Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

PNW Beercation 2012 (part 1) September 21, 2012

Since I began my beer journey 18 years ago, I have made it a mission to visit every brewery I can. A few weeks ago I embarked on another “beercation” in the gorgeous state of Oregon. Now I have visited Portland many times and enjoyed the breweries and brew pubs in that beautiful and amazing city. But this time I decided to travel to some of the other lesser known cities and see what Oregon had in store for this beer chick.

First leg of my trip started off 20 minutes outside of Portland in the sleepy town of Troutdale. What’s in Troutdale you ask? Well, many a beer drinker knows of just one place…the Edgefield  Resort. Owned by McMenamins this gorgeous resort is surrounded by vineyards, gardens, mature trees, and lovely old buildings dating back to 1911. Set on 74 acres, the resort served as the Multnomah County Poor farm from 1911 until 1982 and housed farmers that needed a little support in times of need. The grounds are beautiful, quiet, and relaxing. There are a few McMenamins restaurants to choose from, a pool hall, 3-par golf course, and heated soaking pool. Oh, and there just happens to be a nice sized outdoor pavilion that hosts live acts by some little entertainers you may have heard of such as Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Foster the People, Florence + the Machine, Gotye, Bonnie Raitt, Train…you get the idea.

The rooms are spacious and decorated not only with antiques, but the walls tell stories of the resorts former residents and the history of the grounds. As for the beer, it was great as always. Try a Ruby Ale if you are looking for a crisp, subtle raspberry ale. For those hop heads out there I would recommend the Copper Moon Pale Ale. Nice and bitey, with a sweet caramel note. Do you like art? Edgefield has plenty of it! In fact, the walls are covered with local artist pieces paying homage to the history of the resort and the state of Oregon. What a great way to spend a weekend!

The next couple of days were spent on the Columbia River in the historic town of Hood River. A charming, Victorian town, Hood River has a lot to offer for the weary traveler/beer enthusiast. But before settling into my hotel, I took a quick trip across the bridge into White Salmon, WA and stopped at a little brewery called Everybody’s Brewing.  With an amazing view of Mt. Hood, I sat on Everybody’s patio and enjoyed their taster tray. For the sake of time I will narrow it down to a couple of my fave’s. Goodwill IPA was my favorite from Everybody’s. Very well-balanced, hoppy and malty with a caramel character and a hoppy, floral finish. For a lighter choice I enjoyed the seasonal Summer Lovin’. This light, crisp ale is sweet and very easy to drink. Hints of orange and honey are present in the aroma and flavor and the finish is pleasantly soft.

Back across the bridge into Hood River. There are four breweries in Hood River: Big Horse Brew Pub, Full Sail Brewing Company, Double Mountain Brewery, and pFriem Family brewers. Unfortunately, pFriem was closed during our stay in Hood River but we had a great time visiting the other three.

Big Horse Brew Pub is truly a gem! Housed in a large Victorian home that was built into the side of a hill and overlooking the town and the Columbia River, Big Horse has been brewing tasty beer for over twenty years. The food is wonderful and fresh. The atmosphere is very laid back and simple. The view of the town and river cannot be beat. And the beer? Fantastic. I started with the Easy Blonde. Light, sweet, and easy to drink, this beer had a honey and cereal aroma. Biscuity mouth feel and a nice vanilla finish. Wind Ripper was Big Horse’s summer ale. Medium body character and very effervescent. Crisp and refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. For the hop heads there is the Pale Rider IPA. Apricot color, citrus and flower aroma. Medium body with hard grapefruit finish. My favorite beer from Big Horse was A Night in Munich; Munich Helles style lager. Crisp and sweet, this lager tasted of Golden Grahams cereal. Malty and well-balanced this beer was an absolute delight. Don’t bother looking for Big Horse in any store. The beer never leaves the brewery so if you want to give this yummy stuff a try you will have to make the pilgrimage to Hood River.

Day one in Hood River came to a beautiful end. Full Sail Brewing and Double Mountain on day two…

Cheers!

Liz

www.mcmenamins.com/

Information for Big Horse Brew Pub can  be found on Facebook.

 

4th Annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival 2012 August 29, 2012

 

WHEN: Saturday September 1st, 11AM to 8PM

WHERE: At the 21st Street Park on the Foss Waterway; 2101 Dock Street, Tacoma WA 98402

HOW MUCH: $25 pre-sale online, $30 at the door, $10 Military discount off the Pre-sale ticket price (Active, Retired, Veteran, Reserves) at the door only with military ID.

Admission gets you a 5.5 oz commemorative taster glass and 10 tasting tokens. Additional tokens are $1.50. There will be games, live music and over 50 brewers! This event is 21 and over only. I will see you there!

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://tacomacraftbeerfest.com/about.html

 

Brewing for a Cure August 8, 2012

Dick’s Brewing Company

Second Annual Beer for a Cure

Centralia, WA based Dick’s Brewing company is giving back; and in a big way! For the second year in a row the brewing company is holding the Second Annual Beer for a Cure event featuring live music, a homebrew competition and awards ceremony. Throughout the day a silent auction will take place, while food and pints fresh from the brewery will be on sale.  Proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society.

Professional brewers from Dick’s Brewing Company in Centralia have volunteered to help judge the homebrews and give the amateur brewers some words of advice on how to improve their crafts.

WHEN:     Saturday, August 18th, 2012, 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:  3516 Galvin Road, Centralia

For more info on how to enter your homebrew or on the event itself visit their website: www.dicksbeer.com.

What better reason to drink beer than to help find a cure!

Cheers!

Liz

 

2012 Oregon Brewers Festival…revisited! August 6, 2012

For 25 years Portland, OR has been the home of the Oregon Brewers Festival, or “OBF.” The festival is one of the longest running craft beer festivals in the country, and also one of the favorites. I have attended the OBF for a few years and it just doesn’t get old! Drinking beers from all over the country, meeting people from all walks of life, and spending the weekend in one of the prettiest “big” cities I have ever been to; it doesn’t get much better than that.

Held each year on Portland’s Waterfront Park, this four-day event hosts brewers from all parts of the U.S. and features live music, food, and even some souvenir vendors. Large tents and long tables provide plenty of shade and mimics the beer fests held in Germany. Imagine, being surrounded by thousands of beer enthusiasts that want nothing more than to hang out and enjoy the newest creations that you can’t get every day! It’s great fun but now to the important part: the beer!

So many beers, so little time! There were over 80 beers being served. I tried many of them but because I didn’t want to be hauled away in an ambulance, I could not try them all. So many of the beers I tried were incredible, but for the sake of time I will give you my top five favorites.

#1) Double Dry Hopped Delta Pale Ale – Boundary Bay Brewing – Bellingham, WA (5.6%ABV, 45 IBU) – My favorite of the day! Boundary Bay uses and the newer Delta hop to create a lovely, spicy note. Munich and 2-Rows malts along with Northwest ale yeast give this pale ale a dry and crisp body with a nice citrus finish. Perfect for the hot day!

#2) Kili Wit – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Hood River, OR (5.5%ABV, N/A IBU) – On a hot day there’s sometimes nothing better than a nice Wit beer. This traditional farmhouse ale if brewed with organic African coriander this tasty wit is rich with spice and clove. Malty, smooth body and rich, spicy finish.  Good stuff.

#3) Electric Beer – Electric Brewing – Bisbee, AZ (5%ABV, 35 IBU) – One of my favorite beer styles is German Kölsch. And Electric Brewing really impressed me with their version. Castle Cara 8, Castle Pils and Weyermann Pils malts create a full flavored, but light bodied beer. Notes of honey are present in the nose and taste and the finish is wonderfully spiced. I mean this in the best possible way; the flavor was reminiscent of Golden Grahams cereal. Another great summer beer!

#4) Saison the Beach – Lompoc Brewing Co. – Portland, OR (5.5%ABV, 25IBU) – If you like sour fruit and spices, then this beer is for you! The aroma is floral and spicy. The body is peppery and spicy with a dry, sour fruit finish. Lompoc used a potpourri of ingredients to create this little beauty: Perle and Crystal hops, Pale, Weyermann Pils, wheat, biscuit and rye malts. They have outdone themselves.

#5) Dirty Blonde – Paradise Creek Brewery – Pullman, WA (6.3%ABV, 22 IBU) – On a day as hot as the one on the day of the festival, this beer sure did hit the spot. Living up to its name, Dirty Blonde is a very well-balanced, medium-bodied beer. Spicy and malty with a touch of flowers. A little higher in alcohol, but quite refreshing.

Kudos to all of the brewers for showing us how much fun can be had creating something a little different! And kudos to the organizers for making every festival as fun and safe as possible. I always have a great time at the brewers festival and will continue to attend every year until my taste buds dry up.

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://bbaybrewery.com/

http://farmhousebeer.com/

http://www.lompocbrewing.com/

http://paradisecreekbrewery.com/

Info about Electric Brewing can be found on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/DavesElectricBrewpub

 

What to do on Father’s Day weekend? June 13, 2012

 

 

WHEN:  Friday, June 15 4-9pm (21+ Only) Saturday, June 16 11am-9pm (Families Welcome) Sunday, June 17 11am-6pm (Families Welcome)

WHERE:  Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA

HOW MUCH:  Friday – $15.00 tickets available online or at the door and includes a tasting cup and 5 tasting tokens. Sat & Sun – $25.00 tickets available online or at the door and includes a tasting cup and 6 tasting tokens. Designated drivers are only $5.00.

65 breweries will be bringing over 200 different beers. Live music, good food, and wine & cider tasting are just a few of the other activities at the festival. What do you do with the kids? Craft booths, a kids playground and a root beer garden will entertain the tykes.

So grab your Dad and spend a great weekend enjoying some amazing craft beer!

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.washingtonbeer.com/wa-brewers-fest/

 

Silver City strikes gold! June 7, 2012

Just when you though Silver City Brewing couldn’t get any better they go and open a taproom! And not just any run of the mill taproom; probably one of the nicest tap rooms I have been to (and I’ve been to a lot!). The outside of the building is beautifully designed and the inside is very casual, open, and inviting. The bar area opens up into a 2nd room to sit back at a high table and enjoy your beverage. A flat screen TV hangs high on the wall along with vintage posters of drinking days gone by.

But the “magic” happens next door in the brewery itself. Windows in the bar area give the patron a chance to view where the brewing process happens. To be honest, there is nothing prettier than large, shiny, mash tons and kettles!

What did I drink on this day? I’m glad you asked. For my first pint I enjoyed a lovely pint of Silver City’s Deluxe Spring Lager (6.2% ABV).  One of my favorite seasonal beers from Silver City, the Spring Lager is crisp, sweet, and very flavorful yet the body is light to medium.  Light hop/floral aroma and finish really make this baby something special. My next pint is a crowd favorite among Silver City fans: Ziggy Zoggy Summer Lager (5% ABV). I get excited every year when this gem is released. Unfiltered, sweet, spicy and elegant, this German-style “Zwickelbier” is sure to make you smile. Honey Malt and Pilsner Malt give Ziggy Zoggy the pretty sweetness I love and the finish is smooth with a touch of honey.

Food is not served at the taproom but they do offer pretty darn tasty peanuts but you are welcome to bring your own food. Brewery tours are available Wednesday through Saturday at 4:00pm but they also offer private parties and tours on Mondays and Tuesdays so check with the taproom for available times. The taproom itself is open Wednesday through Sunday and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon!

 

Cheers!

Liz

www.silvercitybrewery.com

 

 

Tacoma finds his Wingman! May 31, 2012

The micro-brew family in Tacoma, WA just got a little larger. Wingman Brewing has been making and distributing their creations to local pubs and markets since April of 2011 but, alas, had no tasting room of their own. Flash forward one year to April 21st, 2012 to the opening of Wingman Brewing’s very own tasting room. Original brick walls surround the room and vintage-style Wingman posters are plastered on the walls. But the best part is the beer!

Falconer’s Flight Single Hop IPA (6.8% ABV) – Dark peach color. Belgian yeasty aroma. Great hop, nicely balanced. Crisp with smooth finish.

Ace IPA (7.4% ABV) – This one was my favorite. Mellow with aroma of grapefruit and flowers. Hoppy, but not too hoppy, with hints of caramel. Clean finish.

P-51 Porter (8.0% ABV) – Dark brown (almost black) color with a tan head. Rich chocolate and coffee aroma. Malty, creamy, and full of chocolate flavors. This is a nice sipping beer.

Belgian Double (8.4% ABV) – Thinner mouth feel than the others yet very sickening sweet. Dark brown color. Spice notes in the aroma and flavor with a slightly sour finish. This was an interesting beer, but too not one of my favorites.

Stratofortress (11.4% ABV) – Wingman took the Belgian Double and aged it in oak. Though much higher in alcohol than the Double, in this form it was much more drinkable. Slightly medicinal aroma. Sweet and sour taste with a malty balance. It’s amazing what a little oak can do!

As you can see Wingman is really into “big” beers. The alcohol does not go below 6% ABV. It’s my hope they will look to brew something lower in ABV that won’t cause the casual drinker to lose their faculties after one pint.  A nice wheat, pale ale or pilsner perhaps (hint, hint).

The tasting room is huge! There is a lot of seating around the bar but a lot of open space that could be utilized for more seating. But hey, they just opened. They may have more great plans for the tasting room in the works. Wingman does not prepare food but the New Frontier Lounge down the street will be more than happy to deliver pizza right to the taproom door. The taproom is open Thursday through Saturday from 2:00pm-11:00pm.

 

Cheers!

Liz

www.wingmanbrewers.com

 

 

2012 Gig Harbor Beer Festival May 21, 2012

Last weekend the beer Gods truly smiled on me. The sky was blue, the temperature was perfect, and the first annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival was held less than a block from my home! Who could ask for anything more? As usual, for the sake of length I will share my top favorites of the day.

Local Logger Lager (Everybody’s Brewing, White Salmon, WA) – 4.8% ABV The best beer of the event! Clean and crisp with a honey sweetness. Saaz and Golden hops create a light hoppiness that does not overpower the sweetness. Golden Grahams cereal came to mind immediately. A truly delicious beer!

Hulaweizen (7 Seas Brewery, Gig Harbor, WA) – 5.6% ABV A very different beer for this brewery. A lovely wheat beer brewed with coconut water and lemon grass. The pungent sourness of the lemongrass really comes through balancing out the sweetness of the coconut. I really hope 7 Seas makes this beauty one of their permanent beers!

Dog Zebra (Valholl Brewing, Poulsbo, WA) – Wonderfully hoppy beer! This lovely IPA had a lot of great citrus flavors and bite. The aroma was like walking through a grapefruit orchard. Wish I had more!

Agate Pass Amber (Hood Canal Brewery, Kingston, WA) – 5.5% ABV Fruity and hoppy, this well-balanced beer had notes of honey and pears. Not too sweet, not too hoppy. Great beer for a hot summer day.

Autumn Scotch (Der Blokken Brewery, Bremerton, WA) – 7% ABV I love scotch ales, but this one takes the cake! Thick, malty and sweet, Autumn Scotch has an unusual butterscotch aroma and flavor. The body is more on the fuller side and the finish has a “candy-like” sweetness. This is a great beer for kicking back and relaxing.

The festival, for the most part, was very well-organized. Unfortunately, the organizers seem to have made the same mistake most first time festival organizers make and misjudged the expected attendance. Most of the brewers were out of beer by 4:00 and the festival still had three hours to go! The use of available space for the festival goers was another issue. The festival surrounded a huge gazebo that had tons of shade. This area was blocked off and not assessable to the festival goers and instead used to store boxes of t-shirts and the token booth (1 guy, 1 table). We were forced to squeeze into what little shade we could find and had to stand as there we no chairs or tables anywhere. I also feel this would have been a great opportunity for the surrounding restaurants to have a small food cart or something in the area. Instead festival goers had to leave the festival, walk to the restaurants, and wait for over an hour for food.

I had a great time and, of course, the beer was the best part. With a few tweaks, Gig Harbor should have a heck of a festival next year!

Cheers!

Liz

www.7seasbrewing.com

www.everybodysbrewing.com

www.hoodcanalbrewery.com

www.valhollbrewing.com

www.derblokken.com

 

 

 

Coming Soon: Wingman Brewing’s new tasting room, Gig Harbor Beer Festival, and some new summer beer releases! May 16, 2012

 

Upcoming event… April 25, 2012

 

WHEN: Saturday, May 12th, 2012.

TIME:  Noon-7:00pm

WHERE: Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion (4701 Pt. Fosdick Dr.)

ATTENDING BREWERIES:

  • 7 Seas Brewery
  • American Brewing Company
  • Der Blokken Brewery
  • Dicks Brewing Company
  • Everybody’s Brewing
  • Harmon  Brewing Co.
  • Hood Canal Brewery
  • Port Townsend Brewing Co.
  • Silver City  Brewery
  • Sound Brewery
  • Valholl Brewing Company

Pre-sale tickets are $20 or $25 the day of the event. Admission includes a 2012 commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. 21+ up only. You can purchase tickets through the festival website, www.gigharborbeerfestival.com or from www.brownpapertickets.com.

I will definitely be there!

Cheers!

Liz

 

 
%d bloggers like this: