Oregon summer series: beer #2

16 Aug

Who says “no” to free beer? Not this guy.

A couple of days ago, I lent a co-worker my La Caha China roasting box for his annual Meatapalooza party (good article about them here).  During the return of the box, as a thank you, he brought over some Ninkasi Radiant Ale for us to drink.  After sharing one in the garage and shooting the shit, he left and I had four beers in need of consumption.  What a perfect opportunity to add to my Oregon Summer Series, I thought.Again, I drank this beer as I worked on dinner for the family.  In case you are wondering what I made (and who amongst you isn’t?), it was gnocchi with peas, prosciutto, and lemon ricotta.  But I digress…the beer is what’s important here.  The beer was a light copper color with very little head to it.  The carbonation was spot on, it’s just that the head retention was lacking.  This kind of threw me on the nose, as there was very little in my first few whiffs across the glass.  The aromas I did get were  slightly spicy with a hint of malt underneath.  There was definitely a little fruit there as well, I just couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of.  The beer had a firm malt backbone upon my first taste, which gave way quickly to a bitterness that took over my mouth.  Again, the hops tasted more spicy than grassy or earthy.  Certainly no citrus or pine in this.  The malt flavors were overshadowed by the bitterness during the first 10 minutes or so.

Overall it felt like a middle-of-the-road beer.  There was nothing wrong with it.  It tasted good and was well made, but isn’t an American Pale Ale like Good Life Mountain Rescue or Lompoc’s Kick Axe, which are dry-hopped.  This beer is more like an English Bitter, except in true Oregon fashion the ABV was 6.0%, qualifying it more as an ESB.  The hops are all about adding flavor and bitterness in this beer.  As the pint warmed a bit, the caramel malts started to assert themselves more, which I enjoyed.  I feel like this beer is probably right up a lot of people’s alley…just look at Mirror Pond sales.  However, a better version of it is probably Burnside Brewing’s Stock Ale, which is a personal favorite of mine.

Food pairing: Spicy BBQ Chicken.  And I mean the homemade bbq sauce that uses Srirachia in it!  I am partial to legs and thighs myself, but if you are a breast (wo)man, have at.  BBQ chicken is one of those things that few people can do well on a grill, but when you get some that is done right it’s straight up heaven.  Sides of your choice of course.  I am partial to german potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans.  Call me old fashioned.

Next up: SOB Na Zdravi Czech Style Pilsner

2 Responses to “Oregon summer series: beer #2”

  1. keith dupuis November 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM #

    good morning – I am looking for a deshutes brewery tap handle for Mirror Pond Pale Ale – can you help?

    Keith – 509.727.5390

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