New Years Eve Celebrations

This New Years Eve marks the 1st Anniversary of Burnside Brewing Co. as well as the 2nd Anniversary of The New School. Not coincidentally, Burnside Brewing is hosting The New School to combine forces for good on December 31st by donating profits from 8 special beers to the non-profit Pink Boots Society of women in the craft beer industry.

Furthermore, we have lined up a bushel of schwag to give away as raffle prizes, including beer books like: Clone Brews: Recipes for 200 Commercial Beers, The Craft of Stone Brewing, and Brewed Awakening. You can also expect shirts, hats, and even bottled beers. Sierra Nevada is donating bottles of its Belgian Trappist-inspired collaboration series, Ovila, and Breakside Brewery has donated bottles of various rare barrel-aged brews. For each purchase of the 8 special offerings you will receive one raffle ticket ,and additional raffle tickets will be available for $1 each, all of which will all go to PBS.

One of the more unique beers we will be pouring is a Raspberry Chocolate Porter brewed by members of the Pink Boots Society at Coalition Brewing. There is only one keg of this beer in existence ,so I suggest you get to the party to give it a shot.

Also just announced, Breakside Brewery is bringing a keg of its Italian Amber. This beer is a session dark amber ale made in collaboration with Chef Andy Arndt (formerly of Aquariva). Fermented on fresh oregano and bay, it's designed to pair with classic Italian dishes.
4.7% ABV  24 IBU

Saturday December 31st 8pm - 12am

More info and beer full beer list here.

Burnside Brewing Co.
701 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214
Pub: (503) 946-8151
Brewery: (503) 208-3476

Review Panel: The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone: More Brown Than Black IPA

Yet another new collaboration beer has been released by Stone Brewing Co. It's another take on the CDA/Black IPA style and is hitting stores shelves this week in Oregon and across the country. The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone: More Brown Than Black IPA takes a typically Stone and Ninkasi approach to the style by blowing up the hops, but also lightening the body just slightly. It's almost a perfect example of the myth of the Texas Brown Ale, a style once proposed as a hoppier American version of the brown ale.

This version is being released in Oregon just in time for Stone Brewing founder and CEO Greg Koch (cock)'s visit on January 6th to the Bier Stein in Eugene with Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi, and his January 7th solo book signing at Belmont Station in Portland.

Review Panel: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

I love getting new releases, especially Sierra Nevada's, as you can always count on a well made, thoroughly vetted take on a style. This one even came from the future - the neck label states boldly that it's from 2012. SN's newest offering, Ruthless Rye IPA, is scheduled to take over the seasonal beer release slot once held by Glissade golden bock (a beer that has now been discontinued). Now Sierra is dipping its toes into the increasingly popular rye beer waters, following fellow northern California brewer Bear Republic's long-standing Hop Rod Rye. Ruthless Rye is, however, an IPA first and foremost, though the word "RYE" is much more prominently featured on the unusually illustrative new label. Does this signify a new, more stylized direction for Sierra Nevada, given the liberties the brewery has taken with the logo and artwork on this new design? It actually appears to be a tribute to comic book-style artwork. Four New School reviewers have taken it upon themselves to give it a try ahead of its release in Oregon this week and the national rollout shortly thereafter. (Thanks to Sierra Nevada for the free advanced bottle samples.)

Elliot Glacier Public House to Become Solera Brewery

Nearly two years ago a hidden gem at the base of Mt. Hood, the Elliot Glacier Public House & brewery, closed its doors. Known for its warm, homey atmosphere and stunning views of the mountain, it had become a respected brewery and a welcome stop for those partaking in wintertime activities on Mt. Hood.
There was much talk of what would become of the place, especially after it was posted for sale on Craigslist. After a few missed attempts to restart the place, The New School is excited to report that Jason Kahler, the Head Brewer at Big Horse Brewing in Hood River, OR, has purchased the Elliot Glacier property along with a business partner, John Hitt of Portland. The two are renovating the space for a brand new brewery, Solera Brewing.

The New School & Burnside Brewing Celebrate Anniversaries on New Years Eve

New Years Eve is an occasion for celebration for many reasons this year. Obviously it is the evening we ring in the new year, but it also serves as the anniversary of The New School, which will be celebrating its second birthday alongside Burnside Brewing, which will be having its 1 Year Anniversary.

To make matters even more interesting, the combined party on New Years Eve at Burnside Brewing will benefit the Pink Boots Society and feature special beers by guest breweries, with a portion of sales going to the non-profit PBS organization. There will even be a brand new one-off beer brewed by PBS members at Coalition Brewing. Each hour from 8pm on we will also be raffling off swag from the participating breweries, including rare bottled beers.

2nd Annual Buckman-Kerns Brewfest

On Sunday, January 15th, which for many is a long weekend, East Burn will be hosting breweries from the Buckman and Kerns neighborhoods of Portland for the 2nd annual Buckman-Kerns Brewfest. This year's participants include Lucky Labrador Brewing, Coalition Brewing, Natian Brewery, Migration Brewing, Buckman Brewery, Cascade Barrel House, and Burnside Brewing. Each brewery will be pouring some of its finest selections, with a few brand new releases. The event starts at 12pm with great food provided by EastBurn and, of course, lots of fantastic beer.

Admission is only $10, which gets you a Brewfest pint glass (a real pint glass, not plastic! Yeah!) plus 4 tickets. Tickets are $1 each and which gets you one taster or a full pint for 4 tickets.

For more info:

Elysian's 12 Beers of the Apocalypse

I am posting this press release from Elysian Brewing mostly because I love what they have done with the labels from this series. As a label artist myself it's hard not to be inspired by the stark, simple form-based art of indie comic artist and illustrator Charles Burns (famous for his work 'Black Hole'). Each apocalypse-inspired beer label is rendered in only two colors and is clearly designed to work in a simple black and white contrast that really makes them stand out. Elysian Brewing is becoming known for its inspired choices of collaborators, from 'The Loser' pale ale collab with Sub Pop records to this yearlong series with famous adult comic book publisher Fantagraphics. I hope the beers are as tasty and interesting as the labels.

Master Brewer Theater: Featuring Ben Love, Van Havig & Chad Kennedy

The New School presents an exclusive video produced by Ben Love and Gigantic Brewing: Master Brewer Theater. The video features Mr. Love and Van Havig of the upcoming Gigantic Brewing and Chad Kennedy of the upcoming Worthy Brewing, and is narrated by Scotsman and Whisky expert, Stuart Ramsey.

The video itself is a lengthy 50 minutes and 22 seconds(!) of primarily audio, along wtih an entertaining opening slideshow and narration and video credits of all the participants at the closing. To represent each brewer when speaking a different vintage photo is shown. All photos are hanging on the wall of the Horse Brass pub (where it was recorded) and used to symbolize the Brewmasters. It is worth a listen to hear these guys bullshitting about the business of craft beer and opening their own respective breweries, even if you can only listen to the audio it alone is compelling.

Hopworks Special Releases this Week

Hopworks Urban Brewery has some announcements to make about special beer tappings in this week leading up to Christmas. I am especially a huge fan of the Brouwer's Anniversary Imperial Stout that they are tapping on Tuesday.

Sunday, December 18 – We’re re-releasing our 2009 Noggin Floggin barleywine and 2010 barrel-aged Noggin Floggin barleywine. Come on in and cozy up with these special vintage beers and explore the nuances time and bourbon barrels add to our winter warmer. Both beers go on at noon and run until they’re gone.

Tuesday, December 20 – Special release of Hopworks Brouwer’s Anniversary Imperial Stout. We brewed an imperial version of our 7-Grain Stout (minus the coffee) to help celebrate the 6th anniversary of Seattle’s famed Brouwer’s CafĂ©. The beer has a very complex roasted, fruity, brown sugar aroma and is full-bodied with flavors of roast barley, chocolate, cocoa nibs, molasses and dark fruit.  It’s followed by a warming alcohol finish and lingering notes of all the aromas and flavors listed above. Look for it on-tap beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 22 – Drop into the brewery on  Powell Blvd. and take advantage of our 12/22 case beer sale. Purchase a case of any of our core brands (IPA, DOA and Stout) for $36 as well as special discounts on seasonal offerings including Bike Beer Kolsch, Noggin Floggin Barleywine and Abominable Winter Ale. At Hopworks Urban Brewery, 2944 SE Powell only.

Thursday, December 22Track down our elusive bourbon barrel-aged Abominable Winter Ale, better known as Kentucky Christmas, before it disappears. We’ve lined up a limited release at both Hopworks locations at 4:00 pm until it’s all gone for the season.

It's All Happening in St. Johns this Weekend

St. Johns is a neighborhood in North Portland, an area I have to confess I sometimes think of as not being part of Portland. It is a pretty quiet and comfy community that is becoming more and more of a craft beer hub, based on the work of Randy Plew and his bar, Plew's Brews, as well as the North Portland Fermentation Association, aka the homebrew club known as NoPo Brews. Recently they have been joined in St. Johns by Occidental Brewing and Barrel, a great new bottleshop.

This weekend is the best time imaginable to venture to Portland's North Pole, as the two venerable groups have come together to put together the first ever NoPo Winter Beer Festival December 16th through 18th.

Behind the Pint: David Walker of Firestone Walker

Earlier this week David Walker, co-owner and co- founder of Firestone Walker, made a surprise appearance in Portland to do a tasting at Belmont Station. Prior to that I met up with him at the legendary Horse Brass to talk about the future of the craft beer industry, how Firestone Walker was similar to a premium winery, the rising cost of craft beer, whether the black market resale of collectible beer is good or bad, and what the next thing is for Firestone Walker.

Oakshire Brewing Releases Skookumchuck Wild Ale in Bottles

Oakshire Brewmaster Matt Van Wyk with a bottle of Skookumchuck

On November 18th Oakshire Brewing debuted its first ever wild ale in bottles. The beer was made in collaboration with the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), a utility that is working to help keep Willamette Valley water fresh and pristine. Some proceeds from the beer go to Berggren Watershed Conservation Area, a property owned and protected by the McKenzie River Trust.

Skookumchuck Wild Ale is the third in a series of three beers brewed this year for EWEB's 100th anniversary. It is a blend of three different beers (Belgian Golden with Brett, a Farmhouse Ale with Apricots and Brett, and an American Wheat Ale with lacto) all aged in Oregon Pinot Noir Barrels for 18-24 months.

It is part of Oakshire's new Brewer's Reserve series. The beers are sold in 750 ml cork and caged bottles that are both painted and paper labeled. These special beers, mostly wild ales aged in wine barrels, are offered in VERY low volumes, so only a handful of cases exist. They will mainly be for sale at their tasting room. However, right now it is available by the bottle and on tap at Belmont Station.

The beer has a medium creamy body with a soft tartness up front. Notes of oak and tannins give way to distinct apricot and peach flavors and end with a vinous quality and a slight yeasty bitterness and signature horse blanket and funk. Not a sour bomb, but a very well-rounded, tart farmhouse-style ale. I'd say it's worth seeking out a bottle.

Head to Head: CDA vs. White IPA at Coalition Brewing

Two craft beer styles have recently caught the imagination of brewers nationwide. The Cascadian Dark Ale has experienced a meteoric rise to popularity over the past couple of years, and more recently the "White IPA" has gained some steam. (A "White" IPA is basically an IPA that uses wheat as a base and may use a Belgian yeast or Witbier spices).

Coalition Brewing has brewed its own interpretation of each style and will be pitting them against each other in a boxing-style battle on Thursday evening. The event will also be the first of Coalition's new weekly Movie Nights, and will be playing, of course, Rocky. Why Rocky, you might ask? Well, the CDA uses a new variety of hops that is making the rounds called "Apollo", just like Rocky's nemesis cum mentor, Apollo Creed. Also of note, the CDA uses a new wheat product from Briess called Midnight Wheat that is also featured in New Belgium's new Snow Day seasonal. It is a pretty cool new product that gives black color but not much roast and has some of the proteins and body that wheat gives to beers. The new CDA is on tap now and is a very well balanced interpretation of the style, not overly hoppy but light bodied. The White IPA won't be on tap until tomorrow night.

Thursday December 15th 7pm
Coalition Brewing
2724 SE Ankeny
Portland, OR

Christmakuh at The Hop & Vine with Sierra Nevada

On Thursday we have one of those rare craft beer events that also benefits a good cause while netting you free schwag in the process.

Every year Sierra Nevada puts together a tap takeover of sorts at North Portland's The Hop & Vine and this year there is a pretty great lineup of drafts from classics like Celebration and the Pale Ale to rare one-off Base Camp series beers like Black Hop Rising and Blackaliscious aka Snowed in Stout.

Also cool is they will have all 3 of the Ovila Trappist series of beers on tap including the new Quad, the Saison and the Dubbel and you can get a flight of all 3 for only $7.
More info below

2011 Holiday Beer Geek Gift Guide

It may be shocking news to you all, but it is the holiday season, and if you beer geeks are anything like myself, you probably have only begun to consider what you will purchase for the significant beer geeks in your life. I have tirelessly put together a list of eccentric gifts that mostly fly under the radar and that I would be stoked to be gifted myself. Last year's list of gifts still applies, but I have an all new list for your consideration below...

The Rise of 10 Barrel Brewing

Bend's 10 Barrel Brewing is one of the most rapidly growing breweries in the state, yet outside of central Oregon it keeps a pretty low profile. The brewery is selling beer and expanding at an incredible rate, refilling the tanks the moment they run dry and still not keeping up with demand. As such, 10 barrel recently announced plans for a new 50 barrel system and hired two of the bestbBrewmasters in town in Jimmy Seifrit of Deschutes and Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing. However, this is just the beginning of a larger plan that includes opening yet another new brewery and pub in Idaho.

Full Sail's 'Brewers Share' Bottles now Official

 It's official now. As we reported a week ago Full Sail Brewing is to begin bottling entries in their Brewers Share line of previously one-off draft only beers.  Sadly some favorites of the Brewmasters Reserve series will not be back. More details from the press release below:

Weekend Beer Geek Guide: Thursday-Saturday

This Thursday through Saturday marks a busy weekend in PDX. Here is a rundown of a number of events worth your time.

Alameda Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve Release Party
Thursday Dec. 8th 6-8pm
The limited bottle release of Alameda's annual winter strong Old Ale, having aged one year in Bourbon Barrels. Live music, Raffles and $2 pints all day.
Alameda Brewing
4765 NE Fremont St,
Portland, OR 97213

Stone/Elysian/The Bruery: La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado Release Parties
There are two events one today Thursday and the other Friday, both for the Official Release of Stone Brewing's new collaboration beer La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado, brewed in partnership with Elysian and The Bruery using herbs and spices like pumpkins, yams, and fenugreek. We did a big feature review of this beer here.

Bottle Release at Barrel in St. Johns
Thursday 5-8pm
Join Stone Brewing and Elysian reps for the bottle release of the new collaboration beer at St. Johns's brand new bottle shop called Barrel. They will be sampling this beer along with other beers from all three breweries from 5pm - 8pm. There is a $5 tasting fee.
7401 N Burlington Ave, 
Portland, OR 97203
Draft Release at Roscoe's 
Friday 5-8pm
In addition to the amazing collaboration beer, Roscoe's will also feature 8 amazing and limited releases from the three breweries. From Stone we will feature Vertical Epic 11.11.11, Cali-Belgique IPA, and Ruination. From Elysian we will feature the only keg of Motueka Belgian Pale to make it to Oregon, and Cyclops Barleywine. From The Bruery we will feature Rugbrod and Trade Winds Tripel.
8105 SE Stark St.,
Portland, OR 97215

Brewing up Cocktails: Winter Holidays Special Edition
Saturday 6-9pm
BuC returns for a special edition focusing on winter warmers with 3 different drinks served hot out of 7 total and including some returning favorites like the Hot Scotchy and Wassail and a sure to be new classic the Hot Choklat. Plus there is an ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. More deets here.
The Hop & Vine
1914 N. Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217

Amnesia Winter Ale Fest 2011
Saturday 12pm-10pm
Amnesia's small fest returns this year with a selection of local beers not featured at the big Holiday Ale Fest. The New School already published the guide and beer list.

Breakside Brewery Releases Bourbon Barrel Aztec & Soursop Wheat in Bottles

Sizing up the Competition
Next Wednesday, December 14, Breakside Brewery (820 NE Dekum) will release bottled versions of two barrel-aged beers. Bourbon Barrel Aztec is an oak-aged version of Aztec Ale, the brewery’s popular strong ale made with chocolate and chiles. This is the second release of Bourbon Barrel Aztec, and the first round of bottles sold very quickly last summer. According to the brewers, this latest version has developed rich oak and coconut flavors, shows a lot of bourbon in the nose, and has a mellow, though present, heat. Soursop Wheat is a blend of several different Belgian wheat beers that were aged in soured Old Tom Gin barrels and then aged on soursop, a Southeast Asian fruit that is both sweet and savory. This beer has lots of juniper and herb character on the nose, a big sourness up front, and a rounded, fruity finish. For those unfamiliar with soursop, the brewery will provide samples of the fruit during the release party.

Both beers will be available on draught as well. According to head brewer Ben Edmunds, “this will likely be the only time these two beers are on tap simultaneously, since we have very limited quantities of both.” Edmunds also said that he plans to tap one or two special kegs of previously unreleased experimental beers throughout the evening as well.  The beers will be available beginning at 3 PM in 750 ml format bottles, exclusively at Breakside’s pub. Earlybird attendees will also benefit from the brewery’s new happy hour menu that runs from 3-6 PM. 

Boneyard Brewing Hits the Bigtime

Boneyard Brewing is a scrapheap and a recyclery almost as much as it is a brewery. Walking around the small warehouse that resembles an auto repair shop, you might get the feeling your going to find a greasy workshop of auto mechanics and cars and motorcycles in various states of repair, and you're right, you will. You will also find mechanics and brewers who have skillfully assembled a dependable first class workhorse of a brewery. Owner Tony Lawrence and his partners might be a bit like Dr. Frankenstein in their work, and through tinkering they have created a monster in Bend. Their work has paid off in spades, and soon a new bigger and badder brewery will be rolling out of the gates.

Before we get into that, though, how about a little history.

The 'Hot Choklat' - a Winter Warmer

This is the 'Hot Choklat', a beer cocktail I created a while back that will finally be making its debut this Saturday at Brewing up Cocktails: Winter Holiday Special Edition at The Hop & Vine. I truly believe this is one of those drinks with crossover appeal to both beer lovers and cocktail lovers. It is incredibly approachable, deceptively simple, and, most uniquely, is served steaming hot.

Brewer/Brewery Profile: Deschutes's Veronica Vega

Just two miles down the road from Deschutes Brewery's main high-tech production facility in Bend is the original brewpub that started the company so many years ago. It is a stark contrast from the huge new gleaming tanks currently being added at the main headquarters; the brewpub is still a modest old brick building with a small brewhouse. But even here on the old system, Veronica Vega is standing out from the pack with a creative set of house-brewed beers flowing alongside the brewery's standard offerings.

Full Sail Brewing's Brewers Share to Replace Some Brewmasters Reserve Beers

Actual new Full Sail Brewers Share beer labels

I was surprised to learn that Full Sail Brewing is discontinuing some of its regular entries in the Brewmasters Reserve series of 22oz bottles and drafts and that they will be replaced by select beers from the Brewers Share series. Previously only offered as one-off draft beers brewed by different employees to benefit their choice of charity and served only at Full Sail's Portland and Hood River taprooms, the Brewers Share series most popular four entries are coming back. This is how Full Sail describes the series in its previous draft only incarnation:
"The Brewer’s Share series is a line-up of small batch draft beers where each Full Sailor takes a turn hand-crafting their own single batch recipe and a portion of the proceeds benefit a local charity of their choosing. Full Sail’s Brewer’s Share beers will only be available on tap at our Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, Oregon, and at our Brewery at Riverplace, in Portland, Oregon. Growlers to go are available. "
More info on the new bottles, labels, and what is to become of some Brewmasters Reserve series beers below.

Holiday Ale Festival Picks from Day 1: Best Bets & What to Avoid

Right now in Portland it is all about the Holiday Ale Festival, which kicked off Wednesday and runs through Sunday. While many other sites are offering their best bets and top picks, we decided to keep coverage to a minimum before we could actually try the beers.

In previous years I have bemoaned the Holiday Ale Fest's pin-up girl and weighed its pros and cons, but this year I am just going to concentrate on the beers themselves and leave it up to you to decide weather the festival is worth it. However, seeing as you are a reader of this blog, I imagine I will be seeing you at the fest. Here is what we think you should make sure to try...

New School & Brewvana: Discounted Tours this Weekend

We have a special holiday promo today from our friends at Brewvana Brewery Tours just for New School readers. Right now for tours taking place on Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd receive 30% off! with promo discount code "NewSchoolBeer". DO IT! Before the tours sell out. Just go to their website and look up your choice tour on Friday and Saturday, fill out the info, and enter the promo code.