Chattering-Magpie-blog

Too many beers, so little time.

Posted Sun Jul 29, 2007, 15:26 PM by Tracy | |

I definitely overdid it last year, so this year I resolved to take it easy, not set any personal records for number of beers tasted. This year I only tasted 27 beers compared to last year’s 29 beers. Plus a couple repeats.

The novelty feature of the festival was not a beer, but the mugs. They featured color change mugs that changed to blue or pink when filled with cold beer. I got a blue one, but it made the beer look green, which creeped me out. I switched to a clear mug in short order.

This year paid more attention to the pilsners and was duly rewarded. I missed out on a few beers I wanted to taste. There’s always next year.

Beers I tasted, over the course of three days (I’m worn out):

7/27/07

Alameda Brewhouse
Portland OR
El Torero Organic IPA
American IPA
7.1% alcohol
98 IBUs
Beautiful amber color with a flowery hoppy aroma. Lightly carbonated with complex flavors. Hoppy but not bitter, lingers gently on the underside (surprising!) of the tongue.

Butte Creek Brewing
Chico CA
Organic Pilsner
Pilsner
4.2% alcohol
27 IBUs
My first taster of the festival. Lightly fizzy, bright, more hoppy than I expected from a pilsner. Bitterness lingers on the top palate and side of tongue, gradually dropping off.

Klamath Basin Brewing
Klamath Falls OR
Crater Lake Golden Ale
Extra Golden Ale
6.2% alcohol
36 IBUs
Malty, dropping off quickly to leave a lingering hoppiness. Rounded mouth feel. Okay, but not my fave.

Laurelwood
Portland OR
PNW Pils
Strong Pilsner
8% alcohol
40 IBUs
A dangerous beer at 8%. Initial fizz segues to a smooth creamy mouth feel. Hops dance in the middle. This pils is entertaining and goes down easy, but can mess you up in a hurry – like your ex-girlfriend.

Ninkasi Brewing
Eugene Or
Believer
Double Red Ale
7% alcohol
65 IBUs
Deep brown color, flavorful and malty, blended with a generous handful of hops. Has a barnyard aroma – in a good way.

Old Market Pub & Brewing
Portland OR
A Midsummers White
Belgian Wit
5.5% alcohol
14.5 IBUs
Less body and flavor than other wits I’ve had. Pleasant carbonation fills the mouth then fades quickly to a long lingering ghost of an aftertaste. Citrus and spice are very subtle.

Snipes Mountain Brewery
Sunnyside WA
India Pale Ale
IPA
6.3% alcohol
58 IBUs
Good fizz and gentle hops at the front of the mouth slowly expand to fill the oral cavity. More hoppy bitterness than the IBUs would indicate.

7/28/07

Bear Republic
Healdsburg CA
Racer X
Double IPA
9.8% alcohol
110 IBUs
Hoptastic aroma and a gorgeous reddish amber color. The first mouthful of hops goes straight to the back of the tongue where it remains for a good long time. Mildly carbonated and full of hoppy flavor without being overly bitter.

Bison Brewing
Berkeley CA
Organic Chocolate Stout
Dry Foreign Style Stout
25 IBUs
Even carbonation takes hold of the tongue. Judicious blending of hops keeps this rich dark stout from being too heavy. Malty chocolate lingers in the back of the mouth.

BJ’s Brewhouse
Portland OR
C’est Bon Blonde
Belgian Blonde
6.5% alcohol
22 IBUs
Sweet to my taste, a little cloying, in fact. Didn’t much care for it.

Collaborator
Portland OR
Rawkin Bock
Bock
7% alcohol
35 IBUs
Initial mouthful is a good balance of hops and malt. Malty finish without being cloying. Beautiful reddish amber in color.

Diamond Knot Brewing Co
Mukilteo WA
Industrial IPA
IPA
8.2% alcohol
80 IBUs
Tasty, hoppy with a touch of malt, not overly bitter. Strong but not too strong. Well balanced. Distinct from other IPAs at the festival. Drops off to a subtle finish.

Flying Fish Brewing
Cherry Hill NJ
Bourbon Barrel Abbey Dubbel
Belgian Style Dubbel
7% alcohol
18 IBUs
Extraordinarily sweet, this is a sipping beer, not a chugging beer. So infused with bourbon flavor, it needs its own chaser. A novelty beer I really couldn’t drink by itself, I think it could pair well with a rare steak. And a cigar.

Golden Valley Brewing
McMinneville OR
Red Thistle Quercus
ESB
5.8% alcohol
38 IBUs
Grapey, winey flavor right off the bat. A little sweet, gentled by a hint of hops. Complex. Probably would go well with a pasta-marinara dish.

Green Flash Brewing Co
Vista CA
West Coast IPA
IPA
7% alcohol
95 IBUs
Happy hoppy beer to please any Oregon hophead. Strong, fragrant and flowery. Good carbonation. Well balanced with just a touch of malt to keep it from being too bitter. Perfectly balanced, say Gene and Gary. Right up there with the best of the IPAs.

Michigan Brewing Co
Webberville MI
Celis White
Belgian Wit
3.9% alcohol
16 IBUs
This is a wit I can get behind. Citrusy notes over spicy undertones. Best served chilled.

Oregon Trail Brewery
Corvallis OR
Oregon Trail Wit
Belgian Hefeweizen
5.1% alcohol
27 IBUs
Meatier than a witbier, fades off quickly to a long lingering hoppy finish. Not quite what I was looking for in my quest for Belgian witbiers.

Russian River Brewing
Santa Rosa CA
Pliny the Elder
Double IPA
8% alcohol
92 IBUs
A perennial favorite. This year’s offering has a lower IBUs than in previous years, but still comes through with a flowery aroma. A strong initial hit of carbonation. Dry but not arid, hoppy but not overly bitter.

Stone Brewing
Escondido CA
07/07/07 Vertical Epic
Farmhouse Ale
8.9% alcohol
25 IBUs
This is a beer with a lot going on. Malt and coriander citrus intertwine. Good initial carbonation. A little too sweet for my taste. Lingering malty finish. A beer for the fireside. Or the cloisters.

7/29/07

Alaskan Brewing Co
Junean AK
Alaskan IPA
IPA
6.2% alcohol
55 IBUs
Fragrant, flowery aroma. Mildly hopped, a pleasant alternative to the big-hopped IPAs. Good carbonation with an unexpected hint of fruitiness. Subtle, unobtrusive aftertaste on the underside of the tongue.

Four + Brewing Co
Salt Lake City UT
Wildfire
Organic Extra Pale Ale
4.3% alcohol
40 IBUs
Beautiful golden color. Dry, thin hops at the start, finishes almost like an IPA. Takes hold of the underside of the tongue and doesn’t let go.

Siletz
Siletz OR
Spruce Ale
5.3% alcohol
35 IBUs
Ever drink a spruce tree? Many parts are potable. A palate cleansing novelty beer with a mild curious bitterness overlaying malty sweetness . Not as “piney” as I remember from brewfests past.

Sprecher
Glendale WA
Mai Bock
Blonde Bock
6% alcohol
24 IBUs
Simultaneously bitter and malty. Complex flavors concentrate under the sides of the tongue, dropping off to maltiness.

Standing Stone Brewing
Ashland OR
Standing Stone Double IPA
Double IPA
95 IBUs
Surprisingly malty for an IPA. Persistent sweetness overlays the hops even through a lingering finish. Eventually leaves the expected hoppy aftertaste.

Stone Brewery
Escondido CA
Stone IPA
IPA
A solid IPA with its own distinct hoppy flavor. Dry lingering finish on the sides of the tongue.

Victory Brewing Co
Downingtown PA
Prima Pils
Pilsner
5.3% alcohol
42 IBUs
Bright and fizzy. Fills the mouth with just enough hops to be interesting. Hops linger on the middle of the tongue for a long timc after swallowing. A great refreshing beer for a hot summer’s day.

Widmer Brothers Brewing
Portland OR
Noggin Grog
Imperial Wit
9% alcohol
25 IBUs
Darker, sweeter and bigger than the ordinary witbier. Sweetness is the overwhelming impression, in fact. Almost meaty in body. Better suited to winter drinking.

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