Saturday, May 26, 2012

Buckman Village Botanical Brewery

Before yesterday, at the first stop on the Brewvana Behind the Scenes Tour, I hadn't given much thought to the full name of the brewery that resides inside Rogue's Green Dragon. Buckman Village Botanical Brewery has turned out some enjoyable beers, with the Chamomellow being my favorite, and although I wondered in passing about the "Botanical" part that was it.

After sampling four of Buckman's beers, where I found a new favorite, a single hop IPA using Saaz hops, we went into the brewery and heard about their operation, including the botanical reference. Get the scoop straight from head brewer Danny Connors' mouth, unless of course you're a smarty pants and already know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eugene - A Quick Visit

Recently I had the "opportunity" to spend a couple days in Eugene for work. It was mostly work, but I had a few hours Sunday evening to hit two places recommended by The Hopfather. He suggested The Bier Stein for their beer selection and Falling Sky Brewing for a meal accompanied by session beers.

The Bier Stein quickly reminded me of one of my Portland favorites, The Beermongers. Offering 12 taps (including one nitro), wine and bottles to drink on site or take to go, they also have a small kitchen serving up what one would consider "standard bar fare." Having planned this stop for liquids only I didn't partake in their food offerings but they seemed to be turning out eats for many other patrons.

With at least four beers on the menu I was interested in I took advantage of the opportunity to order half pints, or in the case of two that were served in 12-oz glasses, a tasting of the six ounce variety. In addition to enjoying the beers from Flat Tail, Burnside Brewing, Gilgamesh and 10 Barrel, I had a nice chat with Dave about our mutual love of sour beers. 

After my four half beers I pushed away from the bar to search out Falling Sky. Located in an alley, albeit a clean alley, Falling Sky is not much to look at from the outside. In fact, if you weren't looking for it you could easily pass it by. Luckily for me it was still light out and being a Sunday evening, there wasn't much traffic for me to hold up as I slowly crawled through the unfamiliar streets.

Upon entering the space was larger that the exterior would suggest, with a side patio and windows through which the brewery is visible. Following a strategy similar to the one employed at The Bier Stein I opted for a four-beer sampler tray and seeing that it was time for dinner, a plate of poutine. Not surprisingly, the IPA was my favorite and although ESBs, Bitters and ISAs aren't styles I seek out none of them were bad, offensive or poorly made. They just weren't for me.

Before long I knew I was due to head back to my hotel room and try to get some sleep before an early start to a long Monday was upon me. And although there wasn't additional time on this trip to sneak in a full repeat visit I did make a brief stop back at The Bier Stein for a few bottles to go, bottles that weren't old but were long gone from Portland shelves. Win!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Brewers For Boobs

A beer fest for a good cause with a great name. What's not to like about that?

Were there special beers? No.

Were there beers I hadn't had before? Yes.

Did they serve the beer in crappy, plastic glasses? No.

Did they offer (nearly) full pints for only three tickets? Yes.

Was it a gorgeous day? Yes.

Did we discover another great, local band? Yes.

Was it a great day? Most certainly.

I hope whatever your Saturday contained it was just as stellar as mine.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Miss, Then a (Gigantic) Hit

Wednesday night was the grand opening of Gigantic Brewing and I couldn't go. Absolutely no how, no way. I was bummed...until I heard from the "lucky folks" that the place was packed. Considering my aversion to crowds, especially when they stand between me and beer, I felt a little better.

I felt even better the next afternoon when Mag informed me that their hours, starting now, included 3 - 9 pm Wed - Sat. That meant they were open! After making the short jaunt down the street I found a fuller than expected tap room and some very tasty beer.
In addition to some guest beers and two of their collaboration beers (Collabo Wabo and Hoppy Hoppy Nano Beer, which I had tried over Zwicklemania weekend) they had three new offerings: The City Never Sleeps Imperial Black Saison, IPA and St. Tennenholz Pale Ale. All three were delicious and I'm looking forward to many more walks down the street to enjoy their brews.

The story here: It's not a real taproom until you have taxidermy (check out the stuffed boar head when you're there), a gun and a bladed weapon.

The full hours. Check out how the days are described.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Musings on the 2012 World Beer Cup

This morning upon reviewing my Twitter feed I found Brewpublic's link to the Oregon and Washington winners of the 2012 World Beer Cup and subsequently the complete list. Reviewing the list I only came across one winner from Minnesota, Summit Brewing for their Extra Pale Ale, the silver medal winner in Category 67: English-Style Pale Ale. Oregon breweries claimed 12 medals, Washington 10 and just for a Midwest perspective, Wisconsin took nine. So I'm wondering, what's up with Minnesota?

I see two possibilities. 1) There simply weren't that many entries from Minnesota breweries. Although the winners list seems huge (they did present 284 awards), there were 3,921 beers entered from 799 breweries. 2) Minnesota got snubbed. I have a hard time believing this to be the case because although there is a lot of good beer coming out of Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, there's a lot of good beer coming out of Minnesota, too.

So what do you think or what do you know? If you have another theory, let me know. Also, if you are in The Know I'd be interested to hear which other Minnesota breweries entered.