I enjoyed my experience at the Spring Beer and Wine festival and not just because I was able to have a beer while volunteering. Since I wasn’t pouring beer, just talking to people, I had an opportunity to walk around and sample a few wares. I arrived for a late shift though, so my selections were limited and became extremely narrow rather quickly.
One surprise for me was the lack of smaller breweries. Perhaps their slots were taken up by wineries? But I got the impression that there were a lot of crafts and service oriented booths and not nearly so many servers of the hootch.
That aside; I got to talk to a bunch of people about homebrewing and after it was all over, I got a beer. No complaints. Now onto my notes.
Block 15 Pappy’s Dark
I’ve been hearing about Block 15 for awhile and they were on the short list of breweries to check out. Pappy’s dark is a super smooth 10% stout, like drinkable chocolate.
A bitter ipa with a solid but not overpowering pine nose. The lingering bitterness isn’t coating but lingers which means it’s for fans of the style.
Everybody’s Brewing Country Boy IPA
Pine cone nose with a big bitter finish. The effervescence helps cut it but the balance is skewed. Not bad, just not a big impression.
Howe Sound Diamond Head oatmeal stout
A mellow oaty nose which was a touch overcarbonated for me. Served a little cold too. It might be a better beer than this is showing if served by a proper venue. Bonus; a Canadian brewery! I hope to see more of them in Portland as I had so many good beers while in Vancouver and Victoria.
Luck of the draw gave me a glass that changed colors when cold liquid was in it. I got more comments on the glass than I got on anything else-which I suppose is as good thing. At the very least it was a good conversation starter.
Mateveza ale Yerba Mata IPA
Faint IPA nose and it was suggested that old hops were used, keeping this beer from really standing out. What followed was a thin beer with a green tea finish with bitter polyphenols a bit like the CDA beers. I just didn’t like it.