Round Two #10\Second Pint STV

I have finally gotten out early enough to check out Threshold’s brewery, which has been getting all the buzz lately. The Best Laid Plans IIPA is calling my name, so here we go!

Threshold Best Laid Plans IIPAOranges seem to be the strongest scent, and they run a current under the beer. But I get a bit of melon in the flavor, too. There’s enough sweetness in the middle that the pithy qualities of the hazy IPAs don’t turn the beer against me. It’s pretty nicely balanced, so far, which makes this beer more pleasant to drink than most hazys I often get.

I, personally, am not a huge fan of the melon flavors. However! It’s just midway through the first glass; I might have my mind changed. If I’m going to have a second beer, I’d rather keep my ears up for anything new, or to appreciate something I knew better, than write it all off.

If I have an issue at this point, it’s that five of the nine beers Threshold has made are variants on IPAs. Sure, there’s Brut IPA and sour IPA and double IPA buuuuut c’mon. There are also two stouts,  and that leaves a grisette and a Pilsner to round it all out. Five IPAs is a lot of IPA.

Still, let’s go for the second glass, shall we?

By now, the finishing bitterness has appeared and is coating my mouth. It isn’t too intense, but I can definitely pick it up. That bitterness doesn’t mute the sweetness in the middle; rather it emphasizes the melon flavors more than it does the citrus ones. As you might imagine, that isn’t exactly a point it it’s favor for me.

That said, I know there are people who will love this beer and these flavors; if that’s you, have at because this is a very solid example of the style, in my opinion. Heck, I might even try a not-IPA, since this is such a strong effort.

Today’s second pint goes to Spread The Vote.

Round Two #9\Second Pint EACADA

Stormbreaker Everyday is beer week IPAStormbreaker’s Everyday is PDX Beer Week ale is what I’m pondering, so I ask about it.

“It’s a sour IPA.”

Wait. What?

“Yeah, it was kettle soured and then heavily dry hopped.”

Well, Stormbreaker does good stuff so let’s give it a shot.

The hops are definitely there in the nose, and they go citrus/orange flavored. This is a good thing, since the beer is tart-honestly, drinking it is very similar to drinking really good lemonade. It’s light and just sweet enough in the midrange so the tartness doesn’t overrun my taste buds, but has that mild pucker that cuts through a lot; this would be fantastic with a dense dessert or even something like a hot dog with everything: a great palate reset.

I can see this beer as the comedic fulcrum in a movie; adults who inadvertently leave it out in a glass, kids who are just thirsty and taking sips off the drink without knowing it’s alcohol. 80’s style hijinks ensue.

Glass two; the hop character isn’t as forward in the nose; a little flavor fatigue is happening, at my best guess. On the other hand; more of the lemon-tart quality appears and that’s interesting too.

Also, the finishing bitterness is starting to become a little more pronounced. It’s not enough to make the sour element go away, but it does add a little sprinkle of complexity to the beer.

Today’s second pint goes to EACADA.

Maui 2

Kohola Brewing PilsOn the hottest day of the trip, I visited the Kohola brewery. This felt more like Portland: the brewery was located in a warehouse and behind some other buildings, so we had to go down an alleyway to get there. The serving area was blocked off by mobile guardrails and I could see the brewing equipment easily, with tubes running from the outside where the grain was stored, to the milling machines.

It was the classic ‘up and comer’ look.

I started with the Pilsner and it was a classic pilsner: little spicy, very clean finish. Can’t ask for better than that. It’s a great hot day drink.

Just to mix things up, I went for the Mean Bean Coffee stout next. With a chocolate covered espresso beans nose, this leans into the coffee bean addition nicely. But I’m glad I had a short pour of it, because coffee notes just don’t quite mesh with hot days like this, at least for me. It’s a fine ale, even holding its flavor as it warms, and finishes remarkably clean for the style. It just belongs to night time.

Last, I got the Red Sand Amber: this is a pretty damn solid Amber that has some coffee flavors on the  early back end. There’s a prominent malt sweetness though that is really working for me and the color is great. As the beer warms up, a hit of brown sugar appears and I totally dig it.

Maui 1

Maui Brewing Star Maps KolschI didn’t intend to start my trip to Maui by breaking my ankle but…well, it rains on the just and the unjust, right?

So, in an attempt to make my trip more bearable, my family was kindly willing to indulge me with trips to the two breweries I was able to find on the island. I enjoyed my stops there and picked up a couple beers from each place to talk about, so here we go!

The first stop was at Maui Brewing and Maui has an upper scale brewpub feel; there’s a full kitchen, a separate bar area where tours of the brewery kick off from, and because it’s Hawaii, damn near everything is open-air in it’s design. Birds flew in and out of the building as we ate lunch. I enjoyed the Double Overhead IPA but didn’t take any notes. On the way out, I purchased a couple things for later and here’s what we got:

Maui Brewing Star Maps Kolsch (collab with Smog City). Kolsch brewed with star fruit.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had star fruit but it’s tart. What that does to a Kolsch is obliterate the milder flavors of the beer by the tartness of the fruit. The combination means that the beer is easy to drink on hot days, but doesn’t pair well with others because the finish isn’t clean anymore.

I don’t dislike this beer, though I will confess it took me a minute to get used to. However, I’d recommended it for hot days only and the Star Maps might be worth tasting before hand, because star fruit has such a distinct flavor to it. It’s not for everyone.

The Pueo pale ale mines much more familiar territory. The nose has honeydew and citrus qualities, with a melon element on the finish, too. The citrus qualities turn to the bitterness I’d expect, which may be a little stronger than your average pale ale but within reason I think.

This is, I think, a local pale: meant to reflect what people might want in the warm, steadily humid environment of Hawaii. It’s a thirst quencher for sure.

Round Two #8\Second Pint RAICES

It isn’t often I get to talk about Chuckanut Brewing-although I imagine the opportunities will increase, since I think they’ve gotten distribution in Portland-but when I saw the pilsner on tap, I knew I had to have it. One nice thing about the new theme: I don’t always have to go for the new shiny object.Chuckanut Pilsner

The nose is slightly spicy from the hops and not a trace of malt to be found, which is both awesome and interesting.

The beer has a mild sweetness to it but that easily steps aside for a touch of bitterness and then even that steps aside to leave nothing behind.

It’s delicious and I feel lucky to get to tell you that you should be drinking this; Chuckanut’s beers are just so well done.

Let’s have a second one!

The thing about good beers is the consistency. And this isn’t just about the second glass, although that is certainly true.

In the case of a Pilsner, or at least this one, it’s about this beer tasting good all the way down; even after breaks of conversation. I still look forward to finishing my beer, telling you all about it.

Sometimes I just want to tell people: Just try it, and let them discover it for themselves. This is definitely one of them.

Today’s second pint goes to RAICES.