Monday, June 11, 2012

#PFBF: Year Two

After attending the first year of the Portland Fruit Beer Festival last year I was very excited for year two. So excited that I took advantage of the opportunity to get in an hour before general admission and purchased VIP tickets. And like usual I came prepared with a cheat sheet that had me starting off with tarts/sours and working up to the stouts and black saison.

Delicious Tart Beers
Bend Brewing Ching Ching - Even though I'm quite sure I've had this beer before, it was first on my list. I wanted to start the fest off on the right foot and this award winning beer was just the way to do it.

10 Barrel Raspberry Sour - This was not only one of the prettier beers of the festival but was tasty and drinkable, like liquid sour raspberry candy without the sweetness.

Delicious Non-Tart Beers
Burnside Red Light District - An imperial stout made with chocolate and strawberries, I went into it unsure that the product would be successful but Burnside came through. The chocolate-strawberry aroma was followed by a smooth, medium bodied beer.

Gigantic Hot Town, Summer in the City - New kid on the block, Gigantic, had already won me over with the base beer, an Imperial Black Saison, and continued the winning streak combining just the right amount of heat from the fruit of the pepper plant in this beer.

Delicious Rare Beers
Even though I only had a few of the rare beers, the ones I tried were very good and worth the extra ticket.
Short Snout Blueberry Hibiscus Wheat - Their second commercially available beer (the first, Rye-teous Dude debuted at Friday's Rye Beer Fest), wouldn't win any beauty contests but it is most definitely delicious. The light blueberry aroma was followed by a delicately balanced combination of blueberry and hibiscus. It would not only be a great warm weather drinker but would be a great way to introduce someone to fruit beers.

Widmer 2009 Port Barrel-Aged Cherry Doppelbock - At the other end of the fruit spectrum, a heavier beer that appropriately blended true cherry flavor with the wood from the barrels it was aged in.

Did you go to the fest? If so, what were stand out beers for you? If not, I beg of you to mark your calendar for the second weekend of June 2013 as "busy" right now. Congrats to Ezra and all involved in the planning and execution of the festival - another great job!


  1. I really liked the Breakside Strawberry Rhubarb Pie beer, it actually tasted like pie. Also, the Salted Caramel Apple from Upright and Bushwacker was really good. The Burnside strawberry beer was another one of my favorites, I would love to have a bottle of it to age for awhile. I liked the Gigantic, but I don't think I got any heat at all from the peppers, just flavor. Speaking of peppers, the Burnside International Incident was phenominal, had it at the homebrewers dinner the night before. I think my favorite wasn't a beer, but athe Sour Cherry Cider from Bushwackers, excellent use of Lactobacillus. Overall I thought this years beers were better and more exciting than last years, nice work Ezra and Burnside.

  2. The Gigantic and Burnside entries were definitely two of my favorites. I also thought the Oakshire Whack and Unwrap was really strong. Tasted exactly like those foil-wrapped chocolate oranges!

  3. I really enjoyed Flat Tail's Strawberry Mandarin Wit and the 10 Barrel Raspberry Sour. Both of these beers were sour but not overpoweringly so and both very refreshing. I thought Gigantic's Black Saison, aged with chili peppers, was a very interesting beer and I mean interesting in a good way. I have to also say that Short Snouts Blueberry Hibiscus Wheat was very nice as well as was the Oakshire Framboise. This is a nice festival.