Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Most Pleasant, Least Pleasant, Most Visited

Mag’s been a little busy lately so I’ll take the first step at sharing some of our Portland trip.
The winner for Most Pleasant Surprise goes to Fort George Brewery & Public House in Astoria. I didn’t have too much faith in this place from their website and the fact that they are less than 1 year old but I think I can speak for all of us to say they knocked our socks off! They had 8 beers on tap and the porter was my favorite although the wit, a style I don’t generally like, was pretty darn good.
The winner for Least Pleasant Surprise goes to Laurelwood Public House & Brewery on Sandy Blvd in Portland. After a very nice visit to Laurelwood NW Public House & Brewery on Kearney St on our way back into Portland from Astoria we were looking forward to trying another of the Laurelwood outlets (there’s 3). There couldn’t have been a greater difference between the two places. The Laurelwood on Sandy had too many things wrong to list but probably the most notable were the sorry state of both the men’s and women’s bathrooms, including zero soap in the men’s bathroom closest to the kitchen and a complete lack of interest by the staff in our experience.
The winner for Most Visited goes to Rogue. It was a 5 day trip and we were at Rogue 5 times- 1st on Wednesday at the Portland airport upon our arrival, next at Rogue Ales Public House in Astoria later that afternoon, Thursday on our way back from the coast to Portland at the Rogue Brew Pub & Eatery in North Plains, 1st thing after breakfast Friday morning at Rogue Ales Public House in downtown Portland and our final visit was at 8:00 am Sunday morning again in the Portland airport where we had a pint along with breakfast.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

5 Days, 17 Breweries/brewpubs & 100+ Beers

That’s the short version of our recent trip to Portland with Kat and Scott. The slightly expanded version started with our flight out Wednesday morning. Upon arrival at the Portland airport promptly made our first of many stops, sidling up to the bar at the Rogue airport outpost. A pint of their Hazelnut helped to blot out the memory of spending the last 3 ½ hours on the plane with entirely too many loud, unruly children sired by parents who seem oblivious to their offspring’s effect on those around them. With some Rogue under our belts and a better frame of mind it was off to see about our rental car. Not surprisingly, they had given away our car so we ended up with an upgrade to a Cadillac. After getting enough to the many electronic features down to safely navigate it was out to Astoria for us. 18 hours of beer and a stop on the coast later we were motoring back to Portland, hitting our 3rd Rogue outpost of the trip before getting back into Portland. Thursday through Saturday were spent visiting a fair portion of the Portland beer scene, a couple of tiki joints, a friendly strip club and Voodoo Doughnuts. Detailing it all would take quite a while and might be a bit more boring for those who weren’t there to enjoy it with us but suffice it to say Portland knows how to do beer and it’s never a disappointing trip. I’ll leave the highlights and lowlights for Mag to tackle in more detail. Stay tuned…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fatty Boombalatty

I LOVE that name! Even though it’s a Belgian and therefore not one of my favorite styles the name alone makes this worth trying. To be fair, this is a pretty drinkable beer that Belgian and non-Belgian fans can both enjoy. Not only did we have the pleasure of trying this newest offering from Furthermore, we also got to meet ½ of the Furthermore crew, Chris, at Harvey’s last night. Fatty Boombalatty and Chris…two thumbs up! Harvey’s…well, the fact that they offer FREE tap domestics and rails from 5-7 on Thursday’s says a lot. What it doesn’t say though is that they actually have a pretty decent tap and bottle selection AND tater tots. The crowd isn’t your beer crowd, which is unfortunate but Chris did his best to make converts of them anyway.

Their Knot Stock is my favorite but I’m excited to see what they’ll be brewing up in the future, which until their facility in Spring Green is up and running will continue to be brewed by Aran at Pioneer’s facilities in Black River Falls. It’s great to see a more established craft brewer lending a hand to a new kid on the block. Alcorn Beverage, who also handles Tyranena, is their Twin Cities distributor so if you’re at the store and see Tyranena but not Furthermore, ASK FOR IT…they can get it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

Yes, I know it’s been nearly 2 weeks since our last post but trust us, there’s a good reason for it. Next week is our Portland trip (!!!!!!!) and it would be a shame to use up all of our creative juices writing some dribble just to give you something new to read when soon we should have some pretty gosh darn good stuff to write about. That being said, we’re heading over to Harvey’s to give Furthermore’s Fatty Boombalatty a whirl so if anything really good or really bad happens you just might hear about it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gitchee Gumee 2008

Yet another successful and relatively safe trip to the Gitchee Gumee Brew Fest this year! We went up this year on Friday with Kat and Scott and had a chance to visit a few places we'd not yet been, including Sir Ben's and Thirsty Pagan. Hell, we even watched a few ships come into port. It was almost like a real vacation!

Gitchee Gumee was fun again this year, but its changing. It was still mostly a college crowd and that crowd was reasonably well behaved, but I think the over all quality of breweries and brew pubs went down...kinda sorta. I mean, home town hero Fitger's wasn't there and there were some other notable breweries missing, which was disappointing, but we did get a chance to see some new places (and I'm not talking about Landshark). Upland Brewing (Indiana) was the most memorable one in my mind, especially since the folks there were so damn nice. From a MN Beer perspective, Schell's, Surly, Flat Earth, Rock Bottom, Summit, Lake Superior and St. Croix were there (did I miss anyone?). And we got a chance to catch up with friends and make a few new ones.

Most memorable moment: Seeing some 6'6" dude hold back puke with his hand until he could make it to a garbage can. I mean, come on! Lightweight!

Favorite beer: Scott and I agreed that Muskie Capital's American Pale Ale was our favorite and Kat and Kris agreed that New Glarus' Raspberry Tart took the prize. I also got a chance to enjoy Schell's Stout. I thoroughly enjoyed it (but since 7 out of 10 doctors recommend pales over stouts, my vote goes that way).

Worst moment: Losing at Killer Bunnies...yet again...sonofa...