I was planning a post on a new brewery being developed in the Woodstock neighborhood but their is not a whole lot to report. So I am postponing it until monday when I should have a little more info for everyone.
Instead I thought I would post this story about our Christmas day dinner that I hosted along with “swine-flu” Jimmy of Belmont Station and Beer NW fame.
We thought we would invite all our friends over for some dinner and brews that did not have family in town and werent heading back home. We ended up having more people than we anticipated and packed the house but managed to make it work. It was a potluck style dinner and everyone made some killer dishes. Quite a bit was spicy as in hot which was a nice change of pace.
As for the beers I must say that our friends Jason and Janel Smithling (ex-Belmont Station) were the mvp’s. They brought along verticals of both Sierra Nevada Celebration and Bigfoot Barleywine. Not to mention the beer I had been eagerly anticipating forever, New Glarus’ Cran-Lambic from their Unplugged series.
In attendance we had some notable beer geeks and bloggers such as Angelo and Margaret from Brewpublic who did their own write-up about the dinner () and Charles and Theresa from An Ear For Beer and the “SNOB” posterboy Ritch Marvin and Amy Marvin. Captain Neil manager of Belmont Station and his girlfriend Elsa also showed up with some tasty food and after dinner games. Who can forget Alison Grayson local filmmaker who has made videos for the NAOBF and is currently working on a documentary about women in the brewing industry.
Some other amazing beers were had like the much hyped Surly Darkness which I hadnt had a chance to try yet, I believe also from Jason and Janel. It was a nice very malty imperial stout in the vein of abyss but less roast and more caramel.
Charles brought a vintage Lagunitas Gnarleywine, I cant remember the year but I want to say an 04.
My brother and his gf brought along a cool canned beer I had never seen. Ska Brewing’s Modus Hoperandi an IPA. It was solid, wish we could get it here, the more canned beers the better.
“Swine-Flu” Jimmy contributed a Terrapin Depth Charge an coffee milk stout, it tasted as expected, like an espresso with a dollop of cream.
Finally my own contribution was a Southern Tier: Cuvee Batch 1 and more notably my own homebrewed Peanut Butter-Chocolate Imperial Stout. I thought it came out pretty well. The hops came through much more then I expected but they will fade and this beer can certainly age at 8.5% abv. The chocolate was actually very subdued but the most important part, the peanut butter shines through brilliantly. It has a great fresh roasted peanut flavor that I could not be more pleased with. I also added a pound of brown sugar which I think adds a little backbone to the beer.
I also cracked a bottle of Imperial Cherry Stout that I brewed with Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing about 2 years ago. It held up well but is starting to turn a bit sour or rather tart. I think those fresh cherries may have had some bacteria on them. Either way it doesnt take away from the beer and perhaps adds to it.
It was a great evening with friends and beer geeks until the next gathering on new years eve with an even more epic beer list. Stay tuned for that post.
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.