Portland Fresh Hop Fest 2012

Hello from Team Boston!

I will be the first one to admit I don’t like hoppy beers.  That being said, I love beer festivals!  Any excuse that allows me to hang out with friends and try new beers sounds like a reason to celebrate in my book.  Last weekend, my roommate Jeffrey, our couch surfer Pamela and I hit up the 2012 Portland Fresh Hop Festival.  A festival all about celebrating fresh hopped beers, duh!

What’s a “hop”?

Hops are the female flower clusters (called cones) of a hop species, Humulus lupulus.  They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer.  Hops give beer the bitter, tangy flavor that people love (and that I dislike).  Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th and 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe.  Although the first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the 11th century.  Before this time brewers used dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound, ground ivy and heather. Hops have many benefits in the brewing process, the balance the sweetness of the malt, add flavors and aromas and have an antibacterial effect that favors the activity of brewing yeast over less desirable microorganisms.  Plus, they make the beer last longer. Another thing to note is the important production centers for hops include Hallertau in Germany, Yakima (Washington) and Willamette (OREGON!!) valleys. The one thing I will say that I love about hops is the way they smell and look.  They almost smell like evergreen needles, campy, herbal and fresh.  Yummy!   Hops are climbers too and are usually trained to grow up strings across fields.  Hopefully, next spring I’ll have some hops growing in my backyard across my garden. Now you know a little bit about hops and why we celebrate them.  Here is what we drank at the 2012 Fresh Hop Festival!  I should note that we all had samples of these beers (4 oz.) and shared with one another.

Jenna:

  • F.O.T.M. Brewery – Magnum P.A. – Fresh Hopped Pale Ale featuring fresh Magnum and Cascade hops.  Yet another new brewery in Portland I want to check out!
  • Falling Sky Brewing – So Fresh, So Green – Wet Hop Lager featuring 172 pounds in 8.5 barrel of wet Centennial hops from Goshcie Farms.  A new brewery to town, definitely on my list to check out the next time I’m in Eugene.  Anyone who can make a lager is a friend of mine.
  • Klamath Basin Brewing Co. – Fresh Hopican Pale Ale – American Pale Ale featuring Cascade hops
  • Sasquatch Brewery – Fresh Hopped Healy Heights – Pale Ale featuring Centennial hops
  • Silver Moon Brewing – Hoppopotamus IPA – Indian Pale Ale featuring Centennial hops.  This was my personal favorite of my selection.  Probably the only IPA I actually like!?

Jeffrey:

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Co. – Crystalt – Alt beer featuring Crystals hops
  • BridgePort Brewing – Hop Harvest – Imperial Pilsner featuring Tettnang hops
  • Burnside Brewing Co. – Sterling Pub Draught – Pub Draught featuring Sterling hops
  • Crux Fermentation Project – Crystal Zwickel – Fresh Hop Ale featuring Crystal hops.  One of Jeffrey’s favorites, which was recommended by a friend of mine.
  • Deschutes Brewery – KING CONE – American Pale Ale featuring dry Cascade hops and fresh Centennial hops.  Another one of Jeffrey’s favorites.  Definitely one I enjoyed as well.
  • Hopworks Urban Brewery – Give Me Liberty – Fresh Hop Bitter featuring organic Liberty hops
  • Laurelwood Brewing Co. – Fresh Hop Free Range Red – Organic NW ESB featuring Cascade hops
  • Oakshire Brewing – 100 Hops – Pale Ale featuring Centennial hops.  I’ve been tweeting with them a lot lately, can’t wait to check out their brewery.  Once again, need a reason to go to Eugene.
  • Portland U-Brew – Freshy Foyston Hopbacktimus – Yes beer featuring “John Foyston Sumpremes”.  Done by my boy, Aaron, who was also doing a home brew demonstration at the Festival.

Pamela:

Like hoppy beers?  What is your favorite?  Have a favorite type of hops?

Portland International Beerfest 2013

My (former) roommate Tiffany and I went on a “froommate” (friend + roommate) date to the Portland International Beerfest 2013.  This was Tiffany’s first ever Oregon Beer Festival and my first time at the Portland International Beerfest.  Lucky for us, we ran into my friend, Jay from Portland U-Brew and his friends and we all had a great time.

Here is what we tried:

  • Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lager
  • Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
  • Hof Ten Dormaal Barrel #3 Madeira
  • Nebraska Brewing Barrel Aged Hop God
  • Hofbrau Original
  • Hofbrau Dunkel
  • Schneider Aventius
  • Schneider Hopfen-Weisse
  • Young’s Double Chocolate
  • Vicaris Generaal
  • Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout
  • Weltenburger Kloster Anno 1050
  • Weltenburger Kloster Pils
  • Mad Viking Night Raid (Cognac Barrel)
  • Maui Brewery Lemongrass Saison
  • 21st Amendment Brewery Imperial Jack
  • Class of ’88 by North Coast Brewery
  • PranQster by  North Coast Brewery
  • Brainless on Cherries by Epic Brewing Company
  • Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker Brewery

What is your favorite international beer?

2018 World Cup Beers

Apparently this is the 2018 World Cup collectors mug.

No matter who you are rooting for this year for the 2018 World Cup just make sure you are enjoying cheering on your favorite team with a great beer.  While I’m bummed USA isn’t in this year’s World Cup, I am enjoying the opportunity to learn more about some international beers.  Here is what I’m suggesting for the 2018 World Cup:

ARGENTINA – Check out Cerveceria Artesanal El Bolson

AUSTRALIA – Check out Bacchus Brewing Company.  An award winning micro-brewery making some of the most interesting & flavourful beers in the Country. You can enjoy their beers at the brewery.
BELGIUM – Check out De Struise Brouwers.  In 2008, a group of men from Vleteren were voted the world’s best brewers. Visitors can hop on by and taste their beer in an old school building located in the village of Oostvleteren. Come and check out their 30 beers on draught. Going back to school has never been more fun!
BRAZIL – Check out Cervejaria Way Beer.
COLOMBIA – Check out 3 Cordilleras.
COSTA RICA – Check out La Selva Cerveza Artesanal.
CROATIA – Check out The Garden Brewery.
DENMARK – Check out Det Lille Bryggeri.
EGYPT –  I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Egypt.  Does anyone know of any?
ENGLAND – Check out The Craft Beer Co.
FRANCE – Check out Mont Saleve.
GERMANY – Check out ‘s Handwerk.  I just love the name.
ICELAND – Check out Einstok Beer.  I found out about this brewery a few years ago and I’ve been obsessed with going to Iceland and trying it (and seeing the Northern Lights).  They even have a special beer out for the World Cup #adopticeland.
IR IRAN – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Iran.  Does anyone know of any?
JAPAN – I’m going to Japan in a month!  Any suggestions for breweries to check out?!
KOREA REPUBLIC – Check out Akitu Brewing.   Since 2014, Advanced created distinctive Craft Beer inspired by traditional brewing methods and new techniques.  As one of the famous original craft brewers, they are always pushing the boundaries with new styles, ingredients and flavors.
MEXICO – Check out Cerveceria Insurgent.
MOROCCO – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Morocco.  Does anyone know of any?
NIGERIA – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Nigeria.  Does anyone know of any?
PANAMA – Check out Casa Bruja.
PERU – Check out Sacred Valley Brewing.  I hiked Manchu Pichu last year and fell in love with their beer.  I’m not a huge fan of IPAs but their Lions Tear IPA after hiking for three days was amazing!
POLAND – Check out Pracownia Piwa.  On the edge of Kaków, in the small town called Modlniczka there is a brewery. Pracownia Piwa brewery. It started long time ago – in their dreams. It had to be steppingstone from their everyday life. They wanted their hobby to become their job. And… their dreams became reality. On 20th of September 2012, when three friends became partners. Now, the brewery is huge part of their lives and Pracownia Piwa is their pride and motivation to work hard.
PORTUGAL – Check out Dois Corvos Cervejeira.  Susana Cascais and Scott Steffens founded the company in late 2013 during the dark days of the Portuguese economic recession back when beer variety in Lisbon was non-existent. In 2014 brewing equipment was acquired and the brewery space was built out in Marvila, at that time a long-neglected industrial neighborhood. In 2015 the first beers were brewed and launched to the market and by the end of 2015 the Tap Room was opened, the first of its kind in Portugal.
RUSSIA – Check out Salden’s Brewery.
SAUDI ARABIA – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Saudi Arabia.  Does anyone know of any?
SENEGAL – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Senegal.  Does anyone know of any?
SERBIA – Check out Kabinet Brewery.
SPAIN – Check out Cervesa Guineu.  Since their inception, they understand craft beer as a product conceived with passion, rooting to our origins and with a goal, that each type of beer contributes with different nuances, but with a common thread: Emotional Recipes.
SWEDEN – Check out Malmo Brewing.  Starting in 2010 Malmo seen the local craft beer community grow from a few enthusiasts to a vibrant local beer scene with an increasing number of local breweries more bars and restaurants serving craft beer. Everyone adding their personality and ideas to make it an even bigger and better community.
SWITZERLAND – Check out 523.
TUNISIA – I wasn’t able to find a craft brewery in Tunisia.  Does anyone know of any?
URUGUAY – Check out Cerveceria Artesansal del Uruguay.

Who are you rooting for this 2018 World Cup?  I’m rooting for Germany since I’m living with a German now.  I’ve also got my eye on Denmark since some of my co-workers are from there as well as Peru and Costa Rica since some Portland Timbers players are representing!  What are you drinking this World Cup?

One Sexy Thing in Colorado, Beer…

Eric, Jeffrey and I at FinCon Denver!

Alright, I’m willing to admit, I found a couple things in Denver, Colorado that were pretty awesome.  Beer being one of them. A few years ago, Eric and I were at the second annual Financial Bloggers Conference in Denver.  It was a blast!  Not only did I get to meet up with some great colleagues in my sphere of work, but I got to taste a lot of good beers made in Colorado. For starters, I finally made it to Great Divide.  I’ve been a fan of this brewery for years, but at SXSW I was able to meet their “Word Nerd” (or social media lady) Hannah.  Did you know Hannah and I grew up in the same town in Oregon?  This is pretty much the only reason I’m willing to admit Denver might have some good beers.  Her parents are barley farmers for Rogue, a great brewery in Oregon.  

I was able to tag along on a beer tour of Great Divide and learned some interesting facts about Great Divide.  For starters, the building they are currently in was built in the 1920s during Prohibition (funny, huh?)  When the founder, Brian Dunn, was trying to secure the building with a loan, over 10 different banks denied him!  He eventually went to the City of Denver (who had just started building Coors Field down the street) and was able to get a loan from them.  Talk about persistence!  Another fun fact: their Samurai beer in available in Japan. We had a pre-FinCon meet up at Great Divide. Eric, Jeffrey, Adam, and I tried all 15 beers on tap.  Alright, Jeffrey and I did, but Adam gets credit for taking the photo above.  It was a blast, I have to say I’m a big fan of their Yeti beer, and love how they play with various forms of it. Later that night, Eric talked me into trying a Colorado Native Lager, which is produced by Coors.  It was terrible.  Seriously, Colorado, you are loosing points with me already.  Good thing Eric redeemed himself during our FinCon beer tour.  We checked out another brewery called Wynkoop Brewing Co; which had two notable beers.  First was the Patty’s Chile Beer, which actually tasted like a chile, pretty impressive, but I’m not sure I could drink a full pint of it.  It doesn’t come close to Burnside Brewing’s Sweet Heat in PDX.

Second, Cowtown Milk Stout, which was delicious.  I’m not a big fan of stouts, but this was super creamy and delicious.  Guess, I’m on a mission to find a Stout in Portland, that I like now. Ultimately, my hands down, favorite, Colorado redeeming beer, didn’t actually come from Denver (sorry, Eric) but from Boulder, CO.  The Tree Hugger Organic Amber from Asher Brewing Company, was the best thing I had during my stay in Denver.  Delicious, balanced, perfect beer.  Would highly suggest anyone going to Denver / Boulder to check them out.  They definitely made my wish list of breweries to travel too.  It pretty much rivaled my love for Hopwork Urban Brewery’s Organic Lager, which is saying something.

Ever been to Denver (or Colorado)?  What did you do?  What beers did you try?

Welcome to Beertown (Why Oregon Beer is Sexy)

Best friends for 10 years, professional drinkers for 7!

Hey Everyone – I’m working on reposting a bunch of old blog content from an old blog I used to run with my buddy, Eric.  Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on Oregon beer and why it’s the best.

I know Eric will argue that Denver is the beer capital of the world.  But like I said before, he’s wrong.   You don’t hear Denver being called Beervana or Brewtopia, do you? Here are 10 reasons why Oregon is better than Denver when it comes to beer:

  1.  There are currently 115 brewing companies, operating 151 brewing

    facilities in 58 cities in Oregon.

  2. There are 51 breweries operating in Portland (my hometown), more than any other city in the world (ha – take that, Eric).
  3. The Portland metro area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of brewers at 64.  (Denver might produce more beer, but we produce more, better beer).
  4. Want to know where Oregon ranks in breweries per capita?  #2 (Vermont is #1, Colorado #4)
  5. Oregon’s brewing companies employ 5,650 full and part-time employees (I think having a job is pretty sexy.  Working at a brewery?  Be still my heart).
  6. Oregon’s breweries donated an estimated $1,500,000 in product or money to non-profits in 2011.  (Pretty sexy).
  7. Total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.44 billion (check that BILLION)
  8. Oregonians consumer 2.711 million barrels of beer in 2011 of that 431,000 barrels (or 15.9%) was made in Oregon in 2011.  (We’re pretty proud of how tasty our beer is).
  9. Oregon is the number two hop growing state in the country with a 2010 crop value of $31,200,000.
  10. Oregon is top 3 in the US in the following categories: Number of breweries, breweries per capita, craft beer production, craft beer consumption, percentage of draft beer consumed.

Most of these facts are from 2011, but did you know in 1888 a local brewer named Henry Weinhard volunteered to pump beer from his brewery into the newly dedicated Skidmore Fountain.  Needless to say, Oregon has a very long history when it comes to beer.  More recently, our abundance of microbreweries dates back to the 1980s when state law was changed to allow consumption of beer on brewery premises.  Plus, we’ve got a lot of local ingredients, two-row barley (compared to six-row barley – trust me there is a difference), over a dozen varieties of hops and pure, soft (also important) water from the Bull Run Watershed.

The thing, I personally, love the most about Oregon beer is how easily accessible it is and how involved the breweries are in my community.  From where I live, I can walk to two great breweries (Hopworks Urban Brewery).  Another local brewery supports my rock climbing gym (Migration Brewing Co.).  While another supports, a charity I was involved with last year (Deschutes Brewing).  Plus, when playing beer tour guide, there are a whole host of breweries within walking distance of downtown (Bridgeport Brewery, Rogue Ales, etc).

What about you?  Ever been to Oregon?  Been to any Oregon breweries?  Tried an Oregon beer?  Want to know more about a particular beer or brewery?  Share your experience in the comments below!