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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Been to Breakside Brewery? What did you think?