Preview: Collabofest at Base Camp Brewing

Welcome to Collabofest!

Welcome to Collabofest!

It’s time for the 2017 edition of Collabofest at Base Camp Brewing, which kicks off on Saturday, January 28th with a VIP session at 1pm, general admission at 2pm, and it all wraps up at 8pm. Sixteen breweries will feature sixteen beers in collaborative pairs. For example, the pair of beers from Widmer Brothers and Culmination has Culmination riffing on Widmer’s well-known, cloudy Hefe American wheat ale by adding generous quantities of Mandarina Bavaria, El Dorado, Cascade and Citra hops to create a citrusy, juicy on Widmer’s classic; Widmer in turn features a variation on Culmination’s Phaedrus IPA, fermented with sake yeast and other “secret” ingredients to create an entirely different beer with fruity, spicy aromas from the yeast. Collabofest attendees will all receive a metal tasting “glass” that they get to keep.

Collabofest tap handle, tasting notebook, and tasting "glass"

Collabofest tap handle, tasting notebook, and tasting “glass”

Collabofest tasting "glass." Nice Base Camp logo stemware too.

Collabofest tasting “glass.” Nice Base Camp logo stemware too.

Brewers play an integral role here, and the sixteen participating breweries read like a who’s who of Oregon brewing. Here’s a list of the brewers and their beers.

  • Stormbreaker Brewing: The Passion of the Homer is a passion fruit CDA, fruity but not sweet, and inspired by Blue Star’s passion fruit cocoa nib donut.
  • Alameda Brewing: Coffee and Donutella has coffee, cocoa, lactose, and hazelnuts. It has a touch of sweetness and hazelnut liqueur. Ideal with a donut for breakfast or any other time.
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing: Bashō riffs on Culmination’s Phaedrus IPA, but is fermented with sake yeast. Fruity-spicy and distinctive.
  • Culmination Brewing: Zen Wave Weizen starts as a beer clone of Widmer Hefe (same malt blend, same yeast strain), then amp it up a bit with Mandarina Bavaria, El Dorado, Citra, and Cascade hops for an extra citrusy hoppy treat.
  • Baerlic Brewing: Sir Douglas McStouterson is an Irish-style stout fermented in an oak barrel and conditioned on Douglas fir, the Oregon state tree (and a staple of the lumber industry). Make it a Black and Tan by blending with the next beer, Base Camp’s Honey Chestnut Pilsner.
  • Base Camp Brewing: Honey Chestnut Pilsner is a contrast to Baerlic’s stout, but also pairs with it in a black and tan. By itself, it has nice honey notes, full bodied from the addition of chestnuts, and overall, it’s a tasty, nicely balanced Pilsner lager.
  • Mount Tabor Brewing: Space Mountain Sour IPA takes a base IPA brewed with fruit (like the Ecliptic entry below!) and sours it up. Fruity and tart.
  • Ecliptic Brewing: Space Mountain IPA is an IPA brewed with raspberries and peach puree for a citrusy-fruity brew, hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Nelson.
  • Uptown Brewing: The Taming of the Shroom is an oyster-mushroom saison with a savory touch of umami.
  • Gigantic Brewing: Nevørmind Oyster Stout is just a touch briny, a fine stout with oysters and oyster “liquor” that might just remind you of a day at the oyster farm.
  • Laurelwood Brewing: Out With the Old is a subtly fruity, smoky-roasty American dark wheat ale with smoked cherries.
  • Ex Novo Brewing: In With the New is, by contrast with Laurelwood’s dark wheat ale, a golden saison, but has smoked Meyer lemons, Amarillo hops, and Brett C for fermentation. Savor and compare!
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery: Astral Wavelength starts out with a malt bill a lot like Ruse’s Astral Frequency but with a lower starting gravity (and thus, lower alcohol content). It’s also made with some Kernza, the specialty grain that HUB used in October 2016 for its Long Root Ale.
  • Ruse Brewing: Astral Frequency is a higher-gravity (and higher-alcohol) version of HUB’s Astral Wavelength, again with the same basic malt bill and use of Kernza. Compare what is almost the same beer at two different strengths, and brewed at two different places.
  • Occidental Brewing: Ding, Ding! I’d Love to Dry-hop a Toast might win a nod for Collabofest’s beer with the longest name, but it’s actually a nicely dry-hopped rye lager with a nice light touch of aroma and flavor from the rye.
  • Fat Head’s Brewery: Smuggling Dunkel as a dark lager with plums. Because fruit lagers, yo.
Collabofest Brewers

Collabofest Brewers

Ruse and HUB beers both feature the Kernza grain that was in HUB's Long Root Ale

Ruse and HUB beers both feature the Kernza grain that was in HUB’s Long Root Ale

Ecliptic and Mt Tabor variations on fruit IPAs

Ecliptic and Mt Tabor variations on fruit IPAs

This will be one busy Saturday, with beer events scattered around Portland, but Base Camp’s Collabofest is always a good time. Enjoy tasting and comparing the collaboration brews!

Collabofest 2017 is a go!

Collabofest 2017 is a go!

Sponsors and Brewers at Collabofest

Don Scheidt
Don Scheidt

Don Scheidt has been into good beer since before the dawn of craft brewing in the Pacific Northwest. He created the Northwest Brewpage, a regional guide to good beer in Oregon and Washington, back in the mid-1990s, but has since retired it. Don started writing the Washington state “Puget Soundings” column for Celebrator Beer News in 1998, and continues to do that today. Don also wrote about beer for the Seattle Weekly in 2005-2006.