Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prepping You for the Portland Fruit Beer Festival

The Portland Fruit Beer Festival is coming your way this weekend (June 8th and 9th) and it's one you don't want to miss. I had the opportunity to sample a handful of the beers that will be offered at this year's festival and while it came as no surprise, I was still astounded by the creativity and craftsmanship that went into these beers.

Some of the previewed beers were of the variety that probably first comes to mind when you hear "fruit beers" - light in color and very refreshing. Among these were two collaboration beers - Upright with Bushwhacker and Hopworks (HUB) with Automatic Brewing - and an offering from The Commons.

The Barrel-Aged Citrus Wit, the collaboration beer from Upright Brewing and Bushwhacker Cider, offers a light aroma and flavor from the Seville and blood oranges used. A refreshing beer, I suspect this will be a crowd favorite.

Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) collaborated with Automatic Brewing out of San Diego, CA to create HUB-O-Matic Brewing Tiger Tonic. This "Cascadian Fruit Wit" is loaded with tropical fruit aroma and flavor coming not only from the fruits used in brewing but also from the hops and yeast. You can geek out with the full details by clicking on the picture to enlarge it or just trust me when I say that if you're a fan of tropical fruits, you'll enjoy this.

One of my favorite beers of the preview came from The Commons - Biere Royale. This beer is one for the tart/sour beer lovers. It was made with spelt, flaked wheat, black currants, two lacto strains and get this...Nancy's yogurt. Check out Sean talking about the beer for more on the yogurt part and add this to your "must drink" list, my sour friends.

There were also a couple that used darker fruits - Burnside Baltic Porter and Lompoc Barrel-Aged Cherry Wheat. The brewers at Burnside combined dates, figs and blueberries with a California Common yeast and then barrel-aged the beer. The result is an 8.5% ABV beer that while dark in color and loaded with fruit flavor, avoids feeling heavy.

Bryan Keilty, head brewer at Lompoc, also barrel-aged his beer. Starting with a base of Willy's Wheat and then adding 200 pounds of sour cherries, the beer spent two months in Port barrels, followed by another 18 months of aging. As with Burnside's beer, the color may lead one to think the beer will be heavy but it remains light and drinkable at 5.5% ABV.

In addition to beers, there will also be some ciders at the festival, including an outstanding one from 2 Towns Ciderhouse. Their Rhubarbarian started out with two and a half tons of fresh rhubarb being put through an apple press and resulted in a 6.9% ABV funky, tart rhubarb cider. Watch yourself with this one though as you'll hardly detect any alcohol in it and it'll go down so easy you'll be cueing up for more.

Portland Fruit Beer Festival
Saturday, June 8th 11 am - 9 pm & Sunday, June 9th 11 am - 6 pm
Burnside Brewing Co., 701 E Burnside
Ticket info & beer list

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like heaven to me-especially that sour beer with yogurt! I'm intrigued.