Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Venti’s Update, Chili Stout Edition

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

vtweetWhen I first started this blog I planned on dedicating a post a week to tap updates at the Ram, Boones, and Venti’s. I realized after 2 random updates that I don’t enjoy typing out what’s on tap. I think I’ve come to a solution though. Instead of doing a couple posts a week to keep up with what’s going on at Venti’s I just wait for an email and then use copy/paste.

Fort George-Spank’s Chili Stout is on in the Venti’s basement.
Further, Thane, interrupted the Caldera Pilsener to reload the Captured by Porches Amber Ale that was left over from SITC.
Caldera Pilsener is be back shortly.


I’m gonna need to swing by Venti’s tonight or tomorrow night if that chili stout is still on tap. Here’s a bit on it from Jacks mini book on Chili beers over at the Venti’s blog. (BTW, thanks for the correction JR)

The Spank Stout used 30 pounds of Pasilla Habanero, Jalapeno and Anaheim peppers and starts as a mellow full bodied slightly chocolaty stout and slowly grows to a spicy finish that leaves the palate warm and wanting more.

The Importance Of Water

Friday, July 24th, 2009

from theweeklybrew


For those who watched the news last night, or who have been following this story since it broke, you know that Widmer is ticked at the city of Portland. The EPA has ordered that the city puts in place a filtration system for the reservoir. For awhile Bull Run was one of the few reservoirs that managed to dodge the rule requiring the system. A federal court however has ruled that the city must install the system and Widmer is understandably ticked.

Most people don’t understand to what degree that filtering the water can change the flavors of beer. When a brewer wants to brew a specific regional style from another country water is often the most important thing to manipulate. The mineral content is what gives regional beers their distinct quality, and unique flavors. The problem is Widmer doesn’t really produce “regional” beer. So to what degree does this decision effect Widmer? First off filtration would remove all mineral content from the water. This means Widmer, and others, would need to add minerals back into their water in order to maintain a consistent flavor in their beers.

For commercial breweries consistency is one of the most important things for maintaining sales. People want to know that when they pick up a Widmer Heffe that it will taste exactly the same as it did last time. If the filtration system is put in place Widmer would have to use brewing salts in order to maintain a consistent profile. This increases the cost for breweries. But to what degree would breweries have to change? Portland already uses both chlorine and ammonia in the drinking water taken from Bull Run. Undoubtedly these chemicals are all either boiled off or filtered out. My questions is to what degree is the filtration system going to change things? I only wish I had a before and after analysis of the water used in their brewing so I could give a definitive answer.

So what is your opinion on the filtration system? Should Oregon defy federal law as it does on many other things (doctor assisted suicide and medical marijuana come to mind)? If Oregon does defy the EPA during a time when the Environmental Protection Agency has so much power will it be hanging itself in terms of funds?

End of The IPA

Monday, July 20th, 2009

from theweeklybrew


There’s been no doubt for awhile now that the specialty beer of the west coast is the IPA. Both breweries in California and Oregon especially are known for their hoppy brews loaded with lupulin. But apparently that may be changing. A little bit back I commented on the increasing number of herbal beers out there. Personally I thought it was just a trend towards a newer flavor profile. After all if you watch beer trends it’s kind of silly the things they have to do to get the attention of beer snobs. On the 15th though JR Box emailed me an article originally posted at GuestOnTap and Mr. Abe Goldman-Armstrong has a different take.

Double or imperial IPAs that leave taste buds dripping with lupulin have become all the rage in recent years. In 2008, though, they might not be so prevalent.
  Hops, which impart resin and citruslike flavors, are in short supply and cost a pretty penny.
  Don’t blame the brewers in Oregon who pioneered the imperial IPA style or the San Diego brewers who parroted them; they’re not the reason for the shortage. A terrible hop harvest in Europe, increasing demand for hops in Asia and years of low prices pushing farmers out of business have caused the price of hops to leap from under $3 a pound to more than $14 for certain varieties

He points out that not only have prices gone up for hops, but malted barley also. The reality of our beverage is that we may continue to see rising prices for beer that never drop again. But do these rising costs mean the death of the Northwest IPA? Abe’s only interview that he directly quotes is one with Mark Martin. Mark is the owner of Calapooia Brewery in Albany. Mark talks about focusing on his popular beers that have less hops in them. The problem for Mark and other small breweries is that there is very little available in the way of extra hops.

My understanding of hop production is this. If you go out into a hop field one thing you may notice is that large chunks of the crop are earmarked for big breweries and suppliers. Hops aren’t a commodity where everything is dumped in one big pool and then people buy from that pool. Smaller breweries have a hard time squeezing their way into a share. Instead they generally wait and purchase either from a supplier, or wait for the stuff left over after harvest. Since farmers don’t grow extra this leaves suppliers who raise prices due to high demand. This means smaller breweries will have a much higher cost to produce that Imperial IPA that you love so much.

For the last bit Abe points to brewers who are using herbs in their beers. The problem is that places like Roots have been making herbals long before hops have reached their highs. Also he points to New Belgiums experiments with herbs. New Belgium however doesn’t have problems with ho procurement or low profitability of beers due to the large volumes they move. Besides that their not really famous for hoppy beers are they? It would be senseless then to argue this as a sign of switching from hops. More then likely New Belgium is hoping on the herbal bandwagon for sales, not to save costs.

So is this really the begining of the end for over hopped beers? Most likely not. Will we see more variety in terms of herbal beers available? Probably.

Thanks JR for sending in the article.

Honest Pint Future

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009


As I hoped, the honest pint bill failed. I know this view makes the hair on Portland drinkers necks rise and causes them to foam at the mouth. Let’s face it though. The way the bill was written was sillly. The bill provided no incentives for pouring honest pints other then a pat on the back.

Happily though the Honest Pint Project is still alive. I love the grass roots version because it’s about the people doing something themselves to get better pours. I wonder sometimes what Jeffs expenses are though. Maybe he should post them so people who want an honost pint can donate to cover it. Anyway

Jeff has declared this Saturday certification Saturday, and will be visiting pubs with a measuring cup and a camera. The great thing is he’s leaving it open for us to get involved to. If you happen to be swinging by an Oregon pub this Saturday you should bring a camera and 1 pint measuring glass with you, then send the picture and information to him. I’m gonna go out on a limb though and say that you could measure your favorite pubs later then Saturday though.

So here is your opportunity to shape the future of beer in Oregon, not through legislation, but through your own hard work. Get out there and get your favorite pub certified. Let’s take Oregon’s future in our own hands instead of letting politicians do it for us.

from theweeklybrew

Rogue’s Releases

Monday, June 8th, 2009

rogue_logoI’ve gotten in contact with Rogue Brewery, but I can’t say about what yet. The only reason I’m telling you this is in the process of them emailing them back they sent me a list of their ’09 releases. They also let me know that I misspelled John Maier’s name in the tag for the write up I did on John-John. I got it right in the article at least. So here are Rogue’s ’09 releases. If you live in another state and want to do a trade send me an email at If I can get ahold of the bottle you want we’ll do a trade.

Somer Orange Honey Ale:
It’s unique recipe includes sweet orange peel and
Oregon-indigenous Wildflower Honey from Wild Harvest
Honey in Blodgett, OR

Issaquah Brewhouse White Frog:
Hand-crafted ale created by Issaquah brewer Dave Hutchinson using 13 ingredients

Captain Sig’s Norwestern Ale:
Imperial Red, sold in select markets with commercial fishing industry, and
proceeds from Sig’s sales will benefit the Fisherman’s Fund,
a foundation setup by the Hansen families supporting NW charities

Sesquicentennial Ale:
Celebrating Oregon’s 150th Anniversary. Made with Oregon hops, barley, yeast and free range coastal water.
My write up on it

Bad Hop News

Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Picture borrowed from KalamaBrew

Picture borrowed from KalamaBrew

Apparently I’m not the last person to jump on this bandwagon, but I’m certainly not the first. Charlie Papazian reported on it on the 28th of may, and Yesterday Jeff Alworth posted on it.

Apparently on the 26th of May hail storms swept Germany destroying and damaging a sizable amount of Germany’s crops. None of the total figures are in, nor has the total impact been determined. In fact some growers are apparently not expecting a hop shortage in 2009. Even so supplies will be stressed and some homebrewers are starting to worry. Personaly I plan to adapt, brewing with hops that aren’t grown in Germany. The problem is though that if the price of one kind of hops go up then the others may follow.

If you want more info on what’s goin on in the Father Land then check out Charlies article here, or Jeff’s blog here.

Results Of Beer City USA Poll

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Charlie’s poll for “Beer City USA” has closed, and the winners have been announced. Of course accusations of cheating have been leveled, mostly in Portland’s direction, and the trash talking has started. Perhaps more interesting then the results are some of Charlie’s comments about it. Check them out here. Also here are the results in case you don’t want to read the whole thing in an attempt to find them.

Who gets top honors?  I’m honoring both Portland, Oregon and Asheville, North Carolina this year.  They are number one in the east and number one in the west with about 6,000 votes apiece.   What, no definitive Number 1 and Number 2?  Correct.  Is that a cop out?  I don’t think so, but of course beer drinkers are an opinionated group of individuals and may beg to differ. 

Will I conduct a Beer City USA poll next year?   I haven’t decided that yet. 

Now I have to get myself to Asheville for a first time visit and revisit the delights of Portland.

Cheers Charlie,

We may not like your poll much, but we respect you none the less

May Beer Events 2009 Edition

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

liftarn_large_barrelBeen looking around quite a bit lately for festivals in May. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been to two festivals this month, but none of these get me goin. This means I’ll probably take a break from the festivals this month, but you shouldn’t. Get out there and try some beer!

May 1-2 Portland’s Cheers To Belgian Beers

May 9 Fred Fest – This is an event to attend, but tickets are limited. The website does an awesome job of describing it, so I won’t add my 2 cents.

May 11-17 Craft Beer Week

May 15-17   Brewers Memorial Ale FestThis festival is put on by Rogue Brewery in honor of  John Maier’s dog Brewer who used to wonder their brewery. People are encouraged to bring their own dogs to this festival. Admission is $10 and includes three tasting tickets plus activities geared more towards the four legged.

May 16 Oregon Homebrew Festival  Calapooia Brewery keeps coming up in my posts these last few days. Might be coincidence. They are hosting this years events which include a competition, equipment swap, and Raffle

May 29 Zoo Brew – No list for May would be complete without Zoo Brew.

Oregon Gardens Brewfest

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

logo-brewfestsmlWell tomorrow is the first day of the Oregon Gardens Brewfest. If you have time of Friday or Saturday you should swing by. It opens at 4pm on Friday and 12 on Saturday with an admission cost of $15. If anyone is going to be there Saturday around 1 can you let me know? I work Saturday at 1 and it’s when their announcing the home brew contest winners.

Anyway, it deffinatly will be worth going. Besides beer tasting there will be live music and awesome food. In fact some of the vendors are The Oregon Gardens, Rogue, and Mt Angel Sausage. That means no Gyros!!!!! As far as I’m concerned gyros are the nastiest thing now. One thing to know is that on both days on site parking after 4pm will cost you $5.

Here are some of the breweries participating

Belhaven Brewery, Scotland

Block 15

Blue Moon Brewing Company

Calapooia Brewing Co

Cascade Lakes Brewing Company

Deschutes Brewery

Eel River

Full Sail Brewing

Grand Teton Brewing

Hoegaarden Witbier

Kona Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Laughing Dog

Leffe Blonde

New Belgium Brewing

Ninkasi Brewing

North Coast Brewing

Oakshire Brewing

Pelican Pub and Brewery

Ram Restauant and Brewery

Redhook Brewing Co

Rogue Ale & Spirits

Roots Brewing Co

Seven Brides

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Widmer Bros

Young’s Brewing Company

The Numbers Game

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Beervana is definitely up there on my list of favorite blogs to read. Even if I don’t always agree with Jeff he has amazing insight from his years of writing about the beer industry in Oregon. Not only that, but he’s just a darn good writer. So much so it’s hard not to want this blog to be like his sometimes.

Jeff’s been doing some awesome posts about the numbers that The Brewers Association has released. He covers everything from who was booted from their lists, to even graphing out the numbers for breweries by region. This guy definitely deserves props for his passion about the industry. Heck he’s so passionate that he even started the Honest Pint Project. If you got time today give his blog a look. It’s definitely worth it.