Today is the first day of the 11-day run of PDX Beer Week and the number of events going on throughout town is staggering. Since most of us have jobs, families and other commitments you'll have to pick and choose from the too-many-to-count events. Today alone there are 16 events to choose from (some of which are multi-day) but one aspect of the Week that is more widely accessible is the food and beer tie-ins.
The official beer is Hop Berry IPA, made by Culmination Brewing and utilizing Oregon Fruit Products' marionberry puree. 15 batches of this 7.1% ABV, fruit-forward IPA were brewed on their 5bbl system which kept the brewers busy but should also ensure that there will be plenty - on tap and in bottles - to go around throughout Beer Week.
On the food side there is one of the best accompaniments to beer, an official pizza, as well as an official donut and official ice cream. We had a chance to try all of them at a preview and boy did we enjoy that!
Pizza - Hotlips Pizza has once again created a special pizza for Beer Week. We tried the beta version a month ago and it was good but it's also clear that they have refined the pizza. The result is an amplification of the kimche flavor that pairs oh so well with the Pear and Ginger Hotlips soda-glazed pork belly. Throughout beer week you'll be able to snag a slice and a pint of Hopberry IPA for $8.
Donut - Made by Blue Star, it's gorgeous to behold thanks to the dehydrated fruit used to dust the outside of the fruity, cream-filled brioche donut. As with the ice cream, this sweet treat has a restrained sweetness, which is appreciated. When eaten alongside the beer it accentuates the hoppiness of the beer. So have it anytime of day, with or without a beer sidekick.
Ice cream - Made by Salt & Straw with marionberries and hops steeped in the cream mix, the flavor is designed to be an ice cream clone of Culmination's Hop Berry IPA. The berries take center stage initially with the hops taking over on the back end. It's an interesting flavor combination but hey, that's what Salt & Straw is known for and we applaud their abilities to use non-standard ingredients. Eat it alone or have a beer float!
One item that we weren't able to preview is Lardo's Beer Week sandwich. We're huge fans of everything Lardo turns out so we have no doubt that their cold fried chicken with blue cheese, bacon, pickles and butter lettuce will be phenomenal. In addition, both Lardo locations will host "pop up pub" events with Culmination taking over the taps downtown and Melvin moving in at the SE location through the 15th.
All of these will delectable delights be available throughout PDX Beer Week at their respective retail locations (as well as at select events) for your eating enjoyment.
Check back tomorrow for a look at some of the events that have us most excited.