Pac 12 Football

Ashley and I at a UO Basketball Game.

Another thing I love about the fall is college football season (Go Ducks)!  Being from Portland (and having a younger brother that is a UO graduate) I’m a big fan of Pac 12 Football fan (Go Ducks!) and the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!)  In this spirit, I’ve decided to highlight the top brews for each of the Pac 12 schools.  These would make two awesome six-pack gifts if anyone is going to a tailgate party anytime soon.

Arizona State University, Tempe: Four Peaks Brewing: Hop Knot “American malt and American hops crafted with a bold pioneering American spirit.  Hop Knot gets its name from weaving five different hops introduced at seven separate intervals during the brewing process including our cavernous hop-back which gets so stuffed with the whole leaf hops that we feel genuine guilt for its’ excess.  Hop Knot is the color of a golden ale but the bitterness of a fine pale ale and the hop aroma of a IPA.”

Oregon State University, Corvallis: Block 15: Aborigninale “The first original big beer brewed at Block 15, Aboriginale has quickly become a house favorite. Brewed with an artistic blend of seven malts and three hops. Deep chestnut in color with an interesting complex malt body. A dry hop dose of Fuggles provides a fresh earthy nose.”

Stanford University, Stanford: Birkenhead Brewery: Black Snake “This Birkenhead creation consist of brandy, Stout and Honey Blond ale. Black snake is just like Africas most dangerous Black mamba, it will give you a bite you will not forget in a hurry. If you thrive on FEAR be afraid, be very afraid. 10 % alc vol.”

University of Arizona, Tucson: Thunder Canyon Brewing: Warhead Stout “Russian Imperial Stouts were originally brewed for export to the Royal Court of Russia where they were enjoyed by Catherine the Great.  Ours has a rich intense maltiness with black currant, toffee and dark roasted malt flavors.  The higher alcohol content is sure to warm you up from the inside out.”

University of California, Berkeley: Triple Rock Brewing: Titanium Pale Ale “Smooth and Malty with a medium body. Well balanced by a blend of Pacific Northwest hops. Finish is long and satisfying.”

University of California, LA: Eagle Rock Brewery: Revolution Extra Pale Ale ‘Extra Pale Ale (XPA) is a variation on American pale ale–bright and refreshing with a substantial hop presence. Light-gold in color, Revolution XPA’s subtle malt backbone and medium body balance it’s hop bitterness. Dryhopping delivers big hop aromas with the essence of nectar fruit, citrus, and freshly cut grass. As these assertive flavors recede a hint of bready malt rounds out the finish.  Bitter never tasted so sweet!”

University of Colorado, Boulder: Asher Brewing Company, Greenade Organic Double IPA “Our hops obsession has paid off.  Not for the faint of heart, or the faint of palette, the fantastic Greenade Double IPA should come with a warning label: “prepare for taste bud attack.”  The hop dominant yet smooth and creamy taste will surely blow you away.  With a 9.0% ABY, the alcohol intensity of this brew is undeniable, however this only adds to the complex flavor and is balanced perfectly with citrus and floral hop aroma.  Handle with care!”

University of Oregon, Eugene: Ninkasi: Total Domination IPA “Total Domination has a citrusy, floral hop aroma, and big hop flavor balanced with a richness imparted by Carahell and Munich malts. This beer is a big flavorful Northwest IPA that maintains its drinkability, and as such has garnered great admiration from the novice craft drinker and the seasoned hop head alike.”

University of Southern California, LA: Golden Road Brewing: Wolf Among Weeds IPA “This beer is a balanced showcase of the majestic hop specie, in Latin, Humulus Lupulus, which translates “Wolf Among Weeds”.  It is the first beer to be canned in our Custom IPA series, which celebrates California’s enthusiasm for hop-forward IPAs.  At 8%, Wolf will sneak up on you from behind the fresh pine sap and tropical fruit notes mirrored in its aroma and flavor profile.”

University of Utah, SLC: Uinta Brewing: Cutthroat Pale Ale “Malts and hops mingle harmoniously. Toasty caramel and molasses notes. Slightly fruity. Finishes dry and is highly refreshing. Because Cutthroat is a versatile beer, you can enjoy it with a variety of flavor profiles: spicy, bbq, burgers, wings, Mexican.”

University of Washington, Seattle: Elysian Brewing Company: Manic IPA – Valhalla “Fill your horn with this hoppy red IPA of pale, Special B and just a pinch of roasted barley, bittered with Sorachi Ace and finished with rare Citra hops.”

Washington State University, Pullman: Paradise Creek Brewery: Hopocalypse Imperial Black IPA “As black as dark matter and hopped to a volatile level with a backing of scorched-earth roastiness, the Hopocalypse will intensify your appreciation for the cascadian black indian pale ale.  We didn’t just jump on the Black IPA bandwagon, we created a special brew so intense it tears at the fabric of the universe.”

Did you catch that I selected “tough” sounding beer names? What about you, like college football?  Who are you rooting for?  What would “their” beer be?

Ecliptic Brewing + Modern Times Cosmic Collaboration – Pineapple Hazy IPA

Pineapple Hazy IPA

Ecliptic Brewing has teamed with Modern Times Beer for their next Cosmic Collaboration: Pineapple Hazy IPA!

I hate IPAs, they’re too bitter and gross. I know that’s it’s practically treason to not be an IPA fan in Portland, but I can’t help what my taste buds want! I went to try Ecliptic and Modern Times collaborative new beer out of duty more than interest.

I studied it clinically and found it visually pleasing, with an even haze and a perfect head. The smell had the classic pale ale hoppy bitterness scent but also a decent citrus aroma from the wonderfully absurd amount of pineapple that was brewed in the beer.

I steeled myself for the taste and was surprised to find it quite nice! A good seltzer level of fizz and the right amount of sweet sweet pineapple to balance the bitter hops.

I found it refreshing!  It had to be a fluke.

I had a bottle of it a week later and again found it well balanced and tasty!

I don’t know what’s happening to my taste buds, has this beer conformed me into another Portland IPA enthusiast?

John Harris, Ecliptic Brewing Owner and Brewmaster, hoped this collaboration would be a way of welcoming Modern Times to their Portland outpost. “I have enjoyed Modern Times Beer for a few years,” he says, “and when we learned that they were moving to town, I reached out to Jacob in San Diego to see if they were interested in teaming up.”

Hazy IPAs haven’t lost any momentum this year and in deciding what kind of beer to make the two breweries looked at ways to experiment with the popular style. John says, “I had mentioned pineapple with Mat Sandoval, Production Manager of the Belmont Fermentorium, when we were talking about what to make. Mat said we should definitely use Denali hops for their tropical qualities and almost pineapple like character.” The result is a Pineapple Hazy IPA brewed with Denali, Citra & Mosaic hops.

In addition to draft, this will be Ecliptic Brewing’s first release in 500ml bottles. According to Alaric Lawrence, Ecliptic’s Packaging Manager, “It’s an exciting time for us to step in a new direction with our packaged beer. Trends have shown that beer drinkers prefer bottles that are a true pint and easier to finish in one pour.”

About Ecliptic Brewing + Modern Times Pineapple Hazy IPA

Fresh pineapple coalesces with Denali, Citra & Mosaic hops for a citrusy, tropical party of astronomical proportions.

ABV 8.5%

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. 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 Starburst IPA, Orbiter IPA, Carina Peach Sour Ale and Capella Porter. For more information, visit: www.eclipticbrewing.com.

Has anyone tried the Pineapple Hazy IPA?  Please let me know what you thought of the beer.

Full disclosure:  Ecliptic provided me with two bottles of this beer.  That being said.  I loved it like I mentioned above 🙂

Zupan’s Markets Partners with pFriem Family Brewers to Introduce Sixth Beer in Farm-to-Market Series

Zupan’s Markets has partnered with Hood River’s pFriem Family Brewers to release the sixth Farm-to-Market beer in its private label line. This Northwest style IPA is inspired by the summer season and packed with notes of papaya, ripe melon, and honey. Perfect to pair with casual summer fare such as fish tacos, burgers, and fries.

“Zupan’s Markets is excited to continue to bring our customers exclusive beer creations in partnership with the best local craft breweries,” said Zupan’s Markets’ President and CEO Mike Zupan. “pFriem continues to be a leader in craft beer innovation and together we have created the perfect summer IPA.”  

This IPA is currently on shelves at all three Zupan’s Markets locations in 16.9ml bottles for $5.99. With only 125 cases produced, it will be on shelves only for a limited time.

“Zupan’s is a quality and flavor driven grocer,” said Josh Pfriem, Founder of pFriem Family Brewers. “We value their continued partnership, along with their dedication to bring customers exciting food and beverage choices.”

Profile: ABV 6.5%, IBU 45
Malts: Rahr Pale Malt Thomas Fawcett Malted Oats, Flaked Oats 
Hops: Citra, Denali, El Dorado, Oregon Amarillo
Yeast: American Ale
Tasting Notes: Illuminating gold body topped with fluffy white foam. Fruity aromas of Marionberries, watermelon, citrus, papaya, lychee fruit, and pineapple. Jammy flavors of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, blueberries, raspberries, and honey. Finishes tropical and jammy with a citrus zing.

About pFriem Family Brewers
pFriem Family Brewers (pronounced “freem”) is a Northwest and Belgian inspired 15-barrel brewery and tasting room in Hood River, OR. Founded in 2012 by Josh pFriem, Ken Whiteman and Rudy Kellner. Best known for artisanal beers influenced by the great brewers of Belgium while staying true to homegrown roots in the Pacific Northwest, pFriem craft brews are unmistakably unique in both flavor and balance. For more information visit www.pfriembeer.com, or onsite daily at 707 Portway Ave., Suite 101, Hood River, OR 97031.

About Zupan’s Markets

Founded by John Zupan in 1975, Zupan’s Markets is a local and family-owned gourmet market that has served Portland’s food-loving community for more than 40 years. Zupan’s Markets has three locations that focus on quality, selling everything from the best meats and wines to the freshest produce, baked goods, gourmet deli products, specialty foods, flowers and more, always emphasizing locally-sourced, artisan products when possible. For more information, visit www.zupans.com.

Zupan’s was nice enough to send me a sample of the beer, which honestly needs a name, something like Zest for Life or All About that Zymolytic Living.  I really enjoyed the beer.  I drank it straight from the bottle after chilling it in my fridge for a day.  It was a good, on the light side, flavored IPA, with mild hop notes and flavored fruitiness.  Would definitely pick up a few bottles the next time I’m at Zupan’s.

Have you tried this beer before?  What did you think?

Oregon Brewer’s Festival 2018

Adam, Dan, Joy, Trey, Beckie and I at Oregon Brewer’s Festival

This year, I was super blessed to be back home in Portland, Oregon for the Oregon Brewer’s Festival 2018.  Joining me on our annual beer adventure was beer professional and bestie, Beckie, cookie expert, Joy, her boyfriend, Adam, Adam’s brother, Dan and his pup, and Beckie and my newest friend, Trey.  We spent a lovely Portland summer evening trying amazing beers, people watching and joining in a few cheers throughout the night.

Here is what we tried:

  • Buoy Beer’s Beaver State Pilsner
  • Ecliptic‘s Flamingo Planet Gauva Blonde Ale
  • Bayern’s Citra DumpTruck Summer Bock
  • Caldera’s Coco-Nutty Blonde – This one tasted like almonds.  Definitely a note worthy beer.
  • Monkless’s Peppercorn Imperial Wit – I was really excited about this beer, it was recommended to me by a friend and Cambodia is known for it’s pepper.  However, I couldn’t taste anything peppery at all.  I was pretty bummed.
  • Von Ebert’s Hibiscus Wit
  • Kells’ Mezcal-a-Gose
  • Old Town’s Green Tea Lemonade
  • Pelican’s To Peach Their Own!
  • Agua Mala’s Sirena – I’ll be honest, I picked this beer because the name means “mermaid” in Spanish, but it ended up being one of my favorite beers of the festival.  I really want to check out this brewery in the future.
  • Freebridge’s Summertime Radness
  • Wendlandt’s Perro del Mar
  • Coin Toss’ Caught in a Pickle Lager – We tried this and expected to have a little bit of a pickle-back or dill vibe.  However, it was hard to pick up any pickle flavors.  I hope they revamp this beer and sell it at Portland Pickle’s games in the future.
  • Heretic’s Goo – This was definitely a crowd favorite in our group, might have been the 9% AVB or the fact that it tasted like Christmas in a glass.
  • MadTree’s Entropic Theory
  • Sasquatch’s American Aquarium Drinker – This beer was made with squid ink, however, it wasn’t as salty as I thought it would be.
  • Terminal Gravity’s Summer Honey
  • Wolf Tree’s Spruce Tip Gruit – Another crowd pleaser.  I met these brewer’s at an Oregon Garden’s Brewfest and have loved their beers ever since.
  • Thunder Island’s Fuzzy Wit – A very fizzy beer, delightful from a great brewery.
  • Wild Ride’s Cold Chillin’ Vanilla Cream Ale
  • Fremont’s Limeshine – This tasted like a fancy Corona with lime.
  • Migration’s Summertime in the 503
  • New Holland’s I like Pretzel Day
  • Rogue’s Pinch
  • Silver Moon’s Water on the Moon – this coffee beer was pretty delicious.
  • Vertigo’s South of the Border Blonde

My biggest take away from the evening is that you need to download the app that everyone was using.  Maybe it’s the year I’ve spent in a third world country or the fact that I just really love writing down my beer tasting notes in a journal but with no information handed out, having the app was definitely super helpful.

Did you go to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival?  What was your favorite beer?

The Beer’s Best at Fred Fest 2014

It’s a fundraiser, a tasting of highly unusual beers—not to mention a chance to drink with a founding father of Northwest craft brewing.  It was the 9th running of Fred Fest 2014, on May 4 at Hair of the Dog Brewing in inner SE Portland. The Fred Fest 2014 edition celebrated the 88th birthday of Fred Eckhardt, one of the first widely known American Beer Writers who helped grow the Portland brewing culture.

Why did I pony up the not insignificant sum to show up? It wasn’t Fred’s favorite beer pairings, namely cereal and chocolate bars. And I could have donated directly to the charities Fred Fest supports: Guide Dogs for the Blind, International Medical Corps and the Oregon Brew Crew’s OSU Bob McCracken Scholarship for Fermentation Sciences.

No, the star attraction (after the man Fred himself) was the selection of beers donated by select west coast breweries. They rolled in with their latest standout experiments in honor of Fred and the charities. I can’t give them all a proper review here. After an entire afternoon with these big brews, I was glad I took notes to recapture the highlights:

Sour Power: Our craft breweries continue to perfect belgium-inspired styles, especially sours. The crowd favorite was the Super Cherry Vlad from Cascade Brewing in Bend, a wild yeast-sour blend that popped in your mouth like a sour candy, warmed your soul like wine due to its barrel aging, and kept all those flavors in balance. There were other power sours from 10 Barrel Brewing and Craftsman Brewing, and more subtle tongue puckerers like Stone Brewing’s Cali-Belgique and Breakside Brewing’s Apollo and Dionysus Saison (which was aged in gin barrels). And let me throw special “cheers!” to Logsdon Farmhouse Ales for its spicy, complex Trippel Straffe Drieling.

Barreling Along: When brewers are asked to donate a special beer, we are thankful when they roll out the barrel-aged beauties. A big surprise was the Bourbon Abominable from Fremont Brewing, with a huge bourbon nose balanced by just the right amount of sweetness. We spent some time comparing its depth to Full Sail 2009 Black Gold Bourbon Stout and Deschutes Black Butte XXIV. McMenimans had a sleeper hit with its Vityaz Russian Imperial Stout, which we found sweet enough for dessert.

Don’t Stop the Hop: It wouldn’t be a Northwest beer celebration without hop bombs. Fort George North VII led the way, with a sophisticated bourbon-barrel-aged Belgian IPA called North VII that showed off every side of the hop—from first floral sniff to the pleasing citrus linger. Hair of the Dog rolled out Beer Week, a big lager with all the bitter satisfaction of an IPA and a surprising little sweetness at the end. There were others but my notes get a bit fuzzy by this point. You understand.

I think of Fred Fest as a kind of TED talk for the brewing cognoscenti. You get to taste new ideas that will inform the brewing and enjoyment of beer lovers for the next few years. Who knows, maybe we’ll find the answer to that annual question: What would Fred drink?

David is a Portland-based creative director and writer who brews occasionally and writes about beer now and then and drinks beer for research nearly all the time. Find me at about.me/DavidSmithPDX.

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!