31 July 2005

Updated: 2005 Oregon Brewers Festival Sunday Report

Yessss!!! I got to go! Parking was good - we found a lot across the street, and a spot in the shade, so our topless Jeep wouldn't get baked in the sun. Crutching all the way over to the entrance was tiring, but the festival made it worth it. I was losing steam coming back to the parking lot, but I made it anyway. Good shoulder/triceps workout.

Lots of great beers there, and we ran into some friends of ours that we hadn't seen since the Fourth, so that was good. I also ran into a fellow Steelers fan, but all we talked about was the Hines Ward situation, so I didn't get to find out if he was a local or not.

Now, the beer review. I'm not one of those connoisseurs who knows all the terms and can tell the difference between 20 different kinds of hops or whatever - I just know what I like. And that's usually smooth, dark beers. The occasional IPA, too, plus anything that ends in "-weizen" or is a wheat beer (thanks to my 3 years in Germany). Here's the stuff I/we tried, in no particular order:

  • Boulder Beer Company's "Hazed and Infused" (Boulder, CO) - A nice Amber Ale. Very smooth, and had a nice finish. I liked it, but it wasn't the best amber I tried today.
  • Mendocino Brewing Company's "Red Tail Ale" (Ukiah, CA) - Another good Amber. Of the two Ambers I had, I liked this one best. It's even better than Widmer's Drop Top, I'm sorry to say. Seemed smoother than Drop Top.
  • Dick's Brewing's "Dick Danger Ale" (Centrailia, WA) - This one was listed as a Brown Ale, but it seemed more like an Amber. Good stuff, but not like the other browns I've had (Newcastle, Samuel Smith).
  • Anderson Valley Brewing's "Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema" (Boonville, CA)- Listed as a Cream Ale, this had kind of the taste of an Amber, but it was sweeter and smoother than anything I've ever had that looked that dark. It would have been my favorite of the festival if I hadn't tried...
  • Fearless Brewing Company's "Fearless Scottish Ale" (Estacada, OR) - Probably the best Scottish Ale I've ever had, not as bitter as the others that I can recall. Very smooth, I like this one a lot!
  • Becky likes her fruity beers, and sometimes I do too. We tried Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub's "Raspberry Wheat" (Portland, OR) and 21st Amendment Brewing's "Watermelon Wheat" (SF, CA). Both were pretty good. The watermelon seemed perfect for summer, as the finish was light and refreshing. The raspberry was good, but I'd rate it behind Widmer's Widberry (which is more of a blackberry, but I like it better).
  • I like my Red Ales, and there were some good ones. Both the Laurelwood Public House's "Organic Deranger" (Portland, OR) and the Pizza Port Brewing Company's "Sharkbitten" (Solano Beach, CA) were good red ales. I liked the Organic Deranger better of the two, but neither were better than Rogue's "St. Rogue Red" (OR), which wasn't featured at the festival but is one of my very favorite local brews.
  • We tried Kona Brewing Company's "Lilikoi Wheat Ale" (Kailua-Kona, HI), and both liked it a lot. It didn't seem as filling as other wheats I've had, and it was every bit as tasty. It's not as good as Widmer's Hefeweizen, but it reminded me a little of the Kristallweizens we'd had in Germany.
  • UPDATE: I forgot one! The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub's "Superdog" (Portland, OR). I snagged a taste of this one, listed as an IPA. A fine one. Reminds me I need to get over to the Lucky Lab one of these days.
I missed a few that were "on my list": Siletz Chocolate Porter (Siletz Brewing, Siletz OR), Bog Phatty Panama Red (Water Street Brewing, Port Townsend WA) - both were out. Also on my list was the Main Street Single Malt (Main Street Ale House, Gresham OR), but I figured I could skip that one since I can get it right here in town.

Anyway, crutching around the festival wasn't near the hassle Becky had envisioned, and given the way the plastic mugs are just about 1/4th full when you just get a single-token "taster", I was able to carry the mug easily, tucked under my left index finger without spilling a drop. I got a couple of compliments from beer vendors saying something about how I was a dedicated beer drinker to come out to the festival on crutches. That felt nice, like my efforts were appreciated. To the both of you: this micro's for you.

And of course, big ups to the missus for not only putting up with me and my relentless hassling about going to the festival, but for also actually having a good time while we were there. You go, B!


Lunar7 said...

I don't know if I could drink a beer called Dick Danger Ale.

tabitha jane said...

glad you got to go . . . i know you would've regretted it if you didn't!

donnav said...

Now I really wish I would've gone!! Glad to know it's not really a big hassle, my husband & I just imagined it being a total pain.....next year!! Not sure how I came across your site but we seem to have lots in common....BEER, Jeeps & the STEELERS.....I grew up a fan & they are still my sentimental favorite!....this year should be interesting to say the least...