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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Good Life Brewing Celebrates First Anniversary


Good Life Brewery has a lot to celebrate these days. Just a week after the bottle release of the wildly popular “Descender IPA,” Good Life raised their glasses again to their first year in business. The Bend, Oregon brewery has enjoyed a huge amount of success in their first year, winning both the 2012 People’s Choice Award for “Descender IPA” as well as “Mountain Rescue Dry Hop Pale Ale” in 2011. However, these awards pale in comparison to the outpouring of loyal craft beer lovers that just can’t seem to get enough of Good Life brews. Good Life works hard to involve the local community with Thursday night “Local’s Nights” as well as featuring a menu that includes the Best of Bend to add a local flair. It’s been a whirlwind first year, but we think it’s safe to say that we can expect only good things from Good Life. Cheers to one year, Good Life!

Check out the photos posted above from Good Life’s birthday bash and find out more about the brewery here.

West Coast Breweries Clean up at World Beer Cup

OK, so maybe this is old news to some of you, but for those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of attending the 2o12 World Beer Cup in sunny San Diego last weekend, here’s a recap of the West Coast winners. And extra super special shout out to super young breweries Sound Brewing (WA), Columbia River Brewing (OR), The Commons Brewery (OR), Breakside Brewing (OR), and Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (OR) for their first WBC medals.

According to The Weekly Pint: “This year there were 211 judges from 27 countries tasting blind; 2/3 of the judges were non-U.S. to balance results in the age of American craft brew—and macro brew—dominance, with gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded in 95 distinct beer styles. The average number of entries per style: 41. And how about this for a tap list: there were 3,921 beers judged from 799 breweries in 54 countries (and 45 U.S. states). In addition, honors for best brewery and brewmaster combo were awarded as usual, a highly coveted honor reserved for the end of festivities.”

What to do with this (in no particular order list)? Seek and find the beers! Have fun!

Brewery Winners:

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2012 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster

Mid-size Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Paso Robles, CA
Matthew Brynildson

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2012 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster

Large Brewpub
Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, OR
Darron R S Welch

Washington winners

Fish Brewing/Leavenworth, Dunkelweizen

Elysian, Great Pumpkin

BJ’s-Tacoma, Got Beer

Fremont Brewing, Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale

Black Raven Brewing, Great Grandfather Raven

Silver City, Winter Bock

Redhook Ale Brewery, Nut Brown Ale

Sound Brewery, Poundage Porter

Silver City Brewing, Old Scrooge

Pike Brewing, Pike XXXXX Extra Stout

Silver City Brewery, Imperial Stout

Oregon winners

Hop Valley, DD Blonde

Columbia River Brewing, Drunken Elf Stout

Upright Brewing, Oyster Stout

Bend Brewing, Ching Ching

Columbia River Brewing, Stumblers Stout

Pelican Pub & Brewery, Stormwatcher’s Winterfest

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Peche ‘n Brett

The Commons Brewery, Urban Farmhouse Ale

Laurelwood Brewing, Mother Lode Golden Ale

Pelican Pub & Brewery, MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale

Caldera Brewing, Caldera Ashland Amber

Breakside Brewing, Breakside Dry Stout

California winners

Rock Bottom-La Jolla, Longboard Brown Ale

Bayhawk Ales, Chocolate Porter

21st Amendment, Hqt

AleSmith Brewing, AleSmith Decadence 2010 Old Ale

AleSmith Brewing, AleSmith Old Numbskull

Alpine, Odin’s Raven

Third Street Aleworks, Blarney Sisters Dry Irish Stout

Left Coast Brewing Co., Voo Doo

Island Brewing, Starry Night Stout

Mad River Brewing, Steelhead Extra Pale

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Foam Top

Firestone Walker, Mission Street Pale

Firestone Walker, Pale 31

Green Flash, Palate Wrecker

Pizza Port Carlsbad, Poor Man’s IPA

Half Moon Bay Brewing, Mavericks Amber Ale

Sierra Nevada, Bigfoot

Pizza Port Carlsbad, Great American Brown

Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Tarantulas 2.0

Bear Republic, Black Racer

Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Achievement Beyond Life’s Experiences American Stout Brit Antrim Benefit Beer

Pizza Port San Clemente, Nerf Herder

Pizza Port San Clemente, Way Heavy

Oggi’s Pizza & Brewery, Alyssa’s Attitude

The Bruery, Melange #1

Mammoth Brewing, Double Nut Brown

Pizza Port San Clemente, Pier Rat Porter

Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., Blackjack Stout

The Lost Abbey, Carnevale

The Lost Abbey, Gift of the Magi

The Bruery, Oude Tart

Sierra Nevada, Ovila Dubbel

Karl Strauss, Two Tortugas Belgian Quad

Karl Strauss, Red Trolley Ale

Telegraph Brewing, Rhinoceros

Rock Bottom-Long Beach, Rocktoberfest

Lucky Hand Beer, Cali Common

Third Street Aleworks, Annadel Pale Ale

Firestone Walker, 805 IPA

Mammoth Brewing Co, Real McCoy Amber

The Bruery, Hottenroth Berliner Weisse

Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Coffee Imperial Porter

FiftyFifty Brewing, Donner Party Porter

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Hangar 24 Winter Warmer

Sierra Nevada, Kellerweis

Marin Brewing, Star Brew

Manzanita Brewing, Where There’s Smoke…

Telegraph Brewing, Petit Obscura

Green Flash, Green Flash Brewing Co.

Russian River, Supplication

Whew, that’s quite a list, and a lot of beers to sample. For the complete list of 2012 World Beer Cup winners, click here.

Widmer Brothers’ Omission Gluten-Free Beer

By Rebecca K. Clark

As the gluten-free movement heats up in the Northwest, Widmer Brothers cools things down with the introduction of its new line of gluten-free beers, aptly named Omission to demonstrate the uniqueness of the brewing process, which involves the removal of gluten from grain. Omission is a strong contender in the beer market, introducing a crisp, nutty lager, and a refreshing pale ale.

Producing great tasting, safe, gluten-free beer is a personal endeavor at Widmer Brothers. CEO and craft beer enthusiast, Terry Michaelson, was diagnosed with celiac twelve years ago; and brewmaster Joe Casey’s wife has been a celiac since 2006. It’s only natural that these two men came together to produce a delicious, gluten-free alternative that pleases all palates, including those of average beer drinkers and craft connoisseurs. But is it really safe?

The guys from Widmer Brothers say the brewing process is a secret, but they did explain that they are careful to test every batch to ensure safety. The gluten parts per million (ppm) for the lager and the pale ale is currently 5.0—well below the international standard for safety, which is 20 ppm of gluten protein.

According to Michaelson, he and several celiac and gluten intolerant people have enjoyed Omission beers on more than one occasion, and they have given them the all clear. I am gluten intolerant. I threw a couple back. I have no complaints.

Omission beers are not produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. That made me feel squeamish at first, but brewmaster Casey reminded me that both beers are made from barley to start. To avoid cross-contamination, they brew Omission beers in the morning after everything has been sanitized. To ensure safety, each batch is tested to meet the international standards. That is why they can label their beers gluten-free, even though they’re not made in a dedicated facility and they’re made from barley. Speaking of safety, Widmer Brothers has chosen to sell Omission beers in bottles. This eliminates server error and cross-contamination from taps.

Michaelson and Casey are not only doing their best to ensure safety, because of their relationships to celiac disease; their passions and palates drive them to produce consistently great tasting gluten-free beer. Each batch must pass the standards of a tasting panel for quality control before being bottled and sold to consumers.

Brewing gluten-free has never been easy on the consumer’s pocketbook. Gluten-free grains are typically expensive, which hikes up the price of their resulting beers. I asked Casey if gluten-removal from the barley grain was expensive, and if it would affect the retail cost of Omission beers. He said it did raise the cost, and that each six-pack would be sold at the average price of a typical craft beer. ($9.99 was the rumored price.) If you think that’s expensive, peruse the single bottle, 16 oz. gluten-free beers at your local grocer, and you’ll think Omission is a pretty good deal.

While Widmer Brothers is looking to sell Omission beers beyond the Oregon border, they are staying local for now. Expanding distribution will be a matter of defining what is gluten-free from state to state.

Considering Portland and the local food scene, the Widmer Brothers Gasthaus Pub is now offering a gluten-friendly menu by request. The kitchen staff is prepared to do everything they can to keep sensitive eaters safe. Michaelson will probably do his best to make sure the kitchen keeps its safety standards high.

If you’re interested in trying Widmer Brothers’ satisfyingly refreshing Omission beers, you can find them at these locations.

Have you tried the Omission yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Fantastically Fruity

by Colin McElroy

Fruit beers have never been my thing. I don’t have an innate aversion to fruit and most certainly not to beer, but I have had some past experiences with fruit beers which I might compare to cough syrup. Widmer Brothers Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout does not draw this comparison.

To call this solely a fruit beer would be to overlook so many of it’s other qualities. This beer is a stout at heart, having its roots in Widmer Brothers KGB Russian Imperial Stout. With slight raspberry fruit tartness balanced by a toasty chocolate aroma you get the sense that the brewer really didn’t want this to be categorized as a fruit beer. The addition of Midnight Wheat to the boil adds smoothness and an extra layer of complexity.

The Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout is the second offering from Widmer Brothers recently launched Alchemy Project. Though the beers in the Alchemy series can be consumed immediately, they are designed to develop with age.

While this beer has helped partially mend my fear of fruit beers, I continue to be understandably weary. The toughest thing about trying this beer last night and taking a few bottles home is knowing that I have to (er, should) wait to drink them.

Learn more about this beer from Widmer Brothers brewer, Ben Dobler:  Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout. You can find 22-ounce bottles of Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout at your local beer retailers.

February is Stout Month at Fort George!

Celebrate your favorite high gravity beers during several events that Astoria’s Fort George Brewery has planned over the next month. And don’t make it to March without trying the brewery’s Stout Month Stouts: Spank Stout (Hot Pepper Stout), Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout, Polish’s Roasted Walnut Stout and Mexican Chocolate Stout.

February 9: Fort George Night at the Highland Still House in Oregon City AND Pint Night at Brother John’s Public House in Bend.

February 15: Stouts and Oysters Dinner at the brewery

Local “oystermen” will share stories with guests and describe each course, all of which feature oysters, including dessert. Fort George co-owners Chris Nemlowill and Jack Harris will share their thoughts on each paired beer.

February 18: The Festival of Dark Arts

This day-long stout carnival will feature more than 15 stouts to taste, as well as belly dancing, fire dancing, fire eating, a live blacksmith forge, tattoo artists, dark cuisine, music, tarot card reading, and an art showcase of local compositions.

February 25-26: Brewvana Tour of Astoria

Brewvana is celebrating all of the great stouts coming out of Northern Oregon with an overnight tour of the city. Start at Rogue, then head to Astoria Brewing for appetizers, followed by dinner at Fort George. You’ll make one more stop at Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse on your way out the next day.

February 23: Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale Can Release Party at Portland’s Liberty Glass Bar & Grill

Winter Ale Festivals

Beer West will be bundling up all weekend long in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Square at the Holiday Ale Fest. And we’ll be representing at the Seattle Winter Beer Fest at Hale’s Ales. It’s gonna be a big weekend.

Photo courtesy Beeriety Blog.

Cold weather means welcoming a new batch of strong winter ales. Here are a few festivals and events in the West that you shouldn’t miss this season:

Portland Holiday Ale Festival // Pioneer Square // Portland, OR
November 30 – December 4

Winter BeerFest // Hales Ales // Seattle, WA
December 2-3

San Diego Strong Ale Festival // Pizza Port // San Diego, CA
December 2-3

15th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Tasting Challenge // Beer Co // San Diego, CA
December 3

Winter Wonderland CoLAboration Beer Garden // Golden Road Brewing // Los Angeles, CA
December 3

Parade of Darks
// Wynkoop Brewing Company // Denver, CO
December 3

Sono Park Holiday Fest and Chilipalooza // 32nd and Thorn // San Diego, CA
December 4

Meet the Brewer Monday with Ballast Point Brewing // The Pearl Hotel // San Diego, CA
December 5

Jingle Bell Jubilee // Blue Palms Brewhouse // Los Angeles, CA
December 10

8 Malty Nights Release // New Old Lompoc // Portland, OR
December 14

Kerstbier Fest 2011 // The Trappist // Oakland, CA
December 16

Chanukah Vs. Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers // The Green Dragon // Portland, OR
December 17

Strong Ale Holiday Festival // Library Ale House // Santa Monica, CA
December 19

You know that warm, toasty feeling you get after your first (or maybe second) pint? We like to think of that as a beer blanket. So wrap yourself up, and get out this holiday season for some strong seasonal brews. Got more winter beer events to go to? Write us a comment, post on our Facebook page, or find us on Twitter @BeerWestMag. Cheers!

RateBeer.com’s Top West Coast Beers of 2010

It’s that time of the year again; RateBeer.com has tabulated a year’s worth of beer ratings to supply us with their best of 2010 beer list. Below are the 50 top rated beers from California, Oregon and Washington, as well as the top 20 rated beers in each state.  Russian River’s Pliny the Younger takes the top spot and California brews make up a whopping 90% of the top 50. Evidently you guys like big beer. Big beer from California. Does California beer really reign supreme? And it looks like the Washington beer folks ought to start rating more of their beer…

Top 50 West Coast Beers from RateBeer.com

Russian River Pliny the Younger 4.344938 California
AleSmith Speedway Stout 4.284298 California
Russian River Pliny the Elder 4.283405 California
AleSmith Barrel Aged Speedway Stout 4.251503 California
Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus 4.205486 California
Russian River Supplication 4.165094 California
Stone Imperial Russian Stout 4.158266 California
Deschutes The Abyss 4.149295 Oregon
Lost Abbey Cable Car 4.136702 California
Lost Abbey Veritas 006 4.133434 California
Russian River Consecration 4.123191 California
Lost Abbey The Angel’s Share Grand Cru 4.114347 California
North Coast Old Rasputin Anniv Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout 4.112161 California
Firestone Walker Parabola 4.095411 California
AleSmith Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout 4.093729 California
North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout 4.092294 California
Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa 4.091567 California
Stone Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout 4.090946 California
Lost Abbey Veritas 004 4.080602 California
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (North Star) 4.054239 California
AleSmith IPA 4.051663 California
Hair of the Dog Adam 4.046609 Oregon
Firestone Walker 13 4.046131 California
Lost Abbey Veritas 007 4.041255 California
Ballast Point Victory at Sea 4.039996 California
Lost Abbey Deliverance 4.033481 California
Russian River Deviation (Bottleworks IX) 4.033052 California
Stone Ruination IPA 4.031073 California
Lost Abbey The Angels Share (Bourbon Barrel) 4.024199 California
Lost Abbey Yellow Bus 4.020071 California
Russian River Temptation 4.017764 California
Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood 4.015043 Oregon
Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale 4.008969 California
Russian River Blind Pig IPA 3.999419 California
Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze 3.998506 California
Port Brewing Hop 15 3.997305 California
Pizza Port Cuvee de Tomme 3.994826 California
AleSmith Wee Heavy Scotch Ale 3.991306 California
Hair of the Dog Matt 3.991226 Oregon
Green Flash Silva Stout 3.989937 California
The Bruery Black Tuesday Imperial Stout 3.989298 California
Port Brewing Older Viscosity 3.986961 California
Alpine Beer Company Exponential Hoppiness 3.984929 California
AleSmith Old Numbskull 3.979869 California
AleSmith YuleSmith (Summer) India Pale Ale 3.979569 California
Lost Abbey Serpents Stout 3.974306 California
Stone Double Bastard Ale 3.97062 California
Lost Abbey Funky Barrel 3.96 California
Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam from the Wood 3.95659 Oregon
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye Ale 3.951116 California

Top Rated CA Beers

Russian River Pliny the Younger 4.344938 Santa Rosa
AleSmith Speedway Stout 4.284298 San Diego
Russian River Pliny the Elder 4.283405 Santa Rosa
AleSmith Barrel Aged Speedway Stout 4.251503 San Diego
Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus 4.205486 San Marcos
Russian River Supplication 4.165094 Santa Rosa
Stone Imperial Russian Stout 4.158266 Escondido
Lost Abbey Cable Car 4.136702 San Marcos
Lost Abbey Veritas 006 4.133434 San Marcos
Russian River Consecration 4.123191 Santa Rosa

Top Rated OR Beers

Deschutes The Abyss 4.149295 Bend
Hair of the Dog Adam 4.046609 Portland
Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood 4.015043 Portland
Hair of the Dog Matt 3.991226 Portland
Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam from the Wood 3.95659 Portland
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout 3.944718 Newport
Cascade Sang Royal 3.92247 Portland
Pelican The Perfect Storm 3.914014 Pacific City
Deschutes Black Butte XXI 3.881093 Bend
Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws 3.878026 Portland

Top Rated WA Beers

Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine (Barrel Aged) 3.807237 Olympia
Elysian Dragonstooth Stout 3.749312 Seattle
Pike XXXXX Stout 3.7373 Seattle
Hales Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double IPA 3.676352 Seattle
Elysian Dark O The Moon Pumpkin Stout 3.669101 Seattle
Fish Tale Monkfish Triple (Barrel Aged) 3.65891 Olympia
Diamond Knot Industrial India Pale Ale 3.582706 Mukilteo
Old Schoolhouse Hooligan Stout 3.57141 Winthrop
Elysian The Great Pumpkin 3.546284 Seattle
Fish Tale Poseidons Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged) 3.544439 Olympia
RateBeer.com, December 2010

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Agree with the lineup? What are your favorite beers of 2010?

Deschutes Brewery & Public House Plans Expansion

Even though most of us would love it if Deschutes opened an entirely new location, we’ll settle for not having to wait an hour to get into the Bend brewpub.

The Deschutes Brewery & Public House has been a staple of the Bend community for more than 22 years, and will be expanding to a new location just south from the original pub. The new two story building will allow for plenty more seating, an outdoor balcony area, and a private dining area.

Mike Cooper, director of food and beverage for Deschutes said, “This expansion provides the opportunity to better serve our customers and reduce wait times for seating. This also gives us a chance for some new exciting upgrades to create a better overall experience for our guests.”

Construction on the new space will begin early 2011 and we can look forward to a new Deschutes drinking and dining experience by early 2012. Stay tuned…