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AUG/SEP 2005 | REGIONAL | PACIFIC NW

Oregon Trail
By Lisa Morrison

You Say You Want a Revolution, Astoria?
This just in: Reliable sources in the northern coastal city of Astoria, Ore., have confirmed that a bunch of Rogues have been frequenting the area, setting off rumors that this fair city might become the northern Oregon outpost of Rogue Nation.

Meanwhile, Rogue's owner, Jack Joyce, told the Celebrator Beer News that Rogue will be lending its name to an upcoming establishment in this fair coastal town. Further details were not available at press time. Watch this column for updates and more rumor mongering…

Going Coastal
The north coast sports an enthusiastic and growing beer culture, which will be evident at the first-ever Buoy 10 Brew Fest on September 2–3 at the marina in Hammond, Ore., just south of Astoria. The event will feature local music and fresh seafood, plus samples from at least a dozen breweries. The festival runs Friday from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The $5 admission fee includes a plastic tasting mug. Call 503-325-6311 for more information.

The British Rogue Show
And speaking of Rogue Ales, congrats are in order! Rogue won a history-making four out of 11 gold medals awarded at the 2005 International Beer Competition in England — and its Mocha Porter grabbed the Supreme Champion title. It was an unprecedented medal-haul at the competition and a chance for Oregon to shine internationally in a competition that focuses not only on the beer but also on its packaging.

"I'm not sure how many [British] consumers currently realize they need to try a Mocha Porter or a smoky rauchbier brewed in the Pacific Northwest," said Graham Holter, editor of OLN, a weekly news magazine for the U.K. take-home drinks trade. "But hopefully, when they see the striking … bottles on the shelves and crack them open, they will be convinced there is a lot more to life than pilsner."

A Rogue Revolution (and revelation) might be a bit easier for our British friends to achieve, as Rogue plans to export as many as 60,000 cases a year across the pond. Don't despair that all that beer is leaving our fair land. Rogue plans to fill the gap by importing some award-winning British microbrews. Rogue recently began distributing two beers from the Freeminer Brewery in the U.K.: Waterloo Red and Trafalgar IPA, which is based on an 18th-century recipe. Both beers are made with hand-turned, floor-malted barley, and all ingredients come from within 30 miles of the brewery.
Freeminer has won numerous awards, including Champion Beer of Britain in two categories at the Great British Beer Festival. The brewery was established in 1992 near the site of the New Dunn Iron Mines, from which the brewery gets its name. Freeminer, in turn, distributes Rogue in the U.K. Think of it as Rogue Nation's own Fair Trade Agreement.

Oregon Breweries Stand Up Down Under
BridgePort Brewing Company received seven medals at the 2005 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), held May 5 in Melbourne. BridgePort won a medal for every beer it entered.
Ropewalk Amber Ale, BridgePort's newest brew, received a gold medal at the competition. Three silver medals were awarded for BridgePort IPA, Pintail Copper Ale and BridgePort ESB. Bronze medals were given to Blue Heron Pale Ale, Black Strap Stout and Ebenezer Ale.

A professional panel of industry experts judged a field of 793 entries from 107 breweries across 31 countries for the AIBA — the world's third-largest annual international beer competition. Rogue Ales took gold at the same event for its Saison d'Winter, which was brewed by Arlen Harris during his all-too-brief stay at the Eugene City brewery (he's now brewing at the Issaquah, Wash., facility).
In the last issue, we told you about Pelican's trifecta win at the same competition, but it bears repeating. The small coastal brewery won the Grand Champion award and the Champion Beer award for Doryman's Dark and received the Champion International Brewery award.

Congratulations to the Oregon brewers that successfully strutted their stuff in the land down under!

Are You on the Edge?
If not, you're taking up too much space, according to Horse Brass publican Don Younger, who is expanding this year's On the Edge Tour, a celebration of Oregon breweries that takes place during Oregon Beer Week and the Oregon Brewers Festival (July 28–31).

The Edge features all the Oregon breweries that didn't make it into the Oregon Brewers Festival. This year, the OBF promised Oregon breweries that they would be included in the festival if they got their applications in on time, but many small breweries still found the entry fee cost-prohibitive. This year's Edge features a lot more bars, taverns and pubs across Portland. Look for a brochure at the OBF and at fine beer establishments for details, as they are evolving every day. It's a great way to discover some excellent brews and breweries that often fly under the "beer-dar."

If you're looking for a way to escape the heat and the crowds at the OBF, you might also want to consider taking a jaunt across the Morrison Bridge (no relation) to the Rose & Raindrop on Saturday, July 30, for a double and imperial IPA competition. The festivities begin at 2:00 p.m. More information is available at roseandraindrop.com.

A full review of all the great activities taking place during the first-ever Oregon Beer Week (as proclaimed by the governor, even) can be found in the last issue of this fine brewspaper.

Drink a Beer, Save a Turtle
Roots Organic Brewing Company has brewed up a hopalicious way to help a threatened species. All proceeds from the release party of Organic Pond Turtle Pale Ale were donated to support the Future for Wildlife Program at the Oregon Zoo. After the party, 20 percent of all Pond Turtle Pale Ale sales will go to the program, which is a collaborative effort to reintroduce the western pond turtle into the wild. In the program, conservation scientists “head start” newly hatched turtles that were gathered from wild sites, nurturing them at both the Oregon Zoo and Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo for about 10 months. Once the turtles are big enough, they are returned to their homes and monitored for safety.

Roots has plans to do more to assist in conservation efforts. Co-owner and brewer Craig Nicholls says he wants to work with other local brewers in an ongoing project in which breweries would create beers to benefit other programs at the Oregon Zoo. Is there a Naked Mole Rat Rauchbier in our future?

New Kids in Town
Brewpub denizens might recognize a familiar fuzzy face behind the bar at the Concordia Ale House, which recently opened its doors at 3276 NE Killingsworth Street in Portland. Former Oregon Brewers Guild executive director and current New Brewer and Zymurgy Editor Jim Parker is moonlighting there a few times a week. In addition to slingin' suds, Parker is helping to round out the already mind-boggling selection of draught and bottled beers at the fledgling tap house.

Concordia comes by its roots honestly. At one point, the space was home to a pre-Prohibition tavern called The Pink Elephant. Check out the original mural of beer-drinking pink elephants that was painstakingly cleaned up and preserved as you enjoy the likes of Delirium Nocturnum (appropriately enough) on draught. Make sure to arrive hungry, too. Concordia serves up some of the best pub grub around. We took my parents there for dinner a week or so after it had opened, and they still haven't stopped talking about how good the food was. You gotta love a hamburger that arrives "stabbed" by a big knife for cutting it in half. You'll want to use that knife, too. The burgers are large!

Moviegoers have been sneaking beer into the Clinton Street Theater in Southeast Portland probably as long as that elephant mural up north has been in existence. But those days are over, thanks to the opening of Clinton Street Brewing, a tiny startup that is attached to the august movie house. You can sample from the brewery's initial offerings plus guest micros (and Miller, sigh). But the best part is you can toddle on over to the theater with your pints in hand — even for the weekly midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every Saturday. Dammit, Janet! Why didn't we do this sooner?

Lisa Morrison (aka the Beer Goddess) does The Time Warp and enjoys craft beer in her hometown of Portland, all across the great state of Oregon… and beyond!

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