After ringing in 2010 with style, we sat down to a quiet evening of movies, homemade buffalo wings and three Northwest IPAs. Our line up included the following breweries, Lucky Labrador out of Portland, Oregon; Philips Brewing Co. out of Victoria, British Columbia; and Oakshire Brewing Co. out of Eugene, Oregon. Each IPA provided distinct flavors, ranged between 7% and 8% ABV and went perfectly with the wings!
Now, lets get down to business…
Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.: Portland, Oregon
We visited Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.’s one of three locations during September ’09. As we sat in the large warehouse space with hops growing down the side of the building, the summer sun, hypnotizing scent of the hops and the warm breeze instantly put us in a great beer drinking mood. We ordered a sampler of six different beers, one of which was Super Dog, the brewery’s single IPA. Floral, crisp, refreshing and sightly bitter, this beer was/is reminiscent of Pliny the Elder (although not a double). Much to our dismay, they did not have any bottles to take home, instead we were presented with their double IPA, Super Duper Dog. Super Duper Dog is very complex and full IPA that has the complexity of a fruit juice. Extremely sweet and malty in flavor, there was no bitterness to be found. Highly recommended for those warms summer days and quiet winter nights.
Phillips Brewing Co.: Victoria, British Columbia
Phillips Brewing Co. was first discovered on a trip to Vancouver, Canada during a very cold, very rainy weekend in November ’09. We trudged through the streets in the Gastown neighborhood destined and determined to find Alibi Room, a local beer bar. It’s funny how a dark, dreary, rainy winter’s afternoon will put one in the mood to drink beer just as much, if not more than a warm, blissful summer’s day (maybe its just a personal trend….). Anyway, Phillips Brewing Co. had their Longboat Chocolate Porter on tap. As we began to dry out, a sweet, thick porter sounded perfect. We were not disappointed as every sip was rich with chocolaty flavor, thick in body and crisp in finish. Later that day, we stumbled upon a beer and wine shop that presented a very interesting Canadian beer selection. We quickly grabbed a bottle of Phillips Longboat Chocolate Porter and a bottle of their Amensiac Double IPA, which was enjoyed last night. With a copious amount of hops, this is a “big beer” with a punch in herbal, hop goodness. A very bitter double IPA and not as smooth as we would have hopped. Refreshing, but lacks a smooth finish.
Oakshire Brewing Co.: Eugene, Oregon
A new brewery on the block (18 months give or take in the making), Oakshire Brewing Company released two beers during 2009, the Watershed IPA and the Overcast Espresso Stout. No complaints here on the choice of styles! Although this brewery or beer was not discovered at a local beer bar, it came highly recommended. A quick stop in the Whole Foods in Portland’s Pearl District graces every trip to the city. We find that the staff members that are “stationed” in the beer aisle are very knowledgeable and happy to discuss their likes and dislikes. This time, we were in the market for an Oregon IPA that we had yet to try. This particular staff member enjoys bitter IPAs and said that Watershed IPA was his favorite local beer. The IPA is available all year round and as far as IPA’s go, has a full malt balance. The hoppy bitter taste combined with the malt flavors creates a very “tasty” beer. We recommend this recommendation.
Just another Saturday night with Beer Blotter, as we celebrate a great beginning to 2010 and great local beer! Please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments on the beers in this post or have any Northwest IPA recommendations!