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!

Beer Songs

Need a soundtrack for a good beer-drinking session?  Here are some classics beer songs:

“Beer for Breakfast,” The Replacements

“40-oz. to Freedom,” Sublime

“Chug-a-Lug,” Roger Miller

“Rudie Can’t Fail,” The Clash

“Factory,” Samiam

“Fancy Beer,” The Two Man Gentleman Band

“In Heaven There Is No Beer,” Soggy Bottom Boys

“John Barleycorn,” Traffic

“Give Me a Red Hot Mama and an Ice Cold Beer,” Smiley Maxedon

What is your favorite beer inspired song?  I know Brewtal Truth had some good recommendations.

Kampot Cider – Cambodia [Cider Review]

Cambodia may not be famous for its cider, but it does have a secret! Kampot Cider is actually made in Sihanoukville but it is still Cambodian Cider.  I’ve tried to find more information about this cidery but haven’t been able to dig anything up.  The only other hard cider I have been able to find here in Cambodia is Hops’ Mango Cider, which Beckie can attest to is amazing!  Everything else I have seen has been imported from Australia or Europe.  I have had a few Kampot Ciders and I can tell you it is lovely, sparkling and refreshing on the tropically hot days here in Cambodia.

Kampot Cider is made with Cider with Champagne Yeast which gives it a beautiful sparkle, I have been told it carries on fermenting in the bottles so the strength could be higher than what is on the label.  It’s also got the classic hard cider gunk at the bottom of the bottle so you know it’s really local.

Know of any other cider shops in Cambodia?  Please let me know, I’d love to check them out.

Riel Brewing and Distilling – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Just when you think you know about all the breweries in Phnom Penh, Cambodia surprises you.  Bullet and I went to a dog meet up here in Phnom Penh and Riel Brewing was pouring craft beer at the event.  I was fascinated to find another brewery here in Cambodia.  I did some more research on this brewery and this is what I found:

It all started in July 2013, when the founders were relaxing in their apartment in Toul Kork, Phnom Penh. In love with Phnom Penh and Cambodia, there was only one thing they missed – great beer!  The founders had brewed for many years in the past, but a lust for adventure had put an unfortunate end to that.
And so a plan was put in action. Returning to their home countries of America and Australia, they began building funds and putting together resources.

Returning to Phnom Penh in 2015, they set to work building their dream brewery. Finally able to bring the beer they missed so much, to the country that stole their hearts.  Their head brewer also happens to be a software engineer and so was able to custom-build our entire brewing and fermentation system. These systems allow for any style of beer you can imagine and all at the press of a button!  Well, maybe a few buttons.

While at the dog meet up, I tried their newly released Smash Cream Ale.  I’m really looking forward to trying a few more of their beers the next time I’m near their brewery in Toul Tom Poung in Phnom Penh.  Here are a few of the other beers they make:

  • Toasted Coconut Brown Ale – This smooth brown ale was made with both dark and non-dark beer drinkers in mind. With its light roasted malt flavors blended perfectly with toasted coconut flesh for a fresh, mild, easy-drinking brown ale. Even if you’re not a fan of dark beers, you’ll love this one.
  • India Pale Ale – For those familiar with IPAs you already know what this is all about: hops, big beer. We use varieties of hops from around the globe, and we use a lot of them! Along with a hefty malt bill to give a great body and smooth taste.
  • Grapefruit Pale Ale – This refreshing pale ale is created using varieties of hops all the way from New Zealand. We add fresh grapefruit zest to give the perfect zesty compliment to the specially selected hop varieties. We then match this with a carefully chosen malt bill to give this ale it’s refreshing, easy drinking flavor that just begs for another sip!
  • Summer Session Ale – A lighter beer than our other selections, this refreshing and smooth ale is crisp and clean tasting. It is a very drinkable beer while still being aromatic, with a fresh malt character. Perfect for a hot Cambodian summers eve!

Ever been to Cambodia?  What was your favorite brewery there?

Kingdom Brewery – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kingdom Brewery’s Export Beer

I recently rode a little outside of the Phnom Penh to check out Kingdom Brewery.  They offer a tour, with “unlimited” beer.  The tour book said it would be $7, then when we arrived we were told it would be $8, but in the end we were charged $12.  I’m still not 100% sure why.  To be completely honest, the tour isn’t great.  The hops they have to “smell” are pink with age.  The woman giving the tour spoke very limited English and the tour itself is very, very basic.  For example: “This is where fermentation happens.”  ”This is a water pipe.”

The best part of the tour was walking into the only white guy in the entire facility, he apparently worked at the brewery and suggested we ask for “something in the fridge” after the tour was done.  At the end of the tour, we did that.  The bartenders had no idea what we were asking, so I physically walked behind the bar and opened the fridge.  Inside was a treasure trove of beers that Kingdom Brewery brews for export to other parts of Asia.  Being able to try beers not available in Cambodia was a real treat.  Since we were on our motorcycles, we opted to split a beer.

My advice, skip the tour, hang out in The Taproom and try beers from call over Asia, made in Cambodia, but not sold in Cambodia.  You feel like you are in an exclusive club.

Here is what we tried:

  • Kingdom Pilsner – Light, golden colored lager brewed and matured as a real, traditional Pilsner using European malt and hops with a long, slow fermentation and cold maturation to allow flavors to develop. Reasonably full bodied with a crisp finish, well balanced bitterness and continental hop flavor. Citrus fruits and Saaz are evident on aroma.
  • Kingdom Dark Lager – Dark, amber colored beer, reasonably full bodied with distinct malty tones and a hint of caramel. Moderately bitter and smooth with a distinctive Continental hop aroma.
  • Kingdom Tommy Brown – Dark, full bodied beer, matured and aged to allow flavors to develop. It has a satisfying mouth coating malt sweetness balanced by the pure flavor and taste of the finest Continental hops. Distinctive cocoa and velvety milk chocolate notes come through on the flavor and aroma, making this a fine beer for special occasions.
  • Indochine Belgian Wheat – A refreshing, citrusy Belgian-style white beer with coriander notes.
  • Indochine Indian Pale Ale – Deep, golden colored ale, full bodied, malty and extremely well balanced with distinctive bitterness and hop character from the finest East Kent Goldings and an unmistakable aroma from traditional British Fuggles hops along with very evident citrus notes.
  • Bruntys Cider – A smooth refreshing taste with a crisp dry finish.
  • Brewlander Love Wild Yeast IPA – Brewed with bucket loads of New World hops and fermented with a wild yeast.  With a simple malt bill instead of the crystal heavy grist so that the hops and yeast driven flavors can shine. Love explodes with a beautiful tropical medley of pineapple, mango and passionfruit aromas finishing with a long, clean hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is silky and teases with a hint of tartness. The decision to use Extra Pale malt ensures that the bare grist still packs a solid punch. This brew’s enticing fruity aroma will make you fall in love! The hoppiness of this IPA pairs well with stews and all kinds of meat. For more flavor, swirl the bottle and get all the yeast into your glass!

Have you been to Cambodia before?  What is your favorite brewery?

Espacio by Ecliptic [Beer Review]

Espacio Cookies!

Recently, I attended Ecliptic Brewing’s release party of their Espacio Mexican-Style Lager.  The beer was amazing.  Like a fancied up Corona, the amount of lime was pretty good.  Just enough to be noticeable.  It went really well with the tacos that were offered at the release party.  Espacio is a classic light lager, I would definitely appreciate a cold can of it on a good, hot day.  However, sometimes, Portland’s grey weather is not fashionably appropriate for a Mexican lager.

Since I’m a baker, I draw inspiration from almost anything around me.  The Espacio was no different.  After the release party, I went home and created a custom cookie that would go great with a can of Espacio on a good, hot day.  The recipe is below for you to try yourself.  The hint of chili adds to the lime already in the Espacio.

Espacio Cookies:

  • 3/4 C butter (room temp) if butter is salted omit 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temp)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  1. Sift flour, salt, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder together.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and egg to butter mixture, scrape bowl and mix until combined
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Dough should pull off the sides of the bowl and stick to itself. If the dough sticks to sides it may be too wet, add some flour (little at a time). If the dough is crumbly it is too dry, add little bits of milk or egg white to moisten it.
  5. Press into large flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 min.
  6. Roll out to 1/4” thickness between two pieces of parchment or wax paper (using more flour can overwork the dough) cut out desired shapes and bake on parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. Make sure cutouts are at least a half inch apart.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes and let cool completely before decorating.

What is a beer you love that you would like to see a custom cookie for?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

 

Meet Joy of Sweets & Joyness

Joy and I at Ross Island Brewery

I have this amazing friend name Joy of Sweets & Joyness.  She is an extremely talented baker.  You can check out her website here.  On top of her baking talents, she has a huge passion for beer.  She loves combining the two in really creative ways.  She once made a stout beer cake for our friend’s birthday!

Joy is a wonderful baker that has over 15 years of experience in traditional baking and pastry and would be happy to make your next occasion the best with contemporary style of cookies or cakes to order.

Texagonian (a native Texan living in Oregon or a native Oregonian living in Texas) Joy Childress is a pastry chef focused on making the world a sweeter place one dessert at a time. She founded Sweets & Joyness in 2011 to capture fun events and personalities in custom cake and cookie designs.

Joy’s love for pastry-making started early with a cake decorating course at a local craft store when she was in junior high. From there Joy spent her formative years nurturing an interest in calligraphy and design and building her decorating expertise with a cake decorating job at Cold Stone Creamery.

Joy received her Patisserie and Baking Associate of Arts degree from Western Culinary Institute in 2007. Since then, she has worked for a number of Portland, Oregon’s finest bakeries – including three-times Cupcake Wars winner Crave Bake Shop (now Kyra’s Bake shop), Helen Bernhard’s Bakery, and Marsee Baking – honing her confectionary crafts and creating her unique approach to custom desserts.

BiteSize Brew’s Mentions of Joy:

Zwickelmania 2017 (Recap)

Zwickelmania 2015 [Portland, OR]

Holiday Ale Festival 2014

You’ll see more posts from Joy popping up on BiteSize Brews including some amazing beer reviews and recipes to try at home.  Leave a comment and say “hi” to Joy.

Samai Distillery – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Samai Distillery’s Manhattan

I recently checked out Samai Distillery, Cambodia’s first and only premium rum distillery. They create hand-crafted, premium rums using high-quality, locally grown ingredients and a process that pays tribute to age-old rum making traditions.  Samai Distillery rums are complex and full of character, displaying a flavor profile that reflects the uniqueness of the Cambodian offerings. It is rum that Cambodians can take pride in.  “Samai” is the Khmer word for ”modern,” a new generation, looking towards the future. Samai Distillery is the first generation of rum in Cambodia.

Samai hosts lots of events in their distillery space.  The fundraiser my roommate and I attended was for a local NGO, Animal Mama, that works with animals – specifically street dogs / cats and the rehabilitation of retired de-mining dogs called, Home of the Heroes.

While at the event, we tried two of Samai’s rums:

Samai Gold Rum

Identity: Fine Cambodian Molasses
Origin: Cambodia
Alcohol: 40% alc/vol
Aging: Special French & American oak barrels and Sherry Casks.
Tasting notes: This handcrafted rum has natural hints of vanilla, dark chocolate, and caramelized honey, balanced with a touch of Asian influence.
Awards: a Silver medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2017 in London and a Silver medal at the Barcelona Rum Congress 2017.

How to enjoy: Best enjoyed when sipped neat or in exceptional cocktails.

AND:

Kampot Pepper Rum – This was my favorite of the two.  I love Kampot Pepper so a rum with a little bit of a kick was right up my alley.  Definitely going to pick up a bottle in the near future.

Identity: Fine Cambodian Molasses. Made exclusively with Red Kampot Pepper from La Plantation
Origin: Cambodia
Alcohol: 38% alc/vol
Aging: Matured for 6 months in stainless steel tanks.
Tasting notes: Considered one of the most aromatic and delicious pepper in the world, Kampot Pepper gives this rum a crispy sweet aroma with overtones of guava and eucalyptus. Spicy, fresh, and elegant, Kampot Pepper adds just the right kick to this exceptional rum.
Awards: a Double Gold Medal at the Madrid International Rum Conference 2017 and a Bronze medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2017 in London.

How to enjoy: best enjoyed when sipped neat or in exceptional cocktails
Find your Samai Kampot Pepper Rum: 5cL, 20cL, 70 cL.

How Samai Rum is made:

It all starts with locally-grown sugar cane – nurtured by a warm Cambodian sun and fertile Cambodian soil. Only specially selected, high-quality sugar cane is used to produce the rich, caramel molasses that defines the complex base of all Samai premium rums.  Their fermentation step involves molasses and select yeast and takes place in specialized stainless steel vats, under carefully controlled conditions. The result is a mineral-rich mash at 10% alcohol/volume, full of character and ready for distillation.  They use a handmade, 1800’s-style copper alembic pot for distillation (which we actually saw in action during the event!)  A rectifying lentil enables a purer distillate at 75% to 90% alcohol/volume, while keeping the rich character of the raw ingredients intact.  The distilled spirit is brought down to 65% alcohol/volume, aged in French & American Oak barrels and Sherry casks. These barrels impart delicate flavor characteristics into the rum, whose character evolves in complexity, with each passing day.  The best part – they taste each barrel carefully. Only rum from select barrels is expertly blended, brought down to 40% alcohol/volume and then allowed to rest.  When Samai’s distinctive flavor profile is achieved, the rum is hand-bottled in-house and ready to be experienced – complex and intriguing rums, born of Cambodia’s natural riches.

Have you ever been to Cambodia?  What is your favorite drink there?