Monday, February 1, 2016

Third Time is a Charm at NW Coffee Beer Invitational

While the first two years of the NW Coffee Beer Invitational were good, in its third year it was even better. The overall quality of the beers continued an upward trend and it was great to see some new breweries in the mix. Some tickled my taste buds more than others so without further ado, my top four.

Fire on the Mountain Brewing - Caffe Corretto - "A rich stout conditioned with fresh cold pressed coffee from Spella Caffe. Further aging on star anise, vanilla and a splash of Sambuca replicates the traditional and delicious Italian coffee drink in beer form. 6% ABV" I'm in the camp that loves anise flavor and this one hit all the right notes for me.

Feckin Irish Brewing - Feckin Shipwreck - "This is what would have been drunk by sailors shipwrecked off the Caribbean islands circa 1750. Its roots are made of Feckin's Double Irish Oatmeal Porter. The addition of coffee, from Happyrock Coffee Roasting, unlocks notes of rum, fresh coconut and vanilla beans. 6.7% ABV" Here, too, is a beer which is a like/dislike depending on your stance on coconut. It's not as overpowering as something like Oskar Blues Death By Cocount or Town Hall Three Hour Tour and may be even more deliciously drinkable from the standpoint that the coconut is more subtle and the ABV lower.

The man of the hour, Dave Fleming.
Buoy Beer Co. - Coffee Brown Porter - "This brew combines perfect elements to create a flavorful beer for you to pair with breakfast or to warm up with on a rainy day. Oats and roasted barley build the beer's rich foundation and in the secondary conditioning. Additions of hazelnut and Columbia River Coffee Roaster's dark roast coffee bring distinctive flavors to the brew. 6.5% ABV" Outstanding combination of beer/coffee/oatmeal that screams to be drunk for breakfast. At that ABV one might just get away with doing so.

Widmer Brothers Brewing - Brrrbon with coffee - "Brrrbon is the winter seasonal Brrr placed in a single use Bourbon barrel with a fresh charge of live yeast for secondary fermentation followed by 13 months of aging. The beer was able to find its way deep into the staves of the barrels and suck out every last drop of bourbon flavor and essence. Then we added a half pound of Stumptown Ethiopian Duromina coffee per keg. Chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, vanilla, coffee and bourbon dominate the nose. Those flavors continue across the palate with a fulfilling smooth finish. 13.1% ABV" A beer this big could come across hot, unbalanced or simply too much but this one does none of those things and drinks more like 8%. Dangerously delicious.

Didn't make it to the festival? Here's the information I have to date on where and when you can find beers you missed.

54° 40' - Due to its popularity they'll be brewing more, which will be available in their taproom in Washougal most likely by 2/10.

Burnside Brewing - Per their 2/3 Facebook post, it is currently on tap.

The Commons - Only one keg is left, which will be available in their taproom, possibly as early as this week and is on tap as of 2/4 per their Facebook post.

Everybody's Brewing - They'll be bottling their entry in 22oz bottles this week with first availability at The BeerMongers and Belmont Station.

Lompoc - It's currently on tap at all Lompoc locations (and it just so happens Miser Monday is taking place today at Lompoc Tavern and Oaks Bottom Public house...yeah for $2.50 pints!).

Lucky Lab - Only one keg is left and it is going on today (2/1) at the SE Hawthorne location only.

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