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Upright Brewing To Celebate 2nd Anniversary

Scandalous

 

Upright Brewing is one of the Northwest’s brightest young talents (to put in a sporting vernacular). In just 2 years they have managed to gain a much coveted spot on ratebeer.com‘s annual Top 100 Brewers In The World List (92 position) and they came in at number 14 in the top 50 breweries to visit list.  I’m fairly confident that if rate beer had made a top 50 list of best beer labels in the world that Four Play label over there would be highly ranked as well.

Needless to say, these guys are doing some really fantastic things.  They’ve effortlessly coupled innovation with pristine quality and impressive craftsmanship.  If you’ve had any of Upright’s beers and you’ve visited their basement brewery, I know I’m preaching to the choir.  It’s mostly just exciting that they have been acknowledged so quickly, especially since so many amazing NW breweries go under the radar.

For me, being a huge fan of saisons, Upright has become a brewery that I would rank very highly in my own list of most exciting breweries, either new, old or in between.  Their use of open fermentation is something that is most intriguing to me.   I still don’t know much about it, but it’s clearly working very well for these Portland fellows.  There is no doubt that Upright Brewing is a great inspiration to me and should be to anyone that has a dream of opening a brewery.

This anniversary party ranks up there in excitement levels (for me) with such recent Portland area events as the opening of the Cascade Barrel House and the opening of the Hair of the Dog Tasting room.  The prospect of getting a few bottles of Four Play and Apricot Anniversary Ale are what cellar dwellers dream of.  If anyone else is going down there let us know by adding a comment.  Maybe we can hook up and chat beer.

Here’s the details from Upright:

 

What/Why:
Oregon’s only farmhouse inspired craft brewery Upright Brewing is turning 2 years old and celebrating with a party on Sunday March 20th from 1-6pm at the Tasting Room. The party will also mark the return of perhaps the breweries most anticipated annual release Four Play a sour farmhouse cherry wheat beer aged in Pinot Barrels.

About Upright Brewing
During the last two short years the small production brewery just east of the Broadway bridge has been devoted to producing some of Portland’s most diverse range of beers, focusing on a French/Belgian inspired farmhouse-style, but brewing without inhibition as evidenced by their historic takes on English Old Ale and Oyster Stout or their authentic German Gose and Engelberg Pilsener.

Upright recently added three new tanks, using one to produce a year-round hop forward German-style pilsener for draft only. It’s called Engelberg Pils, a nod to Mt. Angel where all of the brewery’s hops are sourced. The other two tanks will enable the brewery to produce more one-off draft beers and also allow production of at least eight annual seasonal bottled batches throughout the year. As always, the numbered beers that Upright has focused on since the beginning will continue to be fermented in our unique open-top tanks. The new year has also brought expanded distribution for Upright’s beers with Lime Ventures now bringing the bottles and occasional draft beer to the Northern California market adding even more west coast cities that include north to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

About Four Play
In celebration of the brewery anniversary, it’s becoming tradition to release Four Play, a very Belgian-esque beer based on Upright’s wheat beer (named Four) but barrel-aged for a year with cherries, souring yeasts and bacteria. Four Play is blended from former pinot noir barrels that yield a rosy looking sour ale with wonderfully complex aromas and flavors. It’s always a limited release and the 2011 batch is represented by only 67 cases and 3 kegs, all of which the brewers believe is their finest and suitable for cellaring up to 5 years.

About the 2 Year Anniversary Party
In addition to the extremely rare Four Play one of only 3 kegs on draft Upright will also be releasing something even more rare in bottle, last years Apricot Anniversary Ale aged in Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin Barrels of which there are less than 3 cases of 750ml bottles. To top it off look for a special cask of this years edition of the World Beer Cup award winning Gose stuffed Dry Hops and extra Salt.

Follow Upright Brewing:

Website

http://www.uprightbrewing.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/uprightbrewing

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/uprightbrewing

Blog

http://uprightbrewingblog.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Beer News from the Pacific Northwest. Read it.

October 14, 2010 1 comment

 

Save boobs buy drinking Silver City's new Wheat Ale.

 

Recently we have received a lot of updates surrounding various releases– new labels, new beers, new bottles. As a worthy source, it is our job to spread the love, the news, the landmarks of breweries in the great Pacific Northwest.

In this article you will find out how to fight Breast Cancer, learn about new wheat ales, blended porters, barrel aged beers, beer and art, a Seattle tattoo artist and who knows what else.

Silver City’s Release of TA-TA Wheat Ale

Located on the Kitsap peninsula (that’s right, we have peninsulas in the Pacific NW) in Silverdale, WA, Silver City Brewing Co. has been producing a line of quality brews since 1996. From a flavorful IPA to a well-done, well-balanced Scotch Ale, Silver City never disappoints. In support of the fight against Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer month, Silver City is releasing TA-TA Wheat Ale, a crisp, refreshing brew with Cascade hops that add some welcomed flavor. With all the suffering in the world, its hard to pick one cause which is why Silver City makes it a point to switch it up. This particular beer benefits a cause that hits close to home for many.

“Supporting breast cancer awareness and encouraging early detection is near and dear to our entire community,” said Scott Houmes, Co-Owner of Silver City Restaurant & Brewery.  “We thought brewing and serving the Ta-Ta Wheat, everyone could help support this drive for a cure.”

Drink for a cause– you’ll be a better person for it.

Cascade’s Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp-aler Bottle Release

Holy hell. Both of these Cascade Brewing Co. (Portland, OR) beers are unrealistically amazing. The fact that you can take them home with you, even more amazing. Both of these beers would age with such grace. The Bourbonic Plague is a beast of a beer, blended porters aged in bourbon barrels then blended some more with added cinnamon and vanilla and AGED FOR ANOTHER 14 MONTHS. This is not a beer for the light hearted. It is complex, it is sophisticated and damn good. Topping out at 12%, this beer will be a great addition to anyone’s “cellar.”

Vlad, oh I dream of our next encounter. The first was at Brouwer’s Cafe’s Sour Beer Fest in 2009- it was up there with Cantillion‘s beers. No lie. This sour is barrel aged, is well-balanced and is a blend of strong blonde quads and tripels aged in oak and Bourbon barrels. And if that wasn’t enough, Vlad is further blended with spiced blondes and left to condition for an additional five months. Quads and Tripels refer to Belgium style beers that are generally very high in ABV. This beer comes in at 10.2%, despite its light body.

Elysian’s Dragonstooth Stout Gets a Makeover

Although Elysian Brewing Co.’s Dragonstooth Stout has been around for a bit, its full body, richness and new label make it a must have beer in Seattle.

New Dragonstooth Stout label by local tatoo artist Joe Who.

The beer hasn’t changed, but a lot of thought went into the re-creation of the label. Elysian Brewing Co.’s regularly featured labels embody elements of Greek Mythology. Their new angle– Northwest mythology. I can dig it. I’ll let Elysian explain more of the background:

We thought about how so many people wear their stories on their body through tattoo art, and we immediately sought out our friend and local tattooer, Joe Who (Pierced Hearts Tattoo). He drew up some gnarly artwork that we think is a great new representation of our Dragonstooth Stout.

Although I don’t have a picture of the new label in the format I need to post it, I hope to this week. But trust me, its enticing, just like the beer.

A mid-week whirl wind of local updates. 1. Take a trip to Silver City – grab a Fat Bastard Scotch Ale and a Wheat Ale. 2. Go to Portland and bring back 12 bottles each of the Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp-aler. 3. Grab a bottle of Dragonstooth Stout, admire the artwork, think about getting a tattoo and enjoy the beer!

On the Road to Portland, the Land of Beer

October 13, 2010 1 comment

 

Photo creds/image creds go to......www.woodbloom.com.

 

Last weekend, as you know from my and Timperial’s 52 Weeks articles on Hair of the Dog’s new taproom and Cascade’s Barrel Room, we journeyed to Portland. 1 woman, 2 men and a whole lot of beer stops. Now, we have all made the 2.5 hour drive on several occasions and every time we go, we make it a point to stop at places we have yet to try (at least one of the three of us, anyway). This weekend, we spent approximately 8 hours mapping the city for amazing beer and cool venues. We were successful.

We arrive at 11:30AM and decide to grab something quick, but delicious to eat before consuming gallons of high ABV beers. Portland has this awesome food stand lot (SE Hawthorne Blvd and SE 12th Ave) which will fulfill almost any craving with a Mexican taco truck, a Creperie, a potato/french fry stand and a Southern food vendor. The highlight was a $6.00 crepe with chevre cheese, lemon curd and fresh black berries. This fruit filled, slightly sour and sweet lunch was the perfect opener for the Cascade Barrel Room.

Stop #1:

Cascade Barrel Room

Now, I won’t go into too much detail. Interested? Then read Timperial’s review. All I can add is this is a must stop not only for sour beer fans, but for those beer drinkers who appreciate innovation and variety. Cascade offers up mainly sours consisting of fruit infused sours, barrel aged sours, blended sours and  sour stouts. The House of Sour, as locals call it, also has a Dry Hopped Porter, Summer, Winter and Autumn Goses and an amazing Rye IPA and even more. Even on a gloomy day, the sun seemed to shine through the large windows. If you live close, I suggest coming here often, to try all of the beers, of course.

Stop #2:

Green Dragon

Here you will find an extensive tap list, home brewing, a knowledgeable bar staff and a versatile space. Beers on draft range from local favorites such as Lucky Lab, Cascade (they even had a beer that Cascade didn’t currently have on tap) and their own home brew line. The Oregon Brew Crew has been brewing at the Green Dragon on a one barrel Nano-Brewing system for the last year and a half and have been consistently putting out a new great beer every week. Some of the beers created include: Alpha Dragon IPA, Chocolate Reign Stout, Golden Dragon Ale and most recently, the 5-Point Exploding Palate Technique. I wasn’t going to say it, but this is Rouge owned. With one Rouge beer on tap, this large brewery makes it a point to keep the integrity of the venues and breweries it buys and promote craft brewing!

Stop #3:

Hair of the Dog Tap Room

Again, we already sang our praises of this place. Did you see that amazing picture of the taster glasses? Epic! Check out the article here. This is a place I could hang out all day at due to the amazing beers on draft, the killer, vintage bottle list and the overall edgy yet welcoming feel that Alan Sprints new taproom/bar exudes. So, drop what your doing and spend a productive afternoon with Fred, Adam, Greg, Ruth and other HOTD brews.

Stop #4:

Upright Brewing Co.

Located about 2 miles away from Hair of the Dog, this tiny brewery has caught our attention. Back in January we stopped in for a release party in their modest space in the basement of a shared commercial building. The space, upon entering has the brewery to the right and their tasting room to the left. Today we each got a beer (a farmhouse, a fresh hop which is their farmhouse beer with nugget hops and the SEVEN saison), sat at a tree trunk table top and listened to a duet play folky blues. A great vibe with great beer. Don’t over look this place.

Stop #5:

New Old Lompoc

Our favorite New Old Lompoc location, SideBar was closed today (Sunday) so we stopped by their original brewery. A great outdoor area and an Irish pub motif, this place houses the equipment that started it all. 1 C-note and 2 Centennial IPAs were ordered. Unlike the SideBar which offers up exotic barrel aged beers, at this location, you will generally only find their regular rotated beers. One of the employees was nice enough to give us a tour of the brewery which is small, but well oiled and efficient. New Old Lompoc is a staple in the Portland craft beer scene, therefore, visit one of their spots!

Stop #6:

Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.

Like New Old Lompoc, Lucky Lab has a local brand you can’t ignore and several locations to enjoy their beer. We have visited two of the four locations and from what we see, we like. The two spaces are gigantic warehouses, open spaces with large, family style picnic tables eluding to the community essence that is the Portland beer scene. Two beers are ordered, their Porter and the Super Dog, a single IPA. Both are very credible and go down easy. Lucky Lab is a great place to get a sampler tray of beers and a snack (or a pizza if your starved).

Stop #7:

Deshutes Brewing Co.

Even on a Sunday, all of Portland flocks to this restaurant/brewery. Maybe its their award winning beers or their extensive, delicious menu options. Either way, no matter how many times we visit Portland, we always end up here. This time, we had a goal in mind. First, we had heard Black Butte XXII was on tap. It had kicked the day before, damn. However, we were able to indulge in the Mirror Pond Fresh Hop and had a growler filled to bring back North. Yes, you will wait 20 -30 minutes to get a table here and yes, it doesn’t give you that hole in the wall, charming “mom and pop” feel that I love about microbreweries BUT Deshutes does deliver high quality food and of course beers, every damn time.

There are still so many more places you can visit in Portland. But on this day, with all three Beer Blotter writers on the road to find beer, we chose these places, not randomly but for specific reasons. If you have a favorite spot in Portland, leave a comment- let the world know!

52 Weeks: Cascade Brewing Barrel House

October 6, 2010 2 comments

The view as you approach the Barrel House

Week 36 of 52:

Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont Street
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 265-8603

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Barrel house, blending facility, taproom, house of sour…

Visit: A Sunday day trip to Beervana, U.S.A. Our very first of many beer related stops of the day.

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

Funk III

Beck Berry

The Vine

Nightfall

Noyeaux

Sang Rouge

Sang Noir

Bourbonic Plague

Vlad the Imp Aler

Amber

Fresh Hop Porter

RyIPA

Mid Summer’s Pale

Summer Gose

Winter Gose

Razberry Wheat

Kriek

What can I say, it's beautiful.

Bottles (available to go): Apricot, Kriek, The Vine, Sang Rouge

Food Options: Small plates/appetizers/soup/salad/sandwiches.  The owners wanted the Barrel House to be open to families with children, so local law states that food must be served to allow for those under 21 to enter.  The menu is fairly small and simple, but if you need a nibble whilst sampling the stellar brews, the option is there for you.  Considering that almost all of the sours are in the 8% to 12% range, a little substance in the belly is highly recommended.  Our visit did not include food, so we are not able to comment on the quality.

BAR OPINION: About a year ago, when Beer Blotter first heard that one of our favorite sour brewers in America would be opening a brand new tasting room in Portland, we all just sort of looked at each other with wide eyes and growing smiles and knew that we would be there as soon as it opened.  The simple reason: Cascade Brewing is just downright exciting.

This brewery exists in a niche of State Side breweries that is occupied by a very elite few.  An elite few that have the know-how and brewing facilities to allow for mass production in purposely infected beers.  Sours.  This art is not for the faint of heart, especially for those that also brew “traditional” ales and lagers that could easily be tainted with all those hazardous bugs crawling around.

If you’ll allow me to speak for all North-westerners for one moment, it feels really good to have a brewery that is unafraid to tackle this challenging but incredibly rewarding style of production in our own backyard.  An Oregon brewer that can be spoken in the same breath as Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Avery, Allagash, New Belgium. It feels good…a pleasant sigh of relief.  Cascade Brewing’s brewmaster is Ron Gansberg.  That name should be remembered.

Not my ideal use of a barrel, but still pretty clever.

The Barrel House opened its doors to the public on September 27th, and less than a week later, all three of us were inside.  Let me tell you, we had the highest of hopes for this place, and we were not disappointed in any way.

From the outside, the building, which used to be a produce warehouse, looks a bit like one of those newfangled fire stations.  Very sharp-looking indeed.  There is a very sizable outdoor area that offers both picnic tables and high-top tables fabricated from steel and actual wood barrels (see picture).

The seating is fairly similar inside, consisting of picnic tables, traditional booths, small circular tabletops resting on top of large barrels, and brushed metal bar stools.  If you are able to peel your eyes away from the alluring bar back for just a moment, you will notice the three flat-screen T.V.s strategically placed around the room.

Naturally, we wanted to be as close to the beer as possible, so we pulled up a few stools at the bar and got acquainted with the menu.  We were quickly greeted by one Cody Bottorff, Pub Keeper/Blender.  This was my first time meeting Cody, but the rest of the crew had met him a little while back when he was still at The Horse Brass.  He was expecting us, so after a short bit of banter and the choosing of beer number 1, we had the distinct pleasure of getting a tour of the facility.

Our first stop was the beer cooler, directly behind the bar back.  This little gem has been meticulously constructed to make your beer experience as good as it possibly can be.  To put it simply, the temperature and CO2 pressure regulation is painfully exacting.  You can always be assured to get a perfect glass of beer. One small example of how much care went into the development of the cooler is that they went as far as to assure that the water used to clean the glassware prior to the pour is the same temperature as the beer.

The most fascinating element of this leg of the tour was the sight of the two barrels that have been inserted directly through the cooler wall.  Yes, that’s right, they cut two circular holes in the wall and stuck barrels in them.  This allows for two special beers to be served to the public directly from the barrel.  This is freakin’ sweet!  They used the tube of a bike tire to insulate the space between the wall and the barrel.  That’s some real deal MacGyver action right there.

The next stop of the tour was the space that will soon act as the fruit infusion/secondary fermentation site.  Remember, this place is still really new and there is still work to be done behind the scenes, thus my use of “soon”.

We then ventured to the small side room that is currently housing the fruit infusion/secondary fermentation.  Though this room was fairly boring to actually look at while we were there (just a few barrels and a few recycled dairy fermenters), it was captivating to imagine what it must look like when they are filling the containers with outrageous amounts of fresh fruit.  Or even, what it must smell like when there are hundreds of pounds of Bing and sour pie cherries, apricots, raspberries, blackberries, dates, etc. being generously dumped into oak barrels.  I very much wished that I had x-ray vision and could see what wonderful fruity delights existed within those vessels.

The final stop in the tour was the barrel room.  This was a sight to see.  I can’t even tell you how much this room reminded me of Belgium, specifically the attic at Cantillon in Brussels.  Oh man, I’m getting emotional just thinking about it again.  All I can really say is, there is a little piece of one of the greatest beer cultures on the planet hidden in the back room of the Cascade Barrel House in Portland, OR.

Cantillon?

From here it was back to the bar for more beers, but first, further reflection on our first round choices.  For me, the Funk III was an absolute must.  This was the one ‘straight from the barrel stuck in the wall’ option.  Naturally, it was still un-carbonated, but it was chilled just as much of the rest of the beers.  For me, this had a very strong traditional Belgian gueuze like quality.  Maybe the lack of suds brought this thought on, but it was damn good and again, sent my memory reeling with thoughts of the Belgium trip.  Any beer that causes that to happen is a winner in my book.

Nightfall and Noyeaux were also sampled in round 1.  Nightfall is an oak aged sour blonde wheat beer with blackberries added.  If that doesn’t sound good to you, you probably should have tuned out a long time ago.  If you aren’t into fruit beers, it doesn’t matter, there is so much more to it than that.  But, if you really want to talk about complexity, Noyeaux can pretty much be used as a synonym.

Noyeaux
Noyeaux: 8.5% ABV / 13 IBU / $6 Glass
This one-of-a-kind NW sour is a blend of Belgian strong blondes aged in white port barrels with raspberries, then blended with select barrels of strong blondes that were aged on the toasted meat from the apricot nut, or Noyeaux.

Noyeaux has so many layers of brilliance that I don’t know where to begin.  I’m not going to allow this article to turn into a Notes of a Beer Nerd so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that it’s breathtaking and that you must go get one for yourself.

Our next round saw us order four beers to be sampled amongst the three of us – Beck Berry, the one and only Brett beer that they make/will ever make (apparently Ron gave it a whack and decided that once was enough, he uses Lacto), and the three bourbon barrel aged beers: Bourbonic Plague, Vlad the Imp Aler, and Sang Noir.

I have, ever since it won gold at GABF in the wood and barrel aged sour beer category in ’09, been hoping to try Bourbonic Plague.  It is a very hard one to get a hold of.  Well, it finally happened and it did not disappoint.  Truthfully, none of the beers disappointed, but Bourbonic Plague, of all the beers sampled, most played to my tastes.  It’s essentially a sour imperial porter with strong bourbon wood notes and some spicing.  Just plain insane.

Just before we made our way to our next destination we realized that it was completely dumb of us to leave without tasting the Fresh Hop Porter.  You know, because it’s a fresh hop porter…who makes that?!  Guess what?  It was delicious.  Go figure.

Seriously people, Cascade Brewing Barrel House is well designed, comfortable, and full of mind numbingly unique, complex and delicious beers.  If I lived in Portland, I have little doubt that I would go completely bankrupt because of this place.  No matter where you live in the world, consider it an absolute, 100% can’t miss beer location.  Go there, you will thank me.

I’d also be insane if I didn’t mention that the staff is crazy knowledgeable and super nice.  The world’s biggest high-five and a heart-felt THANK YOU goes out to Cody for EVERYTHING that he did for us.

Our gracious host. Thanks again Cody!

Beers in the Hood: Phinney Ridge

August 24, 2010 2 comments

Phinney Ridge, a Seattle Neighborhood- check it.

Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.

Each hood offers distinct characteristics and charm. So in order to give each neighborhood their 15 minutes of fame, I will focus on one at a time.

Tonight: Phinney Ridge.

I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:

Phinney Ridge is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, USA. It is named after the ridge which runs north and south, separating Ballard from Green Lake, from approximately N. 45th to N. 85th Street.

I know for those of you who are not from Seattle or do not live in Seattle, the above quote means little to nothing. Phinney is a quaint neighborhood, very residential with your random spurts of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Ballard’s subtly hip vibe seeps into Phinney, yet Phinney remains the more reserved, less frequented of the two. Here you will find beer.

The Dray

If you read Beer Blotter, then you have heard of The Dray, located on NW 65th right off of 8th and across the street from a massive Goodwill. This bar has so much to offer on any given day. First off, their “brand” is a squirrel, so expect to see some taxidermy on the shelves next to epic and rare Hair of the Dog and Dogfish head bottles.

Photo creds to phinneywood.com. Nice pic!

This tiny space is decked out in wood with slabs of polished tree trunks acting as your bar and table tops. On a cold winter’s night, you couldn’t be cozier. On a warm, sunny summer’s day you are guaranteed a breeze through the open garage doors/windows. The Dray molds to the weather outside; its like some kind of vortex.

Food options include some paninis, landjagers and pretzels with amazing stone ground mustard. I still haven’t figured out if you get charged for the pretzels, but I really doubt it.

But we also go here for beer- 12 taps at any given time. Yes, there are times I have stopped by here and been slightly disenchanted by their beer list, but 9 times out of 10, they will have something unique, something seasonal and something that your heart desires.

Off hand, Ommegang Zuur, New Belgium Love, Dogfish head Immortal Ale and Cascade Apricot come to mind as beers I enjoyed in the past. For that one time out of ten, The Dray has an impressive (and reasonably priced) bottle list, so be sure to check it out!

A gem of a bar, a comfort zone and a beer lovers day well spent.

Sully’s Snowgoose Saloon

Every time I  walk up to Sully‘s it reminds me of a lodge at a mountain resort in the Alps. With a pitched roof and a Bavarian facade, it couldn’t be more welcoming. Inside, it is a dimly lit, eclectic place with quirky decorations, as well as your quintessential Irish pub signs regarding how drunk, humorous, silly and stupid people get. This is another venue where I can spend an entire afternoon shooting the shit over a few pints of beer.

Props to seattleweekly.com for visual insight into Sully's

Like The Dray, Sully’s offers limited menu options. The items they do have include grilled cheese sandwiches, random snacks and some damn good chili. Other than that, throw a buck in the box and grab a bowl of peanuts.

You can always count on Boundary Bay IPA to be served on cask here, as well as several Deschutes taps and a decent IPA selection. I wouldn’t go here if your looking for a unique or rare beer, but quality brews such as Victory Hop Devil and New Belgium Ranger IPA have graced the stage here at Sully’s.

I remember sitting at Sully’s, drinking Boundary Bay IPA with the other 2/3 of Beer Blotter – we were sitting in a booth by the window and it started to hail, hail the size of golf balls. Just a sign from the gods that it was time to order another pint.

The Park Pub

Directly across the street from Sully’s, The Park Pub took much longer to get on our beer radar then the previously mentioned joints. This bar serves as a place to listen to live bands, play pool and grab some dinner.

Overall the ambiance is less comfortable and intimate but one glance at the tap list and all is well in the world. Arranged in a half circle, the taps glisten behind the bar.

Two times to phinneywood.com for having the neighborhood covered and taking great pics!

Note worthy beers currently on tap here: Boundary Bay IPA, Avery ‘Maharaja’ Imperial IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Lagunitas ‘Lil Sumpin Sumpin’, Laurelwood ‘Hop Monkey’ IPA, Deschutes Organic Amber, Double Mountain Kolsch, Big Time Black IPA
and Rodenbach Grand Cru.

I would recommend this place for a Friday or Saturday night hang out session with a group. Good beers, music, activities and once in awhile, the neighborhood magician will amaze you and stick a card to the ceiling. Take a look next time you are there.

So that’s Phinney Ridge’s beer scene in a nutshell. I have many fond memories and have drank damn good beer at all three of these places. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.

Next up: Ballard.

52 Weeks: Apex, Portland, OR

The tap list is generated from their webpage - which is updated in real time!

Week 24 of 52

Apex

1216 SE. Division St.

Portland, OR 97202

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Beer Bar

Visit: This was one of many trips to Portland, so we were thrilled to try a new beer bar (although Horse Brass, as always, did not disappoint). If nothing else, the five hours it took to drive from Seattle to Portland the evening before was completely validated by Apex. I am about to tell you why. But lets start with 55 beers on tap.

Since there are 55 beers on tap at any given time, I shall not name them all. Apex streams their tap list from a plasma screen to their website. For a current tap list, click here.

 

BEERS ON TAP —> to name a few that popped while we were there.

Oh how pretty - the taps at Apex

Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA

Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti

New Belgium and Elysian Pink Peppercorn IPA and Trip III

Cascade Summer Gose

Russian River Consecration

 

FOOD OPTIONS:

There are none. Apex focuses on one thing, beer and they do it right. However, right next door is a Mexican to-go style restaurant and across the street, Artemis serves up great sandwiches. We got our beers, a Blue Dot, a Consecration and a Trip III and sat outside in the sun eating a delicious Ham and Swiss sandwich. Im okay with a beer bar not serving food, as long as their are quality options close by.

 

BAR OPINION:

Where do I begin? After a morning of Pacific Northwest weather- cloudy, chilly and July we head to this new beer bar, Apex. Word has reached Seattle about this must stop for beer lovers. As we arrive, we walked through this nicely sized outdoor area with bike racks galore (bike, don’t drink and drive) and picnic table after picnic table.  The clouds part and the sun begins to shine. No joke. It happened this way.

A look at the outside. That green building across the street houses Beermongers, our favorite bottle shop in PDX

We immediately rush up to the taps, 55 gloriously individually crafted beers stand before me and on the TV. That’s right, Apex makes it a point to constantly update their tap list. It shows up on this plasma screen and is then streamed through to their website. A beer lover’s worst nightmare is checking a website, finding a beer, thinking about the beer all of the way to the bar, just to find out it got tapped 3 days ago!!! Oh the horror.

Tap list is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Everything from Lagunitas, Great Divide, Hair of the Dog, Russian River, Double Mountain, Bockor and more. We order our beers to find out that its cash only. Uh oh. A late night out in Portland left our wallets less than full. “Don’t worry, there is an ATM over there and we will take the ATM fee off of your next beer.” What? Serious brownie points.

Aside from the ridiculous beer options, Apex is a wide open space reminiscent of a garage. There isnt a door, not on what turned out to be a gorgeous summer day. The entire place is exposed to the bright sun light. Its great. Within the wide space, there is a very long bar (you need space for all of the taps), several tall boy tables and in the room to the left, brand spankin’ new pinball machines.

The bartender Megan (Meghan?) was sweet, nice and is my kind of girl, knowledgeable and a huge fan of beer (specifically Russian River). Our small group felt right at home and comfortable chatting her up about the opening of Apex, the beer and life in general.

An epic beer adventure. Our buddy, and guest writer for bb.com, after trying Consecration for the first time grabbed a pen and piece of paper and began to divulge the experience he was having with the beer. It was a momentous occasion for all. What I have come to learn is that when surrounded by good people, good beer and a great atmosphere, its just magical.

I will leave you with a quote from Apex’s website:

APEX is the beer bar Portland deserves. Combining a love of great beers from around the world with a life-long passion for all things two-wheeled.

Jessica (our editor) with a Trip III & Erik (Amatuer Hour) with Consecration

Events: Week of November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn, NY is hosting the Winter Blackout Stout Night Tomorrow!

The first week of December brings Christmas cheer and Christmas beer around the country. What better way to bring people together than through beer events? Check out the list of events for the week of November 20, 2009 through December 6, 2009.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jolly Pumpkin 2009 Noel de Calabaza Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan

4:00PM- 6:00 PM @ The Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery

Free to get in, this event offers a first taste of Jolly Pumpkin’s Christmas Ale to those in attendance. Get it while its hot and before its distributed!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Blackout: Night of the Big Stouts: Brooklyn, New York

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Bar Great Harry

This is an event not to be missed. Not only are there free meats and cheeses, but you have big players in attendance such as Brooklyn Brewery’s Mystery Stout, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout and Southern Tier’s Jah-Va Imperial Coffee Stout. Great line up!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon

2:00PM- 10:00 PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Come one, come all to this Holiday Ale Festival! Beginning on December 2, 2009, this event runs through the 6th of December and features beers such as Alaskan Brewing Company’s Barley Wine, Cascade Brewing Company’s Drie Zwarte Pieten “Sang Noir 2009″ and Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout, among many many more. For a full list of beers, visit the 2009 Holiday Ale Festival’s website.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington

11AM- until @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Those friends and followers of Beer Blotter know that the countdown to this day, to this event has been going on for quite some time. We’ve gone around Seattle recruiting fellow beer lovers to join us at this event. The more the merrier and the more beer to be ordered. This event will feature wood altered beers and provides the public with a wide range of styles. For more information on Big Wood Festival and the process of barrel aging visit our website and check under events! Big Wood lasts through the weekend. For a full list, visit Brouwer’s Cafe’s blog.

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland Oregon

11:00 AM- 10:00 PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York

3:00 PM- until @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

This event presents cask beers from around the world featuring England’s very own Darkstar Brewing Company. Named the best brewery in England, Darkstar will showcase approximately a dozen beers. Other beers to get your hands on during this event include Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA, Moylans’ Dragoons Irish Stout and Oskar Blues’ Old Chubb. For a list of full beers, visit Rattle-n-Hum Bar’s blog page.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

Winter Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington

5:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Hale’s Ale Brewery

$23.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door, this two day long festival is worth saving your energy. The ticket price includes a tasting cup and 6 5.5oz pours with additional tokens available for $1.50/each.  Last year, Hoppy the Woodsman by Schooner Exact Brewing won the Gold and our friends at Gilligan’s Brewing Co. tied their Chamomile Ale for second place with Pike Brewing Co’s Pike Entire. This year features beers such as, Water Street Brewing Company’s Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and Black Raven Brewing Company’s Second Sight Scotch Ale. For a complete list visit the Washington Beer Commission’s website.

13th  Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California

4:00 PM- 11:00 PM @ Pizza Port

Over 75 beers over 8% alcohol on tap & some cask conditioned ales at the Bottle Shop area next to Pizza Port Carlsbad. $30.00 gets you admission plus six 4 oz tasters.  Know your limits! They didn’t call this one “strong” for nothin’.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Winter Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Hales Ale’s Brewery

Continues on starting at 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM

13th  Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California @ Pizza Port

11:00 AM- 11:00 PM 

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

Firestone Walker 13th Anniversary Release Party: Scottsdale, Arizona

1:00 PM-3:00  PM @ AJ’s Fine Foods

It is free to get up close and personal with this new release by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. An ale with sweet aromas and tastes, it is not to be missed!  Get to AJ’s Fine Foods for the two  hours that it will be poured!

Iron Horse Brewery’s 5th Anniversary Party: Ellensburg, Washington

6:00 PM- 10:00 PM @ Iron Horse Brewery

Come celebrate Iron Horse Brewery’s 5th Birthday! 5 is a landmark year and yes there will be a heated tent outside, live music and FREE appetizers. $12.0o gets you in the door, a beverage of choice and a glass to keep. Save $2.00 if you arrive sporting Iron Horse apparel.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2009 Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon @ Pioneer Courthouse Square

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM

Big Wood Festival: Seattle, Washington @ Brouwer’s Cafe

Continues on starting at 11:00 AM until close

Anniversary Cask Fest: New York, New York @ Rattle -n- Hum Bar

3:00 PM- until ???

And that is this week’s line up of events. So much to look forward too with the winter season in full swing. Beer Blotter can be there for all, so if you attend an event that we haven’t listed or want to share your opinions about your favorite beers at the various events, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.  Cheers!

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