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Our Top 10 Stories of 2016

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As we continue to wrap up and analyze 2016, we thought it would be fun to recap our ten most popular stories of the year. Counting down from ten to number one, our most popular story of all time.

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#10 Ten Must Try Coffee Beers this Winter

One of our first stories of 2016 was also among our most popular, proving people love to hate listicles. But at least our listicles give information on some truly great coffee beers when they are most needed, at the tail end of winter. There were a lot of killer coffee beers released in 2016.

The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse logo

#9 The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse and Little Beast Brewing Coming to Beaverton

The most recent article to make this list was when we broke the scoop on Beaverton’s new bourbon bar, taphouse and bottleshop that would take over the departed Brannon’s Brewhouse and that Little Beast Brewing would take over the brewhouse. Now just a month or so later, early reports are that The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse is one of the best things to happen to the Beaverton-Hillsboro area since it got MAX service. Also Little Beast Brewing is one of the most anticipated as it comes from ex-Logsdon brewer Chuck Porter.

 

A view of the St. Johns Bridge from the Occidental Wursthaus patio

A view of the St. Johns Bridge from the Occidental Wursthaus patio

#8 Occidental Brewing Wursthaus to Open in St. John’s

Occidental captured the mean feat of being the subject of two of our top 10 stories. The first was when we broke the news the brewery was opening a German restaurant accompaniment next door, and then again for the first look preview of the Wursthaus we did for opening day. I’m still dreaming of the sausage platter, kraut, and German potato salad on a sunlit deck with a Hopfenweisse.

 

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#7 The Bright, Juicy, Tropical, Fruit and Sour IPAs Freshening Up Beer

Similar to our article on hazy NE style-IPAs, this article attempted to introduce the new IPA off-shoots and trends like tropical hopping, fruit IPAs, and sour IPAs. We think we did a pretty good job talking to brewers and showcasing what’s hot and what’s getting hotter in the beer world.

 

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#6 2016 Oregon Beer Awards Winners and Recap

The 2nd annual Oregon Beer Awards was a sweeping gala affair–the Academy Awards of Oregon beer, as we like to call it (yes, I am an organizer). Combining a judged GABF-style competition and voter-driven awards for categories like best brewpub and best new brewery with an awards show that goes beyond your typical-collect-the-medal affair, this year’s event was big hit. We were there to capture all the glory.

 

left to right: Rodney Muirhead, Charlie Devereux, Kevin Davey & Matthew Jacobson

left to right: Rodney Muirhead, Charlie Devereux, Kevin Davey & Matthew Jacobson

#5 First Look at Wayfinder Beer – Portland’s Most Anticipated New Brewery of the Year

One of our most anticipated openings of 2016 gave us an early walkthrough of the still-under construction space. The photos and space were beautiful, even at the time when it was quite a ways from being finished. Though the in-house brewing system isn’t quite working yet, the food, space and collaboration beers make us confident it’s living up to the hype.

 

A rendering of the Wayfinder deck/patio from Works Progress Architecture (WPA)

A rendering of the Wayfinder deck/patio from Works Progress Architecture (WPA)

#4 Top Ten Most Anticipated Portland Openings of 2016

Always a popular article, we took a look at some of our most anticipated new breweries and beer bars that were to open in 2016. Not all of them made it in time before the ball dropped in NYC, but this post gives us much to look forward to and previews of some of the new or next hot beer bars and breweries.

 

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#3 Vaginal Sour Beer Is Now A Real Thing

This was more of a publicity stunt we couldn’t not cover than an actual story. We did take the moment to poke fun at the absurdness of the project and its downright sexist marketing. I’ll leave it at that; read the full story if your interested.

 

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#2 New England/Vermont-style IPA Is/Not a Thing

The rise of juicy, hazy, milkshake like NE or Vermont-style IPA might be the story of the year. It went from a small buzz like that of a fly to a soaring rush of turbines as a plane flies overhead. Anything hazy and juicy or New England-style is flying off of shelves and out of taps, even under the adjunct and appearance controversy that we addressed in this article. We interviewed the IPA experts from the west coast (Stone, Breakside, Barley Browns) and those of the NE coast where it originated (The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead) and the local purveyors Great Notion Brewing for our story. Make up your own opinions about the new fad and whether it’s legit or will only have 15 minutes of fame.

 

Hop in the Spa logo graphic

#1 Hop in the Spa – America’s First Beer Spa Opens in Sisters, Oregon

Probably the biggest story ever to appear on The New School was published in 2016 and was picked up by nearly all of the major news outlets (mostly uncredited) after our story ran on Hop in the Spa. Billed as America’s first beer spa, this new little relaxation and beercation hotspot in Ashland, Oregon is now booked out to beerhalla. Using Deschutes Brewery beer and beer ingredients like yeast and hops in both bathing, lotions and soaps, this small spa offers services for the beer lover previously unheard of outside of the Czech Republic.

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]

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