soon as I shook hands with Tim Joachim I felt relieved. Now that the site is finally ready to relaunch and is looking great, it feels great.

I am most excited about the new look and feel of The New School, which will eliminate much of the excess but sharpen up the graphics and add better formatting for images and videos and a new way to categorize stories to filter results. For instance, all posts will still be added at the top center of the page from the newest to oldest, but by clicking on the top sidebar "Reviews", only posts tagged as reviews (such as those of new beers) will appear, from latest to oldest. The same feature will apply to our video features--"Behind the Pint" which now has its own category feature, as well as "Beer Cocktails" that we pioneered a year ago.

In an effort to both streamline and also take on a more web magazine like format, we have eliminated the controversial "Enemies of The New School" from the sidebar and the obtuse large icons for twitter and facebook have been replaced with a small line of icons for social media and RSS feeds, along with a button to email the publisher.

We have also decided to add a much-requested calendar feature through Google Calendar that will keep you apprised of upcoming events in the area. One of the things I like most about the Google Calendar is that you can simply push a button to add our entire calendar or just one event to your own calendar.

Twitter has been a big aspect of The New School from the beginning as my personal means of communication and getting the word out about new stories. However I have come to the conclusion that The New School needs its own separate account apart from my personal one. The new feed will simply be called @newschoolbeer and will be all business--not just subjects covered on this site, but beer related news from all over the web and international stories as well. The goal is to make it the ultimate beer news feed. Follow @newschoolbeer here.

We are adding a mailing list you can sign-up for. This will be scarcely used and I only anticipate updating subscribers once a month or so to special deals (like an upcoming Brewvana Brewery Tour of Eugene that New School readers will receive a big discount code for) and the occasional big news and events.

Lastly, I anticipate I may hear some criticism of our new ad support, but it has become a bit of a necessity to keep the site on the cutting edge and will continue to support better quality and coverage on the New School. I also am lining up all the ads myself with businesses we can get behind, though these are still institutions I am not afraid of criticizing.

We hope you will enjoy the new site more and continue reading as we add new features and work out bugs. You can now send questions and comments to info@newschoolbeer.com

Winter Beer Trade Show

Matt Phillips and Jamie Mastin of New Belgium Brewing

I know what you're thinking, it's not winter yet, it's just barely fall. The beer market, however, doesn't see it that way, and seemingly operates one full season in advance. Earlier this week I attended Columbia Distribution's Winter Beer Trade Show to check out some of the newbies and returning favorites from various breweries. There are quite a few new interesting new beers and changes in many lineups.

Of Pints & Men: A Beer Show

Beer is happening all around us in Portland: brewing, fermenting, kegging, bottling, drinking, and barrel-aging are only some of the forms that beer takes.  This October, Gigantic Gallery presents Of Pints and Men, a month long show dedicated entirely to the art of beer through photography, paintings, and illustrations.  Come celebrate the art of beer with local artists: photographer Matt Wiater from portlandbeer.org, painter Ian Seniff, illustrator and designer Jonathon Hill-Jacquard, and photographer John Carleton.

Opening night is Thursday October 6th from 5:30pm - 10:00pm.  Plus, Deschutes Brewery has graciously donated a keg of Chainbreaker White IPA for the event. So, just because you’re looking at great beer art doesn’t have to mean you’re not drinking great beer.  Come out and celebrate the many shapes, sizes and forms of beer!
Of Pints and Men Opening Night: Thursday Oct. 6th, 5:30pm-10:00pm
Show runs through the month of October
Facebook Event Page
Gigantic Gallery
1720 NW Lovejoy #103
Portland OR 97209

Oakshire Brewing News: Ill Tempered Gnome, Hellshire II & a Brewers Dinner

Oakshire Brewing is back in the news again after its announcement last week of a distributor move to Maletis and Odom. The release of Oakshire's annual winter ale the ILL Tempered Gnome, at The Guild Public House is only a week away. There's also a brewer's dinner at Wildwood next week and the release of Hellshire II later this fall.

Nick Arzner's Les Caves: Bier & Kitchen

Corvallis, Oregon, is a small, off-the-radar city known primarily as the location of Oregon State University and its currently bumbling football squad, the Beavers. But as it turns out, there has been a strong yet overlooked craft beer culture growing there for quite some time, beginning with the homebrewing community nurtured by the fermentation science program at OSU and a few breweries like Oregon Trail. More recent breweries, such as Flat Tail and Block 15 have begun to really put the city on the map.

Having opened Block 15 three years ago, owner/brewer Nick Arzner is branching out to open 'Les Caves' a European style bistro and bier bar that will add even more diversity to the city's beer scene and another reason to make Corvallis a must-visit destination. Last Friday The New School made the two hour trip from PDX to Corvallis for an early preview before it's official opening this week...

Black Blood, Killer Green, and Killer Red On Tap in PDX TONIGHT!

Double Mountain brewers dropping bags of crushed cherries into fermenter during the making of 'Black Blood'

We interrupt this program with some late breaking news: Today, Tuesday, October 4th, at 5pm Double Mountain Brewery will be tapping a few special beers at the Horse Brass Pub. Black Blood, a cherry porter that I and other Kriek Kampers had some small part in making, will be part of the lineup. In addition, this event is the Portland release of DM's annual fresh hop beer, Killer Green,and its new younger cousin, Killer Red, as well as a meet-the-brewer style event at the legendary Horse Brass. Other DM beers that will be available:

- Cask IRA
- Bocktopus Dark Bock (a Taproom-only beer til now)
- Wooden Nipel (Tripel Nipel aged in oak)
- Black Blood (a cherry porter made at this summer's Kriek Kamp)
- Molten Lava 2010 (last keg ever)

Charlie & Matt will be in the house, giving away stuff to all the right people. Hope you can all swing by for some killer fun!

Horse Brass Pub
4534 SE Belmont
Portland, Oregon

Behind the Pint with Arlan Arnsten, Vice-President Stone Brewing

This video was taken during the first annual Portland Beer Week during The Mighty Mites festival at Coalition Brewing. Arlan Arnsten is the Vice President of Stone Brewing in San Diego, CA and flew out to represent the brewery where their beers were featured at California Brewers Night, The Mighty Mites and Collaboration Beer Summit at Roscoe's. Preparing myself to meet Arlan I half expected to argue about Black IPA's vs Cascadian Dark Ales with him but he was such an affable and easy to like guy I quickly realized that would be impossible. Arlan may be the perfect foil to Stone's famous face Greg Koch and his controversial/confrontational but unarguably passionate style.

Oakshire Brewing Expands Distribution in New Deal

Oakshire Brewing moves Oregon distribution to Maletis and Odom.

This message in my inbox yesterday caught me somewhat by surprise, but it still makes a lot of sense. Oakshire was previously distributed by Point Blank, a smaller local company that handles much of the Oregon (primarily Portland-area) distribution of smaller but growing craft breweries such as Hopworks, Laurelwood, Double Mountain, and Upright. Ninkasi Brewing famously (in the industry, at least) and suddenly left Point Blank and switched to local Anheuser-Busch/Inbev distributor Maletis a few years ago, and Maletis's craft lineup has blown up since then. This is great news for Oakshire (which was the New School Winner for 'Most Underrated Brewery' in 2010) and its fans, who will now be able to get the beer all over Oregon.

More info below: