So the first Portland Craft Beer fest seemed to kick off well! There were a lot of people and a great many beers to enjoy. The only criticism I have at this point is that for next year: provide more places with shade, and provide free water. Seriously, people need water. I was lucky because I got there early and camped out at a table so I had a place to write and some shade.
Other than that, I had some pretty tasty beers so let’s get to the notes!
BTU Brasserie Ghost Man White Lager-grassy nose, light, the beer is sweet and light, with virtually no aftertaste. It’s a solid starter beer, especially after standing in line for 20 minutes to enter the event.
Columbia Brewing ESB-floral hops on the nose: slightly funky. Smooth beer though, hint of chocolate sauce there, finish is very clean.
Gigantic Ume Umai Lager-nice rice silkiness. The nose is quietly floral and there isn’t much in the way of plum quality but it’s very light and very refreshing. I wanted more of this.
Breakside India Golden Ale-has a pronounced sweetness in the middle and the bitterness on the finish is a mild grapefruit. I can get behind this level of hop bitteness; once again Breakside does not disappoint.
Humble Lo & Behold-this is a saison sending me mixed signals. Initial scent is sugary, but…the beer itself is tart, shy even of a sweet tart candy but nicely so. There a bready note after all of that which I dig on. I could have a full pint of this and I can’t say that very often about tarter beers.
Royale Unicorn pale ale-the nose of it totally reminds me of marijunana. The midrange is a bit thin and the finish goes malty first before rising up into hops and I like this but…I could do without the chocolatey note. Still, it’s a decent beer and I’d like to try it again.
Stormbreaker Red Storm Rider-This is malty and tasty. It also has a smoothness on the finish, because this beer is malt forward and it knows it.
Baerlic Eastside oatmeal pilsner-I should have potato chips to compliment this beer and I should have all of them.
Portland Brewing Rose City-this wasn’t on the menu, but apparently the beer is brewed for the Rose Festival. And it tastes bland and forgettable, I can’t pick up any flavors to make it worth talking about.
Overheard: “You never had haggis? Oh dude…” (There was no haggis at the festival that I was aware of).
Lompoc Saison de L’Evolution-smells like a saison, funky, hint of fireplace but it’s a saison. And it’s good. On the very, very end there IS a touch of dryness that helps but it’s not as thirst quenching as I might expect it to be. That said: Who cares? It’s a nice beer and very, very drinkable.
Pyramid H7 IPA-A solid beer and made for the masses. That is a detriment only insofar as where your expectations are set. It’s got a pleasant floral nose, the finish is bitter but not sharply so. All & all this is a nice beer that should be given a shot.
13 Virtues Rip City Red-this did not have a great nose and the taste follows; it’s hinting at vegetal and the mouthfeel is thin. Nope. A misstep from a brewery I usually like.