Return might not be exactly the right word since Short Snout Brewing out of Milkwaukie never actually went away and rebirth is a bit too dramatic so maybe it's more appropriate to say reemergence. Long time homebrewer Brian VanOrnum started Short Snout Brewing in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign (which received coverage by Thrillist and the Oregonian) that raised over $16,000, exceeding the $15,000 goal he set. With the campaign funds Brian was able to upgrade his homebrewing system to a 1.5bbl system and install a fermentation room and cold room/keg storage area in the former garage. On April 28, 2012 Brian had his first batch and signature offering, Short Snout Stout, kegged and ready to go. That year also saw participation in Rye Beer Fest with Rye-teous Dude rye stout and fall brewing of Dank Nugs - Fresh/Wet Hop beer with estate-grown hops. Then things slowly trailed off...
Fast forward to February of this year and the lights started to come back on. Brian began posting Facebook updates of brewing again, an Instagram account was established and he received coverage by The New School. This past week Brian contacted me that were samples available and kegs of Short Snout Stout and Wiggle Butt Wit ready to go. Why would he contact me you may be asking? As it turns out I, along with #pdxbeergeeks founder Michael Umpress, are working to get Brian's beer on taps around town. Starting out we'll focus primarily on east side and north establishments, places we and other beer geeks tend to frequent.
Due diligence is my nature and while I'd tasted plenty of Short Snout's beers in the past it had been a while. Over the last couple of days I've tried both the wit and the stout they are both great. Wiggle Butt Wit is exceptionally balanced and mild on the coriander notes, something I appreciate. Fans of more assertively flavored wits might not be satisfied but it will likely be a crowd pleaser as the weather warms and we're looking for an easy drinking summer beer.
Short Snout Stout may seem like a bit of an odd choice to be rolling out this time of year until you try it. The brewery's signature offering gives off a roasty aroma with a jet black, opaque color. There's enough sweetness to provide a quick thought of chocolate milk up front before the roastiness and Columbus hops kick in. The combination and sequence of flavors made me ready to dive back in, sip after sip until I found my pint drained.
A keg of stout has been delivered to Bridgetown Beerhouse just off of N Mississippi and another will be showing up at The BeerMongers on SE Division shortly. The wit is currently on tap at Captured Beer Bus in SE, in the food cart pod behind the former location of Coalition Brewing's taproom, and Michael and I have been in contact with other locations so keep your eyes and ears open to find out where else you can get your hands around a pint.