Salt & Straw Beer Ice Cream

It’s no secret, I love ice cream.  And I’ve hopped on the Portland hipster bandwagon and fallen completely in love with Salt & Straw, Portland’s farm-to-cone ice cream shop.  I have friends from all over the country who have tried Salt & Straw ice cream with doubt and disbelief only to become fanatics after just a few licks.  Not only do I like organic beers, I pretty much swoon for anything that is local, sustainable and organic.  This is why I love Salt & Straw, their ice cream is handmade in small-batches using only all-natural dairy from the best local, sustainable and organic ingredients Oregon has to offer.

ice-cream

Last month, Salt & Straw stepped their game up teaming with six local Portland breweries to make a six-pack collection of beer-infused ice creams.  I was lucky enough to try all six.  Here is what they created:

  1. Passionfruit Berliner Weisse in Coconut Water Sorbet: Using Breakside Brewery’s “Passion fruit Berliner Weisse” to create a tart, passion fruit sweetened, marmalade that is ribboned into a coconut water sorbet.
  2. Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout: Finding inspiration in Hair of the Dog’s barrel aged “Cherry Adam of the Wood,” to created a dark malty, cherry ice cream and cold steeped it in a bourbon barrel.  (Note:  This was definitely tied for first place as my favorite of the six-pack!)
  3. Smoked Hefeweizen: Spin on Widmer Brothers’ world famous Hefeweizen by smoking wheat malts and steeping them into the cream to create a smoked hefeweizen ice cream.  (Note:  The other first place favorite of the six-pack!  Seriously, with Salt & Straw you can’t just pick one flavor!)
  4. Hopped Farmhouse Ale: Based off of Commons Brewery’s “Myrtle Farmhouse Ale,” and used three different methods to steep the meridian hops in order to capture the bright aromas of peach and refreshing bitterness of grapefruit.
  5. IPA Upside Down Cake: Captured the pineapple, citrus and piney hop flavors of Gigantic Brewing Company’s Imperial IPA by using hop-back technique to pull out the sweet and spicy hop flavors and adding a pineapple upside down cake infused with ho leaf and candied tangerine zest.
  6. Bretta Fermented Pears and Fudge: Using Logsdon Farmhouse Ales’ famous Bretta yeast strain and inspiration from their “Cocoa Bretta Ale,” this carefully fermented pear juice and a malted fudge syrup to make a Bretta fermented Pear Wine ice cream with ribbons of Bretta Fermented, Malted Fudge.

Been to Salt & Straw?  What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Fruit Beer Festival 2013

fruit-beerLast weekend was my favorite beer festival.  The Portland Fruit Beer Festival!  I’ve been going since it started three years ago.  (You can read about the First Fruit Beer Festival.)  This year, bestie Beckie, former-roommate Jeffrey and I along with an assortment of friends spent the sunny Saturday trying a vast assortment of fruit beers.  Just in case you were wondering, a fruit (or vegetable) beer is a beer brewed with a fruit (or vegetable) addition or flavoring component.  And they are hands down my favorite type of beer!

Here is what we tried:

 What fruit beers do you like?

Rye Beer Fest – 2013

rye-beerAfter the Bruins won the Eastern Conference last Friday, best friend Beckie, fellow beer buddy Adam and I headed over to EastBurn to check out the Rye Beer Festival.  This was put on by Taplister, which helps craft beer fans discover craft beer through their website, mobile, and iPhone app. (I’ve done freelance writing for them before, you can see it here: Oregon Beer Country Launches.)

For those of you who don’t know, rye beer refers to any beer in which rye is substituted for some portion of the barley malt.  It’s a big thing amongst homebrewers and microbreweries.  The most common example is a play off India Pale Ales (IPAs) called Rye-P-As.  Another example is the “roggenbier” which is produced with up to 60% rye malt.  This style originated in Bavaria and is brewed with the same type of yeast as a German “hefeweizen” with a similar light, dry, spicy taste.

Here is what we tried:

 What rye beers do you like?

Breakside Brewery – Portland, OR

I’ve been to Breakside Brewery twice.  Once to meet up with a fellow #WDS friend to try their Mango IPA.  I tried this beer at the First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival and fell in love.  An IPA that I actually like?  Heaven!

Then I went back again Friday night for their Beer Challenge.  In honor of Oregon Craft Beer Month Breakside posted the following message on Facebook:

“Breakside Session Beer Challenge! We have 5 beers with an ABV of 4.2% or less. Anyone who drinks all 5 of these “light” beers in a “session” this week will get a free Breakside Hat. We Love Beer! Especially beers you can drink several of and not fall off your stool.”

Needless to say I was sold.  It was easy to round up some friends who wanted to take on the challenge (and a designated driver).  What’s not to like about a sunny Friday evening in Portland when it’s 85 degrees out and the chance to win some cool hats.

Katie, David, Garrett and I headed to Breakside.  Ordered fries (both the Rogue Smokey Blue Waffle and Sweet Potato – cause we are fatties like that) and some beer.

First up was the Gose, coming in at 4.0% ABV this rare, German-style wheat ale that was purported to be popular among university students in Leipzig thanks to its supposedly aphrodisiacal qualities. This beer is brewed with a mix of wheat, barley, salt, and coriander. It gets its tartness from the inclusion of lactic acid bacteria.  JF Notes: Definitely a sour beer.  The guys next to us doing the challenge suggested starting with this one since it was in their opinion the worst beer of the bunch.  However, it wasn’t too terrible.

Kate and I enjoying Breakside Gose

Next was the Farmhouse Grisette, at 3.8% ABV this farmhouse-style biere de table–a beer that might traditionally have been consumed by Belgian children. It is made with two types of wheat, a saison yeast, and German hops; it gains additional complexity from the use of sour wort. Our lightest beer ever is equally easy drinking and layered.  JF Notes: An easy beer to down, light and refreshing.  Good summer drink.

Farmhouse Grisette

Then was the Dry Stout, at 4.5% ABV this Irish style stout brewed in the tradition of Guinness. Dark in flavor but light in alcohol, this is a roasty and chocolatey beer that won’t make you feel stuffed.  JF Notes:  Amateur move here ordering a dark beer in the middle of our challenge!  However, like Guinness this beer turned out to be pretty light too.

The dry stout

Followed by Scottish 70, at 4.0% ABV.  Who said that all summer beers have to be light in color? Here’s a beautiful brown ale that’s light in body but not short on flavor. For all the malt lovers out there, our brewer Sam has crafted a subtle beer that highlights the simplicity and complexity of the brewer’s art.  JF Notes: Great beer to follow the Dry Stout.

Scottish Ale

Finally, Summer Gruit, another 4.0% ABV.  Gruits are unhopped ales that harken back to former times when hops were only one of many spices used to bitter and flavor a beer. Our low alcohol version is made with raw wheat and spiced with fenugreek, green cardamom, long pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, hyssop, St. John’s wort, and rosebuds.  JF Notes:  Personally, this was my least favorite beer, which was good because it was the last beer we drank so I didn’t really care that much.

Summer Gruit

All in all a great night with friends, Butters (the pug I was puppysitting), sunshine and beer.  If there was one thing I could have changed it would have been our waiter.  While all the other waiters loved Butters, stopped by and said “hi” our waiter was slow moving and seemed bothered by us.  I’m sorry, I brought three friends with me, added three of your beers to Untappd and ran up a $100 tab and you are going to be rude to me.  When I asked about a Breakside pint glass for my collection he said he would charge me for it.  I’ve never heard of a brewery doing that with such a large tab.  No thanks!

Regardless, Breakside is a great brewery.  Their Mango IPA is still my favorite.  You need to go there on Mondays (Mango Mondays) to get it, but it’s definitely worth the adventure to North Portland and they have amazing test beers like a beet one that is actually pink!

Breakside Champs - David, Jenna, Katie

Been to Breakside Brewery?  What did you think?