Posts Tagged ‘deschutes’

bend, OR

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

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a couple weeks ago AP and I flew to portland, rented a truck, and road tripped it out to bend.

  • bend is a great riverside community that touts mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and hiking as some of its main offerings.  AP and I managed to do none of those activities, opting instead for beach cruising, eating, and beer drinking (although I did get a decent round of disc golf in on mt bachelor).
  • the coolest thing about bend is how the city fosters all sorts of fermentation projects.  we visited breweries ranging in size from behemoths like deschutes (who had some great food and one-offs on tap), to local heavies like bend brewing (who had a killer IPL), to one of the tiniest tap rooms I’ve ever squeezed into over at boneyard (who had beers ranging from a (suprisingly good) chili beer a tasty sour for on-premises sampling).
  • the highlight of our trip was a VIP tour of the nectar of the gods meadery by none other than its founder, wesley.  he hooked us in with samples of his bourbon barrel-aged mead at the nearby platypus pub (which is part of an amazing bar, homebrew store, and bottle shop combination) and treated us to a variety of other creations made with various fruits and herbs.  it was inspiring to see someone who was not only into mead production but was killing it with unique variations.  he also tipped us to some unique (but expensive) wild bottles from ale apothecary.  thanks again, wesley!

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portland, OR

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

last week AP and I headed north to portland to celebrate the old 3-0.

  • we had checked out the city a couple of years earlier with great results, including fantastic breweries, beer bars, coffee roasters, and restaurants.  this time we really hit the books before hopping on the plane, and went to some killer beer spots that blew me away.

in no particular order, we checked out:

  • henry’s 12th st. tavern – like the yard house on steroids.  triple digit taps, great pub food and happy hour.  this was the first place I got to experience tricerahops.
  • belmont station – world-class beer store.  great staff that made insightful recommendations about both bottles and beer spots.  picked up a ton of lambics and other rarities, such as fort and pannepot reserva.
  • horse brass puba bittersweet visit.  staff was very friendly and their fresh-cut fries went perfectly with a draught blue dot.
  • hair of the dog – KILLER gastropub/bar setup.  friendly staff, great food, awesome beers.  tried their experimental small beer lineup and other draft tasters before moving on to bottles of michael and ’07 fred from the wood.
  • higgins – one of my favorite restaurants, and my #1 in portland.  thoughtful tap selection in the adjacent bar, and thorough beer list to accompany some truly gourmet plates.
  • cascade barrel house – words can’t describe this place.  we walked in and got a taster lineup of the eleven sours they had on tap, including wild concoctions like a mulled kriek and a couple goses.  great food, service, and atmosphere.  grabbed a bottle of vlad the imp aler for the road.
  • green dragon – gives toronado a run for the money.  great beer lineup, service, and food (notice a trend here?).
  • kennedy school – a mcmenamins masterpiece.  the beer is OK, but the campus is unreal.  a must-see for everyone when visiting.  also check out bagdad theater.
  • hopworks – solid tap lineup and friendly staff.  only stopped in here for a taster, but it was worth the trip.
  • upright brewing – my favorite of the trip.  recommended by the staff at belmont station based on my beer selections, this unassuming “tasting room” is just a cold room and keezer within the brewery itself, so you just grab a handful of dirt-cheap brews and make yourself comfy next to the mill room, conditioning tanks, barrels, or open fermentation room.  sublime barrel-aged saisons and sours with great complexity.
  • laurelwood – yet another “good food, friendly service, good beers” spot.  their workhorse IPA is great.
  • migration – relaxed spot with a good brew lineup.  just grabbed a taster and threw some darts here.
  • deschutes – a classic bar/restaurant that appeals to everyone.  very family-friendly and the first place I would take a person getting turned on to beer.

after our hundredth taster and charcuterie plate, AP and I were ready to head back and sleep it off, but we were already discussing our next trip up.  with dozens more beer and food spots to discover, portland has turned into our adult playground.

deschutes little buddha, rr consecration at naja’s

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

enjoying the first pour of consecration

last weekend, while conducting some business down in LA, I managed to squeeze in a trip to (surprise!) naja’s place for a couple of brews with OA, SA, and friends.

  • while waiting at the side bar for everyone to arrive, I was poured a taster of little buddha, a sour ale from deschutes.
  • to say that this beer was intense would definitely be an understatement.  it had a strong vinegary aroma and an extremely dry, sour finish with a hint of fruit sweetness.
  • I liked where this beer was going, but was also glad that there were no more than a couple ounces in my glass – a full pour of this would do some damage.
  • after starting off with a sour as wild as little buddha, I had no other option but to grab a bottle of consecration for the table as a follow-up.
  • in my opinion, consecration is a great “eye-opener” beer for those new to sour ales.  it’s balance and drinkability makes it very approachable to the newcomer, and it doesn’t hurt to start someone out with one of the greatest sours california has to offer.  that oaky, fruity tartness really gets me.
  • everyone at the table gave it a pour, and by the end of the session I think they all left a little more curious about where the boundaries of beer really lie.

a sufficient little buddha pour

"what kind of beer did you say this was again?"

deschutes the dissident

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

up close pour of the dissident

last weekend I managed to crack open a bottle of deschutesthe dissident.

  • the dissident is a great example of an oud bruin, aka an east flanders brown ale.
  • east flanders brown ales are traditionally more malty and bitter than their west flanders red ale counterparts, and are fermented in stainless steel tanks using a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria (here, presumably brettanomyces) that gives them their sourness. thanks wild brews!
  • in the case of this beer, evidently some of it was aged in pinot noir and cabernet barrels, and washington cherries were added to secondary.
  • when this beer came out it was seriously hyped, both online and in local stores.  it lived up to it though by being a relatively sessionable brown with just the right amount of sourness.
  • I believe deschutes called this beer “the dissident” since it was their first brett beer and they isolated it from their main brewing equipment during aging and bottling.  their label is one of the best and most unique I have seen on a commercial beer.
  • this beer was on the shelves everywhere for a couple of months, but supplies went fast and pretty soon there was none to be found.  long after I had given up hope of cracking another bottle of this guy, AP, CB, TB and I rolled up to santa rosa for their beer fest.  while up there, we stopped by their friendly neighborhood beer store.  while we were kicking around the store looking for brews, I noticed that one of the cases of red chair on display looked a little different from the rest.  I looked a little closer and had an indiana jones moment – it was an unopened case of the dissident!

dissident artwork

dissident pour

dissident bottle

single hop fresh hop vojvodina pale ale brew day

Monday, September 7th, 2009

on the vine

so, my homegrown vojvodina hops appeared to be ready for harvest.  the cones were light and had a papery feel, and the cones themselves appeared to have a decent amount of lupulin in them:

hop cone lupulin glands

after some research, I found that vojvodinas are a hybrid of northern brewer, styrian goldings, and a wild yugoslavian hop.  therefore, I based my recipe off of a single hop northern brewer recipe and adjusted it with respect to other input from various sites.  I also multiplied the required amount of dry hops by 4 in order to account for the use of fresh hops (many sites say to multiply by 4-5; I went with 4 mainly because my plant ran out of hops!).  here’s my recipe:

  • 8lb pale LME
  • .6lb pale DME
  • 8oz cara-pils (@150 for 30 min)
  • 8oz crystal 60L (@150 for 30 min)
  • 4oz fresh hops @ 60, 30, 5 min

first I weighed out the specialty grains and steeped them from room temp -> 150, then held at 150 for 30 min.  I used a grain sock instead of a mash tun since the specialty grain bill was very small (1lb).

steeping grains

after hitting 150 for 30 min., I removed the specialty grains and added the extracts.  I added a little more DME to compensate for the fact that I hate squeezing every last drop of LME out of the extract bag and usually leave at least a few ounces in the trash can.

LME going in

weighing out DME

then I got to picking the hops while waiting for the boil.  CB and AF rolled by to participate in the “harvest.”

picking the cones

the volume to weight ratio of the fresh hops was pretty deceiving.  after picking a bowl full of hops, I figured we were going to have well over the desired 12 oz.  however, that was a small overestimate:

not quite 12 oz

the first batch of cones got tossed in at 60 min and the picking continued.  we ended up picking the hop vine clean, for a total of just over 12 oz.

hops in the kettle

the starter worked great, and the fermentation took off quickly and vigorously. I’m going to give it a week or two in primary, then secondary while carbing in a keg.

spent hops

the end result – months of anticipation culminating in tossing a bag of hops and sweet wort in the compost.

compost bag

to top off my brew day, I primed and kegged the presidio blackberry kolsch, kicked the tripel keg (finally!) and bottled some of it, cleaned my beer lines, and tapped the abt 12 quad semi-clone (review soon – it is pretty awesome).  phew!

post-fermentation blackberries

kegged blackberry kolsch

and what’s a brew day without sampling a few beers to aspire towards?  I popped a bottle of la folie, while CB brought over a great valley brew IPA and deschutes’ black butte XXI porter. thanks again man!

brewday brews