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 🙂

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?