So… this being my very first blog entry, I thought I would begin with the most recent visit to a great brewery in a great town. The Golden Valley Brewery in McMinnville, OR! Whoot! Whoot!
THE BAR: The brewery is nestled in the historic district of McMinnville, OR in what used to be a 1920’s warehouse. Rumor has it the massive solid wood and stained glass back bar and bar top used to be the bar that was located in the historic Hoyt Hotel in Portland, OR. Well, the story goes that the hotel burned down and the only thing left standing was the beautiful bar which now stands inside Golden Valley. Whether the story is true or not, the bar is quite stunning.
THE BEER: I highly recommend ordering what I dubbed the “sampler rainbow.” Basically, the sampler consists of all the Golden Valley beers on tap – including their seasonal ale and it is served on a LARGE curved plank of wood about 2 ft long. I started off with the Red Hills Pilsner. Great caramel flavor and floral aroma that would go well with a burger. Another one of my favorites was the Third Street Wheat. Now, I love a wheat beer and this one did not disappoint. It had the great banana clove aroma and flavor that I adore and a great clean finish. Yum! The Red Thistle Ale was a very pretty beer. The color was that deep red and there was a great crisp toastiness that made me want to find the nearest fireplace and blanket. Scott chose the Chehalum Mountain IPA. Now, I’m not much of an IPA fan. To me an IPA is the equivalent of sucking on an orange rind.
Scott, on the other hand, is not satisfied with an IPA until the hop taste is so strong it causes an aneurism. Needless to say, Scott really liked the IPA. And I have to admit the IPA is a really nice beer. Yes, there was a lot of hoppines to it, but it was very smooth and I actually enjoyed it. Great floral, hop aroma and I think anyone who is not an IPA fan will enjoy it. Next up, our two disappointments: the Perrydale Pale and the American Pale Ale. Both beers really fell flat from what we were expecting. Both ales were very water and Scott even compared the Perrydale Pale to Budweiser. Sad, we had such high hopes.
Getting back on track we next sampled the Dundee Porter. When it’s cold, gloomy, rainy/snowy, nothing beats a good porter. The Dundee saved our tasting experience and put a smile back on our faces. Chocolate, coffee, and malts really set this one right. I was suddenly in the mood for thick sweaters, mittens and a snow hat. Next on the tasting rainbow was the chocolatey goodness of the Muddy Valley Oatmeal Stout. Golden Valley uses chocolate malts for this black beauty and it really comes through in both taste and aroma. I loved this beer! Last on rainbow was the seasonal Tannen Bomb (yes, it’s really spelled that way). Now this was an interesting beer and the flavor and aroma reminded me of hard liquor. And it’s no wonder! Golden Valley uses 120lbs of hops per barrel making this winter warmer 8.8% A.B.V. If you like hard liquor, you will really enjoy this particular brew.
Overall, we really enjoyed our visit and even purchased a gift pack (for ourselves) which contained three 22oz bottles of the Red Thistle Ale, the Perrydale Ale, Tannen Bomb, and two logo’d pint glasses for $19.99. For and extra $10.00 they will include a Golden Valley t-shirt, but I would save the $10.00. The the t-shirt is not very impressive and looks like an iron-on my mother made for me in the 1970’s. The gift pack is a great deal although we may give the Perrydale Ale to someone who likes Budweiser.
Mcminnville, OR 97128