Friday, June 1, 2018

Cheers to Belgian Beers 2018: What's Grabbed Our Attention

The 2018 Cheers to Belgian Beers festival will feature 75 breweries, all of which were subject to a dart throw to determine if their beer would need to adhere to "dark or light in color" and "low or high in alcohol content." Dart masters, the ones who hit a bulls eye during the throw were rewarded with selecting their own color and strength. The majority of the beers will be using this year's chosen yeast strain, Precious, as their primary yeast strain. It's a classic Belgian yeast that features a very mild phenolic character balanced with moderate fruitiness. 

This year the festival also gave brewers the option to add a secondary aging strain - Suburban Brett. As fans of Brett yeast, we're especially excited to try those beers that utilized this option. Those include: 

  • Base Camp Danny's Special, a barrel-feremented imperial golden ale
  • Immersion Mighty Madi Belgian-style Tripel (named for their mountain dog Madi)
  • Logsdon Suburban Kriek, a sour red ale with two varieties of cherries, aged in Pinot Noir and Bourbon barrels that previously held an imperial stout
  • McMenamins Crystal Abbot's Habit Belgian Tripel
  • pFriem Oud Bruin
  • Stickmen Raison D'un Petit Verre, a Belgian Dark Strong aged in Rex Hill Pinot Noir barrels
  • Wolf Tree The Full Truck, a Belgian-style Golden Strong
  • Yachats Bullseye, a dank and hazy fruited Brett IPA

Since we know we won't be able to try all 77 beers, here are a few others that caught our eye and are strong contenders to make it in our glass:

  • Ground Breaker D'oh! Flanders Red - We're not gluten-free but we're interested to see what a gluten-free version of one of our favorite styles is like.
  • Mad Cow Off the Griddle and Into the Mash - If nothing else, we gotta give them credit for using Belgian waffles in the mash and real maple syrup in the finish.
  • Occidental Kunstgreep - "Brewed using a mysterious process"? Yeah, that's a good tease.
  • Solera Lotion In The Basket - You had us at "feremented with several strains of Lactobacilli."
  • StormBreaker Van Damme That's Good - We do like chocolate in our beer and our curiosity is peaked with the use of cocoa powder in the kettle and liquid cacao in the bright tank.
  • The Ram Brewery Rare Commodity - Apricots are one of our favorite fruits used in making a beer as they tend to impart both a fruity flavor as well as a lovely, smooth mouthfeel.
  • Vagabond Little James & The Giant Peach - Peaches are a close second to apricots so it would be fun to try these two back to back.
  • Widmer Raspberry Quintuple - Raspberries and chocolate clocking in at 15%? It will either be amazing or amazingly bad and there's only one way to find out.

Now in its 12th year, the festival returns to The North Warehouse and will once again feature an outside tented area with food to be had from Urban German Grill and Monk's Deli. Entry to the 21+ event is free but in order to imbibe tickets are $20 and include beer goblet and 8 tasting tickets, available at the door. And as per usual with festivals around here, additional tasting tickets will be available for $1 each.

Cheers to Belgian Beers
Friday, June 1st 1pm - 9pm and Saturday, June 2nd 12pm - 8pm
The North Warehouse
723 N. Tillamook Street

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