Posts Tagged ‘portland’

fred fest 2011

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

after missing fred fest for the last few years, AP and I finally made it up to portland for this long-anticipated event.

  • first, however, we had to stop by the cascade barrel house to taste their lineup, including their kriek, sang noir, sang royal, sang rouge, the vine, spring gose, sweetartz, and three saisons – aaahhhh!  with inexpensive samplers, great staff, and a relaxed environment, cascade has become a must-stop every time we are in town.
  • the next day we dusted ourselves off, did some light stretching, and caught a cab over to hair of the dog to get in on some great food and beers.
  • we got there five minutes before the opening hour, and were greeted by what turned out to be a 45-minute line.  with cloudy skies looming, the wait was a little nerve-wracking, but everyone was still in high spirits as we slowly inched toward our destination.
  • once AP and I crossed the threshold into the tasting room, we knew the wait was worth it.  within a minute or two of receiving our tasting glasses, we were tearing into a couple of gigantic roast beef sandwiches, fred-marinated chicken wings, and a ton of fixings.
  • killer beer pours were also coming at us from all angles, including insane rarities such as full sail’s 1998 old boilermaker, deschutes’ sour saison, HOTD peach fred, cascade’s fredtastic, midnight sun’s arctic devil, and hopworks’ kronan the bourbarian.
  • to top it off, AP and I got to chat with fred as well as alan and eliana, in addition to brewers and beer geeks from all over.  the beer raffle and birthday cupcakes were just gravy.  I think this might end up being an annual tradition…

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.

hair of the dog blue dot

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

hair of the dog blue dot in the glass

I recently grabbed a bomber of blue dot, a double IPA from hair of the dog, a great brewery up in portland.

  • I first had this brew on draft when I was up in portland with AP earlier this year, and it was one of my favorites of the trip.
  • the beer had a clean malt back that wasn’t overwhelming and that emphasized strong hop bitterness and citrusy hop aroma.
  • the alcohol came out a little once the beer warmed up, but it wasn’t too aggressive.  is there such a think as a sessionable double IPA?
  • also, if you get beeradvocate magazine, be sure to check out the latest issue’s article on alan sprints, brewmaster at HOTD.

blue dot bottle detail

blue dot in the glass

blue dot bottle

magnolia pub and brewery, fresh hops galore

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

hand pumps at magnolia

yesterday CB alerted me that there were some special beers on draft at magnolia, so last night we rolled over to check it out.

  • turns out there were quite a few special beers available – I counted 5 in addition to their regular rotation.
  • the first one I had to try was a pint of their “wet-hop-dry-hopped” prescription pale.  it was described in their mail update as follows: “We tried to see how many pounds of wet hops (Chinook) we could fit into a firkin and then topped it up with Prescription. There might be more hops than beer in it.” this was my favorite of the night by far – it had a great hop aroma and flavor that thoroughly enveloped the beer but was not harsh or overwhelming.
  • CB and I also tasted both varieties of their high time harvest ale – #1 was brewed with 120 pounds of fresh centennial hops, and #2 was brewed with 120 pounds of fresh chinook hops.  both were great, but completely different – CB preferred the centennial, while I enjoyed the chinook.  fresh/wet hop beers are some of my favorites, and magnolia definitely went the extra mile with the style this year.
  • we also tried the other one that was aged for 8 months in a buffalo trace bourbon barrel – once it warmed up a little the aroma on it was awesome, and the barrel gave the beer a ton of complexity.  it was my second favorite of the night.
  • I also had a taste of rosebud, an anniversary beer that “is built loosely around our beloved Maris Otter malt but then goes out on a long, strange trip through a Belgian fermentation, the addition of dried rosebuds, and the juice of 100 pounds of syrah grapes from Amador County.”  the rose-petal aroma was definitely interesting, as was the rest of the beer, but I’m not sure I would order it up again.
  • the place was full but not crowded, and everyone there (both staff and patrons) was very friendly and in a good mood.  the service was awesome as well. to top it off, most pints were only $3 through their tuesday special.  it reminded me of my trip up to portland earlier this year, where this kind of environment was commonplace.  it was definitely my best trip to magnolia – I have to start going over there on tuesdays more often!

wet hopped prescription pale and barrel aged the other one

taps at magnolia

prescription pale, high times, the other one