Eugene Beer Week Is Heating Up: Details on 3 Foodie/Beer Events

Eugene Beer Week is coming up fast and 16 Tons Taphouse and Bottleshop has announced a number of its food and pairing related events.

The week kicks off on Monday, May 7, with rich pairings of select craft beers and luxurious Theo chocolate bars. 16 Tons' 2nd Anniversary Beer: Upright El Coloquio de Cervantes, a Barrel-Aged Dark Rye Saison with Raspberries, will be one of the featured beers. Tickets are $8 (Reserve a spot via email:

Cider Summit Festival Coming Back to Portland This June

Returning for its second year, the awkwardly named named Cider Summit NW Festival or Cider Summit Portland is returning to the south waterfront. The festival is a must for fans of the quickly growing hard cider segment of beverages that the rest of us are becoming fast fans of.

(Portland, OR)  April 29, 2012   SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective
are pleased to announce the return of Cider Summit NW Festival to Portland,
OR. The second annual Portland event will be on Saturday, June 23, 2012
from 11am-7pm at Elizabeth Caruthers Park in the emerging South Waterfront
neighborhood near the Portland Aerial Tram. The event is presented by
Barbur World Foods ( & Bushwhacker Cider

Collage Beer Dinner with Deschutes and Hair of the Dog at Wildwood

Correction: Original post incorrectly credited the dinner. The actual Chef's that created the menu are Chef Paul Kasten from Wildwood & Chef Jeff Usinowicz from Deschutes Brewery

Deschutes Brewery is ready to release the highly anticipated Conflux Series. No. 1 in the series is a beer called 'Collage' made in collaboration with Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. The two breweries have planned what sounds like an epic beer dinner in Portland at Wildwood Restaurant & Bar on May 14, and at the Descutes brewpub in Bend on May 18.

Breakside Brewery's 2nd Anniversary Block Party

Breakside Brewery, the little NE brewpub that could, is celebrating its 2nd anniversary in big fashion with a huge party on Saturday, May 12, from 1pm until 7pm. The Block Party will feature live music, special release beers, and guest "celebrity" chefs on the outdoor grill, with an additional 8-10 beers on tap outside to augment what is on in the pub. Here is what you can expect, according to brewer Ben Edmunds:

Second Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival

The second annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival is coming this June 9th and 10th. Expanding from Burnside Brewing Co.'s parking lot and out onto NE 7th Street off of E Burnside will effectively double the space and allow for an even greater selection of some of the best and most unique fruit beers in the world. A new website has been launched at to track the progress, and it's also where you can read more about the just added Pre-Fest Homebrewers Dinner & Symposium on Friday, June 8th, and where you can buy advanced tickets for the dinner, festival and a VIP hour. Plus, a new website blog that will chronicle the making of many fruit beers for the fest by the brewers themselves.

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales again Wins the Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers Fest

Logsdon Head Brewer Charles Porter at the brewery
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales takes home the "People's Choice" award again in the 2012 Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers fest. It is worth noting that last year they got to choose the winning yeast strain and chose Roselare from Wyeast which is actually a blend of various strains used to make sour and Flanders -style beers. Hopworks who also tied last year chose a Canadian Belgian Yeast that nearly everyone at the 2012 festival used to ferment their beers. This calls into question the even-ness of the playing field as far as a competition goes but in no way takes away from the fun of the festival or the quality of Logsdon's beer. One which I quite enjoyed.

VIDEO: Interview with Gigantic Brewing's Ben Love & Van Havig

Thought I would share this pretty good interview from KPAM 860 with Gigantic Brewing's Ben Love and Van Havig. Only 2 weeks now until they are officially open!

Terminal Gravity/Double Mountain's Collaboration IPA out this Week in Bottles

First mentioned in my interview with Charlie Devereux of Double Mountain about the brewery's upcoming expansion, Gravity Mountain (a collaboration IPA with Terminal Gravity) is being released in bottles and on draft this week. So I guess technically this will be Double Mountain's first bottled beer, though the packaged version in bottles is all made by Terminal Gravity in Enterprise, OR and the draft at Double Mountain's brewery in Hood River, OR. This Friday you can taste the differences between the two versions side-by-side at the official release party.

Review: 2012 Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers

Oregon Brewers Guild director Brian Butenschoen makes an announcement
Yesterday's 2012 Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers seemed to be an unbridled success, and my guess is it was also the highest attendance ever. It was shoulder to shoulder in Metalcraft Fabrication's warehouse for much of the day, though it was hardly ever difficult to get a beer. Outside, the sun was shining and it was almost too hot to bear being in the direct heat, which left many people standing around inside. The beers may have been the best from any PCTBB so far. Crowd favorites seemed to be The Commons' entry, and I would give it a nod for the win, except the keg kicked early, which could be a good and a bad thing for people to get a chance to drink and vote on it for People's Choice. I also enjoyed Solera's entry. Similar to a Berliner-Weisse, it seemed to split people between love it or hate it. It had that distinct cereal, lacto sour mash flavor that turns some off, but I found it tasty and refreshing this day. Some other entries, like those from Oakshire Brewing and Block 15 Brewing, while well-liked, were too strong and perhaps too bold for many with the 80 degree weather. I know I was definitely not feeling the dark beers. I'm looking forward to hearing the results hopefully on Monday.

Oysters, Stout & Belgian-Style Brews

Photo from Eating isn't Cheating blog
Get your Oyster and Stout fix this Saturday at Widmer. If you're attending the Cheers To Belgian Beers festival just up the street from the Gasthaus, you can receive a free oyster and a sample of their new Cloyster Stout.

Greetings From Austin: Part 1

(With guest contribution by Noah Johnson-Greenough)

Austin, Texas - Some say Austin is the Portland of Texas. A city known as a liberal stronghold in a conservative state that birthed George Bush. Known for its diverse music culture and festivals like SXSW, a growing film community, and more and more craft beer. I flew into the city last Saturday night for the first time to see what it was all about.

Kells Brew Pub - Open Now in NW Portland

These days everyone is getting into the brewing game. The latest wave of new openings is by restaurateurs and bar owners of well-established businesses that are not necessarily known for craft beer. Take, for instance, Kells Brew Pub, the latest in the growing line of Kells Irish pubs that are currently known mostly for ice cold Guinness, frat boys, and St. Patrick's Day blowouts. It does make a certain amount of sense to brew your own beer in house, even if you are never going to be able to replicate Guinness for authenticity.

Kells Brew Pub has already opened on Portland's NW 21st Avenue, a strip full of bars, restaurants, and lots of shopping, so there is a hell of a lot of both street and foot traffic. Kells Brew Pub is a more comfortable, casual feeling place than their downtown location. It feels more family friendly and akin to a Gustav's.

The brewery in the back of the restaurant/pub is behind two big old wooden and glass barn doors. It's a brand new 10 barrel brewhouse made locally by Metalcraft Fabrication, with 6 fermenters but only 1 bright tank. Kells has sprung to go the extra mile with this shiny new brew setup, including plates with the new Kells Brewery coat of arms. As of press time the brewhouse was not yet operational and was still waiting on a key brewhouse tank that could not be brought in through the doors and has to have a slab cut out of the wall for it to fit through. Luckily, the big hole in the wall that will be left behind will be useful as a walkway to a new outdoor patio that will be constructed and is sure to be popular in this neighborhood.

You're probably wondering what kind of beers they are going to make. An Irish stout or Irish red seems obvious, perhaps overly so, so instead you can look forward to an Irish-style lager as the main house beer, and likely a steam beer/amber ale hybrid, according to supervisor and future brewing assistant Garrett McAleese. Being partial to the Smithwick's English Ale and Amber style, you may see a hybrid of these made with East Kent Goldings and Oregon-grown hops. "Timber" Joey Webber, mascot of the Portland Timbers soccer team and friend of Kells, has also expressed plans to brew a beer here. As of now I believe Rogue Ales produces the special Kells Irish Lager, so I assume this is to help them ween off that beer and proudly proclaim it their own. The plan is to serve the Irish Lager at all of their locations and continue to produce other year rounds or seasonals strictly for the Brew Pub.

Based on the casual crowd that has already begun frequenting Kells Brewpub without any promotion or advertising on their part, they should not have any trouble filling the place with families. The menu revealed a casual nod towards English/Irish food, with Cod & Fish, Shepherd's Pie, and Dublin Chicken Curry. They are clearly aiming to be a crowd pleaser, though, with very American entries like Irish Nachos, BLTs, and Reubens. For those missing the old Laurelwood NW location, this may be the next best alternative, though perhaps without the variety of NW style brews, at least for the time being.

16 Tons Week of Wild and "El Coloquio de Cervantes"

16 Tons Taphouse and Cafe in Eugene has a great alternative to this IPA season. The pub's 'Week Of Wild" from April 23-29 will feature 30 different wild ales on tap and the debut of the bar's anniversary beer, a special one-off by Upright Brewing, "El Coloquio de Cervantes".

Hopworks To Debut Belgian-Style Bottled Beer Series

Hopworks is going all Belgian on us. The brewery known for hoppy organic beers has had some success with Belgian-styles, winning the Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers competition 2 years ago and tying for the win last year with Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. Debuting on draught at this year's upcoming Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers on April 21 will be a new series of bottle-conditioned beers featuring classic European styles with Hopworks' own Northwest twist. 

This Way A Beer Week Comes

Festival season, or should I say beer week season, is upon us. Portland Beer Week does not start until June 7, but Eugene, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC's beer weeks are all in May. Eugene Beer Week has an exciting lineup in the works, including: Corvallis Takeover Night, Bend Takeover Night, Beer Celebrity Family Feud, Beer Trivia Night, and Sour Ale Fest. All of these and more are in the works for the 2nd annual Eugene Beer Week.

On Wednesday an initial lineup of events and an official beer brewed by Deschutes and Hopworks were announced for the upcoming Portland Beer Week (June 7-17).

More on both Eugene Beer Week and Portland Beer Week below.

Astoria Brewing/Wet Dog Cafe to Open New Brewery and Begin Canning

Astoria, Oregon's "other" brewery is often called the Wet Dog Cafe, which is actually the name of the pub. Astoria Brewing has been brewing longer than its peers in town in some tiny, cramped brewhouse quarters. Nevertheless, the small brewery has managed to win the public over with hits such as the Bitter Bitch Imperial IPA.

You can occasionally find Astoria Brewing's beers in Portland when Head Brewer John Dalgren makes one of his frequent trips to town to drop off kegs. However, those trips have become less frequent with increasing demand at the pub and elsewhere in the region, so it is exciting that owners have opted to purchase a second space for a taphouse and another brewery while leaving the current location as is. More than just being able to offer more draft beer, this will allow Astoria Brewing to finally install the canning line it purchased over a year ago.

Lagunitas Brewing to Open New Chicago Brewery

Last night Lagunitas Brewing owner Tony Magee made a surprisingly informal announcement via his personal Twitter account that the brewery would be opening a new production facility in Chicago, Illinois. This comes on the heels of the recent announcements that Sierra Nevada and New Belgium will be building east coast production breweries. Will Lagunitas be the next big 10 craft brewer? It would seem so.

Gigantic Is Brewing and Has an Opening Date

Exciting news today as the highly anticipated Gigantic Brewing brewed its first batch of beer last Wednesday and is ready to announce its grand opening to the public. Started by ex-Hopworks Head Brewer Ben Love and ex-Rock Bottom Brewmaster Van Havig, two of Oregon's all-star brewers have teamed up to bring us an exciting new project that we fill finally see debut next month.

Alpine Beer Company for the first time in Portland

APEX seems the place to be lately in Portland. Yet again they come through with a big score by bringing Alpine Beer Company to Portland for the first time ever. True they will only be pouring 2 of Alpine's beers but they are more than worth talking about from one of the most buzzed about breweries in California. APEX owner Jesse McCann says "Their beers are, at least in my mind, legendary. There really isn't an IPA I'd be happier drinking than one of theirs."

That is some seriously high praise. Founder and brewmaster, Pat McIlhenney will be joined by his son Shawn, Alpine's head brewer, at APEX for a few hours.

4PM, Saturday, April 14th at APEX.
1216 SE Division St. 
Portland, Oregon 97202

18th Annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest

The 18th annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest happens today and tomorrow, April 6-7, and I almost forgot about it. Usually the most forgettable of PDX fests, it nonetheless makes up for a slow fest going season until we get into June. The Spring Beer & Wine Fest does have it all, including breweries, wineries, and distilleries, along with all sorts of random craftsman hocking everything from massage chairs to leaf guards for your gutters.

This year's fest has a few new things going for it. Mt. Tabor Brewing will debut Hudson Bay CDA; Eugene's newest brewery, Falling Sky, debuts in PDX with Bare Hands NW Bitter and Pouring Porter; Long Brewing, seldom seen in Portland, is pouring Kolsch and IPA; and, perhaps most interesting, is the debut of Churchkey Can Co., which has been getting a fair amount of press recently. Rumor is that one of Churchkey's co-founders, famous actor and musician Adrian Grenier, will even be there to promote the launch.
I will attend the early morning Media Preview today and scope out if there is anything else worth reporting.

New Belgium/Elysian TRIP XI Firkin and Cycling Events at APEX this Weekend

This Friday, April 6th, at 6PM, APEX bar is turning it up to 11 by tapping their first ever firkin. It's the 11th TRIP beer from New Belgium and Elysian Brewing, and as a tribute to Spinal Tap, it is named "Nigel." Nigel is an 8.5% saison with a couple of unusual ingredients to complement the pale malt and Target hops. They threw some rosemary in the mash and again afterward during rest, and then post-fermentation it chilled out on some sage. It should be delicious.

APEX's other love is cycling, and if you enjoy watching world class riders compete while enjoying a pint of fine craft beer, there is nowhere you would rather be than APEX this Sunday.

Old Town Brewing Co: Down but not Out Thanks to Friends

Old Town Pizza's NE MLK location will soon have their own housemade craft beer available on tap. It would have been available much sooner had an ember from an upstairs lampshade not caught the building ablaze and damaged the foundation and structure around the brand new brewery right before they were set to debut beers. "the fire burnt through the floor joist supporting the boiler and a wall damaged by water has to be replaced" said owner Adam Milne causing estimated damages of $300 to $500 thousand. Luckily friends from Aviary restaurant and Rock Bottom Brewery have come together to support a business in need.

Hops, Apples, Honey, and Rice Tour with Brian Yaeger & Brewvana

Local beer writer Brian Yaeger can be called many things; troublemaker, raconteur, beer writer, questionable father but who knew expert on all things alcoholic yet gluten-free? Next week he leads his own tour on the Brewvana Brewery Tours Bus that explores everything made from fermented apples, honey and rice.

The special tour is Monday, April 9, from noon - 5:30 p.m. Space is limited and tickets are $85.

The tour begins at Buschwhacker Cider, the only cidery in Portland. Cidermaker Jeff Smith will lead a discussion of “hard” ciders, a segment of the beer market currently enjoying tremendous growth of 25%. The second stop will be Kookoolan World Meadery in Yamhill. Yamhill County is home to some 280 wineries, but only this one specializes in honey wine and meadmaker Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor will guide guests in discussion and sampling. Next, the bus stops at Saké One in Forest Grove. It is Oregon’s only saké brewery (saké is brewed like beer and is therefore not “rice wine”). Lastly, what’s a Brewvana tour without going to a brewery? The tour concludes at Harvester Brewing, a new brewery in Portland and the only one dedicated to brewing gluten free beers that are proving a hit even among non-Celiacs. Brewmeister James Neumeister will lead the tour and tasting.

Sign Up Here

About Brian Yaeger:
Yaeger is the author of "Red, White, and Brew: An AmericaBeer Odyssey," about the people and places that constitute the brewing industry. He lives in Portland, freelancing as a beer and travel writer contributing to Willamette Week, All About Beer Magazine, Draft, Beer West, and more. Yaeger and his wife open their spare apartment to beercationers aat Inn Beervana. Follow him at

Behind The Pint: The Story behind Omission Beers

Last week the Craft Brew Alliance announced a new brand of beers called the Omission series developed by Widmer Brothers. Yesterday they debuted the beer to members of the media and shared with us test lab results on the beers gluten levels proving they were well under the 20 ppm required by law to be gluten-free. One of the nifty features of the Omission website is you can type in the date stamp on your particular bottle of beer to pull up the gluten test on each batch of beer.

Also revealed was why Omission is only available in Oregon. Apparently there are some TTB issues with label approval as right now the federal government is not recognizing beers brewed with barley as gluten-free so they presumably could not advertise the beer this way.

More behind-the-scenes video on what makes this new brand special below.

Pints Brewing Co.'s Grand Opening

Brand new brewery Pints Brewing in NW Portland has announced plans for its official grand opening on Friday, April 13th. Apparently not the superstitious type, Head Brewer Zach Beckwith will have all 4 of the core year-round beers available on tap by then (Tavern Ale, RedBrick Rye, Steel Bridge Stout and IPA), plus a new spring seasonal, a malty NW Red Ale. Also on tap will be the Lompoc/Pints collaboration beer, Legalize Wit, that was brewed alongside Lompoc's Dave Fleming for the upcoming Portland Cheers To Belgian Beers Festival.

The party starts at noon, with burgers and brats on the grill all day and live music starting at 7pm. There will also be specials on growler fills and other surprises.

412 NW 5th Ave • Portland, Oregon 97209
Phone: (503) 564-BREW