Tag Archives: Oregon Brewer’s Fest

2014 OBF Wrapup (and haiku)

Dudebros on the bus
Your vulgar misogyny
Is quite unwelcome

Maybe next time you
Should not imbibe before the
Event in question

Once again, we have my (mildly) edited notes for this year’s Oregon Brewer’s Fest! Let’s get moving.

Ex Novo: Black & Wheat fruit ale- raspberry nose-sweet, finish is very harsh,  dirty; thin middle.

Beer Valley: Heavy Sugars Honey Ale- (pic) Nose has a farmhouse/creamed corn taste. Hint of plum? But there isn’t much else. It needs more of something; as it is, it tastes ethereal. Color is a nice pink though.

Crux: Off Leash NW Session- Nice fruity nose. The finish is a little strong on grapefruit. Still, very drinkable in heat. More malt would’ve made this beer super.

Dogfishhead: Aged Strong Ale- I can’t decide on this one. It starts solid but I get a soapiness in the finish. It’s just harsh, young and not ready for prime time.

Elysian: Perfesser Belgian blonde- nose has a funk, thought it was Belgian yeast but no; Brettanomyces yeast is doing that. It’s restrained though, as a sour but the finish is pushing me away, getting more funky as I sip it.

North trailers are too
Hot: people gravitate to
Shade: more trees next year

Crowds make the Southern
Ales challenging to get
Nobody likes lines

Deschutes: Gluten Free NW Pale- Nice. Dry finish, dankish nose is not too strong, easy to drink. One of the better ales I had.

Logsdon Farmhouse: Straffe Drieling Belgian tripel-(pic) soft Bazooka Joe flavor with a hint of white wine dryness. Chamomile is notable, and somehow it all comes together to be pretty quaffable.

Sierra Nevada: Coffee Milk Stout (collaboration with Ninkasi)- There is no milk here. It is a coffee stout, and barely achieves that on mouthfeel. Sigh.

The Dudes: Grandma’s Pecan Brown english nut ale- Expectation of pecan not quite met but this is a nice brown ale. Roasted quality is nice, a little nutmeg but it’s restrained; all in all I like it.

Sprecher: Abbey Triple Belgian tripel- Nose is nosy. Bah. But the flavors are soft, nothing to clove, fruity or harsh. Dry finish. I like this quite a bit, once I get past the nose.

Nimbus: Old Monkeyshine Ale, strong ale- I got this in part because of the name, I’ll admit. The beer is roasty. It’s a little thin but it’s not a bad beer. Strong ales just need to have a bit more density/oiliness in the mouth, to me.

Fitger: Hoppulujah IPA- Nice IPA. Grapefruit nose, nice bite on finish but there is just enough restraint to make it all work., since there isn’t a big malt presence. Dig it.



Crazy 88

There are 88 beers available at the Oregon Brewers Fest this year.

Damn, that’s a lot. More than one man can safely get through and keep a job, and as always I will have to pick and choose but I really hate doing that beforehand. Until my boots are on the ground I don’t have the slightest idea what will be available.

Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t look forward at all: Ex Novo is a new brewery in town and I haven’t had their stuff at all, Crux has been consistently good since I was introduced to them last year, The Dudes’ and Sprecher are new to me and offering at least interesting styles of beer that I don’t see often at the OBF.

Worst case, there are always the reliables: Widmer, Pelican, Deschutes, Elysian; year after year they produce tasty, drinkable beer and usually they want to liven things up at the OBF. Sure, they’ll be popular but maybe I can find a time when the lines are juuuust short enough that my patience isn’t tested.

On top of everything else, it rained in Portland recently, so our heat wave has been broken, even if temporarily. That should make the event far more comfortable.

Oregon Brewer’s Fest: 2013

The OBF has expanded to five days this year.

Holy cow. That’s a lot of craft brew to assimilate. Fortunately, the containers will be made from glass this year, instead of plastic which is a huge improvement. Last year’s glasses were unacceptable for drinkers in general and especially lovers of great beer.

It isn’t all good news about the glass though. Which is unfortunate: four ounces is barely enough to really get a sense of a beer so getting less pretty much sucks. I find it remarkable that a better solution could not be found and the rest smacks of greed.

Nonetheless, my plan is to head down early Saturday and as always, check out anything I haven’t heard of before. Which is what most breweries ought to be providing, instead of the stuff you can get at the freakin’ store. Jeeze, people. It’s a festival! Have some fun with it.

2012 OBF

There’s going to be over 120 beers at the Oregon Brewer’s Fest this year. There are two solid pages of participating brewery listings but only if you want brewery and name of beer. It’s eleven pages if you want to know what the heck you’re drinking.

Still, y0u know I’d like to try all of those. But no: I have a liver that may fall under the Endangered Species Act if I attempt such madness, so I’m going to be happy with what I can get.

On the upside, I’m able to attend the Oregon Brewer’s Dinner tonight, so I’ll do my best to take some notes and photos and have something to talk about on Friday, before the festival is in full swing. Special thanks to the OBF people who are making that possible.

The rest of my plan is to go Sunday and have a writeup on what I drank on Wednesday!

OBF wrapup

Once again, general impressions about the fest from my Outboard Brain. Extras in bold.
The festival  itself seemed to be well run and  I thank everyone who served, worked, and gave me a touch of bonuses as a blogger to write about it.

It’s just so cool to be a part of neat stuff. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Hollister, Altered State:
Bready nose just a ping of hop bitterness in a clean ale

Deschutes, Chainbreaker
White IPA? Nose is a touch strange as though a hint of I don’t know what, however beer has a nice mouthfeel; smooth with hop bite

Full Sail, bohemian pilsner
Corn nose and finish and it’s not quite refreshing enough

3 Creeks, Fivepine porter
Nice but maybe served a touch cold and settled like a weight in my belly. Flavors seemed a bit muted and I think if I hadn’t been in a hurry to taste as much as I could have, this beer might’ve impressed me more.

New Holland, Golden Cap saison
Very light and crisp as hell. Post porter this is a real treat.

Elysian, Idiot Sauvin ipa
Very tangerine. Reminded me a bit of Widmer’s Drifter, which is a good thing.

Blue Frog, Ginger and Meyer Ann
Ugh the finish tastes like feet.

Goose Island, Pepe Nero
Farmhousey but no it just doesn’t appeal kinda icky at the finish. This beer did improve after being allowed to warm up; both the farmhouse qualities and the finish changed for the better.

Mt Emily, imperial red
Tasty but a touch watery. That said; I enjoyed the beer.

I was tempted to try Rogue’s offering but was told by a friend that it may have been the worst beer he’d ever had. While that is something that piques my curiosity, I’m not sure that ‘I should try it because it’s bad’ is really a philosophy I want to start following.

I also had to start volunteering at the OBC booth and while I was able to sample more brews, the day became more about chatting up than taking notes. However I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention that I had an chance to try Rock Bottom’s Zombie Flanders which I suggested people should avoid and you know, I actually liked it. My evaluation of that beer wasn’t wrong the first time I had it but I have to admit that when I tried it at the OBF, I would have unhesitatingly recommended it to anyone who enjoys sour ales.

Final note: I’m going to be away for a few days, so no post on Friday. Back for Monday.

Notes from the OBF Brewer’s Guild Dinner

Taken on my outboard brain with photos managed as best I could. Thoughts after the fact in bold.

Ninkasi ronsom old Tom collaboration:
Unsure of style but it’s light and has a pleasantly hoppy-pine nose. Recommended


Hopworks Cronan the Barbarian
Strong ale and it’s really rich and tasty. Caramel goodness. Highly recommended.

Gilgamesh organic jasmine hefeweisen starts bitter faint honey nose and… Not sure what to make of it. Final decision is meeeh. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy this beer, so maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just really hard to follow Cronan.

Pelican wienna wit
More Belgian like with a hint of sour bite at the end. It was OK.

Upright flora rustica
Got that sour Belgian nose dry finish but something kinda dirty there. Upright continues to not persuade me. Does give me a farmhouse feel but I am just not convinced.

Oakshire Perfect Storm double ipa
Wonderful caramel-grapefruit nose that went for the ipa part. Not balanced; stingy at end. Tasty. This beer is for the hopheads because wow does it bite.

Hop Valley Pollenation honey ale
Smooth and easy to drink. Aftertaste may be affected by ipa b/c there’s a weird bitter moment. Talking to others, that dirty aftertaste was present to them, too so maybe it’s not just me.

Ft George Hellcat Belgian
Nose slightly off-putting with a yeasty note but beer is hard to describe. A hard candy start and a pepper finish that doesn’t hit until it’s too late. This was, amongst the people I talked to, one of the most interesting and tasty beers there, and I agree with that. Try it.

I’m not sure how this happened

Somehow I’ve ended up on the list for press people to the OBF.

That’s pretty high up on the awesome list, to me. Please don’t tell them I don’t belong there.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking over the taplist and it’s pretty much overwhelming. There’s going to be eighty seven (87!) beers at the festival and I can honestly tell you that I have no way of properly reviewing that many beers to provide recommendations.

Eighty seven beers. Good lord. I couldn’t drink that many beers in a week. Still I do have some opinions:

I have tried 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon beer and know that it’s good for something but that drinking is not it. I don’t care how popular this beer is; they’re wrong. If you want alcoholic watermelon just get a melon and soak it in vodka. Try any other 21st Amendment beer; my experience with those has been very good.

The same force that compelled me to try Hell or High Watermelon will also say that I should have Dogfishead’s Black and Red, a raspberry mint imperial stout. I imagine other people will similarly be compelled by the power of Christ but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it so much as that beer is just too weird to pass by. If this was any brewer but Dogfishead, I’d approach it with trepidation but since it’s them, I’m really just curious.

I’ve tried Rock Bottom’s Zombie Flanders which, while I love the reference, just didn’t seem very tasty to me. Thin and not very appealing, I just couldn’t get into it.

However; I go to these festivals to try things I’ve never heard of, not stuff I know about already.

Three Creek‘s FivePine Chocolate Porter seems interesting, Old Market struck gold for me a couple years ago so I’m interested in their Berried Alive! (despite the fruit), Hollister Brewing’s German Alt scratches my itch for alt beers and Mt. Emily‘s Wildfire Red ale seems interesting.

Plus, I look forward to checking things out from old favorites like Elysium, Deschutes, Natian, Maui Brewing, and..well on and on. I just hope my stamina holds. Since I’ll be going on Sunday before my volunteer shift for the Oregon Brew Crew, my selection may be whittled down by virtue of time. I’ve been assured that all beers are expected to be on tap through Sunday but  I think that might be a difficult promise to keep.