I am about to begin live beer tasting and blogging at BBC 11.
Rob Widmer is serving and describing Widmer Brothers Prickly Pear Braggot. He describes it as a combination of mead and old ale. My tasting of it reveals a sweet, smooth brew with a pronounced honey flavor and hint of prickly pear juice. I don’t get a lot of aroma from the glass, but I find this beer very drinkable with a nice, lingering sweetness. I like it!
Ryan Ross from Karl Strauss is now having us try their Boardwalk Black Rye. The aroma is rich and round. Tasting reveals malty richness followed by a medium hoppy bite. Great finish. Very nice!
Now tasting Blue Moon Vintage Blonde Ale. It has light golden color and looks like Chardonnay. This beer has an upfront sweetness that has a clean white grape flavor. Like drinking a light white wine. Nice.
Now trying New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale, which is Gluten free. It has an interesting nose without the grain or hop notes you would expect from a beer. The flavor has a little sweetness, some bitterness and other flavors. Personally, I find it a mishmash and it’s not working for me.
Next up, Ninkasi Total Domination IPA. Ahhh, an old friend! Jamie Floyd is serving the beer wearing a a Darth Vader costume (representing Imperium). I call him Darth Lager. Now on to the tasting. Not a lot of aroma, but a wonderful smooth taste. Some lingering bitterness, but not overpowering. It is one of my favorite year round IPAs, for good reason. I’m just going to go ahead and enjoy this beer.
And now, Deschutes JubelAle. Normally it doesn’t come out till October, so this is an early taste. A quick swig of water to clean my palate. The appearance is a nice medium dark brown. The aroma is a mild sweetness. The taste is smooth, sweet, and with a nice maltiness. Very drinkable and enjoyable. I always liked this beer.
Woo hoo, Oakshire!! Matt Van Wyk brought one of my favorites, Overcast Espresso Stout. I just told him it was one of the beers that I bought for the bottle sharing last night (didn’t bring them, long story). First sniff, coffee. First taste, strong coffee followed by stout roastiness. Matt is talking about how good it is with dessert. Where’s the cake!?! Wandering Goat is the name of the roaster. It won 2009 Coffee Beer category at GABF.
Finally Breakside Brewery’s Ben Edmonds with his Gin Barrel Sour Double Wit. Some Gin botanicals in the aroma. The taste, wow! It has a fizzy sourness with a strong grapefruit with a good gin undertone. It’s a lot like a gin grapefruit cocktail. Very refreshing and really good after the espresso stout.
Last night, a group of beer bloggers and craft beer industry people, many from out of town, got a taste of Portland’s beer scene. Organized by Bill Night and Charles Culp, the crawl began at the conference headquarters at Lloyd Center Doubletree, and went to the Widmer pilot brewery at the Rose Quarter, Deschutes Brewery and Pub, Lucky Labrador NW at Quimby, and the New Old Lompoc. It was a clear, warm evening, but not too hot, much to the relief of those who I talked with from Mississippi, Washington DC, and Chicago.
We jumped on a Trimet Max light rail train and headed west to the Rose Garden arena, and walked a short distance to the Widmer pilot brewery. The brewers welcomed our group inside and treated us to many of their beers and even a couple trays of snacks. One of the beers I enjoyed most was a Gose that seemed to be made with raspberries. So good.
Deschutes Street Fair
Next we hopped back on the light rail and crossed the Willamette river into Portland’s Old Town, getting off a few blocks away from Deschutes Brewery. The block next to the brewpub was blocked off and packed with people attending to Deschutes’ street fair. We all got media passes and went on in. At one end was a stage with live music, and all along the block were tents featuring delicious food cart food, each paired with a different Deschutes beer. Among the food offerings were Chicago style pizza, gumbo, pulled pork sliders, crepes both sweet and savory, even a dish from Guam. But for me, the best was dessert. Oregon Ice Works was serving a pair of sherbets, one made with White IPA, and the other an amazing Oregon strawberry. Paired with them was a Black Butte Porter XXIII float with a small scoop of coconut ice. The porter is bourbon barrel aged, and was amazing on its own. But with the addition of the coconut ice, it was really something special.
Flavour Spot waffle with Nutella paired with Black Butte Porter
Another pairing I enjoyed was a waffle with Nutella paired with Black Butte Porter. The pairings were so tasty that they disappeared so quickly it was hard to get a picture.
Taking the streetcar to Lucky Lab
Next, we took the streetcar to the Lucky Labrador NW brewpub. While there was great food at the street fair, there wasn’t a lot of it, so a small group of us went in on a pizza. We must have had a few beers, since I didn’t expect to find myself ordering a pizza called ‘Dog Breath’, who’s main ingredient was garlic. Oh man, it was good. I had nice pint of Lucky Lab’s Alt.
Last stop, the New Old Lompoc
We again, hopped on the streetcar to the New Old Lompoc brewpub. After a short walk, we arrived and went straight to the back patio area. I tried a Kick Axe Pale Ale, which was surprisingly dark for a pale ale. It was very tasty and refreshing.
We then got on a school bus sponsored by Red Hook brewery that was going back to the hotel. We had the option of staying on the bus for another crawl, this one to some of Portland’s many strip clubs. An enthusiastic band were eager to continue, but I was ready to call it a night and get home to bed. I look forward to reading the blogs that will likely come out of last night’s adventures.