Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here and I owe everyone who still checks it an apology.

I was promoted shortly after my last post to lead staff at the group home I work at and it took a serious chunk of time out of my weekday. This prompted a discussion with Rachel and we both agreed that I needed to limit the amount of stuff I was doing. It came down to a choice between brewing or writing about beer and well…. brewing beer won out. Since my last post one of my herbal beers took sencond runner up for best in show at the hombrewers classic and that just helped further cement my decicion(herbals don’t usually place that high). Brewing is something I am passionate about doing. Drinking beer and writing about it is something I enjoy.

As of now I don’t have alot of future plans for this blog. This means it will probably sink into obscurity unless I can find a new writer for it. (something I’ve been slacking on).

So for now just know I miss writing and talking with you guys over the comments section. Hopefully I can find someone to take over so it doesn’t die. If I can’t, then have fun over at Beervana ūüėČ

A Great Tasting

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Lately my evenings have been filled with bombers of heavy winter brews thanks to the weather. After all, a long, wet, cold bike ride should not end with a small beer. Cold wet weather calls for something big. Saturday however the clouds parted and enough sun was able to peak through for a beer tasting.

Small was the name of the game as I sent out invites at the beginning of the week. It was a success overall as everything from big winter seasonals to light summer lagers were sampled. Sadly only one pic was taken and tasting notes and a beer casualty list were not kept. The only fact I know is that Scaldis Noel is one amazing beer. I wish I could drink that stuff every day.

Hating on the OLCC

Friday, May 21st, 2010

There’s been an email floating around started by a conversation with Fearless Brewing about a homebrew competition they were (are?) involved with. Someone emailed in telling them that their competition was illegal. Fearless brewing’s response¬†apparently was to start emailing everyone that they were told essentially that it would be illegal to hold a homebrew competition on their premises. Here are the emails.

This became a subject of discussion regarding a recent inquiry from another part of the state, thought you should know about it in advance. This will impact your yearly event that you had recently.
Home brewers are not permitted under ORS 471.403 to provide tastings of their beer (or wine) outside of the home without having a manufacturing license. In order to qualify under the home brewer (or winemaker) exception in 471.403 from the general licensing requirement, all of the requirements in the statute must be met – which means that the beer or wine must be both for home consumption and not for sale. Since this product is not being consumed in the home, the home brewers would not qualify under the home brewer exemption and would be brewing without a license. Sorry to be the bearer of this news, but better now than the day before the event.

Thanks, Leslie

The Leslie in the email is Leslie Kleinkopf, an OLCC inspector. Keep in mind that ORS401.473 doesn’t specifically say this. In fact it says that ORS401.473 doesn’t apply to beer brewed or kept for home consumption and not for sale. The law does not define home consumption. Here’s the law if you want to see it for yourself.

No person shall brew, ferment, distill, blend or rectify any alcoholic liquor unless licensed so to do by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. However, the Liquor Control Act does not apply to the making or keeping of naturally fermented wines and fruit juices or beer in the home, for home consumption and not for sale.

Now here’s the email¬†from Strange Brew Homebrew Club after Fearless¬†“clarified” the OLCC’s stance. Keep in mind all fearless brewing did was forward them their conversation with Leslie.

To keep their working relationship with the OLCC, Fearless brewing and most other brewers that we have held competitions at let their OLCC contact know what is going on. This is what Bennet did again this year. In their true governmental efficiency, they did not get back to Bennet till just recently. It appears that the statute allows the home production of beer, wine etc was amended in 2007. What it does not touch on is the transport of the home made beverages. From a strict interpretation of the statute, we can not even transport a homebrew to another house. I agree with Randy, we need to get an adjustment just like the Washington guys did. We need to get a united front of beer clubs, supply stores and breweries to fix the transport issue. Anyone know a legislator?


Notice how Ted completly changes it from being an issue of providing tastings to transporting those tastings? Anyone else not see transportation not mentioned in Leslies original email? Here’s another on the subject from Ted.


Look at the following email thread, the OLCC does not want us to transport beer to beer club meetings or competitions. As a home brew community we need to get the Oregon Statues revised. We need a united front of home brewers, beer clubs, supply stores and breweries to fix the transport issue. Please pass this to your club president and put it on your next meeting agenda! It is a time for action, I am looking for people to help support the battle, are you willing to help or do you have club members that are willing to help?


 Interestingly the transportation of liquor is governed by ORS471.405 which says

No person shall peddle or deliver alcoholic beverages to or at any place, where, without a license, alcoholic beverages are sold or offered for sale. No licensee shall sell or offer for sale any alcoholic beverage in a manner, or to a person, other than the license permits the licensee to sell

Unofficial interview with Nick, and tasting Black Mamba

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Whew, long title.

So I forgot that tonight was the Gilgamesh Brewing tasting at Venti’s. It would have done me no good if I’d remembered since I had a seat belt diversion class for a traffic ticket. However I was hungry and figured I’d swing by Venti’s. It was unusually full for a Wednesday, and they had both the black mamba and IPA from Gilgamesh on tap. I thought I was in luck. I ordered¬† the veggie thai peanut bowl and a Black Mamba and grabbed a seat next to some familiar looking people without thinking. Turns out it was Nick from Gilgamesh brewing and some of his friends.

Now I never use a conversation with a¬†brewery rep against them when they’re out drinking, and have no clue I’m a blogger. It’s mean. However since Gilgamesh is a buzz brewery at the moment I’ll post the jist of it.

According to Nick his family has been homebrewing for awhile. I believe he said 14 years…. Anyway, Nick had been told by friends who drank their homebrew that he should open a brewery. One day Nick, certain he was going to be fired, called his brother and the two agreed to start a brewery. Gilgamesh was born.

Nick and I talked a bit about the Portland beer market. Nick feels that the IPA is on the decline. He said this is why they had made their flagship an “experimental” herbal¬†beer. Nick has high hopes for it because of it’s reception by Oregon beer drinkers. He also has high hopes for their scotch ale. Apparently I missed free samples of this and their cranberry wheat.

We talked some more about beer before he stepped out for a cigarette, and I stepped out to head home.

Black Mamba

Here are my tasting notes from my cell phone.


Muddy light brown, very opaque. Distinctly muddy to the point where Nick could tell from across the room what I was drinking.


Sweet aroma with strong scents of citrus zest and a muddy herbal aroma. Not unpleasant, but indistinct.


Once again indistinct and muddied (I’m seeing a theme). Cloying sweetness paired with heavy oily citrus flavors. Strong spicy finish that brings a little heat to the party. Nick says the heat is the alcohol and the spiciness is the Belgian yeast. Heats at the wrong point to be alcohol induced though. The spiciness, if caused by the yeast, is overwhelming. It kills the other flavors on your tongue. It’s almost like two different beers. The cloyingly sweet citrusy muddy mess, and the spicy funky beer that finishes warm.


I’m a big fan of herbal beers, and to be honest it wasn’t my favorite. I can see why people like this though. Big bold flavors seem to be what tickles the northwest palate rather then complexity and subtlety. Not the best impression out of the gate, but a decent offering for what is often an under appreciated and under brewed style.

Not Dead Yet

Friday, April 9th, 2010

I was on track to start blogging more. I had a series of posts planned all waiting on research and interviews. I was going to step up and get serious about this blog again. About 2 weeks ago though one of my clients went into crises and¬†life has¬†just been¬†gridlocked since. The good news is that by next month I may start having more free time again and plan on writing once I do. Also, the nature of this blog is going to change. I still want to get some brew knowledge posts out. After all, nothing is more boring then a blog that does just beer reviews and fluff articles on breweries. I want this blog though to be about change. Salem is on the cusp of getting more¬†great beer, but no one is pushing or leading the movement. I’m hoping that I can get some locals who are fans of great beer to participate and possibly we could change Salem’s ways. We’ll see.

Anyway felt bad for not posting in awhile so figured I’d toss up a meaningless update.

Seven Brides In Bottles

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I haven’t heard much blog talk about Seven Brides these days, and¬†I’m wondering how often their beers see taps in the Portland area. That’s neither here nor there though. On my way to work today I swung by Roth’s and saw that Seven Brides finally has their main line up in bottles. Roth’s in North Salem had the LPA, Oatmeal Ellie, Lils Pills, Emily’s Ember, and Black Cat Porter. The bottles labels are simple with the same photo used for each bottle with a different color. This though seems to make the bottles more beautiful.

I know in the past I’ve had a love hate relationship with Seven Brides. My first experience involved Lil’s Pills out of a picnic setup at the Cherry City Music Fest. The beer I tried tasted horrible and I swore off Seven Brides forever I thought. Then, somewhere about May, I began training for a group home opening in Salem. The company opening it was located in Mt Angel, and during my trainings there I heard several people rave about Seven Brides beers. Thinking they deserved a second chance I swung by the brewery one day after work. Jeff was friendly and between him and their Ember he won me over as a fan. Over the year I’ve had a few interactions with Jeff DeSantis, and have grown fond of Lil’s Pills, Ellies Ember, and if I’m in the mood the Black Cat Porter. I have however found other beers they make no bueno

Anyway if you can’t find ’em on tap give a bottle a try.

Laptop Down

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

My laptops power cord has ceased functioning again which means that a review of OPA is on hold. I will however try to get some stuff done in the mean time.

Giving the Gift of Beer

Friday, December 18th, 2009

As a beer lover I have often received the gift of beer from friends and family. I’ve also been asked many times what beers to give as gifts. With the holidays upon us it seemed relevant to discuss what constitutes a good beer gift.

How to pick that special beer.

Most people look at any beer over $10 a bomber as overpriced. The sad part is sometimes they’re right. Not all beers are created equal and that’s something to keep in mind, especially if you want to find that perfect beer. First off consider what the person likes. Are they a fanboy of any particular brewery? If so you might consider¬† looking for rare beers from that brewery. Look for things like 1 or 2 year old beers, vertical set ups¬†(different year releases pf the same beer), or just really hard to get limited¬†editions. For example if¬†they are a Deschutes Brewery¬†fan you could consider a vertical set up of Jubelale, a hard to find bottle of their 20th anniversary¬†wit,¬†or a line up of the 2009 Bond St series.¬†A good site is liquidsolutions.

What if they don’t have a favorite brewery? Then the next step up is style. My cousins husband is a big fan of IPA’s, especially Stones. When she wanted to get him a special beer¬† for his birthday I gave her a short list of IPA’s similar to Stones. Beeradvocate is very handy for figuring this out as well as a person with a good knowledge of beer. Verticals apply to style as well. Not every beer drinker understands what happens to their favorite beer as it ages. For many vertical tastings are an eye opening experience.

Lastly what if they’re pretty dead set in their beer drinking ways? My grandparents are Busch light drinkers and nothing but Busch light. In this case I’d refrain from buying them beer as a gift. If your adamant though then look at paraphernalia pertaining to that beer. If their not the kind that enjoys beer related decor then you could look at getting¬†cases of their favorite. This is especially handy if they drink a higher priced beer.

Hopping Rates For Burton IPA’s

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I spent yesterday searching for charts on hopping rates for various Burton brewers, but it all came to naught. The only one I’ve managed to dig up¬†are IPA hop rates¬†from Designing Great Beers. These figures¬†were compiled into a book by Amsinck called Practical Brewings and put into a¬†table in Designing Great Beers. I’ve spent a good two hours today trying to locate the original figures from Amsinck online since I know there is more info that Daniels left out of his book. Sadly Practical Brewings is not in any online archive yet and since it was published in 1868 and doesn’t seem to have been rereleased there seems to be no chance of snagging a copy.

The figures in this table are from 1868 (the year it was published) and also from Burton brewers. From the late 1700’s through the 1800’s strong ales and heavily hopped beers were more in vogue so these figures by no means represent the rates of original London IPA’s

OG Hops (lbs per bbl) Water Dry Hops Apparent Attenuation
1.052 8 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 68%
1.058 6.25 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 69%
1.064 7 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 78%
1.064 5.75 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 80%
1.067 8.5 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 78%
1.067 8.125 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 69%
1.067 7.5 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 65%
1.067 7.25 lbs hard water 1.5 lbs 73%
1.067 7 lbs soft water 1.5 lbs 63%

It’s worth noting that Amsinck narrows the field on what an IPA is apparently not on wether it was named IPA or exported to India, but rather on these 9¬†obscenely¬†high hop rates. This skews the hop figures for IPA’s

Happy Lager Day

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Ok, raise your hand if you knew about this. Anyone?? Beuller??

I have no clue why there is a National Lager Day nor could I find out. In fact if it wasn’t for Rachel listening to the radio this morning I still wouldn’t know. Anyone have anymore on this obscure holiday? Regardless of why it exists it’s a good excuse to drain a couple pints of good lager. I recommend Friesian Pilsener from Leavenworth Biers. Ironically I think it still happens to be on tap at Venti’s.