Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

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?

June Events

Friday, June 12th, 2009

dadoprom_helianthusHmmm what to say about the events coming up in June….. I got nothin. There are some good ones on here though so give some of em a try.

North American Organic Brewers Festival           June 26-28
I’m not big on the whole organic movement, but I kinda want to attend this one. To bad I won’t be able too. There are alot of great breweries, and many of the beers on the list look to be herbal, so will be worth it. Admission is free, but if you want to taste it will cost you $6 for a glass to taste with and $1 each for samples. It’s more spendy then other beer festivals, but looks like it may be worth it.

2009 Brewers Summer Games                                  June 20
This one sounds more fun then beer oriented. Cost is free and you get to watch brewers from around Oregon compete. It’s at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City with all proceeds going to the charities. This is a family friendly event.

Oregon Brews and BBQs                                             June 19-20
This even takes place in the Granary District in McMinnville Oregon. Cost is $5 which includes a souvineer cup. All proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Come help Oregon by drinking beer.

Future Of Beer?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Man I didn’t get a single comment on my April Fools Day post yesterday. The compitition is still on, so get your friends to vote.

futureI’ve been pondering a lot on where the craft beer industry may be headed, and it seems I’m not the only one. With the crazy growth that micro brewers have been experiencing since the 80’s slowing, and the big brewers getting in the game people are starting to think ahead. The glory days of easy money for brewers have been approaching an end in the Northwest for awhile now. We’ve had longer then the rest of the country to develop a taste for what good beer is. The problem is some brewers are no longer as concerned about profit, they want growth, and I think the market will respond.

 If Brewers Alliance, and other beer stock is any clue of the future then may be changing. Several years ago all it seemed to take to make a profit in the microbrew industry were some good homebrew recipes, some old dairy equipment converted into brewery equipment, and an endorsement from beer snobs. So what’s changed?

 One of the first things is it’s getting crowded. Not everyone is content with being a brewpub anymore. They want to see their beer in bottles around the state. Already with the number of imports, commercials, plus the in and out of state microbrews the beer isle is crowded. This amazing amount of choice may make it hard for the smaller microbrewers to break outside of their local communities.

 Another impact is that the big brewers caught on have been releasing their own version of craft beers, and often it seems they are keeping pace with microbrews at restaurants and bars. With beers out there like blue moon the big guys have shown that they’re taking the threat craft beer posses to them seriously, and that they want to continue in the industry.

 Lastly some microbrews are growing too large. Just visiting the Deschuttes brewery was enough to bring this home to me. These larger microbrewers like Sierra Nevada, Deschuttes, Widmer, Sam Adams, and others have carved out a nich in the market through hard work. The problem is they have gained brand loyalty from their customers, and that may be bad news for start ups in their communities.

Is this a bleak outlook for beer? Not really. It just means the industry may start settling down for the time being. People are content with a beer being a beer, and this idea of finding a holy grail of beers looks to be loosing interest. Could I be wrong in my prediction? There’s a good possibility I am. Im neither an economics expert, nor am I a brewery owner. These are just things I’ve observed lately in Oregons beer market.

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

liftarn_large_barrelI am ashamed to admit that I have never been to one of Oregons beer festivals, and I’ve lived here all my life. It’s sad really. To be honost prior to this year I didn’t even know there were any festivals outside of Octoberfest and the one at Riverfront Park. However, thanks to the education provided by writing this blog, my friends, and my Uncle Tom I will attend multiple festivals this year. Here’s a list of festivals coming up in April.

Oregon Spring Beer and Wine Festival

This is the big one in April for me, and one of the festivals I will attend. That reminds me, I need to get the day off for it…. This is the festivals 15th year, and supposedly there will be 90+ beers to sample, plus wine, mead, spirits, cheese, artisan chocolate, and probably whatever else they can get in the building . The event is noon – 11:00 on the 10th and 11th at the Oregon Convention Center. Check out their website for more info

Oregon Gardens Brewfest

The Oregon Gardens Brewfest is in the J. Frank Schmidt, Jr. Pavilion on April 25th and 26th. There will be beer sampling, food, live music, and a Homebrew Compitition. The cost is $15 and $5 parking. I’m still not certain about wether I should go to this one. In order to go I’d have to take another day off, and two beer festivals in one month might be a bit to much. So if you happen to be heading out to Silverton that weekend, or you have a free day then head down. For more info on this event check out their website.

Hair Of The Dog Earth Day Sale

I have never tried any beers from Hair of the Dog, but a big beer sale bonanza is good news in my book. The sale is on April 25 starting at 10 am and ending at 4 pm at their brewery. For all you greenies out there this would be a good bet for you since Hair of the Dog has gone organic.