Camp Beer

14 Mar

photo 11

It’s official. Brian is leaving to spend three weeks in the southwest. Brace yourself for numerous posts from the high dessert. I know I’m excited. Especially if he eats that green chili apple pie he was talking about! The other half of taphandle felt we should send him off in style since he won’t be enjoing any tasty Oregon brews for quite a while. Although, if I know Brian, and I do, I’m sure he picked up a bunch of 22’s at the airport on his way out.

We took the opportunity to try one of the (relative) newbies in town and ended up at Base Camp before going on a bender that included Cascade and the Green Dragon. I was feeling indecisive so I went with the taster tray.

photo 4Paolschenbier: light, summery, kinda corny, good body, bright, definitely a lager but with plenty of flavor. None of that watered down Bud shit. Not too exciting, but good for hot summer nights or drinking all night around a campfire. Given their name, I suppose that is what they were going for.

Northwest Fest: another light beer, but this one is malt forward, a little sweeter, toastier, reminds Michael of the red Sessions. I think I would actually prefer this one around the campfire. There is a light dryness on the tongue that I enjoy better.

Ripstop Rye Pils: this is a great pilsner. Nice light beer, but slightly bigger body giving it a better mouthfeel while remaining a refreshing beer.  Light dryness and spicyness from the rye. The rye stands out nicely in this beer without a lot of other competing malts. My favorite so far. Especially on a summer afternoon.

Belgian Session Ale: clear, golden, sweet fruit, light effervescence on tongue but otherwise feels a little flatter than the rest of the line-up, not a ton of flavors going on here, pretty clean malt flavor without the traditional Belgian yeast flavors, just a hint of candy or fruitiness (not any one in particular).

Acclimator Dopplebock: a lot more roast malt, bolder mouthfeel, some caramel, nuttiness, light spice, and finishing dry like the others. This is more complex than the others so far. There is some fruit, stone, peach or apricot as well. This one stands out…in a really good way! Everyone enjoyed this one and the boys each ordered a pint of it.

In-Tents IPI: India Pale Lager, sweet and fruity aromas, copper in color, bitter hops and malts, not a lot of citrus or pine. Great with food. Well balanced. Brian had a full pint and we both really liked it as it warmed and the malt was able to assert itself more in the beer.

S’more Stout: yes, that is a toasted marshmallow on the rim of my glass. Roasty and biscuity malts on the nose. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, it’s rich, with a lot of vanilla. A lighter bodied stout, much like their other beers, making the alcohol more noticeable. That said, there are nice chocolate, vanilla, and toasted malts, with almost a hint of smokiness.

photo 2Overall: Their beer is a nice addition to the scene. We were not blown away, but all of their beers are solid. And if you are a lager person or like lighter beers, this is definitely a place for you to check out. Across the board, their beers were lighter in body, drier, and more refreshing than many of the beers around town. We could see this place being crowded especially in the summertime. For their “camping” “outdoorsy” vibe, the beer seems to be meeting their target quite well. Especially since they sell their beers in aluminum bottles – perfect for those hiking trips. Our only thought was that a slightly lower ABV (many were upper 6% and 7%) might make these beers even more sessionable and more condusive to a full day fishing or long evening around the campfire. 

The space is also nice, making it a cool place to hang out and enjoy a few beers with friends. The decor fit their theme as well as the beers did without being over the top or cheesy. It was classy outdoorsy (but don’t worry, your fleece will fit in…*sigh*).

photo 41The food was very good for a brewery / brewpub. Fresh, good ingredients. Well done. We enjoyed an excellent pizza special with figs, good cheese, arugula and olive oil; a plate of hummus, and delicious wood fire brussel sprouts.  The food is prepared by two food carts outside. We all thought this was a cool idea. It allows them to offer different menus / types of food for their costumers. Kudos to Gonzao Falafel and Hummus and Pizza Box for whipping up such delicious snacks.

Recommendation: Definitely check this place out!! We will definitely be back as they normally have a Brown and another IPA that were both sold out during our visit. But in the meantime, check out the Ripstop and the Acclimator. And if you are a fan of stouts, definitely get the S’more Stout. It comes with a handmade vanilla marshmallow that is worth the purchase alone (cheesy, yes, but it’s delicious and pairs wonderful with the beer – make sure you consume them together).

That’s it for now. If you’ve been, or you’ve taken their beers on an outdoor adventure, share your stories.

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One Response to “Camp Beer”

  1. grotusque March 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM #

    Pretty much agree with your assessment. The beers are solid and on the lighter side, which I think is pretty helpful role in the overall beer scene.

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