Sunday, June 5, 2011

Single Hop Fest

Amnesia, one of the breweries that have stood out in my mind since my first visit to Portland, put on an 11 beer mini-festival on what ended up being a supremely gorgeous day. Having previewed the line up at The New School in advance I was particularly interested in Amnesia’s Cream of the Crop variation, Cream of the Hop, that would be run through their Hopperator, Migration’s Black IPA and Double Mountain’s Clusterf#%k.

Of the three the only disappointment was Cream of the Hop. Maybe it was the style, Cream, maybe it was the hops, Crystal, maybe it was the Hopperator. Whatever it was, it just didn’t do much for me and as my first beer of the fest is wasn’t the way I was hoping to start things off. Thankfully things looked up considerably from there on out.
Being partial to Black IPAs or CDAs, I was eager to see how Migration’s Black Hearted Black IPA turned out. Beautiful dark brown/black in color with a creamy head, this beer was as good as I was hoping for (maybe better even) although it did require a bit of patience to allow it to warm up from the chilly temperature it was served at. I’d love to see this go into the regular rotation at Migration, but if nothing else it should most certainly go into their seasonal rotation.

I was able to hold off trying Double Mountain’s Clusterf#%k until I was nearly half way through the offerings. Not only was it the best named beer, I really enjoyed the flavor and will now be on the lookout for others that use Cluster hops.

Overall it was a great, small fest. You’ve heard me rant about all the festivals out here using tickets instead of a single entrance fee and although tickets were once again in play at this fest, there were a couple of big differences that helped diminish that inconvenience.
1)      With only 11 beers to try getting through all of them was doable and instead of committing a full day it was something that could be done in just a couple of hours.
2)     For once the pourers were not stingy on the pours, which I’m especially appreciative of when each sample is $2.
3)     There were detailed, laminated descriptions of each beer atop the cooler it was being poured out of well as a jar of the hop variety each beer was brewed with. It was an added touch that allowed a side-by-side sniff comparison of a raw ingredient and the finished product. For some the aroma of the beer mirrored the aroma of the hops while with others it was less clear.
Hopefully the fest was successful enough so that it’ll be held next year so that if you didn’t make it this time around, you’ll have another opportunity. You can bet I’ll be there.

1 comment:

  1. Love that Clusterf#%k name too. Sounds like they got it right to add the hop variety on the side for smelling. Cool feature that should be repeated elsewhere!