The Beers at the OGBF

27 Apr

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What a beautiful day for a beer festival. Even better was the setting. It might be the best setting for a beer festival, except for that pesky drive down from Portland of course. It wasn’t too bad though. We took advantage of the free shuttle to hitch a ride downtown and back for a little dinner at the Thai Dish (way good by the way) giving us enough time to sober up before driving back to Portland. If you are headed down there this afternoon, think about doing that to stay safe. Miranda got the day off as she did all the planning for the trip, and the previous night’s posts, so these are the tasting notes from the beers that Brian and I were able to taste in the five hours we were there. Check them out in order to maximize your tasting tickets (no need to waste a ticket if I already have for you!) and enjoy the scenery while you are there.

Sasquatch
*Woodboy IPA*
Light nose for dry hopped beer, big body spicy hop, like an imperial English IPA. Not a great IPA but worth your time to try

*Oregon Session Ale (NW Pilsner)*
Good initial flavor, but finishes a bit too dry for my tastes.

Rusty Truck Brewing
*Moonlight Ride Blackberry Ale*
As we previously talked about, after talking to the brewer knowing this beer was brew with real blackberries this was one beer I wanted to try. I am hesitant about fruit beers. For very good brew there are a handful that’d are just not executed well. Admittedly this is a tricycle beer, simple and very approachable. At the same time executed well, tasty true berry upfront that is sweet but not syrupy and finishing with a balanced light malt finish. Fruit beer fans or newbies, give this beer a try.

*Stupifiny Imperial Red Ale*
Super sweet malt nose.  Equally sweet flavor.  Hops are not present enough to impress.  Not worth your time.

20130427-132037.jpgRat Hole
*Fencepost Porter*
Wow, right of the bat this beer is weird, I think I can smell smoked malt in this porter, this interesting. Unfortunately, interesting is not good here. Mushrooms mushrooms and more mushrooms, then a hint of smoke, just weird. It was just too much for me, this was the first sample I poured out.

*Lemon Wheat*
not bad, but lacking much of a nose.  What I would call an “entry” beer for people not yet into craft beer.  I would drink this if it was all they had at a party, etc

Twisted Snout
*IPA*
This is one of those situations when tasting beer one becomes awhere how important other senses, besides taste. This beer smelled very sweet. The nose was all brown sugar. Already I am down on this beer. Even if not dry hopped there need to be detectable balance between the hops and malt here. Then I tasted the beer and the flavor was nice, hoppy, yet balanced. But still, each time I brought this beer to my face the sweet aroma is just too much. give this beer a shot but in my opinion this is not great IPA.

Golden Valley
*Bald Peak IPA*
Light hop nose, big body, spicy bitterness, basically the same description I gave to Sasquatch’s Woodboy. These are not in any was bad beers but, I have come to love the flavorful NW hops and would like a bit more citrus and pine from this beer.

Crux Fermentation Project
*Insider IPA*
This beer starts with a very inviting lemony-hoppy nose. Initially, I tasted slightest earthiness that finished as bright as the nose suggests. A great hot weather beer, that is until I read, and would never guessed, this was an 8% beer. This brings up one problem with Brewfests, there is always a wide variation in carbonation levels. Now, I can only judge a beer by the sample given but The Insider was clearly more carbonated, but not overly so, than any other beer which I am sure improved the aroma of this beer and my opinion of it over the beers I have tasted so far. Lesson here is,a brewfest are not the end all be all for judging a beer. So don’t completely disregard a beer until you have tasted someone’s beer at their brewpub or a quality taphouse.

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Falling Sky
*Chicken Little IPA*
Light musty, hop nose, rich full body, necessary at 8%, zesty citrus hop, This is a great example of how the beers are served matters.  The profile is similar to that to Crux Fermentation but did not grab my attention as much.  As served this was a good IPA but not meeting an already high bar for IPAs in Oregon.

Brew Werks
*Rabble Rouser Red*
Another brewery that is new to me that I was looking forward to trying.  Unfortunately I was not all that impressed, the light malt/hoppy nose was not bad but for the flavor the hops were sharp and separate for the malt.

Santiam
*Cherry Saison*
Oh, not good I got a metallic smell when I brought the glass to my face, but since I am here to taste beer I went ahead anyway.  Well that was just in the nose the beer was not exposed to too much oxygen as I could not detect any metallic flavors. Sweet cherry mildly earthy, flavors are gentle a Saison for the masses. If  you like the Rusty Truck give this one a try as well.  I would ask for more complexity but still a good beer.

*Pirate Stout*
Rum barrel aged coconut stout.  Coconut is obvious, right from the first sniff.  Hint of barrel, but no rum in the nose.  Tastes initially of the rum, then the coconut washes away everything.  The finish is boozy, but in a real nice way.  A beer I did not expect to like at all ends up being one I might give my vote to for People’s Choice…except this is a spring beer festival and I can’t give an award to a stout at a festival like this.

Vertigo
*Friar Mikes IPA*
Another IPA that smells like brown sugar, again no way to start a sample of an IPA. And again the taste actually proved to be good and quite hoppy, the Amarillo came through nicely, and it finish with just the right about of dryness. With a bit more aroma hops at the end of the boil or a light dry hopping, this would be good IPA but the brown sugar smell is just too sweet and off putting.

Blue Dog Mead
*Yellow Collar*
Yuck! Smells like cheese!  Not not even like a nice blue cheese, like dirty toe cheese.  Again I am here to taste all samples I choose so here it goes, despite the smell I am going to taste it anyway. Fail, the keg must be contaminated, at best it was weird tasting.  This is the second sample I poured out.

Seven Brides
*Abiqua Black IPA*
Roasted malt comprise the majority of nose.  The hops rise just above the and strong dark malt backbone.  This was a good black IPA.  The one critique I would give is I would ask for the dark malt to be a tad more subtle.  Overall a good beer, my favorite from Seven Brides so far, I this the quality of the beer seems to grow each year.

10 Barrel
*Wheat IPA*
This beer is a shining example of how the aroma affects a brew positively, pine and fruit jump out, all of which are from the hops.  Great nose that has tons of grapefruit in it.  I am instantly excited to taste the beer.  The flavor comes through with same strong hop throughout supported by soft malt, a damn tasty brew.  Sharp pine flavors that mellow with the lightness of the wheat.  Finishes a bit drier than I like, but it is pretty damn good, nonetheless.  Typical 10 Barrel..really solid and well thought out. You must try this beer.

20130427-132402.jpgFlat Tail Brewing
*Little Green (Saison/IPA hybrid)*
Holy fucking hell!  This is the single most hop forward beer I have ever had the pleasure to smell or taste.  Like chewing on the plant that this beautiful flower comes from.  3 pounds of Mosaic hops per barrel are used here.  Not an everyday beer, but one of the coolest experimental beers I have tried since moving to Portland.  Finishes like somebody ran a blowdryer over my tongue. Too much for many, but not for Michael; this was his vote for the People’s Choice award.

Fort George
*Tender Loving Empire NW Pale Ale*
Damn fine, strong resinous hop, bright and crisp from start to finish. A NW pale as good as any I have tried.  I know several people who think the Fort George’s Vortex IPA is over the top with a little to much of everything.  If you are in this camp give this beer a try, the light body still showcases the hops without being to heavy.  Another must have beer. (Michael’s thoughts)

Slightly lighter body than the Vortex, but you can almost tell it’s a beer from Ft. George.  It is not labeled as such, but I am convinced that there are Mosaic hops here.  This hop seems to be in a bunch of beers at the festival.   Mike and I did a Blonde IPA with it, and we really liked it.  This pale is solid, but not terrific. (Brians’s thoughts)

Elysian
*Loser Pale Ale*
Balanced, I would say, is the name of the game with this beer. Medium body, medium hop, with a clear lemoniness from the Sorachi Ace this a love. A medium dry finish top top of a wonderfully drinkable beer. At 7% you definitely I can’t call it a sessions beer. But I could drink this all night, just slowly. To me Elysian has stepped up their game, from the first time I tested their up in Seattle years ago.  A hat trick, three excellent beers  in a row.  Taste this beer. (Michael’s thoughts)

Fruitier than the Ft. George and not nearly as hop-forward.  This is right in my wheelhouse.  The fruit minds of pears, apples, and apricots.  The hops are bright, but slightly spicy.  Very Old World variety.  Well balanced beer.  2nd place in my book for People’s Choice. (Brians’s thoughts)

Lompoc Brewing
*Kick Axe Pale Ale*
The standard by which I judge all Pale Ales.  Just fruity enough, just hoppy enough, balanced, refreshing, awesome!

*C-note*
I had one ticket left in this evening and was done thinking so I just got a sample of my neighborhood go to IPA to close out the night.

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Standing Stone
*Noble stout*
All coffee nose, dry coffee stout, tasty, not outstanding, but tasty.  If you are not a coffee in beer person this beer will not change your mind but if you like a coffee porter/stout, be sure to have a sample.

*I heart Oregon Ale*
Miranda had already done enough work for the blog this weekend, and so she just relaxed and enjoyed the beers without taking any notes. This was one that she really enjoyed.

New Belgium Brewing
*Peach Porch Lounger (Saison)*
Has Brett in it, so it is not a traditional Saison.  Very good, though.  Just sour enough, with hints of the peaches and spices.  A worthy effort and something worth having a full glass of.

Cascade Brewing
*Rasberry Ale*
Slightly sour, nice Raspberry flavor. Not amazing, but a nice fruit beer.  I prefer their sours.

20130427-132022.jpgWidmer Brewing
*Alchemy Ale*
I would describe this as the kind of beer you bring a 6-pack to a party and it’s a good choice.  Doesn’t stand out, but tastes just fine.  Run-of-the-mill.  Has an interesting aftertaste that I could not place.

Red Hook Brewery
*Wise Crakcer Wit*
Orange and coriander are immediately noticeable in the nose, with just the slightest hint of funkiness.  Ginger comes through with the first taste, giving this wit a much spicier finish than one would expect.  It’s quite good.  The ginger works really well with this style.

New Belgium Brewing
*Rampant Imperial IPA*
Citrus dominates here.  There is a follow-up of spiciness and the perfect body for the style…big but not overwhelming.   Well done, and a big surprise.

Full Sail Brewing
*ESB*
Great copper color and that mild malty note that you should pick up from and ESB.  Nice and bitter with a spicy hop finish.  Just a simple, solid bitter.  Always like Full Sail and what they consistently put out there.

Gigantic Brewing
*Dark Meddle (Lager?)*
Smooth, smooth, smooth.  Great lager taste, so I have to guess that is what this is.  Malty, biscuity, with a slight earthiness.  Hops are not there to star, just to contribute.  Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a People’s Choice award winner!

Old Town Brewing
*IPA*
As mentioned above, Miranda was not taking notes. This was lighter than most NW IPAs, great for the 80+ day we had. It could almost be characterized as a extra hoppy blonde. Nice and crisp, she went back for this one twice, and it was her vote for the People’s Choice award. Exciting since we don’t live too far from this brewery.

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That’s it folks. With over 125 beers, ciders, and meads we didn’t get to everything, but hopefully we helped you narrow it down a little. No matter what, you’ll enjoy the setting and some wonderful ales. Cheers!

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