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 is the brewery I’ve been waiting MONTHS to check out. First Magnitude Brewing Company! Ever since Karl sent me a photo of it’s mermaid logo. I knew I had to check it out. I mean, mermaids and craft beer, what could be better? On top of that, I realized it’s a major supporter of the environment and the local community.
Fun Fact – The name ‘First Magnitude’ represents the heart of what makes this part of Florida naturally great. Thanks to its unique geologic characteristics, North Central Florida has the highest density of freshwater springs in the world. First magnitude springs are the most powerful – over 100 cubic feet of water per second boils up from their limestone openings to form cool, clear pools that feed our rivers and lakes. Look up in the sky – the brightest star you can see with your naked eye is called a first magnitude star. Their mermaid logo brings together the stellar and the aquatic.
Here is what we tried:
- BATCH 200 Double Red IPA – This came as a recommendation from the guy pouring our beers. It’s a decent IPA. (Again – not a fan, but the boys loved it.)
- Dark Age – Belgian Stout – You know, this goes great with the Dark Queen. Delicious.
- Wacahoota Wit – Belgian Wit – Classic wit.
- Flandsome Gentleman – Flanders Red Ale – Karl and his friend, Jonathan, both loved this beer. After our samplers, they each got a pint of this.
- Hoppy Golden Sour – I’ve learned this week that Karl loves sour beers, so this was for him. I honestly hated it, full on, weird face shuddering, sour.
- Karst Belgian Pale Ale w/ Rosemary, Thyme, & Sage – This was a CLOSE second to Bee’s Knees Honey Saison. First Magnitude has a year-round Karst without herbs that I got to try at dinner the night before. Let me tell you, herbs make such a difference. AMAZING!
- Dark Queen – Jackie’s Belgian Dark Strong Ale – Hogtown Brewers Collaboration – You know me, I love a dark beer, even in sunny Florida, this was a great beer.
- Bee’s Knees Honey Saison – This was my favorite beer (Karst was a solid second). After our samplers, I got another pint of this while we explored the rest of the brewery.
Have you ever been to Gainesville, Florida? Or First Magnitude Brewing Company?
Natures Coast Brewing Company – where beer and manatees meet.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a wonderful, wonderful week in Florida. I literally went EVERYWHERE – Orlando, Naples, Gainesville, AND Crystal River. With my amazing college buddy / tour guide / outdoor adventurer, Karl. For those of you who don’t know, Crystal River is THE ONLY PLACE in Florida, where you can legally swim with manatees. So this mermaid had to give it a try. Yes, I did bring my mermaid tail. Yes, we did see manatees. No, we did not swim WITH the manatees, because we hung out with a mama and a calf so they needed their space, but it was still AWESOME!
After hanging out in beautiful water all day, lucky for Karl, I found the ONLY brewery in Crystal River – Nature Coast Brewing Company. Located in the heart of Crystal River (let’s be honest – there is only like one traffic light) in an Irish pub called “Burke’s of Ireland.” This one barrel system hosts a handful of small, hand crafted batches of beers. One of my favorite things about the pub was the walls were covered with beer taps from around the world. I’m happy to report back that I was able to find a few Oregon breweries taps all the way in Florida. We made friends with the brewer’s brother and he let us try all four beers on tap.
Here is what we tried:
- Citrus Ave IPA. This was a classic IPA that Karl got. Again, not a huge IPA fan personally, but after being in the sunshine all day it was refreshing.
- Pastel De Calabaza Del Diablo. This was my favorite of the four beers with tried. A spiced beer with a little bit of sour that definitely stood out from the crowd.
- Dr. Porter’s Ales What Cures You! This beer is named after the original owner of the building, The Pharmacy and Medical office that was established in 1920 by Dr. Porter Hudson.
- My Heart is On Fire. This was a spicy hot beer that reminded me a lot of Burnside Brewing’s Sweet Heat. Only the heat stuck with you a lot longer!
Another thing I loved about this brewery is they have a “Bucket List.” This was an ongoing theme of Karl’s during the week. Due to the nature of their brewing system, after each beer is brewed and fermented, they take 31 gallons and separate them into six different secondary fermenters. With each bucket fermenter, they add a finishing flavor making each batch outlandishly unique.
Ever swam with manatees in Florida? Ever been to Nature Coast Brewing Company?
Ecliptic Brewing has partnered with Gigantic Brewing on the newest addition to its Cosmic Collaboration series, Star Destroyer. Brewed in the style of an Imperial Schwarzbier and with a nod to Star Wars, Star Destroyer is cleverly styled as an Imperial Darkside Lager.
“In 2016 I approached Van Havig of Gigantic about a collaboration for 2017. He agreed only if we called the beer Star Destroyer,” said Owner and Brewmaster of Ecliptic Brewing, John Harris. “Brewing with the boys from Gigantic is always a good time!”
Ecliptic and Gigantic collaborated in 2013 on TicWitTic American Sour Ale, brewed for the opening of Ecliptic. Both breweries knew that another collaboration was bound to happen, but little did they know that a beer brewed to the tunes of The Imperial March would be it. Check out the description of Star Destroyer below.
About Star Destroyer
Feel the power of the darkside. Bah, Bah, Bah-Bum, Ba, Bum-Bum, Da, Bum. This beer is fully operational. Prepare the attack.
ABV 8.0% IBU 39
Star Destroyer Release Events: Oregon and Washington
- Ecliptic Brewing, 825 North Cook St. Portland, OR. Beginning March 1st, 11am. Draft and bottles available. WHO WANTS TO GO?!
- The Growlerie, 15151 Barrows Rd. Beaverton, OR. March 13th, 5pm-7pm. Star Destroyer Release Party.
- Teku Tavern, 552 Denny Way, Seattle, WA. March 1st , 7pm-9pm. Women in Beer Trivia and Star Destroyer Release Party
About Ecliptic Brewing
Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon beer icon whose background is steeped in the state’s rich craft brewing history. The name Ecliptic unites Harris’ two passions: brewing and astronomy, and as such, the brewery celebrates the Earth’s yearly journey around the sun through both its beer and restaurant menus. Executive chef Michael Molitor rotates his seasonally inspired menu every six weeks in accordance with the old world calendar. Harris’ signature beers include Spectra Hoppy Pilsner, Orbiter IPA, Phobos Single Hop Red Ale, and Capella Porter. For more information, visit: www.eclipticbrewing.com.
Seriously, who wants to go grab a pint on March 1st?
We came, we drank, and we conquered.
When I first started making my plans for Zwickelmania 2017, I forgot that I had a two-hour Cambodian language class before I could meet up with everyone. That being said, the group met up at noon-thirty at HUB to really get things started. (A few girls went to Double Mountain before hand and got me some sweet swag. AKA a cute hop key chain – THANK YOU!)
On the tour we got to try the zwickel of Spring Fling, a chocolate and raspberry summer beer. I’m really excited about this beer coming out soon. As someone who likes fruit beers that don’t have strawberries in them! They also had Gear UP IPA on tap, which is a pleasant sipper for those who can handle a light IPA.
Next stop was Gigantic for some beers, they were sampling Mons Meg, a strong Scotch Ale, which I’ve had from a bottle before, and can definitely say is better on draft, their Sound and Vision pale ale, that I’ve recently stocked in my Airbnb, so I was happy to give that a try and liked. Finally, from the zwickel, Gigantic IPA. Which honestly on draft I’m not a fan of (just cause I don’t like IPAs and prefer their Pipewrench IPA) but warm and flat the Gigantic IPA is pretty good.
It was fun to finally meet the Ross Island headbrewer. Before I’ve met his wife and his wife’s sister so now I feel like I know the whole family! This new brewery was doing samples of the TNT IPA. This beer is a collaboration with Alameda and features a new hop called “TNT”.
At first I was excited to check out this new brewery. Unfortunately, they charged for samples. Which I believe goes against the whole spirit of Zwickelmania. Joy and I each bought five samples and were so unimpressed we left without finishing up our punch card. We tried:
- Belgian Blonde
- Hopped Saisson
- Fresh Hop Saison
- Brown Ale
- Scotch Ale
- Pilsner – this was actually deceptive. While chatting with a lady, she mentioned this was her favorite beer here. So Joy and I gave it a try, turns out it’s a lemon dill pilsner. Definitely the most unique offering here.
I’m not sure I’ll make it back to Grixsen. They seemed more interested in selling beer samples, and t-shirts then marketing their craft beer offerings.
We did a pit stop here and didn’t stick around. It was a 25-minute wait to get a 20 minute tour and samples. Still love them though.
New gluten free brewery in town! We decided to skip the 20-minute wait for a tour and just get a sample of all their beers. I had to check this gluten free place out to make sure it was legit for all my dietary restricted friends. It definitely made the cut so we’ll be back. Here is what we tried:
- Pale Ale
- Imperial Darkness
- Cascadian Dark Ale
- Dark Ale on Nitro
- IPA No. 5
- Clemy – This was my all time favorite from Ground Breaker. Definitely had a saison mouth feel to it.
- Dark Grinder
Last stop, we got to try the Bourbon Barrel Aged S’more Stout from the Zwickel and because it was Mama Nancy’s first time to this brewery, I got her a full pint of S’more Stout with the toasted marshmallow. The other sample they were handing out was Ultra Gnar Gnar.
Did you attend Zwickelmania? What was your favorite brewery to tour? Beer to sample?
This Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year – ZWICKELMANIA! For those who don’t know it’s the largest beer festival in Oregon. I love it cause you get to meet brewmasters, walk around the breweries and connect with others who love beer as much as you do. This year, my friends and I are planning on checking out the following southeast breweries between 11am-4pm.
In no particular order:
In depth brewery tours with free beer samples (we’re talking like 20 minute educational tours here.) Not sure I’ll stick around for a 20 minute tour, but I’m stopping by for at least once sample.
2235 SE 11th Ave
Portland OR 97214
Brewhouse tour! Grab samples from their brew crew off the brite, barrel, and out in their patio tent. Vote for your favorite to get in on our Raffelmania to WIN BIG! Garage sale– killer deals on cases of brew! This is a special request from one of the ladies in our group.
930 SE Oak St.
Portland OR 97214
Open brewery, tours, sampling, all brewers on site. I love this brewery. Sweet Heat is one of my favorite beers and last time I was there I tried a beer made from sea urchins – CRAZY!
701 E. Burnside
Portland OR 97214
Meet the brewers, brewery tours, beer tasting, MASSIVE! Bourbon Barrel Aged release, loud music. Another brewery I love. We are definitely stopping by. Hello bourbon barrel aged beers!
5224 SE 26th Ave
Portland, OR 97202
Meet the brewer, beer tasting, brewery tour. Not going to lie. I didn’t even realize this brewery was here. Can’t wait to check it out.
1001 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
Samples and a brewery tour. Another newbie I’ve never heard. Definitely stopping by.
715 SE Lincoln St.
Beer tasting. This is a historical brewery and always has awesome Zwickelmania specials.
61 SE Yamhill
Beer tasting, Brewery tour, snacks. Top brewery – definitely stopping by. (It was also requested by one of the friends in the group.)
2944 SE Powell
Meet the Brewers, Beer Tasting, Tours & Good Times. I’m so embarrassed that I don’t know so many new breweries in south east. Have to check this one out too.
124 SE 11th Ave
Portland OR, 97214
Brunch at 10am ($10), shuttles provided by Rogue, beer tasting, brewery tours. The Green Dragon has a new name. Contemplating getting brunch here. Can’t wait to see the new remodel.
928 SE 9th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
Meet the brewer, beer tasting, brewery tour. This new brewery just opened up in my neighborhood and I’m in love! I can’t wait to head back and support them even more.
730 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
Meet the brewer, beer tasting and brewery tour. This brewery just opened up and I’ve only beer there once. I’m looking forward to giving them another shot.
1516 SE 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
Are you attending Zwickelmania? What breweries are you most interested in checking out?
I’m getting back on the brewing bicycle. My new brew buddy, Alyssa and I decided to spend an icy Friday together while the city was shut down. We did a re-make of my previously brewed 4th of July Red Raspberry Wheat Beer. We made a few little changes to the recipe – some intentionally, some not. Still excited for the beer. Shout out to Base Camp Brewing Company‘s 2nd Anniversary Biere De Garde for providing the drinking beer for today’s adventure.
- 3.3 lb Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
- 1 lb Light Dry Malt Extract
- 1 lb Malted Wheat
- 1 lb German Pilsner Malt
- 1 lb Flaked Wheat
- 1 oz German Huell Melon Hops
- 1 oz Mt. Hood Hops
- American Yeast
- 6 bags of Trader Joe’s organic raspberries. Downside of brewing during an ice storm. No fresh raspberries. I need to stock up for the summer!
- 1/4 tsp of Irish Moss
- Heat 3 galloons of water to 160F.
- Steep grains for 30 minutes.
- Remove grains and bring water to boil.
- Add malts and bring to boil again.
- Start hop schedule. Add Mt. Hood Hops (60 minutes).
- At 30 minutes add German Hallertau Hops.
- At 15 minutes add Irish Moss.
- Add raspberries to carboy.
- Add chilled wort.
- Top off to 5 gallons.
- Pitch yeast.
Have you started brewing again? What inspired you to get going again?
SILVERTON, Ore. — The 12th annual Oregon Garden Brewfest presented by Venti’s Café will take place June 17 through 19 – Father’s Day weekend – at The Oregon Garden, located at 879 W Main St. in Silverton. The popular Willamette Valley festival will feature 120 handcrafted beers, ciders and mead from 60 different breweries from across the nation. Event hours are 3pm to 11pm Friday, Noon to 11pm Saturday, andNoon to 6pm Sunday.
New this year, the Oregon Garden Brewfest will relocate from its traditional indoor setting out into the forest, where the participating breweries will be set up in booths dotted throughout the woods underneath the warm glow of bistro lights. There will be a number of cozy fire pits and covered areas available for people to gather with family and friends.
“We are so excited to bring Brewfest into the heart of the Garden,” exclaimed Brittney Hatteberg, regional marketing manager for The Oregon Garden. “Guests can take better advantage of the summer weather and explore more of the Garden from this location. It will be a charming experience, and unlike any other beer festival in Oregon.”
Guests are encouraged to take their beer and explore the 80-acres of botanical gardens, which will be in full bloom in June. There will also be live music on one stage under a tent in the forest, allowing guests to hear the music comfortably from a variety of locations. Local act Deadwood Standing will headline the stage Friday night; additional acts will be announced online.
Also new this year, minors will be welcome on Saturday from Noon to 5pm and during all hours on Sunday; on Father’s Day, there will be a kid’s craft area as well. The new location is closer to the Children’s Garden, allowing families to be near the festivities as well as close to entertainment for kids.
Advance admission ranges from $15 for a one-day ticket to $30 for a three-day ticket to $55 for a VIP ticket; door prices increase by $5. All admission packages include a souvenir pint glass and a varying number of tasting tickets. In most instances, a full glass of beer costs four tickets, and a taster costs one; additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 apiece. Designated drivers pay $5, which includes a bottle of water, and minors pay $5; children ages four and under are free. Silverton residents receive a discount on Friday with proof of residency. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles are available from various locations in Silverton. See all ticket pricing information and purchase advance tickets at www.ogbf2016.eventbrite.com
The ideal way to enjoy the Brewfest is to book a room at the Oregon Garden Resort, a Moonstone Hotel Property located just steps away from the festival. Brewfest Packages starts at $269 and include accommodation, two three-day admission passes to Brewfest with a tasting glass and five tasting tickets, a continental buffet breakfast and admission to The Oregon Garden. Packages can be booked at www.oregongardenresort.com/
The Oregon Garden Brewfest is presented by Venti’s Café and sponsored by Country Financial, Goschie Farms Imperial Bottle Shop, Oregon Beer Growler and Portland General Electric. For more information, visit www.oregongarden.org/
This is a guest post by my friend and fellow beer drinker, Joe Coulter.
Beer, Fundraiser, and Soccer.
March 6, 2016 marked a great day in Portland.
- The Portland Timbers kicked off the season in an 2015 MLS Cup Final rematch against the Columbus Crew, beating them by the same margin of 2 – 1.
- Hopworks Urban Brewery and Jack Jewsbury, who is still one of four remaining original MLS Portland Timbers (Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, and Jake Gleeson), partnered up to create a NW IPA Collaboration.
- March 6th marked the release party of “Captain Jack’s Lucky 13 Championship IPA”
Working together since the 2015 playoffs HUB and Jack have been working together to create a new craft beer. Jack Jewsbury not only wrote the recipe, which according him is kept secret – mainly because he forgot it, but was also part of each part of the brewing process. After tasting the beer, some patrons thought once Jack retired from soccer he could pick up in a brewery. But for now he thinks we will stick with his day job and keep brewery beer as a hobby.
At 6:00pm on March 6th, in a packed HUB (standing room only), Portland Timber fans celebrated a Timbers win, a Flounders loss, and a new beer created by our very own “Old Salty Dog: (aka Jewsbury), the release party began.
This release party was not only a celebration for the Timbers 2015 MLS Cup Championship, hence part of the name, but also to give back to the Portland community. Part of the beer proceeds will be donated to Every Child, a Portland-based foster care program and Jack’s charity of choice. It is a great beer and a great cause. This is what makes the Portland Timbers, the beer industry, and the city of Portland so great.
Along with Jack Jewsbury, Ben Zemanksi and Nat Borchers both attended and signed autographs and hung out with the fans.
As I gave up alcohol up for Lent, being Catholic can be tough sometimes, I went to the release party with my friend Nick. He said that he enjoyed the beer, it had a great after taste and a smooth IPA. Worthy of being a Portland Timbers beer.
You can purchase a limited release bottle of “Captain Jack’s Lucky 13 Championship IPA” at Hopworks Urban Brewery on Powell, and it will be on tap for a limited time at both location: Bike Bar NE and HUB SE.
Have you tasted this new beer? What did you think?
Also, huge shout out to Joe for getting me a bottle to enjoy after Lent as well!
Beckie and I checked out Cascade Brewing’s Sour Fruit Fest 2016. Since I’m not drinking for Lent, (and I’m not a huge fan of sour beers) Beckie did all the drinking. She was kind enough to share her thoughts on the beers she tried.
Melon Melange (2013) – Sour wheat ale with over 30 pounds of Tuscan, Casaba and Santa Claus melons. Beckie said this was really sweet.
Pineapple Wheat (2014) – Wheat and blonde ale mix, aged in white wine barrels with pineapple. Beckie said it didn’t not have a strong pineapple flavor (it was faint) but a good amount of sour.
Nectarine Dream – Live Barrel – sour blond and quad ales aged in oak wine barrels with fresh nectarines. This was the first time Cascade has used nectarines in their beer. Beckie said this beer was subtle, doesn’t hit your right off the bat as a sour beer.
Honeycot (2014) – Blond ales wine barrel aged with apricots and wildflower honey. Beckie said this beer wasn’t sour at all, but still good.
Gin Gimlet (2014) – Blond ale wine barrel aged with lime peel and juniper berries. No actual gin! All Beckie said about this beer was it’s not as good as the Honeycot. And then she pointed out after drinking all these beers, the Ginger Lime (which we didn’t have that day) was still her favorite. It’s my favorite too at Cascade Brewing.
Ever been to Cascade Brewing? What was your favorite beer? Like sour beers? What is your favorite sour beer?