Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Jam Session - Craft Beer Concoction's Latest Test Kitchen

Have you ever read a recipe or had a craving for a cocktail that involves muddling summer fresh berries in the dead of winter? Even though you know you can probably find the correct ingredients in the produce or freezer section of your local grocery store you also know it won't be the same. So you tuck that recipe away until those luscious, local berries return.

That was the train of thought behind our idea to use jams and jellies in place of fresh fruit in the latest Craft Beer Concoctions Test Kitchen. A stunning variety of jams/jellies are commercially available but we managed to limit ourselves to a handful and supplemented those by whipping up a few in our own kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite concoctions using jam.

"I'd Pay For That"
We admit that not all the cocktails we create are great so when one of our tasting panel sipped this one, we had to name it after the words that came out of his mouth, "I'd pay for that!" A fairly simple combination of five ingredients, we'll be making plenty of these in the future.
Bak's Bison Grass Vodka
Great Notion Pineapple Juice Invader (hazy IPA with Galaxy hops and fresh pineapple)
Rose City Pepperheads Rage 'N Red jalapeno jam
- Kroger pink grapefruit seltzer water
- Candied poppy seed rim
- Lime garnish

"Lara's Strawberry Witch"
All of us at this Test Kitchen were familiar with those wrapped candies often found at Grandma's house, the hard strawberry candy in the twisted-top foil wrapper printed to look like a strawberry. We bet you know what we're talking about, too, and if you like those you'll like this cocktail. Named for the liqueur Lara brought, this cocktail has its sweetness balanced by citrus.
- Homemade strawberry liqueur*
- Great Notion Strawberry Taffy (milkshake IPA with strawberries and vanilla beans)
- Homemade strawberry jam
- Lemon juice

"Butterscotch Lemon Drop"
One can find a version of a lemon drop on nearly any cocktail menu. Ours combines a straight forward vodka, a shandy beer and lemon curd, dolled up in a fancy crystal wedding flute (thank goodness those glasses are finally getting put to use!).
Eastside Distilling Portland Potato Vodka
Coalition Brewing Harvest Shandy (CBD lemon shandy with Goschie Farms hops)
Bonne Maman lemon curd
- Lemon slice garnish

All in all, this was one of our most successful test kitchens and we'll certainly be looking to our pantry/fridge in the future when we want to whip up a cocktail with a fruity component. If you haven't tried it yourself, we challenge you to grab whatever jam you have on hand and mix one up.

*If you've been inspired and want to make your own fruit liqueur, check this out for directions. Perhaps that's what you'll be handing out over the holidays to lucky folks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Terp Fest NW - Inaugural Beer & Cider Festival

A first ever of its kind beer and cider festival debuts at Cider Riot! this Saturday, September 21. Terp Fest NW will feature eight different beers and ciders infused with non-cannabinoid based terpenes from local company True Terpenes. 

Although the prevalence of commercially produced terpenes has risen with the full legalization of cannabis, one of the goals of this festival is awareness, normalization and education about these compounds. For those wondering A) what terpenes are and B) how are they related, or not related, to cannabis the short answer is that terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds produced by a variety of plants (including cannabis), that give each flower, herb and fruit its own unique scent and flavor. For a longer explanation, check out True Terpenes' terpology pageBIG NOTE: None of the beers or ciders presented at this festival contain any amount of CBD or THC.

Recently we were able to preview some of the festival's offerings. Take a gander.
Cider Riot! Sage and Savory - The first whiff of this cider is solidly savory while the flavor rides the line between a semi-dry cider and a savory creation that seems screams out to be paired with food. The 6% cider is a combination of the cidery's Everyday cider, sage-infused cider brandy and Cherry Pie terpenes. 

West Coast Grocery Co. Sonic Cherry Lime Blast - Inspired by the Sonic restaurant chain's cherry limeade, it sports an amber-red color and uses Black Lime terpenes blended with their key lime and cherry lacto IPA. A complex beer popping with flavor, it is reminiscent of a well-crafted cocktail where the sum is far greater than its parts.

Xylem Cider Works Trans-dimensional Cowboy - Xylem is the originator of terpene ciders even though according to Co-Founder Nick Fillis they don't want to be known for just that. Be that as it may, this semi-dry cider is a work of drinkable art. Starting off with a swoon-worthy horse blanket aroma, the flavor brings together blueberries and Jack Herer terpenes, finishing with a crisp citrus-ness.

We will leave it at for that for now because we wouldn't want to give away all the fest has to offer. Plus you know you want to experience it first hand! So come and learn how terpenes can be used to enhance the craft beverages we love.

Terp Fest NW
Saturday, September 21st 12-8pm
Cider Riot!
807 NE Couch Street
Tickets in advance or at the door: 
$15 - Terp Fest NW festival glass + 4 tasting tickets
$25 - Terp Fest NW festival glass + 8 tasting tickets

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The BeerMongers Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Nine years ago this summer we arrived in Portland, after a multi-day drive from our former home in the Midwest. As we settled in to our new surroundings in SE PDX we naturally gravitated to places with good beer and The BeerMongers was one of the first we stumbled upon. At the time they had been open just over a year and from the start we were warmly welcomed. Today we count many of our friends as people we met there and are thankful to be part of “The Mongers Community.”

Thursday, September 5 marks the 10th anniversary of The BeerMongers' opening and their 3,652nd consecutive day open. Owner Sean Campbell said, “We never planned on being open every day, it just happened organically. The community that has developed around that idea has been inspirational, allowing The BeerMongers to host community potlucks annually on major holidays when most establishments aren’t open. We all felt like our community needed a place to gather on holidays.”

To mark the milestone they have collaborated with some of their brewery friends to create 11 unique and creative beers, all on draft with some being canned/bottled as well, for the September 5 main celebration. In addition, daily events will take place September 1 - 8 highlighting the The BeerMongers’ greater role as a beer-loving community space.

The Beers
Barley Brown’s Cascadian Dark Pilsner (Draft)
Trap Door & Stormbreaker “Flip Ya For Real” Hazy DIPA (Draft/Cans)
Block 15 “The Pitch” Oregon Amber Lager Conditioned in Pitched Barrels (Draft/Bottles)
Wayfinder & Breakside American Pale Ale (Draft)
Von Ebert Kumquat Farmhouse (Draft)
Alesong The BeerMongers Biscotti (Draft/Bottles)
Upright & Danodan Extra Special Herbs (Draft/Bottles)
Alvarado Street West Coast IPA (Draft)
Ex Novo & Level Rustic English Old Ale (Draft)
Modern Times & Baerlic Coffee Vienna Lager (Draft/Can)
Ruse & Indie Hops Fresh Hop IPA (Draft)

The Events
Sunday, September 1 - Cellar Sale, featuring carefully-chosen aged beers from The BeerMongers’ extensive cellar stock
Monday, September 2 - Labor Day Cookout & Potluck, where friends and family (21+) are encouraged to bring a dish to share and gather for food, fun, and festivities
Tuesday, September 3 - High Stakes Cribbage Tournament at 6pm, plus 1st Annual Russell Awards in memory of Russell Riebesehl
Wednesday, September 4 - G.O.A.T. Bottle Share (Greatest of All Time), starting at 6pm
Thursday, September 5 - The Big Day! 3,652 Days in a Row! 11 Beers for 10 Years!
Friday, September 6 - Trappist Beer Appreciation Day (Cheese too!)
Saturday, September 7 & Sunday, September 8 - Outdoor Beer Garden and Games
(more details on all events here)

The Big Day: 10th Anniversary
Thursday, September 5th 11am - 11pm
1125 SE Division

See you there!