Written by our in-house cellar dweller, Timperial Stout.
When it comes to big, specialty releases that make waves on a national level, the Northwest is painfully lacking. Washington state, more specifically, pretty much has none. We don’t have a Dark Lord or a Black Tuesday or a Kate the Great or a Sexual Chocolate…
I can’t think of a single time that I rushed out to the bottle shop for a WA release. I have rushed out to bars to catch WA beers while they were on draft, but that is such a fleeting pursuit. I want to be able to add a bottle to the cellar and age it and show it off and pretend that I’m cool that I have a crazy barrel-aged imperial stout that’s 4 years old and nearly impossible to get. I have low self-esteem so if I don’t have an impressive cellar I have nothing.
But seriously, why can’t Washington brewers do this for me. I guess I do have that Black Raven wheat wine that they made for Malt and Vine‘s anniversary. Oh yeah, and those Pike Entires. Both are wax-dipped and shit, totally impressive. Well, whatever…I want more.
Our neighbors to the south are doing a little bit better than us on this front, but it’s by no means a landslide. Hair of the Dog and Cascade bottles are pretty sweet trophies to show off. I’ve got a New Old Lompoc Oak Aged Dopplebock down in my cellar. Pretty cool huh? I know.
The ultimate bottled prizes in the PNW come from Deschutes in Bend, OR. I know you know what they are. I know you are jealous of my ’07 Abyss. Your best bet to rival me in supremacy is to camp outside of your local bottle shop tonight, and every subsequent night until more bottle of The Dissident hit Western Washington (if we are so lucky). Then do the same thing in mid-December for The Abyss. Buy as many as they will allow, drink one of each on New Years and hide the rest in the deepest recesses of your cellar. In 15 years when your first-born turns twentyfun, make his/her first ‘legal’ beer be one of paramount class.
Friday, November 19th
We are super excited to officially announce the release of The Dissident, our sour brown ale brewed with Washington cherries, that takes 18 plus months to reach near perfection. A limited amount of bottles will go on sale at both Brew Pubs and our Tasting Room on Friday, November 19th at 11 am. Fans will be able to pick up six bottles of this beloved brew at a time.
Wednesday, December 1st
The wait is finally over for the fifth release of The Abyss, our imperial stout brewed with molasses and licorice aged in bourbon and oak wine barrels. Join us at our Brew Pubs on December 1st as we tap the first kegs and make the 2010 bottles available for you to add to your collection.
…Also of note, here is information on those two beers and other upcoming releases as it was received this morning from a brewery representative…
When: End of November
What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)
Finally…. perfection. After nearly two years aging in isolation, the 2010 Dissident has reached its pinnacle. Deschutes Brewery’s only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus “critters” (a technical brewing term) create a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor. To make things even more interesting, whole Central Washington cherries – pits, stems and all were also added to the mix. The result? A beer that’s anything but conventional.
Where: Very limited available in most states where Deschutes is sold
Beer Geek Information:
10.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)
The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.
2010 marks the fifth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout rated the 4th best beer on planet earth by BeerAdvocate.com.
Where: Available in most states where Deschutes is sold
Beer Geek Information:
~11% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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).
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!
Im late. I have an excuse. I just got back from an epic wedding- two great friends, two beer lovers tied the knot. With Bell’s, New Holland and Southern Tier on tap at the wedding (and a growler of 3 Floyds Dreadnaught), I was on Cloud 9 along with the happy couple. Congrats you two- you rock!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
IPA Week: Brooklyn, New York
12:00PM-12:45AM @ The Double Windsor
Tonight, the Double Windsor celebrates year one with IPAs- all week- $5.00 pints.
(ANNIVERSARY PARTY IS SET FOR THURSDAY, SEPT 16TH. CRAZY COOL DRINK & FOOD SPECIALS, DJ’S, LOL-ING, ETC… JOIN THEIR FACEBOOK GROUP TO HEAR MORE ABOUT IT)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Goose Island Harvest Ale Hoppy Hour: Columbus, Ohio
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Park Street Tavern
We literally just left Columbus, Ohio but for those of you who are lucky enough to be in the area, join Goose Island for a casual Harvest Ale kick off! This fall seasonal has the perfect amount of hops & malts to really make fall the “hoppiest” of seasons!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Culinary Connectors Denver BeerFest Walking Tour: Denver, Colorado
3:00PM-5:00PM @ Various Restaurants
Take a stroll down Denver’s historic streets, taste amazing beer and indulge in decadent foods. This is what you need to know:
Candid & informal chef interactions
Delicious tastings and pairings
12 guests maximum
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Lompoc Oktoberfest: Portland, Oregon
The brewers at Lompoc Brewing are welcoming autumn with a release party for their fall seasonal Lompoc Oktoberfest. the menu will feature a selection of German sausages with a variety of condiments/toppings. There will also be a traditional accordionist playing beer polka tunes from 2 to 5 pm. This event is for ages 21 and older. Beers on tap include: Marzen Lager, Barrel Aged Boadicea, Red Scare Imperial Red, Centennial IPA, and 2008 Brewdolph.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Cincinnati Beer Fest: Cincinnati, Ohio
12:00PM-9:00PM @ Fountain Square
3oz beer tastings will start at $1 and there is NO ADMISSION FEE! In addition to over 200 different flavors of beer, there will be over 30 live music acts plus multiple food and merchandise vendors. This festival begins on Friday, September 10th and runs through the weekend.
If you go to an event you want us to post about or just want to chat about beer, please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
You know how we roll at Beer Blotter- in and out of cities, embracing and experiencing as much beer as possible. We have day jobs, its just the way it is.
So in light of our upcoming weekend, where we plan on spending 24 hours in the Southern city of Portland, these are our recommendations. For argument sake, I am staring from the morning and ending at your bedtime…and its a Saturday.
Rise and Shine, its VooDoo Time
22 SW 3rd Ave.
This isn’t your ordinary doughnut joint, with a range of doughnuts topped with your favorite childhood cereal, a maple frosted doughnut with fresh strips of bacon and my personal favorite the chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos and peanut butter drizzle. OH MY GOD! Its always a good idea to get some thing in your stomach to soak up the booze. See that is me being a responsible drinker, live and learn.
A Walk Through the Market
It might still be a little early to hit your local watering hole for some beers, so stop by the Saturday Market. Positioned along the Columbia River and centered in Portland’s historic district, this market is full of local artists, cuisine and flair.
Its 12:00 Somewhere: Horse Brass
4534 SE Belmont St.
Horse Brass is the perfect place to start your beer consumption. For one, they ALWAYS have Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA and Fred on tap. Their tap list is amazing. An English style pub, share a few Scotch Eggs with the group.
You are in Portland, bring something back to your friends: Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St.
Just down the block from Horse Brass, this bottle shop is so much more than just that. Split into two rooms, one glorious room is full of bottles. Although their selection is eclectic, inspiring and worth the visit, it is on the pricey side. What makes Belmont a must visit is their tap room. While you shop, sip on a beer and surround yourself with locals who love beer as much as you do.
Go Rogue: Green Dragon
928 SE 9th Ave.
“Yes” Rogue is a large microbrewery and “yes” they buy out small microbreweries and small beer bars, BUT they do make an effort and succeed in maintaining the integrity of these places. At Green Dragon, a Rogue owned establishment, during our last visit, there wasn’t even a Rogue beer on tap. You know what was on tap, a ton of amazing beers, many from Oregon. The bartender and waitstaff here are ridiculously informative and friendly. A wide open space with a funky, slightly psychedelic aura, a visit here will get your buzz going for sure. Did I mention, a cab from Broadway Cab service or a DD would be a good option for this day???
Its time for your first Brewery of the Day, but not your last: HUB
2944 SE Powell St.
Just a quick mention to Hair of the Dog Brewery, as they are not open on Saturdays. In a few weeks their tasting room will be open on the weekends. But back to things within our grasp and one of the best up and coming breweries in Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). With bike frames hanging from the bar, this sustainable brewery is Portland at its best. Grab one of their amazing organic brews and a bite to eat. If your interested, inquire about the brewery. Its just down stairs and worth a peek!
A Trip to Portland Wouldn’t be complete without it: Beer Mongers
1125 SE Division St.
Beermongers is a bottle shop that has a wide variety of beers at a very reasonable price. The owners of this bottle shop take great pride in educating the public on brews. Weekly event are held here featuring various breweries. Like Belmont, its a great place to sip on a beer and peruse the collection.
4:15 New Old Lompoc
1616 NW 23rd St.
This area is full of breweries. Did you know that Portland has the most breweries per capita than any other city? New Old Lompoc has several locations in the city including their tasting room, Sidebar which serves up barrell aged goodness. This location is in a beautiful neighborhood and has a very relaxing atmosphere. Grab a Centennial IPA or C-Note Imperial Pale Ale and enjoy the summer breeze on the back deck!
2327 NW Kearney St.
Laurelwood Public House- I like that. It sounds straight out of the Wild West. Located in a house, you walk onto the porch and through the front door, a wooden staircase to your left and several dining areas to your right. You feel right at home. If there isnt room outside, I suggest making your way to the bar in the back. You can grab a tall table and sit by the window. The Workhorse IPA is a must try but if you are looking for something different, check out the Tree Hugger Porter.
5:45 Lucky Labrador
1945 NW Quimby St.
Super Duper Dog. If its on tap, get it. Their double IPA will not dissapoint. It is bitter, but herbal and sweet. Whenever we stop here, a sampler tray seems to be the way to go. A dog friendly establishment, their spaces are wide open warehouses and packed full of happy patrons.
6:30 Deschutes Brewing Co.
210 NW 11th Ave.
Granted we have been here at least 6 times, but for those of you who are Deschutes virigins, GO HERE! A long tap list of all their amazing beers will be there to greet you. You never know when Dissadent, Hop Henge or Abyss will show up. Their food- I had an amazing experience with Venison Chili and medicore experience with a chicken sandwhich. All in all a great place to grab dinner and continue your consumption of beers. Located in the Pearl District, Deschutes is close to several other beer establishments including Rouge and Bridgeport.
8:30 Henry’s Tavern
10 NW 12th Ave.
Now that you have statisfied your hunger, its time to head out for the remainder of your night. At this point, you are probably tired and tipsy, so Henry’s is the place to wrap it up! A young crowd is always there and their back patio is strug with white lights. Day or night, this place is great. The wait staff will walk over and hand you a GIGANTIC menu full of beers, most on tap. Its obscene in the best way possible. Their list is so extensive that I can’t help but glare at those around me sipping Mai Tais.
The next day, you wake up, thoughts of beer still overcome your ability to move. If you are staying in the downtown area, make your way to Whole Foods for an amazing bottle selection and some nutritent packed food. There are still so many places to visit in Portland, the city of beer. If you have your own beerxperience in Portland, leave us a comment or email us at email@example.com!
Lurking in the shadows of summer beer festivals is the Seattle International BEERFEST. Mark your calendars for July 2-4th for this epic, yes, epic outdoor beer loving, beer gazing, beer drinking event.
We are talking beers from all over our fine country plus the rarest of the rare, beers from all over the globe. Over 150 beers from 15 different countries to be exact. Now you know why I’m saying “epic.”
Let the world unite under the pretense of good craft beers at Seattle Center next weekend. Its going to be magical and not to be missed. With over 150 beers, I am unable to review them all. However, I present you with four top five lists since that seems to be an easy way to organize the blog these days.
1. Top 5 breweries to try from the USA
2. Top 5 breweries to try from outside of the USA
3. Top 5 beers you should try
4. The 5 rarest of the rare
Hopefully that will cover the basics, but for the full list and all of the details visit the 2010 Seattle International BEERFEST’s website. And just a note, there is no particular order to the “Top 5s.”
1. Top 5: US Breweries To Try
Although this is your chance to try some rare, undeniably authentically amazing beers from other countries, I have to represent. After all, the USA did make it to the second round of the World Cup! So my reasoning behind choosing these 5: Festivals are a place where you want to capitalize on those beers you normally cannot obtain and those that have several options. Therefore, the breweries are on this list for mainly those two reasons, plus of course, they are awesome.
- Cascade Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon- amazing sours beers and once in awhile Uber Tavern will get a few kegs, ONCE IN AWHILE. They are showcasing two mystery beers, which are almost certain to be some wild yeast infected, wood-aged masterpiece. Save your tickets for those.
- Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colorado- The beers that are pouring, you can buy in bottles, but rarely do you get to enjoy a Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti (read our review) on tap. Also, try their IPA!
- Deshutes Brewing Co., Bend, Oregon- Black Butte XXII- its new and its here!
- Dogfish Head Brewing Co., Rehoboth Beach, Delaware- although this brewery is getting more popular by the minute, this weekend 90 min IPA, the 120 min IPA (take it easy on this one, its 21%!!!!) and World Wide Stout will be pouring, so if you missed WWS at Brouwer’s Back to Black during Seattle Beer Week, now is your chance for redemption.
- New Old Lompoc Brewing Co., Portland, Oregon: This is another brewery that although located 2 hours south of Seattle, rarely shows up on tap. Try their barleywine and save on the gas!
2. Top 5: The Foreign Brewers To Try
Now onto more worldly things….the following breweries produce high quality beverages. I will write a little snippet, if you will, on each brewery just for your enjoyment.
- Mikkeller, Denmark: Mikkeller makes beers of all styles and they are all amazing. A line of single hop IPAs, an IPA that combines 10 hops, a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y flavorful and thick stouts as well as your finest Belgium styled beers. And, no big deal, but they are pouring 6 beers, one of which is Big Worse (their incredible barleywine).
- Dieu du Ciel, Canada: Amazed that the two beers they are pouring are on tap – Peche Mortel Imperial Stout and Rigor Mortis, a Quad.
- Nogne-O, Norway: If their amazing trademark brand doesn’t entice you, then their innovative beers will. Cant go wrong with a beer from Nogne-O, especially the Batch 100 IPA.
- Cantillion, Belgium: If you are a frequent reader, then you know our love for this brewery, especially after experiencing it first hand. Authentic Lambics are brewed here. When you drink these lambics, you can taste the authenticity…it just tastes…pure. Iris is the only beer pouring, but my God, its on draft.
- Caracole, Belgium: This is a Belgium brewery through and through producing a White Ale, a Blonde, Amber Ale and Brown Ale. Of course, these beers are named for their color…their taste goes much much deeper.
3. Top 5: Beers You Cannot Miss
Now this is challenging- the top 5 beers you should try.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast on draft! Had this a couple weeks ago in San Diego. Fixated.
- Mikkeller Big Worse on draft! And I am back to this brewery. That is what you get for being awesome and also pouring 6 beers. Big Worse is a barleywine and is on tap. A Beer Blotter favorite.We had Beer Geek in San Diego last month and Big Worse on the tap in Amsterdam – best on draft.
- Oud Beersel Oude Kreik: a cherry lambic pouring from the bottle.
- Both of Cascades’ Mystery Beers: take your pick, cannot go wrong. I know that’s two beers – but whatever.
- Nogne- O #100: a Double Imperial IPA on draft.
4. Top 5: Rare Ones Not To Miss
Now, on to the rarest of a the rare.
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Bacon: WHAT? BACON? Its out of the bottle but this is going to be unreal.
- De Molen Dispution Stout: We had the pleasure of visiting this brewery in the Netherlands. Every beer they crank out is top notch, this being no exception.
- De Proef K-O: Straight from Belgium, this “Knock Out” is a Triple weighing in at 10% (ok no more boxing puns).
- De Ranke Cuvee: Old sour beer from De Ranke blended with Girardin (another brewery in Belgium) lambic. This is being poured from the bottle. However, if you are in the mood for draft, De Ranke is pouring the XX Bitter which has a hop component with that sour funk you get from good ol’ wild yeast. Both beers are sure to impress!
- De La Senne Equinox: I’ve selected this beer because they are the perfect representation of the “new Belgian” movement across the Atlantic. This young brewer is situated in French Belgium, south of Brussels. They make remarkably progressive beers, while holding on to the classic Belgian styling. Try this beer, one of their best.
There are so many amazing beers and amazing breweries at this event. It truly is unfortunate that my liver and my bank account can’t support my trying every last one. Take notes, report back and let us know which beers you are excited to try. Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!