Biketobeer 2013

Fall is officially here in Portland.  The rain hasn’t stopped in over 48 hours but pumpkin beers are already on the shelves and I’m one happy girl.  October is just around the corner, which means pumpkin patches, Halloween and ski season.  This weekend, some friends and I braved to downpours to check out Hopwork Urban Brewery’s Biketobeer 2013.  While there is some confusion on the pronunciation “bike-to-beer” or “bike-tober” this beer festival is focused on two things Portland loves: biking and beer.

Beckie and I braving the rain for Biketobeer 2013!

Beckie and I braving the rain for Biketobeer 2013!

Here is what we tried:

  • The Commons: Honey Saison – This strong blonde was brewed with Bee Local Mt. Hood honey and pears.
  • Finnriver Farm Cidery: Sparkling Pear Cider – Pear is definitely up next in my home made cider testing.
  • Elliott Bay Brewing: Mashing Pumpkin Ale – The crowd favorite of our group.
  • Laurelwood Brewing: Megafuana – This Imperial Ale was definitely “floral” in scent and taste.
  • Occidental Brewing: Dunkel – We talked about dunkels being the “pretzels” of beer.
  • Crux Fermentation: Impasse Saison – Another crowd pleaser.
  • Tieton Cider Works: Apricot Cider – After I master pear ciders, I’m going to try apricots.
  • Hopworks: Bitchin’ Camaro – This was a fresh hop lager.  Pretty much the only way I like hoppy beers.
  • Hopworks: Boomstick – This was a whiskey barrel-aged Double DOA, one word “strong.”
  • Gigantic Brewing: TicWitTic – This was a sour belgium wit, pretty good for a sour beer.
  • Hopworks: Abominable – My favorite post-skiing beer to enjoy.  Glad it’s back!
  • Hopworks: Noggin’ Floggin Barley Wine: This was the brewer’s choice and had jalapeno peppers in it.

Make it to the Biketobeer 2013?  What did you think?  Didn’t make it, what do you think of Hopworks beer?

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?

Upright Brewing – Portland, OR

Now that the Portland Trailblazers 2010-2011 season is now over 🙁

I can now share with you my pre- Trailblazers game tradition 🙂

I’m lucky enough to attend Blazer games on a regular basis.  While I am a big fan of the Widmer Brothers, I’m not a big fan of shelling out $8.75 per drink per person at the Blazer games.  This is where Upright Brewing comes into play.

Upright Brewing is located right across from the Rose Garden in the Left Bank Project.  The Left Bank, is a collaborative space, where small businesses that are mission-focused can come together to make Portland even better.  In the basement is Upright Brewing, a relatively new brewery to the Portland scene, but has already amazed my taste buds!  I think it’s because Upright Brewing specialized in farmhouse inspired beers from France and Belgium but is made with local ingredients with a bit of that Pacific Northwest “Keep Oregon Beered” twist.  At Upright they use a special saison yeast and an open fermentation process to produce beer that is a true hybrid style.

Back to the Blazer games.  Here’s what you do.  There is free parking near by (send me an email if you really want to know) or just take MAX (Portland’s light rail system).  Head to Upright Brewing, which opens two hours before each Blazers home game.  Meet up with your friends there, grab beers for $3 or a pitcher for $12 and hang out.  Make sure to get there early since the place gets packed the closer to the start of the game.

Since I can only drink two beers before a game, that means I spend $6 total, plus my standard $1/beer tip, totals me up to $8.  Still $0.75 CHEAPER than a beer in the Garden!  Plus I got TWO!  Pretty simple decision for me.  I’m sure you’ll agree.

Jenna’s Tips:

  • Chances are Alex (the owner and head brewer) or Ezra (chief beer pourer and artist) are working.  Be sure to say “hi” if you see them.  Alex wears a slick pair of glasses and Ezra is usually hanging out by the cash register.
  • The Number Four is my favorite.  But I also always make sure to try what ever seasonal they have on tap too.
  • Also, while they do have some snacks, make sure you plan on eating before heading to Upright (or grabbing food at the Garden).  Your stomach will thank you later.

Been to Upright Brewing before?  What did you think?  What’s your pre-sporting event beer tradition?