Ecliptic + Gigantic Team Up on a Beer from the Darkside

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:

Seriously, who wants to go grab a pint on March 1st?

Captain Jack’s Lucky 13 Championship IPA

Joe and Captain Jack

Joe and Captain Jack

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. March 6th marked the release party of “Captain Jack’s Lucky 13 Championship IPA”
Joe and Nate

Joe and Nat

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.

hub 3

Ben, Jack and Joe

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.

Signed beer!

Signed 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!

Cascade Brewing Sour Fruit Fest 2016

Sour Fest 2016

Beckie and I at Sour Fest 2016

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?

Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Some days it just pays to be a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador.  (It also pays to be my best friend, when I give up alcohol for Lent).  This is how Beckie and I got invited to a test tour of Great Notion Brewing with BREWVANA.  One of the newest breweries in town opening January 1, 2016!

Great Notion Brewing is a 7 BBL brewery and tap room in Portland, Oregon located at 2204 NE Alberta #101 (next to Pine State Biscuits).  It’s the old Mash Tun Brewery. They focus primarily on juicy New England-style IPA’s and creative sour ales, though you’ll also find a variety of beers on fresh fruit, and stouts with maple, coffee & chocolate.

Their barrel program is hosted both in on-site and off-site locations where their American sour ales age for 9-24 months in oak barrels and clay amphoras. A portion of their sour ales are blended with Summer Oregon fruit like peaches, apricots, strawberries, and cherries. Freshly emptied Bourbon barrels age their imperial stout on ingredients like roasted coffee, vanilla beans, chocolate, and maple syrup.

Brewvana VIP

Brewvana VIP

When it comes to brewing creative craft beer, they realize the immense talent within this city and been inspired by many, in Portland and beyond.

The Great Notion cofounders are: James Dugan, brewing & marketing, Andy Miller, brewing & operations, and Paul Reiter, finance & strategy.  The creative and delicious food menu at Great Notion Brewing was created by our chef and long time friend, Ryan O’ Connor.

Here is what we (aka Beckie) tried:

  • Zest – Their take on a German style Berliner Weisse, the lemony tartness in this refreshing wheat beer comes from a two stage fermentation with Lactobacillius and Brettanomyces.  Zest is the beer that will guide you into the spring time.  Beckie says this beer was tart at the finish, but still refreshing.
  • Coffee and Cream – on nitro – is a Cream Ale on specially roasted whole bean Columbian coffee in partnership with Clutch Coffee Roasters.  It’s a one of a kind brew and a unique flavor experience.  Beckie says this beer was a great coffee stout and would make a great beer to add to a float.  It had good texture and thickness.
  • The Merry Dankster DIPA – their tribute to Ken Kesey and his merry band of pranksters.  This Double IPA is saturated with hop flavor.  It’s dry hopped with over three pounds per barrel and fermented with local wild flower honey.  Slammed with notes of pineapple, pine and stinky dank goodness.  Beckie says it was definitely “dank” with powerful flavor but didn’t have the boozy finish that a lot of IIPA’s have.
  • Single Stack – this was a special tasting of the beer that started Double Stack.  (Northwest Breakfast Stout aged on a ridiculous amount of Vermont maple syrup and locally roasted coffee beans.)  Beckie says it was waaay to sweet and watery.  Needed something more thicken it.  I’m sure Double Stack is better.
Great Notion Brewing

Great Notion Brewing

Here is what I tried – FOOD:

  • Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with curried ginger ketchup.  While the fries were great, the curried ginger was AMAZING.  It’s like once you have chocolate chips in your banana bread, you can never go back to plain banana bread.  I’ll never be able to go back to plain ketchup after this.
  • Buffalo Tostones.  These were fried green plantains, covered in buffalo sauce (like wings) with a mojo jicama slaw.  I’ve never tried anything like this and I loved it.  Great vegan / gluten free option.
  • Cheese Crisps.  Grilled sharp cheddar, spicy roasted serranos, pickled sweet peppers and neufchatel.  Like the Tostones, this isn’t something I’ve ever had before.  It was amazing, almost like something I would plan on ordering at Bollywood Theatre.
  • Salt & Pepper Chicharonnes.  These were house pork cracklings featuring Tilting Hog Ranch pork with a malt vinegar dipping sauce.  I’m not a huge fan of pork or even fried chicken so I tried some and while it was good, it definitely isn’t for me.
Don’t forget since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!

You are Gorge-ous! Part Three: Thunder Island Brewing

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Hanging out on the deck at Thunder Island Brewing.

The third stop on tour of the Pacific Northwest Gorge is, Thunder Island Brewing.  We spent sometime at Full Sail, but now we’ve got to check out Thunder Island.  If you are driving from Portland, to go explore the Gorge and you don’t want to drive ALL the way to Hood River to grab a beer.  You are in luck, just stop in the tiny town of Cascade Locks, watch the boats come in and grab a beer at Thunder Island Brewing.  If it is sunny out, sit outside with your pooch and friends over beers.  If it’s pouring, leave the dogs in the car and warm up inside in their funky little brewery / pub.

What to Drink:  Hands down the “Journey through Time and Space” Belgium ale.  First time I went there, we got a sampler, my friend and I both ended up ordering pints of this beer afterwards.  I continue to only order it, until winter comes and the beer is no longer available.  I’m hoping with time, Brian, the Head Brewer, will make this part of his year round offering.  It’s that amazing!

What to Eat:  Smoked Salmon Dip.  This house made smoked fish dip has locally caught fish from the Brigham Fish Market.  Comes with house pickled red onions, cucumbers and pita bread.  Basically a bagel with lox, only less carbs and no capers or tomatoes.  Definitely large enough to share with friends.

Fun Tidbit:  Cascade Locks is the only town that the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) goes through.  In the summer time there are always hikers coming through to grab a beer. You can buy a pint for a hiker if you want or save $1 on your own pint if you come to the brewery by any other transportation other than car (canoe, bike, or walking).

Been to Thunder Island Brewing?  What did you think?  What was your favorite drink?