Archive | September, 2012

Getting fresh

29 Sep

Is there a better time to be a beer drinker in the NW than during the hop harvest?

Let me break it down for you: It’s hop harvest season in the Pacific NW, which means it’s time for the fresh hop beers to show up on taphandles all over town.  The beers that are available in Washington and Oregon are some of the most local and unique that you will find.  This is Deschutes Fresh Hop Mirror Pond.  It was fucking wonderful.  If you live in Portland (or Bend)…even if Deschutes isn’t your favorite place…you need to drink this beer.  It was all tangerine, lemon, bright grassy herbs, a little licorice, and the freshest damn beer I have ever tasted.  Do yourself the favor before it’s all gone.

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There’s more to life than beer

25 Sep

What’s more Fall than apples?

I was at the coast this past weekend with a big group of friends, taking in the last bit of sunshine and warmth to be had out that way.  It was 70 degrees and sunny both days, which meant the entire group spent our days playing frisbee and jumping into 52 degree water.  There was lots of good food, craft beer, and even a few Chocolate Whiskey & Beer cupcakes lying around.  The drive home on Sunday, however, cemented the idea of fall for me.  There were plenty of trees changing colors along Highway 26, and the air in the coast range had a bite to it.  I promised myself that this week would see me try at least two fall-type beverages.  I say beverages because I have been wanting to write a bit about some ciders that I have recently been enjoying. Continue reading

Oregon summer series: beer #7

21 Sep

I gotta work on my photo skills…

That’s it.  It’s over.  Done.  Summer has finally gasped it’s last breath.  Ok, so maybe we get a few more 75 degree days, but with the overcast sky and light mist today, I think it’s safe to call it.  It was a good ride this year.  Lots of sun and a long streak of dry days (over 50) through late July and into September.  But with the death of summer in the Pacific Northwest comes the end of my summer beer series.  Probably should have started sooner, but…it is what it is.  I’ll get a earlier start next year.  In the meantime, it’s onto Fall.  Not sure yet what I’ll title it (suggestions welcome), but I’ll be focusing on those beers/ciders that I love drinking this time of year.  We can call the Witch Hunt post an early test run.  All that said, I did drink and write up a little something on one last beer, so…here it is: Continue reading

Stone’s 16th Anniversary IPA

20 Sep

I cracked open a bomber of Stone 16th Anniversary IPA while camping recently. Clocking in at 10% this is a big IPA. I apologize now that this is not the most complete beer review but I was cooking while enjoying it and you know how cooking while camping is, managing food over the fire as well as on the camp stove. Anyway, the beer poured a nice bright copper color. Then there was the nose, the bottle doesn’t say whether or not the beer is dry hopped but the nose was awesome. It had a strong citrusy, sweet resinous hop smell that I just love. The taste started as wonderfully as one would expect form a beer with such fine hop bouquet but finished with an odd perfume like quality. This was not an awful perfumey quality like someone dumped Chanel in my beer. More like the way a citrus blossom smells. Looking closer to bottle again, this IPA was brewed with lemon verbena, an herb with a lemony flavor. I think it is a bit odd that I could not smell this herb but yet found it to be such a strong component of the taste of the beer.

I was drinking out of a very small mason jar and while I liked the first two glass fills, the strength of the lemon verbena was a bit too much. If I stopped there I don’t think I would recommend this beer to my friends, but I poured another glass as I sat down for dinner. With a spicy bowl of chili in front of me, the beer shined. The heat of the chili overwhelmed the lemon verbena while the strong hop flavor stood out. Alone this beer is ok but with food it is a very good beer. I really enjoyed the rest of the bottle with dinner.

Oregon summer series: beer #6

16 Sep

Cheap and tasty. Who could ask for anything more?

I had the pleasure of attending a 3 year old’s birthday party yesterday.  Pleasure because I was hanging with one of my best friends and our kids are pretty much inseparable when they get together.  Works the insanity and energy right out of both of them.  He even bought one of those inflatable bouncy castle-things for the kids.  Needless to say, mine passed out the minute we got home last night. Continue reading

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