Cider Summit PDX returns to Portland June 16 & 17

Region’s largest cider tasting festival kicks off Oregon Cider Week
The seventh annual Cider Summit PDX, the region’s largest hard cider tasting festival, will take place June 16 and June 17 at The Fields Park, 1099 NW Overton St. in the Pearl District. Event hours are June 16 from 3pm to 8pm (VIP session starts at 2pm) and June 17 from Noon to 5pm. The last pour is 15 minutes prior to the close of each session.
Cider Summit PDX will showcase more than 150 ciders, including regional favorites and international classics, from the industry’s leading cidermakers, many of which will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the tastings poured into the commemorative festival glassware. The event also serves as the official kick-off to Oregon Cider Week.
“Artisanal cider has become one of the fastest growing segments of the craft beverage market in recent years,” noted event co-founder, Alan Shapiro. “The Cider Summit exposes thousands of cider lovers and the cider curious to these artfully crafted beverages.”
The event will feature a variety of food vendors, a Dog Lounge, and live music featuring several of Portland’s legendary blues artists.
Tickets are now on sale at http://www.cidersummitnw.com/portlandtickets.html. General admission includes a souvenir tasting glass and six tasting tickets and costs $25 prior to June 1, $30 prior to June 16, or $35 at the gate. GA tickets will also be available starting June 1 at World Foods (NW), World Foods (SW), Cider Bite Taphouse (Pearl), Umpqua Bank (Pearl), and selected bottle shops throughout the City.
VIP tickets include a souvenir tasting glass, exclusive entry from 2pm-3pm on June 16, and 10 tasting tickets; VIP tickets cost $35 prior to June 1 or $40 prior to June 16. VIP tickets are available online only, with limited quantities.
Designated Driver tickets are available at the gate for $5 and include a bottle of water. No alcohol may be consumed with a Designated Driver ticket. All tickets allow re-entry on Friday and Saturday with a wristband and the tasting glass.
Once inside, most cider samples cost one ticket for a 4-oz. sample; select ciders may cost extra. Additional tasting tickets are available onsite for $2 each. Minors are not allowed at the festival, no exceptions.
Several of the cidermakers will participate in the third annual Oregon Fruit Products Fruit Cider Challenge, creating pilot batch fruit ciders using Oregon Fruit Product’s puree; attendees vote on their favorites via text, and the winners are announced at the conclusion of the event on Saturday.
For more information, visit CiderSummit.com, Facebook.com/CiderSummit or follow @CiderSummit on Twitter, hashtag #CiderSummitPDX.
I’ll be there!  Will you?

Cheers to Belgian Beers festival releases brewery lineup, beer descriptions

I’m getting wicked excited for Cheers to Belgian Beers!  Are you?

The 11th annual Cheers to Belgian Beers festival has announced an initial beer list of over 50 Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers. The event will take place June 2 and June 3 at The North Warehouse, 723 N. Tillamook St. Hours are 1pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. The event is for ages 21 and over.

A list of this year’s participants, including beer names and beer descriptions, is available at http://oregoncraftbeer.org/ctbb/. The majority of beers have been made using Imperial Organic Yeast strain Gnome B45, a yeast that produces peach and apricot esters with a spicy phenolic character. The beers made from this yeast run the gamut in styles and regions, including a mango lassi Belgian-style blonde ale from Bend, brewed with mango, salt and cardamom; a Belgian-style strong dark ale from Cascade Locks made with plums and soured with lactobacillus; a Belgian-style beer from Portland made with stroopwafels; a blackberry sour ale from Yachats; and a Belgian-style golden strong ale from Corvallis.
To ensure diversity, the color and strength most of the beers at the fest were predetermined by a dart throw earlier this year. Depending on where the dart landed on the board, the brewer was directed to brew a Belgian style beer either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the median.
General admission costs $20, which includes a beer goblet and eight drink tickets. Advance tickets are on sale now at Mercury Tickets, http://www.merctickets.com/events/42335109/cheers-to-belgian-beers-2017. Purchasers can use promo code CTBB17 at checkout to get 20 percent off tickets; this discount is available until May 12 at 5pm.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill and Oregon Deli Co., and Oregon craft beer gear and apparel is available through Brewed Oregon. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
Cheers to Belgian Beers is produced by the Oregon Brewers Guild and sponsored by Boelter, Country Malt Group, Imperial Organic Yeast and the Portland Mercury. Follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #ctbb17.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild comprises 159 brewing companies, 118 associate/supplier members and more than 3,950 enthusiast members known as S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
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Social Media: @OregonCraftBeer – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Hashtag: #ctbb17
Are you going to Cheers to Belgian Beers?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!

Cheers to Belgian Beers date announced, tickets on sale

Advance MercPerk tickets on sale now for 11th annual
Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, taking place June 2 and 3
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 20, 2017 – The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, beer! Advance tickets are on sale now for Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, which features up to 70 Belgian-style beers brewed by Oregon craft brewers using the same single yeast strain. The 11th annual event will take place June 2 and 3 at The North Warehouse at 723 N. Tillamook St. Hours are 1pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday.

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 year’s featured yeast strain is Imperial Yeast B45 Gnome, a yeast that creates crystal clear Belgian ales in a short amount of time. Gnome produces peach and apricot esters with a Belgian phenolic character that can be manipulated through temperature. It pairs well with hops, while also complementing malt and caramel characters.
To ensure the diversity of the yeast strain, as well as show off the creativity of Oregon craft brewers, the color and strength of each brewery’s beer is determined by a dart throw. More than 80 breweries took part in this year’s dart throw, held on Jan. 16 at The Evergreen, the private event space at the Loyal Legion. Depending on where the dart landed on the board, a brewer was directed to brew a Belgian-style beer that will be either light or dark in color, with amber as the midpoint; and either lower or higher in alcohol, with six percent being the baseline. Four breweries hit a bullseye, meaning they get to choose their color and strength.
Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers takes place inside The North Warehouse as well as outside in the tented parking lot. Food is available from Urban German Grill. Street parking is available, but limited. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation — the TriMet Bus Line 35 stops one block away and the Yellow Max Line stops two blocks away — or ride their bike, with complimentary bike parking available.
The festival is seeking volunteers, who receive a glass, 8 drink tickets, a t-shirt and free admission after their shift. An OLCC servers permit is not required to participate as a volunteer server at this event. To sign up, visit  https://www.events-connect.com/ctbb/volunteer.
Cheers to Belgian Beers is produced by the Oregon Brewers Guild and sponsored by Boelter, Imperial Yeast and the Portland Mercury. Follow @OregonCraftBeer on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, #ctbb17.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations. The Guild comprises 159 brewing companies, 118 associate/supplier members and more than 3,950 enthusiast members known as S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). To learn more, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
Social Media: @OregonCraftBeer – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Hashtag: #ctbb17

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: www.eclipticbrewing.com.

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

Zwickelmania 2017 (Recap)

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!)

Hopworks Urban Brewery  

#Zwickel17 Squad Goals

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.

Gigantic Brewing Company

Gigantic Tour

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.

Ross Island Brewing

Excited face for Ross Island Brewing

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”.

Grixsen Brewing

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:

  1. Belgian Blonde
  2. Kolsh
  3. Hopped Saisson
  4. Fresh Hop Saison
  5. Brown Ale
  6. Scotch Ale
  7. Stout
  8. 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.

Baerlic Brewing Co.

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.

Ground Breaker Brewing

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:

  1. Pale Ale
  2. Imperial Darkness
  3. Cascadian Dark Ale
  4. Dark Ale on Nitro
  5. IPA No. 5
  6. Clemy – This was my all time favorite from Ground Breaker. Definitely had a saison mouth feel to it.
  7. Dark Grinder
  8. Gorgon

Base Camp Brewing Company

Mama Nancy’s First Zwickelmania

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?