Chattering-Magpie-blog

21st Amendment Brewery.

Posted Fri Jul 04, 2008, 11:32 AM by Tracy | |

As a self-proclaimed aficionado of beer, I couldn’t pass up a visit to 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, located just a couple blocks from the AT&T Stadium, home of the SF Giants. We visited this micro-brewery and cafe on Wed Jul 2, our last full day in SF.

Every year they bring their unique Watermelon Wheat to the Oregon Brewer’s Fest, but of course they had several other offerings to taste.

South Park Blonde
Blonde Ale
5.1% alcohol
17 IBUs
Light, bright, fizzy. Fairly long finish for a low-hopped beer. Good balance, refreshing, no one taste dominates.

Watermelon Wheat
Fruited Wheat Beer
5.0% alcohol
17 IBUs
Pretty shade of cloudy yellow. Good summer grilling beer with enough acid to cut the fat of a hotdog or burger. Taster presentation “cheats” by adding a watermelon wedge to the glass. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Perennial favorite at the Brewer’s Festival.

Amendment Pale Ale
Pale Ale
5.5% alcohol
28 IBUs
Golden amber in color. Malt springs to the forefront at first taste,followed by a low lingering undertone of hops. Pretty sweet for a pale ale.

Schweick’s English Mild
English Style Mild Bitter
4.2% alcohol
11 IBUs
Less carbonation than other offerings. Pleasantly creamy mouth-feel. A little on the malty side for an English mild bitter. Only the malt lingers, otherwise not much of an aftertaste.

Motor Oil
Dark Amber Ale/Strong Ale
7.8% alcohol
38 IBUs
Very malty, with enough hops for balance, similar to Paulaner Salvatore. Color is somewhere between dirty and clean motor oil with an initially creamy mouth-feel.

Darkness
Dark Lager
4.8% alcohol
30 IBUs
Smokin’! The color of the sunset through the smoke of California wildfires. Very pleasant, flavorful with smokey overtones, not as heavy a beer as the color suggests.

Pomegranate Cider
Cider
6.5% alcohol
This fruit fermentation is made by Two Rivers Cider Company of Sacramento CA.
Aroma of pomegranate, the combined flavors of apple and pomegranate. A good palette cleanser before moving on to more beer.

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.

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Spring forward, drink beer.

Posted Sun Apr 08, 2007, 08:37 AM by Tracy | |

We went to the Spring Beer and Wine Fest at the Convention Center yesterday. I tasted 16 (!) beers. I’m paying for it with a throbbing head now, but boy it was sure fun. Good thing I stayed away from the wine and liquor. Oh, I lie, I did taste a spruce gin, hazelnut espresso-flavored 40 proof vodka, hot pepper vodka and a just plain regular vodka.

The band

Amadan
Portland OR
Celtic punk in the mode of the Pogues. High energy with an edge of bitterness, like the beer like. Is that a didgereedoo I hear? I look up. Yes! Leading into another high energy song. Makes me feel young and old at the same time. I like my beer like my women: frosty and bitter.

The beers

Roots Brewing Co
Portland OR
Woody IPA
IPA
6% alcohol
73 IBUs
Great stuff. Rounded mouth feel. Not over hopped. Pleasant bitterness on the sides of the tongue, toward the back of the mouth.

Roots Brewing Co
Portland OR
Excalibur Stout
IPA
7% alcohol
48 IBUs
Goes over the tongue well. Mildly sweet, chocolaty and smoky. Everything a stout should be, E says.

Alpine Brewing
Oroville WA
Pilsner
pilsner
5.2% alcohol
34 IBUs
Bohemian-style. Refreshing, flavorful, a good balance of malt and hops.

Alpine Brewing
Oroville WA
Weizen-bock
wheat bock
6.8% alcohol
12 IBUs
Bavarian-style. Flowery, smooth, different from the American wheat beers. Well-rounded.

Mad River Brewing Co
Humboldt CA
Steelhead Extra Pale Ale
pale ale
Refreshing, smooth, slightly malty, with an even, velvety mouth feel. Nice flavor.

Salmon Creek Brewery
Vancouver WA
Scottish Ale
Scottish ale
5% alcohol
27 IBUs
Slightly malty at first, hops follow on the aftertaste.

Boundary Bay Brewing Co
Bellingham WA
Bellingham Blonde
ale
5.2% alcohol
Light-bodied, with a pleasant flavor that falls off quickly. A little flat at the end, but the low-key aftertaste lingers.

Astoria Brewing Co
Astoria OR
Poopdeck Porter
porter
6.5% alcohol
34 IBUs
A surprising initial taste of bitterness keeps this porter from being too cloying.

New Belgium Brewing Co
Fort Collins Wit
Mothership Wit
Witbier
4.8% alcohol
Certified Organic. Flowery and fragrant, spicy with hints of orange. Light and refreshing. This is my favorite style of beer.

Bridgeport
Portland OR
Beertown Brown Ale
Brown ale
5.2% alcohol
Malty at first, sliding off to a secondary flavor I can’t quite identify.

Silver Moon Brewing
Bend OR
Panty Dropper IPA
IPA
5.6% alcohol
82 IBUs
How can you resist a name like Panty Dropper? Darker in color than I expected from an IPA. Hops give it flavor as much as bitterness.

Kona Brewing
Kona HI
Long Board Lager
lager
5.4% alcohol
25 IBUs
Bright, crisp, as good as or even better than any lager I’ve tasted. This has flavor. Lightly hopped, it finishes with malty sweetness.

Big Sky Brewing Co
Missoula MT
Big Sky IPA
IPA
5% alcohol
Sharp hop flavor that finishes quickly. Good flavor.

Big Sky Brewing Co
Missoula MT
Moose Drool
Brown ale
4.1% alcohol
Mild, mellow, malty. Very low key, hardly any carbonation. Much better on draft than in the bottle.

Stone Brewing
San Diego CA
Arrogant Bastard Ale
Strong ale
7.2% alcohol
(secret) IBUs
Hoppy and malty and refreshing all at once. A kick in the pants.

Walking Man
Stevenson
Homo Erectus
IPA
8.2% alcohol
Plenty hoppy, well balanced, more of an imperial IPA.

Comment [1]

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Our vacation in a dry climate.

Posted Sat Dec 16, 2006, 08:46 AM by Tracy | |

At long last E was able to take time off from work. My dad has been hounding us for years now to come visit. Six storms were lined up to pound the left coast. A perfect time to escape to a drier clime.

Actually we didn’t know about the impending storms when we made our plans – that was just fortuitous. But we did get a long overdue vacation, flying in to Vegas, then driving south to Arizona.

Cruising in the Cruiser

We got the opportunity to rent a PT Cruiser, a vehicle we had been considering for purchase, at no extra charge.

It’s a fun car to drive, but I won’t be buying one anytime soon. The gas mileage is less than optimal; at best I got 21mpg. I felt my visibility was constricted by the structural posts, even though the mirrors were well placed.

The best thing about this car, something I think every vehicle should have, is a gauge that tells you how many miles to go before you run out of gas. How cool is that!

Beer at the Belle

We stayed in Laughlin NV at the Colorado Belle, a middling-sized casino on the Colorado River. I selected it for one reason – Laughlin’s only microbrewery. They offer a taster of their four standard beers and a seasonal.

Colorado Belle Boiler Room
Laughlin NV
Golden Ale
Crisp, bright, lightly hopped, refreshing, undemanding. A good alternative to the usual bland American lager.

Pale Ale
Mildly hopped with some good flavor, but otherwise unremarkable.

Amber Ale
A good balance of malt and hops, almost bitter enough for us Oregon hopheads.

ESB (seasonal)
A very hoppy nose, good flavor that lingers on the tongue. Moderate carbonation. We agreed this was the best offering.

Stout
A classic stout, chocolatey, coffee flavors, creamy. A little bitter at first with a long sweet finish.

The Grand Canyon in winter

We drove 3-1/2 hours, sometimes through snow, to reach the south rim of the Grand Canyon, fogged in. At least there weren’t too many visitors.

It was not the usual tourist experience, tromping through the snow. We didn’t get the full grandeur of the cliffs glowing in the sun under bright skies. Instead we got a more intimate look at the canyon, the surprise of unexpected views as the weather obscured and revealed pieces of the canyon.

Photos will be posted soonish.

Run for the border

This time it was four hours in the car, through the desert to some little border town best known for providing prescriptions and medical services to snowbirds.

Dad & Max thought it would be fun to take us to Mexico for margaritas. We’ve had better and cheaper in Oregon. We’re not interested in tourist trash & trinkets. So that was kind of a waste of gas. Oh well, you don’t know unless you go. At least I got a lot of knitting done.

Back home

The best part of any trip is coming home to find the cats still alive. They actually seem happy to see us.

We didn’t quite miss all the storms, though. They saved the best for last, a day after we returned. Ah, Oregon.

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Winterbrew.

Posted Mon Dec 04, 2006, 12:32 PM by Tracy | |

Not as big as the Brewer’s Festival in July, but still fun, the Winter Brewer’s Festival was held this last weekend in Pioneer Courtouse Square.

I was busy with my Christmas shopping, so I didn’t make it down until Sunday. Even then we didn’t stay long because E had a headache.

I only got to try a few beers. The selection runs to sweeter, heavier malty beers. Just the thing to curl up with in front of a fire.

Alaskan Brewing Co
Juneau AK
Alaskan Spruce Tip Winter Ale
Olde English
6.4% alcohol
Round caramel notes, with a gentle fizz, it holds on to the side of the tongue. It didn’t taste like spruce to me, but E got a strong flavor of spruce.

Brasserie St Feuillen
Le Roeulx Belgium
St Feuillen Cuvee de Noël
Strong Ale
9% alcohol
Generally I like Belgian beers and I like this one too. It is very sweet, with strong flavors of orange and spice, making a heady, strong brew.

Fearless Brewing Co
Estacada OR
Fearless Strong Scotch Ale
Scottish Ale
8.5% alcohol
Drink enough and you’ll be fearless, too. Malty and strong, with nutty overtones, very warming.

Hazel Dell Brewpub
Vancouver WA
Weinachten Fest Bier
Christmas Ale
6.8% alcohol
Like bittersweet chocolate, this ale goes straight to the back of the mouth. Unlike a lot of the malty beers available, it is not sweet at all. It’s an adult taste, bitter without being overhopped.

Chattering-Magpie-blog

More beer.

Posted Sun Oct 01, 2006, 23:13 PM by Tracy | |

We haven’t been to Astoria, my hometown, since Memorial Day weekend, so we were defnitely overdue for a trip. We always take Aunt Vi to dinner and visit Uncle Harry. My Uncle Harry is really my dad’s uncle, so I guess that makes him my great-uncle. Harry is 94 as of a week ago.

We used to take Harry to lunch, always to the same restaurant where he always ordered the same thing. But these last few times we’ve been to visit, Harry has not been feeling well. Though his mental acuity has not dulled over the years, his body is slowly failing him. Sometimes he’s not too steady on his legs or he just doesn’t feel well.

We wandered around the town Saturday afternoon and serendipitously happened upon a little beer festival. I’m not supposed to drink for the next week or so (cyclical headache management), but I decided to risk it. Boo headaches. Hooray beer!

As much as I enjoyed tasting the beers, it was a little disappointing. We have already drunk most of the beers that were available, at previous beer festivals. What was left was not particularly impressive. Still it was beer. Forthwith, my notes:

Astoria Brewing
Astoria OR
Bitter Bitch IPA
Imperial IPA
Surprisingly malty, with plenty of bitter hoppiness, pleasant, not the biggest IPA we’ve ever had. Not a bad effort.

Bill’s Tavern
Cannon Beach OR
Blackberry Beauty
Fruit beer
Tart, not too sweet, but not much else going for it. Good berry flavor.

Astoria Brewing/Baked Alaska
Astoria OR
Cap’n BA’s Thundermuck Coffee Porter
Porter
A nondescript porter, nothing special or outstanding. I would have expected coffee tones from the name.

Mad River Brewing
Blue Lake CA
Jamaican Red Ale
Red ale
Sweet without being cloying or overly malty, good body.

Roots Brewing
Portland OR
Toasted Coconut Porter
Porter
A fun porter with the sweetness of toasted coconut.

North Coast Brewing
Fort Bragg CA
Red Seal
Pale Ale
Nicely bitter, gentle malt, though otherwise not much flavor. Sports a good head and rich amber color.

New Belgium
Fort Collins CO
Saison Harvest Ale
Fizzy, good head, good flavor, flowery. This was our choice for the best beer of the festival.

Rogue Ales
Newport OR
Uber Pils
Pilsner
Nondescript, nothing uber about it. A disappointing offering from an otherwise reliable brewery.

Widmer Brewing
Portland OR
Broken Halo IPA
IPA
Good hoppy flavor that drops off fairly quickly to a long finish.

Paulaner
Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest
Classic German style
Reminds me of childhood trips to the feed store.

Astoria Brewing
Astoria OR
Marionberry Wheat
Fruit beer
Dry, refreshing, mildly tart. A cloudy mauve in color.

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Beer and then some.

Posted Sun Jul 30, 2006, 21:14 PM by Tracy | |

This year I managed to taste nearly 30 beers by myself. Needless to say I am worn out. But it was so worth it. I don’t have a strategy for tasting. I just jump right in and taste whatever sounds interesting. I found myself with a lot of beers that tended more toward malty than hoppy, so on Sunday I concentrated on IPAs with the occasional Pilsner or Lager.

What’s the best beer? It’s whatever you like at the moment. Though if pressed for a favorite, I’m inclined to say Russian River’s Pliny the Elder.

7/28/06

21st Ammendment
San Francisco CA
Watermelon Wheat
Fruit Beer
Is it beer that tastes like watermelon or watermelon that tastes like beer? A very wheaty fruit beer that is light and refreshing for summer. Not much body.

Eugene City Brewery
Eugene OR
Honey Orange Wheat
Honey
Drinks like a Creamsicle: lightly orange and almost creamy. Heavy on the wheat.

Lost Coast Brewery
Eureka CA
Great White Beer
Belgian Wit Beer
Summer in a glass – very fizzy and lightly spicy with an essence of orange. Not much depth but refreshing.

McMenamins Cocordia Brewery
Portland OR
White Lightning Whiskey Stout
Imperial Stout
8.9% alcohol
75 IBUs
Creamy, rich, almost too sweet, this imperial stout is a meal in a glass. Probably has your RDA of vitamins & minerals.

Redhook Ale Brewery
Woodinville WA
Sunrye Ale
Rye Ale
5.3% alcohol
16 IBUs
Nice flavor but not much staying power. Nicely fizzy and refreshing.

Russian River Brewing
Santa Rosa CA
Pliny the Elder
Double IPA
8% alcohol
100 IBUs
Hopped to the max, but well balanced. Cleans the palate – and probably your kitchen counters as well. Also a very high alcohol content. Our favorite of the festival. The best of the big-hopped beers.

Scuttlebutt Brewing Co
Everett WA
Homeport Blonde
Blonde Ale
4.7% alcohol
17 IBUs
A light refreshing beer, with a touch of fruit. There’s not too much going on here, but plenty of fizz makes this a good summer beer.

Snipes Mountain Brewery
Sunnyside WA
Indian Pale Ale
IPA
4.6% alcohol
58 IBUs
A nice all-around IPA, plenty hoppy with good flavor and balance, not overwhelming.

Sprecher Brewing Co
Glendale WI
Mai Bock
Spring Bock
6% alcohol
24 IBUs
Lightly fizzy, slightly malty, good for cool fall evenings, despite the name.

Walking Man Brewing
Stevenson WA
Knuckledragger
Strong Pale Ale
6.5% alcohol
100 IBUs
Pleasantly hoppy and tasty, but not too strong. Complex in its own right. It doesn’t come on as strong as Pliny the Elder, another 100 IBU beer.

7/29/06

Dick’s Brewing Co
Centralia WA
Dick’s Best Bitter
ESB
5.5% alcohol
50 IBUs
Nicely bitter with a hint of malt and a mild finish.

Lagunitas Brewing
Petaluma CA
Sirius
Imperial Cream Ale
7.6% alcohol
41 IBUs
Starts out mildly hopped, followed by a malty creaminess, ending with a hoppy, lingering finish.

New Belgium Brewing Co
Fort Collins CA
1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Brussels Style Black Ale
5.6% alcohol
21 IBUs
Rich & creamy, not overpowering, carbonation gives it a slight tang. Maltiness makes this a good winter beer.

New Old Lompoc
Portland OR
Proletariat Red
Northwest Red Ale
6.9% alcohol
69 IBUs
A pleasant balance of malt and hops, slightly leaning towards a hoppiness that quickly drops off into a long quiet finish.

Pelican Pub & Brewery
Pacific City OR
Kiwanda Cream Ale
Cream Ale
5.5% alcohol
25 IBUs
A well-balanced blend of flavors that provide a good antidote to the over-hopped beers currently in fashion.

Roots Organic
Portland OR
Belgian Wit Bier
Belgian Wit Bier
5.3% alcohol
35 IBUs
Full of flavor, this is a classic wit. Strong orange and cardomon flavors with neither dominating and a gentle finish. So far my favorite of the three witbiers at the festival.

Widmer Bros.
Portland OR
Hopnosis
Double IPA
8.5 % alcohol
72 IBUs
This year’s Collaborator is simultaneously sweet & hoppy with a strong finish that tapers off gradually. Another fine collaboration between Widmer Bros. and the local home brewing community.

7/30/06

Alameda Brewhouse
Portland OR
Wasco Indian Summer Ale
English IPA
6.5% alcohol
60 IBUs
Flavorful, leaning towards hops, but tapering off fairly quickly. Doesn’t demand too much attention, but not without interest. Overall a good hoppy beer.

Anderson Valley Brewing
Boonville CA
Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema
Amber Cream Ale
5.5% alcohol
5 IBUs
Tastes like Vanilla Coke. No wonder it has the longest line at the festival.

Bayern Brewing
Missoula MT
Bayern Pilsner
Pilsner
5.2% alcohol
34 IBUs
Light but not lacking in body as many mass-produced lager styles. Subtly fruity with just enough hops (though that might still be Organic Green Mammoth in my mouth.)

Boulder Beer Co
Boulder CO
Sweaty Betty Blonde Wheat
German Weiss
5.9% alcohol
15 IBUs
Similar to a Belgian Witbier, very fruity and slightly spicy with lively carbonation. Good body with a quick drop off to a gradual finish.

Boulevard Brewing
Kansas City MO
Zõn
Belgian Wit Bier
4.2% alcohol
15 IBUs
Carbonation initially dominates big orange & spice flavors, followed with a quick finish. #2 in my rankings of this year’s witbiers.

Deschutes Brewery
Bend OR
Inversion IPA
IPA
6.8% alcohol
A hoppy beer that is well-balanced, not too bitter.

Green Flash Brewing
San Diego CA
West Coast IPA
IPA
7% alcohol
95 IBUs
Another big hopped beer with balance. Lingers long.

Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
Portland OR
Organic Green Mammoth
IPA
8.5% alcohol
100 IBUs
One sniff and you’re walking through a hop field. Big rounded hop flavor fills the mouth, tapering off gradually with major staying power. Merely bitter when sipped, this IPA requires whole mouth tastes. Not for the faint of heart. The biggest of the current crop of overhopped beers.

Ninkasi Brewing Co
Eugene OR
Quantum Pale Ale
Pale Ale
5.3% alcohol
Initially malty, followed quickly by dominating hops that taper off gradually, ending with a gentle maltiness.

Moylan’s Brewing Co
Novata CA
Tipperary Pale Ale
Pale Ale
5%alcohol
38 IBUs
At last, a well-hopped beer that isn’t over hopped. Plenty of hoppy goodness without being overwhelming.

Racoon Lodge
Portland OR
Raspberry Wheat
Fruit beer
4.5% alcohol
Really red, really raspberry, nicely tart, not too wheaty. A top notch novelty beer. Good for summer. Not a Ruby Tuesday clone by any means.

Siletz Brewing
Siletz OR
Wooly Bully
Lager
6.4% alcohol
38 IBUs
An initial hit of strong hops is followed by a mellow maltiness, ending with a lingering bitterness of hops.

Comment [1]

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Too much too fast.

Posted Sat Jul 29, 2006, 11:34 AM by Tracy | |

Damn! It’s my own damn fault I woke up with a headache this morning. I was so excited, I drank too much, too fast yesterday, and not enough water to compensate. But it won’t stop me from going back today. I’ll just pace myself better.

Friday’s beers:

  • Honey Orange Wheat

Eugene City Brewery

  • White Lightning Whiskey Stout

North Coast Brewing Co

  • Homeport Blonde

Scuttlebutt Brewing Co

  • Mai Bock

Sprecher

  • White Beer

Lost Coast Brewery

  • Watermelon Wheat

21st Ammendment

  • Sunrye Ale

Redhook Ale Brewery

  • Pliny the Elder

Russian River Brewing

  • Indian Pale Ale

Snipes Mountain Brewing

  • Knuckledragger
Walkingman

Comment [1]

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Posted Tue Aug 02, 2005, 17:39 PM by Tracy | |

Between the two of us, E and I tasted over 20 beers at last weekend’s Brewer’s Festival. I didn’t take notes on all of them, but I did on most. Here are my notes:

Anderson Valley Brewing
Boonville CA
Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema
Amber cream ale
5.5% alcohol
5 IBUs
Lives up to its name. Smokey, sweet, full-bodied with a lovely mouth feel.

Bayern Brewing
Missoula MT
Bayern Trout Slayer Ale
Wheat ale
5.3% alcohol
18 IBUs
Very nice, subtle. A good balance, not overbearing. Lingers on the palate, fading gradually.

Big Time Brewing
Seattle WA
Kölsch 45
Kölsch
4.5% alcohol
22 IBUs
Flat, uninspired taste. Comes to life with a salty snack to become a decent summer beer.

Eugene City Brewery
Eugene OR
Eugene City Saison
Saison
6.5% alcohol
20 IBUs
Refreshing light flavor, a good summer beer, lightly spicy.

Flying Fish Brewing
Cherry Hill NJ
Dubbel Trubbel
Belgian-style abbey dubbel
7% alcohol
18 IBUs
Fizzy, but not too much so. Not a big beer. Multi-flavored, complex, interesting, orangey, fades gradually. Good mouth feel.

Four+ Brewing
Salt Lake City UT
Monkshine
Belgian-style pale ale
4% alcohol
15 IBUs
Interesting, lightly bitter, slightly fruity.

Georgetown Brewing
Seattle WA
Manny’s Pale Ale
Pale ale
5.5% alcohol
28 IBUs
Very bright, a good balance, lingers on the palate.

Golden Valley Brewery
McMinville OR
French Prairie Blanche
Biere blanche (wit)
4.5% alcohol
20 IBUs
A classic wit, spicy, fruity, light with just enough hops. Holds on to the sides of the tongue.

Kona Brewing
Kailua-Kona HI
Lilikoi Wheat Ale
American style wheat ale, fruited
5.3% alchohol
15 IBUs
Fizzy, fruity. A good hot weather beer but otherwise not much to it.

Laurelwood Brewing
Portland OR
Organic Deranger
Imperial red ale
8% alcohol
100 IBUs
Complex, flavorful and rich. Lingers on the palate.

Lost Coast Brewery
Eureka CA
Lost Coast Indica IPA
India pale ale
6.5% alcohol
60 IBUs
Not bad. Middle of the road, undemanding. A good summer beer.

Old Market Pub & Brewery
Portland OR
Imperial Hop On
Imperial amber ale
7.9% alcohol
99.5 IBUs
Tasty! Hoppy! Bright. Great flavor that is not overhopped.

Oregon Trail Brewery
Corvallis OR
Oregon Trail Wit
Belgian-style hefeweizen
4.2% alcohol
15 IBUs
Light, bright, spicy, slightly bitter.

Rogue Ales
Newport OR
Rogue Schwarzbier
German-style schwarzbier
5% alcohol
30 IBUs
Pleasant. Malty without being cloying. Light. Lingers a short time on the palate.

Roots Organic Brewing
Portland OR
Gruit Kölsch
Kölsch hybrid
5.5% alcohol
0 IBUs
Many flavored, light, flowery. Primitive in a good way.

Russian River Brewing
Santa Rosa CA
Pliny the Elder
Double IPA
8% alcohol
100 IBUs
Sharp and hoppy, refreshing. Lingers a long time on the palate. Grabs hold of the tongue and won’t let go.

Sprecher Brewing
Glendale WI
Mai Bock
Blonde bock
6% alcohol
27 IBUs
Sunny, flavorful, lightly floral. A good balance.

Steelhead Brewery
Eugene OR
Perigrin Took
Unfiltered IPA
6.7% alcohol
70 IBUs
Very hoppy with a strong finish.

Terminal Gravity Brewing
Enterprise OR
Ten
Craft malt liquor
10% alcohol
38 IBUs
Smooth and malty, not complex.

Comment [2]

Chattering-Magpie-blog

Beervana.

Posted Sat Jul 30, 2005, 19:29 PM by Tracy | |

I am tired, greasy and happy. This is my favorite weekend of the entire year, the weekend six trailers sporting twelve wondrous taps each, park on the waterfront and deliver up gallons of glorious golden (or blond or amber or stout or porter) nectar, four ounces at a time, to the gathered throng of beer enthusiasts.

Yes, it’s the 18th annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival. We were there Friday evening and this afternoon. So far I’ve tasted:

  • Laurelwood Pub Organic Deranger
  • Eugene City Saison
  • Big Time Brewing Kölsch 45
  • Oregon Trail Wit
  • Georgetown Brewing Manny’s Pale Ale
  • Roots Organic Brewing Gruit Kölsch
  • Old Market Pub Imperial Hop On
  • Steelhead Brewery Perigrin Took

My most surprising discovery was that the Kölsch 45, which on initial tasting was flat and uninspired, came to life when paired with a light salty snack. The transformation was an unexpected pleasure that redeemed this beer after a poor first impression.

(I’m greasy because I slathered myself with sunscreen.)

Comment [1]

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