Belmont Station's Portland Beer Week Lineup

We're now just one week away from the PORTLAND BEER WEEK kickoff party. More and more events and news about the week are coming out, including a handful from Portland's premier bottleshop, Belmont Station.

Taste the wide range of Gluten Free Beers from Portland's own Harvester & Omission, to imports like Green's and Estrella. We'll be pouring every gluten free beer available in Oregon (currently 16 and growing). A brewer from Harvester and some of the distributor/brand reps will be present. This is the first night of Portland Beer Week.

The official reserve release for this year's Portland Beer Week is a collaboration between Deschutes and Hopworks Urban Brewery: the result is an India Red Lager, a dry-hopped red lager utilizing Pacific Northwest hop varieties. Two different versions have been brewed with slight differences, one at HUB and one at Deschutes Portland pub. We'll pour both on tap and debut the sale of bottles of the Hopworks version (Deschutes is not bottled).  Join Hopworks head brewer Tom Bleigh and reps from Deschutes for this limited release.

For Portland Beer Week we asked a number of brewers in the Rocky Mountain States to send us something special to pour. We're still assembling a list but expect something fun from Epic, Boulder, Uinta, Funkwerks, New Belgium, Wasatch/Squatters and... the list is growing.

 Join Brewmaster/co-owner Matt McClung from this wonderful Seattle Craft Brewery as they introduce their beer to Portland. We are assembling a tap list that will include standouts from their year-round lineup and an enticing assortment of barrel-aged and one-off kegs. Matt is a former Portland resident with deep ties to our town and he's excited to bring his beer to Beervana! Watch this space and our website for the lineup.

Brewed by Block 15, this amazing beer is a strong Scottish Ale matured in 15year Pappy Van Winkle Barrels and blended with 11% Oud Bruin aged for 2 years in Bourbon barrels and 11% Oud Bruin aged for 9 months in Bourbon barrels. While the plan is subject to change (watch this space), we expect to begin pouring the beer on draft at noon so you can get a glass to try it and then sell bottles at 1PM. Bottles will be limit 2 per person. We cannot guarantee it, but we expect the bottles to last for hours.  From 5 - 8PM Block 15 owner and brewer Nick Arzner will join us as we tap some other great Block 15 beers in our Biercafe.

Portland Beer Week "Guest Brewer Dinners" with John Gorham at Interurban

Portland Beer Week (June 7-17) is just around the corner, and to celebrate, owners chef John Gorham (Toro Bravo and Tasty n' Sons) and tap-master Dan Hart of North Portland's Interurban have been brewing up a star-studded series of three "Guest Brewer Dinners" for the gastropub, featuring several-course pairing menus with exclusive beers.

Premiering during PDX Beer Week, Interurban welcomes:

•    June 10 - Charlie Devereux of Double Mountain in Hood River, OR
•    June 12 - Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing in San Diego, CA
•    June 13 - Dick Cantwell of Elysian Brewery in Seattle, WA

Co-owners Hart and Gorham have been coordinating with each visiting brewer to produce a menu with beer pairings that demonstrates the evolution of gastropub fare and craft beer in today's culinary landscape.

Deschutes/Hopworks India Red Lager and Portland Beer Week Kickoff Party

Yesterday tickets went on sale for the kickoff party for the 2nd annual Portland Beer Week. The big draw might be the release of the official 2012 PDX Beer Week beer, a collaboration between two of Oregon's finest, Deschutes and Hopworks.It's a tweak/merger of classic styles: India Red Lager. Also sure to make the party a good time, there will be a brewers Pop-A-Shot tourney on Spirit of 77's custom made hoops.

Greetings from Austin: part 2

Digital Art by Chet Phillips
This is the much delayed part 2 of 3 guide to Austin, TX craft beer and food. Here is part 1.

Austin, TX is known for it's great food and love of music. I did not know that the city is also known for a common in the South type of bird called The Grackle. Whenever your in a more wooded area with trees in Austin this beloved/annoying bird is hissing, making weird gurgling noises and cackling at very high pitches while flying from one tree to a lamppost and back and forth. The Great Austin Grackle Kill of '07 still has people talking and there was even a movie Day of the Grackle about an evil Grackle from hell. Austin has become well known enough for them that a beer bar called The Grackle opened up in tribute.

Flat Tail Brewing now Worker Owned

Flat Tail brewers (Dave Marliave on the right)

News from Corvallis, OR and Head Brewer and new Owner Dave Marliave of Flat Tail Brewing reports "my new partner Jason (Duranceau) and I bought out our financial backer and Flat Tail is now officially 100% working partner owned." At just 24 Dave Marliave is undeniably putting his personal touch to one of the most eccentric breweries in the state.

Flat Tail Brewing ownership now consists of Iain and Tanya who run the pub side of the business and the new neighboring Brew and Mark Martin and Laura Bryngelson  owners of Albany, OR based Calapooia Brewing and 10% owners of Flat Tail. "As far as what this means to the business, it's huge.  Almost every new brewery opens and functions with a financial backer, whom in most cases has not been previously involved in the brewing industry." So what is the difference now that these guys own a part of the business? "each one of us is as passionate about beer as the next....this isn't the kind of crew that sells out to AB as soon as we're profitable.  I look forward to seeing Flat Tail evolve into a regional brewery that maintains the same quality and creativity driven practices it started with; and now there's nothing to stop that from happening" said Dave.

Sounds like a pretty ideal brewing situation. I wonder if  this now will allow Dave Marliave even more leeway into one of the most experimental breweries in town already? I know I am looking forward to trying their strawberry mandarin sour wit brewed for the upcoming Portland Fruit Beer Festival.

Sour Beer Symposium & the Portland Beer Week/Saraveza Seminar Series

New Belgium has announced in a press release the PDX version of its Sour Beer Symposium. I attended a similar event during SF Beer Week and found it to be perhaps the week's best event. Alongside this symposium, Saraveza has 2 other great seminars for Portland Beer Week that are not to be missed, the Beer & Coffee Brunch Seminar and the Wake up Your Senses seminar. Tickets are now on sale for all 3 events. Many more details from NB's press release on the Sour Symposium below.

Hopworks Piledriver Bottles Finally Go on Sale

Piledriver is a Barrel-Aged dark Belgian-style Dubbel made with tart cherries and aged in wine and bourbon barrels with some wild yeast (unusual for Hopworks) that was tapped for a limited time at Biketobeerfest 2 years ago. It was tasting quite good then and has improved since. I last sampled it at Portland Beer Week's Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar last year, and the barrel character, wild yeast, and tartness had really melded well. I'm stoked to finally see this being released this Saturday.

From Hopworks:
After three years in the making, we’re releasing our Piledriver in bottles this weekend at a special dock sale at the brewery. Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, we’ll have about 30 cases of the 750 mL bottles available for $12 each.

Barrel-Aged Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Piledriver began as Hopworks Dubbel Supplex Abbey Ale in 2009. We then aged it in four different bourbon and Cabernet barrels with sixty pounds of sour cherries and brettanomyces for eighteen months.

8.5% ABV             17.5 Plato            18 IBU

More on APEX's 2 Year Anniversary Brother's Night

On Monday I posted about APEX's big 2 Year ANniiversary bash and promised to update you with more details. Now I have them:

First on Friday, May 18th from 5-9 PM APEX is having some sour and unusual beers. Firestone-Walker's "Sour" Jim Crooks will be on hand while pour some of his Agrestic, SLOambic and 100% Velvet Merkin.

Joining Firestone will be our local sour brothers from Cascade. Here's what we'll be pouring from them:

Agent de l’orange:  10.78% ABV
This live NW style sour is a Blender’s Reserve spiced blond quad that was aged in Makers Mark barrels for 16 months then spiced with orange peel and honey. Orange zest and herbal honey notes present themselves in the nose. Bright, tart orange peel, huge sweet malts and spices of cinnamon and coriander on the palate give way to a crisp orange finish that lingers. This could be just the thing to quench your thirst on that rare sunny day until spring. Servus!

Summer Gose 5.5% ABV 
This NW sour beer is a re-creation of a historic German wheat beer style that was nearly lost to time.  This light, slightly soured beer is spiced with coriander and sea salt.   Soft creamy wheat and spice greet you in the nose, while a light spice bite and hint of lemon cross the palate.  It finishes off with a soft lingering sour bite and just a slight dusty lemon note.

Rhubarb Crisp 6.5% ABV
This NW-style sour beer is a crisp, refreshing blend of beers that were barrel aged for seven to 12 months. Bright sweet notes of rhubarb and raspberries greet you in the nose. A light tartness of ripe berries and fruit sweetness intermingle on the palate, giving way to a light sparkling bite of rhubarb and slight nuttiness in the finish. Enjoy!

APEX owner Jesse McCann says "This should make for a hell of a Friday, but Saturday is going to absolutely blow your mind!"

It's our second anniversary celebration, all day and into the night from 11:30AM to 2:30 AM.  I won't tell you what I'm going to put on the tap, but if you remember last year's anniversary, you know that it's a lineup that's not to be missed. I'll be tapping between 30 and 50 rare beers that I've been working for the past two years to get for this event.

In addition, it'll be the worldwide debut of a beer I'm very excited about. Last year I asked my friend Peter Kruger, brewmaster at Bear Republic, if he'd be interested in making me a beer to commemorate our second anniversary. He graciously agreed to do so and I gave him  a few suggestions about what I liked best in my favorite double IPAs. He went to work on a recipe and the result is what he called the hoppiest beer they've ever made, Double Apex, a 10.1% Double IPA. An imperial version of their delicious Apex IPA. I can't wait to taste it!

Amnesia's 2nd Annual Single Hop Fest

One of last year's surprise hits was Amnesia Brewing's first-time Single Hop Fest. The small fest held at the N Mississippi Avenue brewery features all locally-made beers that use only one variety of hop. This year the fest returns to Amnesia on June 2nd with some new and returning beers.

Portland Fruit Beer Festival's Beer List and Behind-the-Scenes Making of Video

The full beer list for the 2012 Portland Fruit Beer Festival has been released alongside a behind-the-scenes, making-of style video for one of the beers, Laurelwood's 'Cascara Obscura'.

Expanding from 15 regular entries at last year's fest, the 2012 edition has 25 entries--24 beers and one hard cider. That number doesn't include the addition of a super-special batch of cider from Bushwhacker Cidery, Brooklyn Sour, that is limited to just 2 kegs. The list should please many, with its range from classic fruit beer flavors like cherries, to exotic offerings like papaya, to bourbon barrel-aged and sour beers. There will be something for everyone.

APEX 2nd Anniversary this Weekend

One of Oregon's best beer bars - APEX is turning 2 years old and is planning one hell of a 2 day party this Friday and Saturday. This poster gives you an idea of what to expect. More info as we get it.

Behind The Pint with the Hallertauer Hop Queen

Did you know there is a Hallertauer Hop Queen? Neither did I. When I first ran into her at the Brew Expo America trade show during the Craft Brewers Conference I thought she was just a pretty face at the German hop booth. Turns out on further investigation that not only is the Hop Queen the real deal and not just a sexy girl dressed up with a tiara and beautifully crafted hop scepter but a knowledgeable professional in the field of German hops. Each year a new Hop Queen is elected to represent their hop growing region and to act as a traveling ambassador along the lines of a more intelligent Miss America.

We met current reigning Hop Queen Veronika Springer at the Hop Growers of Germany booth showing off new varieties of hops beind developed in one of the biggest hop growing regions in the world. To be honest we had no idea Germany was doing so much with new hybrids and breeding. In addition to being able to touch and smell a few varieties they even had Victory Brewing brew a handful of beers with test varietals. Many of these beers were quite good including a Hefeweizen IPA hybrid and a Pilsner with a new kind of Hallertauer.

2012 Craft Brewers Conference & World Beer Cup

This past Tuesday I flew out to San Diego, CA for the Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup. It was an honor to attend this amazing event held once a year in a different US city and put on by the Brewers Association. Only every other year is the World Beer Cup held in conjunction with the conference and this was one of those years. More than 4,000 people in the industry attended the official conference May 2-5 which included classes and seminars each day and a kickoff party the likes of which I have never seen at the San Diego Zoo and all culminating in the World Beer Cup.

Pelican Pub & Brewery Collaboration with Ninkasi Brewing on heels of big World Beer Cup win

Congratulations to Pacific City, OR's Pelican Pub & Brewery who were the biggest winners from Oregon in last Saturday's prestigious World Beer Cup. Co-Owner/Brewmaster Darron Welch brought back the award for Champion Brewery and Brewmaster for Large Brewpub. After getting passed over completely at last years GABF they also brought home a Gold in the Barleywine category for Stormwatcher's Winterfest and another Gold in Scottish-style Ale for MacPelican's Scottish-style Ale.

That great news comes on the heels of a new collaboration beer with Ninkasi Brewing called Danny's Black Gold a fusion of beers from both breweries it is an Imperial Oatmeal Belgian-style Stout. On draft now at select locations I tried it recently at the Craft Brewers Conference and found it a silky rich and heavy dessert beer. More info on it below

RECIPE: Carrotcake Cupcakes With Ninkasi frosting

A blogpost by Eugene, Oregon bottle shop & taphouse Sixteen Tons recently mentioned the great flavor combination of carrot cake and India Pale Ale. I immediately exclaimed, "by golly (radio edit)... I'm going to make some carrot cake IPA combo... somehow!!" And thus this recipe was born...

Ginger Carrot-cake Cupcakes .

with IPA buttercream frosting

Cupcake Ingredients: makes about 12 cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, grated carrots
  • 2 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
Frosting Ingredients: makes about 12 cupcakes
  • 2/3 cup Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA (or any other hoppy beer of your choosing)
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz. low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • candied ginger for garnish

(click for larger)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Insert 12 cupcake liners into a 12-muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together granulated sugar, unsweetened applesauce, and canola oil until thoroughly combined. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add grated carrots and grated fresh ginger. Stir to combine.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each liner about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. In a saucepan, add the IPA and place over LOW-medium heat. Reduce the beer by half (until it measures approximately 1/3 cup). It will be a darker caramel color from the original beer.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla, powdered sugar and beer reduction. Whip again until fully combined, and the finished product is light and fluffy.
  4. Cover the bowl and chill for 1 hour.
  5. If the frosting seems too thin when you remove from the fridge, add more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency.
  6. Frost when the cakes are at room temperature and garnish with candied ginger.

(click for larger)

Seeing as Ninkasi Tricerahops comes in a 22oz bottle, you still have about a pint's-worth of the beer to pair with a cupcake... well, if you didn't drink it while you were baking.

Speaking of cupcakes...
Just around the corner is the 2nd annual Eugene Beer Week, and one of the events on Thursday, May 10th is a beer & cupcake tasting (FB event). Join 16 Tons and Divine Cupcake at the Supreme Bean Coffee Company (2864 Willamette, Eugene, OR 97405) for this unique event. They’ll be serving up 5 different pairings with Divine Cupcakes and a great flight of specialty beers:
  • Boneyard’s Hop Venom IPA with IPA frosting carrotcake
  • Widmer’s Imperial Stout with Death by Chocolate
  • Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Ale with Salted Caramel
  • Elysian’s Avatar Jasmine IPA with Tao of Green (matcha green tea cake)
  • Elysian’s The Peste Chocolate Chili Beer with The Swizzle (Mexican Chocolate Cake)
Cupcakes served 5:30pm-10pm on Thursday, May 10th.  Free Entry, $3 per 3oz Beer + Mini Cupcake.  Free Widmer Glass to first 60 people.  Full Food, Beer, Wine, and Coffee Menu offered.  All ages welcome.

Bon appetit!

Dan Temmesfeld (guest contributor)

Dan is a craft beer aficionado, Northwest foodie, and music lover who hails from Eugene, Oregon.  He blogs at

The Hop & Vine's "Ampersand" Collaborative Series in Bottles

Yetta Vorobik, owner of North Portland's The Hop & Vine, has embarked on a collaborative spree with local craft brewers and winemakers to produce the H & V's own private label collection of beers and wines. Dubbed the "Ampersand (&)", the first beer and wine in the series are both available now.

"A friend may well be reckoned the master piece of nature" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Review: 2012 Oregon Garden Brewfest

I attended the Oregon Garden Brewfest in Silverton, OR, last weekend for the first time. Though the event has existed for many years, it has never quite made a mark on the beer geek radar. This year organizers really went out of their way to kick the whole thing up a notch by including a number of newer, up-and-coming breweries, some of the biggest local bands, and a pre-fest brewers dinner at the onsite resort that featured pairings with 6 different brewers, all of whom were in attendance.