Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coming Up: 2014 Oregon Garden Brewfest

Last year was our first year attending the Oregon Garden Brewfest in Silverton, OR. While Silverton is only about an hour's drive south of Portland we'd never been there before and had no idea what the gardens were all about. This year when we were reminded that the festival would be taking place the last weekend of April the decision to attend again was an easy one - of course we would!

The festival takes place on a portion of the Oregon Garden grounds Friday, April 25th - Sunday, April 27th. Perennial early birds that we are, we'll be taking advantage of the front end of the festival, going down the night before to take in the Brewer's Tasting Dinner (which was all kinds of delicious fun last year) and then hitting the festival as soon as the gates open Friday. In between we'll have a leisurely breakfast on the patio and then take a spin around the gardens, enjoying all they have to offer and working up a thirst for the festival.

One of the great things about this festival, as opposed to many that take place in Portland, is the relaxed atmosphere. With 130 beers, ciders and mead from over 60 breweries it's nothing to sniff at; this is a real deal festival with live music both evenings of the festival, a shuttle running to and from Salem and for those looking to make a little getaway of it, packages that include festival tickets and accommodations at the Oregon Garden Resort.

Come on down and join in the fun!

Oregon Garden Brewfest
Friday, April 25th - Sunday, April 27th
Gates open at noon each day

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Toot! Toot!

Today I indulge in a bit of tooting of my own horn. Those of you in Portland may have already seen the April edition of the Oregon Beer Growler and if you turned to page 14, may have taken a gander at the first article I've written for the publication. For those of you outside of the area you can read it online, just scroll down until you get to page 14.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Delicious First Taste

You can only have so much beer before you need food. And sometimes food is just food, to fill the hole, to soak up the beer. But other times the food is equally as important, equally as good, perhaps even more so than the beer.

Tonight I had the chance to check out a place I had been hearing some buzz about - The Rookery, housed above Raven & Rose, in the hayloft of the Ladd Carriage House which is not only one of the few remaining buildings in the U.S. of the English Stick style of architecture but is also on the National Register of Historic Places AND an LEED certified building.

Starting next weekend they will offer a new family-style Sunday roast supper. This week's version of it featured two amazingly prepared meats - wood-fire roasted lamb and slow-roasted pork. Both were meltingly juicy on the inside with crispy exteriors. As a bonus the pork included the extra deliciousness of crispy chicharrones. The rich meats were accompanied by a well-rounded assortment of sides, my favorite being the beef fat-whipped potatoes. Yes, beef fat.

The Widmer/Logsdon Belgian pale ale collaboration, Ensemble, I had ordered before the group happily descended on the feast was a perfect palate cleanser. I could have spent hours alternating between bites of the luscious varieties of fats and refreshing sips of the pale ale.

The meal will be offered at $35/person 4:00 - 9:00 pm in the dining room and while they pour wine and cocktails, I highly recommend having your meal with a beer.

I'll also be recommending that my friends and I meet up either at Raven & Rose or the Rookery Bar to try more of the food I have no doubt will be equally as delicious as the Sunday Roast preview. Perhaps I'll be back next week on April 12th for the Samuel Smith's Brewer's Social. Who's in?