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?

Espacio Mexican-Style Lager by Ecliptic Brewing

Space Tacos Fiesta at Ecliptic Brewing

Espacio Mexican-Style Lager Celebrated with a Release Party at the Ecliptic Brewing Pub.  Originally brewed for the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival, Espacio Mexican-Style Lager with Lime Zest is making its return as an official part of the Ecliptic Brewing Seasonal Series line-up.  To celebrate the release of the beer Ecliptic will host a Space Tacos Fiesta at the pub featuring a taco takeover and more.

“Espacio is a beer that people have been asking about since it debuted at OBF.  Now that it is becoming part of our line-up I knew we had to throw a party.” said Marketing Manager at Ecliptic Brewing, Karolyn Simon.  “Tacos and Espacio go great together and the idea of a Space Tacos Fiesta came to life!” explained Simon.

On April 5th from 3-10pm Ecliptic Brewing will stop serving their pub menu as usual and instead will feature a delicious line-up of tacos, flan, margaritas, and beer.  Hot Mama Salsa will also be on site from 4-9pm sampling out their delicious, fresh, and authentic salsas.

Space Tacos Fiesta: Espacio Mexican-Style Lager Release Party

When:  April 5th, 3-10pm

Where: Ecliptic Brewing, 825 N. Cook Street.

What: Espacio Mexican-Style Lager, Tacos, and more!

For up to date details about the event, visit the Facebook event page here.

About Espacio Mexican-Style Lager with Lime Zest

Don’t add lime to your beer, let the brewer do it for you! Fresh lime zest adds a subtly citrus tartness to this liquid sunshine lager.  ABV 4.8%  IBU 40

Espacio will be available in both draft and 6pk-12oz cans throughout the Ecliptic Brewing distribution network. 

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

Ecliptic beers are available at the brewery (825 North Cook St), in cans and bottles and on tap throughout the area, and distributed by:  Maletis Beverage (Portland, Salem, Vancouver WA), Bigfoot Beverage (Eugene, Bend, Coast), Fort George Distributing (Norther Oregon Coast, Southern WA Coast), Summit Beverage (Sourthern Oregon), Northwest Beverage (Seattle, Tacoma), Odom (Easter WA, Norther Idaho), Dickerson Distributing (Bellingham), Crooked Stave Artisans (Colorado), Freedom Distributors (North Carolina), and Graybeal (Eastern Oregon).

Have you been to Ecliptic before?  What is your favorite beer there?

Oregon Brewers Festival 2018 toasts 31 years of celebrating independent craft beer

Beckie, Bailey, and I at #OBF2017 but like seriously having fun.

Beloved festival announces details for Oregon Brewers Festival 2018 event, adds cider and wine to the mix.  I’ll be back in Portland, Oregon, USA for this event this year.  So please let me know if you want to meet up!

More than 70,000 beer lovers are expected to travel from around the world to attend the 31st annual Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) this summer. Considered one of the nation’s longest-running and best-loved craft beer events, the outdoor festival will take place July 26 through July 29 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on the west bank of the Willamette River. Gates open at 11:30am daily, and taps are open from Noon to 9pm Thursday through Saturday, and Noon to 7pm Sunday.
The OBF will serve 80 craft beers from small, traditional, and independent craft breweries located in 10 different states, as well as The Netherlands, and Baja, California. The northwestern Mexican state of Baja has defined itself as the country’s largest contingent for “cerveza artesanal,” and the festival is excited to present five breweries from that region.
The complete list of participating breweries includes 54-40, Agua Mala, Anderson Valley, Backwoods, Baerlic, Bayern, Belching Beaver, Boneyard, Boulder, Boundary Bay, Breakside, Buoy, Caldera, Cascade, Coin Toss, Crooked Stave, Depoe Bay, Deschutes, Double Mountain, Ecliptic, Everybody’s, Fauna, Fort George, Fortside, Freebridge, Fremont, Gigantic, Golden Valley, GoodLife, Great Divide, Great Northern, Great Notion, Heathen, Heretic, Hopworks, Insurgente, Iron Horse, Kells, Laurelwood, Lompoc, MadTree, Maui, McMenamins, Melvin, Migration, Monkless, Natian, New Holland, Ninkasi, Old Town, Oproer, Oregon City, Pelican, Perennial, pFriem, Portland, RiverBend, Rogue, Royale, Rusty Truck, Sasquatch, Scout, Silver Falls, Silver Moon, StormBreaker, Sunriver, Terminal Gravity, Three Creeks, Three Mugs, Thunder Island, Transpeninsular, Upright, Uptown Market, Vertigo, Von Ebert, Wendlandt, Widmer, Wild Ride, Wolf Tree, and Zoiglhaus.
The festival will present more than two dozen different beer styles ranging from Berliner Weisse to Belgians, IPAs to IPLs, pales to Pilsners, and sours to stouts. For the first time ever, the OBF will also offer two ciders – one from Cider Riot! and the other from Reverend Nat’s – as well as one red and one white wine.
The vibrant festival will also feature live music all four days with no cover charge, six food booths, a number of beer related vendors, souvenir sales, and homebrew demonstrations.
The OBF is not a ticketed event; it is free to enter the festival grounds. In order to taste beer, the purchase of a souvenir tasting mug from the current year is required, which costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full mug of beer, or one token for a taste. The purchase of mugs and tokens is made on-site. The event is cash-only, with eight ATMs located on-premise.
The festival encourages responsible drinking and urges patrons to take Tri-Met; the MAX Light Rail has a station one block from the main festival entrance. Alternately, attendees who ride their bikes can park them for free in the Hopworks Urban Brewery secure bike corral. For those who bring a designated driver, the Crater Lake Soda Garden provides complimentary handcrafted soda (no mug purchase required). Minors, who are allowed into the event all hours when accompanied by a parent, also receive free Crater Lake Soda.
In celebration of their impact on Oregon brewing history, the McMenamins family has been chosen as this year’s ceremonial Grand Marshals to lead the parade and tap the official opening ceremony first keg. Soon after McMenamins opened Portland’s Barley Mill Pub on S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. 35 years ago, Brian and Mike McMenamin, along with other craft brewing pioneers, successfully lobbied their elected representatives to pass an Oregon bill allowing people to make and sell their beer onsite. The “brewpub” concept was born and McMenamins opened Oregon’s first post-Prohibition brewpub, the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in S.W. Portland. Today, McMenamins remains a family run company and offers hundreds of varieties of handcrafted beers.
The Oregon Brewers Festival was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to expose the public to microbrews at a time when the craft brewing industry was just getting off the ground. Today, that industry has flourished, with more than 5,300 craft breweries in America, according to the Brewer’s Association. The economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on the local economy is annually more than $20 million. For more information visit OregonBrewFest.com or follow @OregonBrewfest on social media, using hashtag #OBF18.
Here is some previous recaps:

Meet Beckie

Beer Bestie, Beckie with #DannerBrasston and Jenna with #BulletTheDog at Gigantic

Meet Beckie.  She is my best friend, dog-auntie to #Bulletthedog, bad ass Athletic Trainer, professional beer drinker.  I first wrote about Beckie on this blog back in 2011, “I don’t have a sister, but I’m lucky enough to have an amazing best friend who is like a sister to me.”  Since then our friendship has only grown stronger.  She has been drinking beer with me for years, in two different countries, and two different states.  She also does some beer drinking on her own and I’d like to highlight that as well.  So look forward to seeing more blog post from her on this blog.  In her own words:

I’m an Athletic Trainer by trade, but also consider myself an exert beer taster. Member of the “Frommates” friend-family and been Jenna’s best friend for 10 years. My opinions can sometimes be seen on here, especially if I’m able to finish my beer before Jenna steals it to take a sip (that doesn’t happen often).  

[Jenna’s Note: This only happens when she gets strawberry beer!]

Previous articles mentioning Beckie include:

Siem Reap Brewpub – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Himawari Microbrewery – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Dead Lizard Brewing Company – Orlando, FL

Cascade Brewing Sour Fruit Fest 2016

Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Oregon Brew Fest 2014

Biketobeer 2013

Fruit Beer Festival 2013

First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival

 

GUEST POSTS:

 

Arch Rock Brewing Company, Gold Beach, OR [Guest Post]

 

Leave a comment and say “hi” to Beckie.  You’ll be seeing her and hearing from her more on BiteSize Brews!

2017 Oregon Brewers Festival Generates $23.9 Million for Local Economy

A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) at $23.9 million.

:: Fun Fact – I recently moved to Cambodia!  You can follow my adventures here.  ::

Beckie, Bailey, and I at #OBF2017

Jeff Dense, professor of political science and craft beer studies at Eastern Oregon University, and a team of students administered 908 on-site interviews between July 26 and July 29, 2017.

The study utilized IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning) data and software package to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County. The 2017 OBF generated an estimated $15.3 million in direct, $4.4 million in indirect (additional input purchases made by local businesses) and $4.1 million in induced (expenditures by employees from wages paid by companies in direct contact with tourists) economic impact. The $23.9 million economic impact for the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival constituted a 18% decrease from the 2016 edition of the event which can be attributed to a 15% decrease in total attendance.

Respondents were queried on a range of demographic factors, along with estimates of expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, expenditures at the festival grounds and retail purchases.

Two of the most significant findings unearthed by the study are the number of women (44.2%) attending the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival, along with a precipitous decline (38%) in lodging expenditures by OBF attendees, despite a 6% increase in the percentage of out-of-town visitors.

“Women are the key to the future of the craft beer industry,” Dense said, adding “The lodging industry should take heed to the increasing number of cost conscious visitors who are availing themselves of the vacation rental lodging market and staying with family and friends while attending craft beer festivals and other community events in Portland.”

Other findings of the study include:

  • Visiting OBF patrons spent an average of $532.
  • Nearly half (48.7%) of attendees were out-of-town visitors.
  • Visitors from Washington (9.9%) and California (9.7%) were highly prevalent at OBF.
  • Food and drink ($6.9 million) accounted for the largest share of OBF patron expenditures, followed by the lodging industry ($5.9 million).
  • Half (47.2%) of patrons were attending OBF for either the first or second time.
  • OBF generated $1.3 million in indirect business taxes for state and local government.

Beckie, Bailey, and I at #OBF2017 but like seriously having fun.

ABOUT THE OREGON BREWERS FESTIVAL
Founded in 1988, the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the longest running beer festivals in the country. The event annually draws tens of thousands to Waterfront Park in downtown Portland to celebrate independent craft beer. The Oregon Brewers Festival always includes the last full weekend of  July; next year’s dates are July 26 to July 29, 2018. Learn more at OregonBrewFest.com or follow @OregonBrewfest on social media.