Monday, September 29, 2014

PSA: Daily Pint & Growler Discounts

Somehow we've made it nearly to the end of September which means the holidays aren't far behind. Whether you're thinking it might be wise to rein in the beer spending a bit or thinking ahead to showing visitors that we not only have amazing beer here but you can get it for amazing prices, here's a round up of deals on pints and growlers.

$2.50 pints at Fire on the Mountain (3 locations), Lompoc Tavern and Lompoc Oaks Bottom
$3 pints at Migration Brewing

$1 off pints at Culmination Brewing
$8 growler fills at McMenamins (all locations; beer chosen by each location)

$10 growler fills at Culmination Brewing

$2 pints at Base Camp (on select beer until keg blows)
$2.50 pints at Lompoc 5th Q and Lompoc Hedge House
1/2 price pints at EastBurn
$3 pints at Alameda, The Hoppy Brewer and all Rogue Meeting Halls (tiki shirt required)
$10 growler fills at Fire on the Mountain (3 locations) and PDX U-Brew

1/2 price growler fills at Portland Brewing with regular menu item purchase

$3 pints at Burnside Brewing and PDX U-Brew
$8 growler fills at Mad Greek Deli and Occidental Brewing
$10 growler fills at PDX U-Brew

$2 pints at Portland Brewing (after 6pm)

$2 pints at Laurelwood Brewing NE in Brewers Den (after 3pm, one beer until the keg blows)
$2.50 pints at Mad Greek Deli (after 6pm)

$3 pints at Carts on Foster Pod Bar
$9 growler fills at Pints Brewing

2-4-1 growler fills at Portland Brewing

$6 growler fills at Alameda Brewing

$2 pints at The Standard

$3 pints at Sparky's Pizza (SE Belmont)
$8 growler fills at Migration Brewing

$2.50 pints at Martha's inside Revolution Hall (4-6pm)
$3 pints at all Lardo locations (3-6pm)
$3 pints at Sizzle Pie (4-7pm)
$3 pints at My Father's Place (M-F 4-6pm, 10pm-12am)
$7 growler fills at Hot Lips Pizza (after 8pm)
$9 growler fills at 39th Mini Mart (SE 39th Ave; on selected beer of the week)

$9 growler fills at Carts on Foster Pod Bar ($12 for cider)

I'm sure there are a few similar deals on pints and growler fills around town that have gone undetected by my radar. If you know of any ($3 & under pints/$10 & under growler fills), leave a comment and I'll add them to the post. Your fellow drinkers thank you.

Last updates made 7/22/2016

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Weekend of Feast-ing

This past weekend was a fitting one to say an official good-bye to summer (today is the Autumnal Equinox) and the perfect weather for all of the Feast Portland events that took place. I was fortunate enough to have been asked to attend and "report back" by my friends over at #pdxbeergeeks. If you're so inclined, pop on over there to read about my visits to the Grand Bounty and Brunch Village.

Warning: not responsible for any resulting drool puddles or seemingly inexplicable cravings.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Two Firsts: Enjoying a Scottish Ale & Being on Live Radio

Recently I had the opportunity to be on the radio for the first time as a guest on Ginger Johnson's weekly show, Beer Radio, on KSKQ 89.5 FM. Not only would we be talking about all things beer but its timeslot lands conveniently during happy hour so it only seemed appropriate that I have a glass of hop goodness to whet my whistle during the show.

Shortly before "go time" I opened the fridge and pulled out a recent beer mail gift - Noble Scot from Portland Brewing. This fall season is not a style that I usually drink as many Scottish Ales I've had in the past have been too malty or sweet for my palate. However as I have mentioned before, beers are continually surprising me so dove in with an open mind and palate. What I found was a slightly sweet aroma and beautiful, rich amber color once poured. Contrary to my memory of Scottish Ales past, there was a pleasant nutty flavor that I found quite enjoyable from the first sip to the bottom of the bottle.

At 6.5% it is an easy drinking beer and suitable for times, like live radio, when one needs to keep their wits about them. Perhaps you'll grab a bottle and que up the archived version of Beer Radio to listen to me ramble on about my favorite beverage.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Collaboration Brews - Taking it to the Next Level

Collaboration beers are fairly common place these days and with the trend continuing, it's evolving in new and interesting iterations. A friend recently gave me Whatcom Wheat, a collaboration of all nine Whatcom County (WA) breweries for Bellingham Beer Week, which starts today. In addition to some groovy, eye catching artwork on the 16 oz can, the beer itself was pretty good. Wheat beers are tricky waters for me to forge as if find strong banana and clove flavors displeasing. When I cracked this can open there was a distinct banana aroma that triggered my internal caution lights but it was for naught. Contained in the can was a well-balanced wheat beer that if it was available in my home market I'd happily buy more of.

Over the summer, as I'm sure you've heard about was the nationwide tour/campaign/distribution from Sierra Nevada - Beer Camp. Not only did they collaborate with 12 breweries across the country for their 12-pk but they went to the next level by making a national tour out of it. Even with Eugene-based Ninkasi being one of the breweries involved, Oregon missed out on being a tour stop. While I was sad about that, I was fortunate to attend a Beer Camp event at The BeerMongers where they had all 12 beers on tap. I previously blogged about my favorites, one of which came from Asheville Brewers Alliance, the only one of the bunch that was a new brewery to me. Nonetheless, Beer Camp allowed me to have beers from some breweries that aren't generally available in this market. For that alone I applaud the effort.

Recently a third collaboration caught my eye. 20+ brewers in North Carolina brewed a gose containing only ingredients from the state. I'm a big fan of that style but based on this Charlotte Business Journal article, it'll be unlikely I'll have a chance to see what this many "cooks in the kitchen" whipped up. Only eight barrels were made and beyond the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC and the breweries' own tap rooms, the only other place it will be making an appearance at is the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The GABF pouring is one that the breweries hope will enhance North Carolina's up and coming craft beer scene. Kudos to them.

How about you, have you been noticing more and more collaboration beers? What do you think of the idea or the beers themselves if you've had a chance to try them?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Thundercone in the Making

As you read this, fermenters across the McMenamins empire are filled with batches of 2014 Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale. In what is certainly no small feat, 1120 pounds of Brewers Gold hops from Sodbuster Farms were delivered to all 22 McMenamins brewing locations yesterday. It took a fleet of eight drivers just under five hours to drop off the fresh hops. From there the brewers went to work.

I had a chance to visit the Concordia Brewery, housed at the Kennedy School, as brewers Dave Kosanke and Matt Carter spent a full day brewing a double batch. Walking into the brewery I was hit with the familiar, but always just as pleasing, aroma of my favorite beverage being made. Coming in pre-sparge of the second batch, it wasn't until Dave opened the bag of fresh hops that I was treated to the bright scent of fresh hops.

During the brewing I had a chance to get a little history on Dave that included finding out he's an IA/MN transplant like me, although he's been calling Oregon home for much longer. He's been with McMenamins since 2001 where he started out as a bartender...a bartender that was also a home brewer. Attending a formal brewing program was something that Dave had looked into but before he got around to making it happen a brewing internship opened up at Edgefield.

In the two and a half years since then he's been working in the "cozy" facility at Concordia that turns out 300 kegs per month. Both Dave and Matt are big fans of lagers, with last year's Doppelbock being one of the favorites created. They would jump at the chance to brew lagers more often, but time and space constraints make turning out ales the majority of their production.

Thundercone will be hitting the tap lines Friday, September 19th. As with all fresh hop beers, it probably won't last long.

Geek Info:
Malts: Canada Malting Superior Pilsen Malt, Franco Belges Caramel Munich 40
Hops: Chinook, Fresh Brewer's Gold hops
OG: 1.061  TG: 1.013  ABV: 6.19%  IBU: 56  SRM: 7

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hoppy Brewer: A Reason to Visit Gresham

Gresham is an easy place to poke fun at -my friend who lives there even makes fun of it - but like most places there are not nice parts of town and other parts that are just fine. Downtown Gresham falls into the latter category and is actually quite quaint. My friend who lives there frequents The Hoppy Brewer, a home brew shop/brewery/bar, which is similar to Sellwood's PDX U-Brew. With nothing planned Labor Day Monday we decided it was high time to make the "trek" to Gresham to check it out.

Nestled among a multitude of storefronts on N Main Street in downtown Gresham, we did a quick walk through of the indoor space before quickly settling down at a table on their patio. Nearly before we finished checking out the tap list, the friendly beertender came over to take our order. With only one house-brewed beer on tap at the time, I jumped right on it before giving the name, Fiesta Ceraveza, too much thought. There was no style listed and with an ABV of 5% I was somewhat fearful of a lager or pilsner but was determined that regardless of style I wanted to give Krauski's Brewskies, the name of the brewing entity, a try.

As it turned out I was in love with the beer from the first sip! I'm a sucker for sour beers and this one was refreshing, perfect for the first of the day. I was a bit confused by its listing as a chili beer on Untappd until I had a chance to talk to owner and brewer Steve. Brewed in June, he used mild poblano chilies, which he said were much more pronounced initially. This was the last keg of it and he agreed that the chili flavor had faded, leaving the sourness to dominate. Once the chili seed had been planted in my head I could faintly pick it up.

In addition to the beer, we knew we had to check out the restaurant that shared the patio with The Hoppy Brewer - The Local Cow. Strange name but delicious food! Mag went with our friend's go-to order of caprese sliders with the addition of meat patties and I couldn't resist the pimento cheese-bacon-roasted jalapeno-goat slayer sauce pull of the El Chupacabra. While he enjoyed the sliders, Mag agreed my burger was outstanding and one of the best, if not the best, burger we've found in the Portland area. And their bleu fries certainly rival Breakside's.

So the next time you're looking to try something a little out of your regular flight path, I encourage you to check out The Hoppy Brewer. They'll soon have their 25+ tap set up complete, presumably with more house beers available. Add on a meal from The Local Cow and I dare you to say it isn't worth the trip.