Cider Summit PDX returns to Portland June 16 & 17

Region’s largest cider tasting festival kicks off Oregon Cider Week
The seventh annual Cider Summit PDX, the region’s largest hard cider tasting festival, will take place June 16 and June 17 at The Fields Park, 1099 NW Overton St. in the Pearl District. Event hours are June 16 from 3pm to 8pm (VIP session starts at 2pm) and June 17 from Noon to 5pm. The last pour is 15 minutes prior to the close of each session.
Cider Summit PDX will showcase more than 150 ciders, including regional favorites and international classics, from the industry’s leading cidermakers, many of which will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the tastings poured into the commemorative festival glassware. The event also serves as the official kick-off to Oregon Cider Week.
“Artisanal cider has become one of the fastest growing segments of the craft beverage market in recent years,” noted event co-founder, Alan Shapiro. “The Cider Summit exposes thousands of cider lovers and the cider curious to these artfully crafted beverages.”
The event will feature a variety of food vendors, a Dog Lounge, and live music featuring several of Portland’s legendary blues artists.
Tickets are now on sale at http://www.cidersummitnw.com/portlandtickets.html. General admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and six tasting tickets and costs $25 prior to June 1, $30 prior to June 16, or $35 at the gate. GA tickets will also be available starting June 1 at World Foods (NW), World Foods (SW), Cider Bite Taphouse (Pearl), Umpqua Bank (Pearl), and selected bottle shops throughout the City.
VIP tickets include a souvenir tasting glass, exclusive entry from 2pm-3pm on June 16, and 10 tasting tickets; VIP tickets cost $35 prior to June 1 or $40 prior to June 16. VIP tickets are available online only, with limited quantities.
Designated Driver tickets are available at the gate for $5 and include a bottle of water. No alcohol may be consumed with a Designated Driver ticket. All tickets allow re-entry on Friday and Saturday with a wristband and the tasting glass.
Once inside, most cider samples cost one ticket for a 4-oz. sample; select ciders may cost extra. Additional tasting tickets are available onsite for $2 each. Minors are not allowed at the festival, no exceptions.
Several of the cidermakers will participate in the third annual Oregon Fruit Products Fruit Cider Challenge, creating pilot batch fruit ciders using Oregon Fruit Product’s puree; attendees vote on their favorites via text, and the winners are announced at the conclusion of the event on Saturday.
For more information, visit CiderSummit.com, Facebook.com/CiderSummit or follow @CiderSummit on Twitter, hashtag #CiderSummitPDX.
I’ll be there!  Will you?

Cheers to Belgian Beers festival releases brewery lineup, beer descriptions

I’m getting wicked excited for Cheers to Belgian Beers!  Are you?

The 11th annual Cheers to Belgian Beers festival has announced an initial beer list of over 50 Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers. The event will take place June 2 and June 3 at The North Warehouse, 723 N. Tillamook St. Hours are 1pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. The event is for ages 21 and over.

A list of this year’s participants, including beer names and beer descriptions, is available at http://oregoncraftbeer.org/ctbb/. The majority of beers have been made using Imperial Organic Yeast strain Gnome B45, a yeast that produces peach and apricot esters with a spicy phenolic character. The beers made from this yeast run the gamut in styles and regions, including a mango lassi Belgian-style blonde ale from Bend, brewed with mango, salt and cardamom; a Belgian-style strong dark ale from Cascade Locks made with plums and soured with lactobacillus; a Belgian-style beer from Portland made with stroopwafels; a blackberry sour ale from Yachats; and a Belgian-style golden strong ale from Corvallis.
To ensure diversity, the color and strength most of the beers at the fest were predetermined by a dart throw earlier this year. Depending on where the dart landed on the board, the brewer was directed to brew a Belgian style beer either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the median.
General admission costs $20, which includes a beer goblet and eight drink tickets. Advance tickets are on sale now at Mercury Tickets, http://www.merctickets.com/events/42335109/cheers-to-belgian-beers-2017. Purchasers can use promo code CTBB17 at checkout to get 20 percent off tickets; this discount is available until May 12 at 5pm.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill and Oregon Deli Co., and Oregon craft beer gear and apparel is available through Brewed Oregon. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
Cheers to Belgian Beers is produced by the Oregon Brewers Guild and sponsored by Boelter, Country Malt Group, Imperial Organic Yeast and the Portland Mercury. Follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #ctbb17.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild comprises 159 brewing companies, 118 associate/supplier members and more than 3,950 enthusiast members known as S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
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Social Media: @OregonCraftBeer – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Hashtag: #ctbb17
Are you going to Cheers to Belgian Beers?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!

Dead Lizard Brewing Company – Orlando, FL

Beckie, Karl and I at Dead Lizard Brewing Company

About a month ago, I had the chance to tag along with my bestie to Florida.  She worked a bunch, I read a bunch and daydreamed about checking out the local beer scene.  After doing some research, I realized that Florida doesn’t have a ton of craft beer and Orlando is a city of chain restaurants.  That is why I was so excited to find Dead Lizard Brewing Company!  So bestie Beckie and I met up with college bestie Karl for a few beers and dinner.  While Dead Lizard doesn’t have their own food, they are totally cool with you ordering pizza and eating it there.

Dead Lizard Brewing Company is a local micro-brewery located near downtown Orlando. Their beers are big, bold and full of flavor, yet subtle and distinct. For three generations their family has been enjoying and sharing home-brewed craft beer with family and friends, and now they are sharing it with those downtown.

Aside from being completely ignored by the staff.  Here is what we tried:

  • Urban Iguana Double IPA
  • Chameleon Cream-Sic-Ale
  • Key Lime Chameleon Cream-Sic-Ale – This was my favorite of the bunch.  Definitely felt like a Florida classic with the hint of key lime.
  • Komodo “KoKo” Dragon Stout – Second favorite of the group – this beer had a strong coffee flavor that we all were digging.
  • Uncle Pudgy’s Two Fisted Porter
  • Lil’ Tiny Baby Skink Session IPA
  • Purple Skink IPA
  • Trippy Pippy’s Red Dread Ale – Red ales are always a great choice.
  • Anole Nut Brown Ale

Ever been to Dead Lizard Brewing Company?  What did you think of the beers?  What is your favorite brewery in Orlando, Florida?

Beer Review: Uinta Brewing Free Form IPA

Everyone loves coming home to a beer.  A few weeks ago, that happened to me.  I got home from work, walked up my steps and there sitting on my doorstep was a four-pack of Uinta Free Form beers.  I snapped a few photos, cracked open on, started reading the letter from Isaac Winter (Head Brewer at Uinta) and then texted my roommate, who’s gluten free.  Over the course of a few nights, I finished off the four-pack and can honestly say that I really want to visit the least beer’d state (Utah) and check out this brewery.  And for a gluten free beer, Free Form is pretty good.  Definitely a hot summer day, drinking beer.  Can’t wait to try the Blonde Ale next.

Here is what Unita has to say about the beer:

Salt Lake City – After an extensive research and development process that lasted nearly two years, Uinta Brewing Company has added two gluten-free offerings to its beer portfolio with Free Form IPA and Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale. Brewed to appeal to all beer drinkers, but produced with naturally gluten-free ingredients, Free Form can be enjoyed worry-free and sacrifice-free by all gluten-conscious consumers, not just those with specific dietary restrictions.

“We take pride in crafting high-quality beers in a variety of styles so that everyone can experience a Uinta, and Free Form is a natural extension of that,” said Steve Mills, CEO of Uinta Brewing Co. “Our brewing team set out to make gluten-free beer that didn’t compromise on taste, and we weren’t satisfied until both criteria were achieved.”

Brewed with millet and buckwheat, Uinta’s Free Form offerings are naturally gluten-free and have not been gluten-reduced by enzymes. Additionally, the brewery has implemented rigid testing procedures to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. Each batch of Free Form will be tested a minimum of two times prior to release: once by an external certified lab and once in house using Glutenox Detection, which can detect gluten as low as 5 parts per million (ppm). Free Form consistently measures below 10 ppm for gluten content, a level below that of current dietary labeling guidelines for gluten-free products.

 Uinta’s Free Form offerings showcase Uinta’s sense of adventure and commitment to carefully crafted beers for all consumers and occasions. Both brews will be available in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles through Uinta’s distribution territory by the end of spring 2017. 

About Free Form Beers

Free Form IPA Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale
Availability: Year-round Availability: Year-round
ABV: 4% • IBU: 63 • SRM: 5 ABV: 4% • IBU: 20 • SRM: 6
Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat, Coriander
Hops: Citra, Ella, Cascade Hops: Sterling, Opal
Description: Citra and Ella hops impart a bright and tropical essence to this exceptional tasting, sessionable India Pale Ale. Description: Hints of coriander and Belgian yeast character partner perfectly with Sterling and Opal hops in this sessionable Blonde Ale.


About Uinta Brewing Co.

Uinta Brewing Company began its journey in 1993 with a passion for craft beer and a yearning for the great outdoors that aligned perfectly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Named after the only major east-west running mountain range located in the continental U.S., Uinta’s path is consistently led by the values of sustainability, community involvement and innovation. The brewery’s wide selection of high-quality beers is currently enjoyed in 38 states and three export markets. For more information visit UintaBrewing.com.

Have you ever had Uinta Beer?  What was your favorite?  Been to the brewery?  Had a good gluten free beer before?  Leave a comment and share your experience!

Heads up, Uinta provided me the beer and the awesome letter from Isaac Winter, the Head Brewer.

Cheers to Belgian Beers date announced, tickets on sale

Advance MercPerk tickets on sale now for 11th annual
Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, taking place June 2 and 3
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 20, 2017 – The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, beer! Advance tickets are on sale now for Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, which features up to 70 Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain. The 11th annual event will take place June 2 and 3 at The North Warehouse at 723 N. Tillamook St. Hours are 1pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday.

Drink packages at the door costs $20 for a souvenir glass and eight drink tickets. Discount tickets are on sale now at MercPerks, with two tasting glasses and 16 drink tickets for $28 ($40 value), while supplies last. The event is for ages 21 and over.

This year’s featured yeast strain is Imperial Yeast B45 Gnome, a yeast that creates crystal clear Belgian ales in a short amount of time. Gnome produces peach and apricot esters with a Belgian phenolic character that can be manipulated through temperature. It pairs well with hops, while also complementing malt and caramel characters.
To ensure the diversity of the yeast strain, as well as show off the creativity of Oregon craft brewers, the color and strength of each brewery’s beer is determined by a dart throw. More than 80 breweries took part in this year’s dart throw, held on Jan. 16 at The Evergreen, the private event space at the Loyal Legion. Depending on where the dart landed on the board, a brewer was directed to brew a Belgian-style beer that will be either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the baseline. Four breweries hit a bullseye, meaning they get to choose their color and strength.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
The festival is seeking volunteers, who receive a glass, 8 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC servers permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up, visit  https://www.events-connect.com/ctbb/volunteer.
Cheers to Belgian Beers is produced by the Oregon Brewers Guild and sponsored by Boelter, Imperial Yeast and the Portland Mercury. Follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #ctbb17.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild comprises 159 brewing companies, 118 associate/supplier members and more than 3,950 enthusiast members known as S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
Social Media: @OregonCraftBeer – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Hashtag: #ctbb17