This Friday and Saturday Cheers to Belgian beers takes place at the North Warehouse, 723 N Tillamook Street. For those who may have heard about the closing of Metalcraft Fabrication that used to be housed there, that closure will not effect the festival as the business and the physical facility had been separated previously. It now functions simply an event space it is once again hosting this unique festival that will feature the B45 Gnome Belgian yeast strain.
Per our usual pre-festival routine we have scoured the list of over 70 beers, identifying the ones we're most excited to try. Since Belgian beers can be hit or miss with us, our preference skews to those with fruit, those that have been soured and those that have been barrel aged. The result is a hit list of 17 beers and we'll do our best to report back on them (but feel free to cyber-stalk us on Untappd).
Yachats Blackberry Sour - A fruited sour? Right up our alley!
pFriem Abrikoos - Just reading the description, a Lambic-inspired ale with 2.7lbs of fresh apricots per gallon, has us salivating.
Thunder Island Gnome de Plum - We're looking forward to see how the use of plums and Lactobacillus influence the Belgian Dark Ale base.
Ex Novo Are You Afraid of the Dark? - A dark fruited Saison, it's fermented with boysenberries and black currants, and sounds fruity-nummy.
The Commons Blackberry Saison - With their overall farmhouse take on beers, we expect them to be on the money with this beer and its "tart, dry, bright fruit profile."
Little Beast Dutchy - This festival is right in Little Beast's strike zone and we're eager to see what brewer/owner Charles Porter's Dark Belgian ale with Montmorency cherries and cacao nibs tastes like.
Culmination Pinot Evil II - To start, that's a great name. Hopefully the 9.5% Tripel that is barrel aged with wine grapes tastes as good as the name sounds.
Back Pedal Prismatic Passion - We're a fan of the more-hoppy-than-Saisony base beer, Prism, and excited about the addition of passion fruit to it.
Migration Quinn and Juice - When we're drinking liquor instead of beer our go-to drink is a gin and tonic so it's no surprise that gin barrel aged beers tend to hit the right notes with us. We hope this Old Tom Gin barrel fermented Belgian Strong Pale follows suit.
Deschutes Death by Brunch - Absinthe is a liquor we're divided about here at Beer Musings. One says yea, one says nay. Should be interesting to see how the Absinthe botanicals and spices used in this Strong Gold fare with our collective taste buds.
Mt Hood Soundgarden Gnome - Our experience with Mt Hood beers is zero but this one has us intrigued. Why? Well, there were no hops and no fruit used but it does contain organic hibiscus flowers and five strains of Lactobacillus. If their claim of "super juicy" is true we suspect it will be a hit with us.
Sasquatch Babarella - A rhubarb Belgian? It might work or it might not but we're game to try it and weigh in.
StormBreaker Kumite IPA - IPAs are definitely in our wheelhouse and this one, described as one with tangerine citrus and tropical aromas reminiscent of pineapple, with a hint of pine sounds lovely.
Baerlic Black with Two Sugars - Another great name and featuring our second favorite beverage - coffee! This may be the first Belgian Dark Strong Ale we've had with cold-steeped roasted wheat and cold brew toddy coffee. Even though we generally take our coffee black, this might be the equivalent of our twice-a-year coffee drink we indulge in.
Three Mugs Lewd Garden Dude - Belgian Strong Dark Ales aren't necessarily in our wheelhouse but points must be given for using the phrase "cockle warming" in the description.
There are a couple beers on the list that we've had previously but one in particular that we may have to have more of at this festival. That beer is Crux In the Pocket. A red wine barrel aged Saison with Brett, it drinks so smooth and so good that you'd never guess it's 9.9%. If you haven't had it, you definitely need to.
Cheers to Belgian Beers
Friday, June 2 1-9pm
Saturday, June 3 12-8pm
North Warehouse, 732 N Tillamook
Tickets, in advance or at the door: $20 (glass + 8 drink tickets)