Friday, July 27, 2007

Oregon Brewer's Festival 2007 -- Top Five

If you're a fan of pale ales and IPAs, you're not going to be disappointed by the beer selection at this year's OBF. If you aren't a fan, you may have some issues. Especially if you're not a fan of fruit beers either. Ambers? Darker beers? Pretty limited.

We went last night. Thursdays are great -- small lines, all beers are still flowing, port-o-potties still clean. I know they always run out of some, but I was suprised that at 5:30 on Thursday they were on their last keg of the collaborator (don't know if it was for the night or the weekend). My tasting notes are at home, but here are my picks based on memory. Quotes are taken from Exploration of Portland Food and Drink, where I did a little research beforehand (what can I say, I'm a nerd and love reviews/stats).

Disregard if you have no interest in this, but here are my picks below.


1. (tie) Diamond Knot Brewing Co Mukilteo, WA Industrial IPA Imperial IPA Buzz: "They put Columbus hops *in the keg* . Industrial IPA looks to be an ‘over-the-hop’ kind of beer, and at 8.2 ABV you had better take the MAX home." Not what you think of when you taste an ipa, Asa agreed. Darker and different. Ken's favorite of the IPAs.
1. (tie) Green Flash Brewing Co Vista, CA West Coast IPA West Coast IPA "very floral hop nose and a dry finish add up to a beer both bitter and refreshing. 95 IBU’s might overpower the slight body." – nope, it was fabulous. Great IPA.
3. Collaborator Portland Rawkin Bock Bock my favorite non IPA/ESB beer of the festival.
4. Golden Valley Brewery McMinnville Red Thistle Quercus Pinot oak barrel aged red/ESB Not overpowering pinot flavor and definitely different. Enjoyed. Contrast to the nasty bourbon aged beer below (see under yuck).
5. Standing Stone Brewing Co Ashland Standing Stone Double IPA Double IPA Buzz beer: "5 types of hops and a hair-raising 95 IBU, yet somehow I feel that it will be both fresh-tasting and balanced." Totally right. It was fresh tasting and balanced. Great beer.

Honorable mention: Alameda Brewhouse Portland El Torero Organic IPA American Style IPA Buzz: "90 IBUs"

Silver City Brewing Co Silverdale, WA Whoop Pass Double IPA Imperial IPA "Silver City brought its Whoop Pass imperial IPA to the festival last year, and it was a big hit. No wonder considering the beer’s 9.1 ABV!"
Boundary Bay Brewery Bellingham, WA Galena Single Hop Pale Ale Pale Ale
Ram Restaurant and Brewery Salem Double Exposure IPA Double IPA "Hitting 100 IBUs is Ram Brewing’s Double Exposure IPA, crafted especially for the festival"
Rogue Ales Newport Rogue Imperial Porter Imperial Porter Buzz beer
Terminal Gravity Enterprise, OR TG Triple Abbey Triple hoppy.

Deschutes Brewery Bend 19th Anniversary Golden Ale Belgium Style StrongGolden Ale Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River Full Sail LTD 02 Pale Bock
Laurelwood Brewing Co Portland PNW Pils Strong Pilsner "Imperial Pilsner + Laurelwood = winner. Plus, people love the flavor of Saaz hops. If they can’t locate this tap, there’s also Prima Pils at the festival." eh, ok
Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene Believer Double Red Ale Wanted to try; loved at holiday but I found this batch to be flat.Spanish Peaks/BlackDog Polson, MT Black Dog Ale Amber Ale
Stone Brewing Co Escondido, CA **Stone 07/07/07 Vertical Epic Saison/Belgium Farmhouse ale
Butte Creek Brewing Co Chico Organic Pilsner Pilsner Revolution XI anniversary beer

Bison Brewing, Berkeley Organic Chocolate Stout Dry Foreign Style Stout (great head, good start, bad finish. Not full bodied)
Flying Fish Brewing Co Cherry Hill, NJ Bourbon Barrel Abbey Dubbel Belgian Style Dubbel Buzz beer. "produced for the OBF from a New Jersey Belgian specialist, the malty, bourbon barrel aging could provide the perfect je ne sais quoi to their already exemplary, fruity, malty dubbel. " Overpowering bourbon flavor, yuck.
Fifty Fifty Brewing Truckee Donner Party Porter Porter weak body
Dick's Brewing Co Centralia, WA Dick's Lava Rock Porter English Porter
Lompoc Brewing Portland SummerAid Golden Ale Way too light.
Kona Brewing Co Kailua-Kona, HI Wailua Wheat Wheat Ale brewed with tropical passion fruit. Way too light. Terrible flavor. This may be the worst of the bunch.
Old Market Pub & Brewery Portland A Midsummers White Belgian Wit "Belgian Wit called A Midsummer’s White that looks to be a lacy lovely" Or this one. I actually poured it out. Citrus and light. but not in the good way.

Didn’t try (bold indicates beer still on my list to try):
21st Amendment Brewery San Francisco Watermelon Wheat Fruit Beer +/-
Alaskan Brewing Co Juneau Alaskan IPA IPA
Amnesia Brewing Portland Dry Hopped Dusty Trail Pale Ale Pale Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Co Boonville, CA Summer Solstive Cerveza Crema Cream Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Co San Diego Yellowtail Pale Ale Kolsch
Bayern Brewing Missoula, MT Bayern Pilsner German Pilsner Lager
Bear Republic Brewing Co Healdsburg, CA Racer X Double IPA
BJ's Brewing Portland c'est bon blonde Belgian Blonde
Boulder Beer Co Boulder Sweaty Betty Blonde German Weiss Beer
Brewery Ommegang Cooperstown, NY Hennepin Farmhouse Saison Farmhouse Saison
BridgePort Brewing Co Portland Haymaker Extra Pale Ale TBD
Calapooia Brewing Co Albany, OR Yankee Clipper IPA IPA
Cascade Brewing at the Raccoon Lodge Portland Razberry Wheat Fruit Beer
Eel River Brewing Co Fortuna, CA Organic IPA IPA
Elysian Brewing Co Seattle Prometheus IPA West Coast IPA
Eugene City Tracktown Ales Eugene Honey Orange Wheat Wheat/Fruit
Fearless Brewing Co Estacada, OR Fearless Scottish Ale Scottish Export
Four + Brewing Co Salt Lake City Wildfire Organic Extra Pale Ale
Grand Teton Brewing Co Victor, ID Bitch Creek ESB ESB
Great Divide Brewing Co Denver Titan IPA IPA
Hale's Ales Brewery Seattle "El Jefe" Weizen Ale Bavarian Style Hefeweizen Expected to like more than I did in the past
Hazel Dell Brewpub Vancouver, WA Red Zone Pale Ale
Hopworks Urban Brewery Portland Hopworks Organic IPA Organic American IPA Buzz beer: Everybody wants to try Christian Ettinger’s latest, even before his new pub is open. (But it) may be too balanced for the extreme hopheads and too hoppy for the rest.
Klamath Basin Brewing Co Klamath Falls Crater Lake Golden Ale Golden Ale
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub Portland Triple Threat IPA IPA
MacTarnahan's Portland MacTarnahan's Amber Ale Northwest Style Amber Ale
Mad River Brewing Co Blue Lake, CA Steelhead Double IPA IPA
Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub Tigard Farmer's Daughter Belgian Saison Golden Strong Ale
McMenamins Fulton Pub & Brewery Portland Monkey House Northwest IPA
Michigan Brewing Co Webberville, MI Celis White Belgian Wit
New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins Skinny Dip Summer Lager
North Coast Brewing Co Fort Bragg, CA **PranQster Belgian-Style Golden Ale Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
Oregon Trail Brewery Corvallis Oregon Trail Wit Belgian/Oregon Style Hefeweizen Pelican Pub & Brewery Pacific City, OR Heiferweizen Belgian Style Witbier
Philadelphia's Steaks and Hoagies Portland Betsy Ross Imperial Golden Imperial Golden Ale
Pike Brewing Co Seattle Pike IPA IPA
Pyramid Breweries Portland Thunderhead IPA American Style IPA
Redhook Ale Brewery Woodinville WA Long Hammer IPA IPA Rock Bottom Brewery Portland Velvet Pale Ale Pale Ale
Russian River Brewing Co Santa Rosa, CA Pliny the Elder Double IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico Summerfest beer Pilsner Style Lager
Siletz Brewing Siletz, OR Spruce Ale Other Snipes Mountain Brewery Sunnyside, WA IPA IPA
Sprecher Brewing Co Glendale, WI Mai Bock Blonde Bock
Steelhead Brewing Co Eugene Full Count Pale Ale American Pale Ale Trumer Brauerei-Berkeley Berkeley Trumer Pils Germany Style Pilsner Victory Brewing Co Downingtown, PA Prima Pils Pilsner
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co Portland Noggin Grog Imperial Wit takes the Belgian Wit to the extreme with its 9% ABV Noggin’ Grog


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