JUN/JUL 2006 | REGIONAL | PACIFIC
By Lisa Morrison
Big kudos to the Oregon brewers who recently were lauded
at the World Beer Cup in Seattle! Oregon was well represented
at the awards ceremony, with 11 medals — 13, if you
count the two golds for Walking Man, out of Stevenson, Wash.,
which many feel is really part of Oregon, since it's just
a Stone's (IPA?) throw across the mighty Columbia River.
Gold medals went to BridgePort's Blue Heron Pale Ale in the
Ordinary Bitter category; Caldera Pilsener Bier in the Cellar
or Unfiltered Beer class; and Rogue Shakespeare Stout in the
American Stout group. Walking Man grabbed gold for its Blootvoetse
Bruin in the Experimental Beer category, and in the American-Style
Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter group with Walking Man
Silver medals went to Pelican for two of its beers, Kiwanda
Cream Ale in the Golden or Blonde Ale category, and India
Pelican Ale in the American-Style IPA group. Rogue Morimoto
Black Obi Soba Ale was awarded silver in the Specialty Beer
And five bronze medals rounded out Oregon's heavy medal haul:
Caldera again with its Dry Hop Red in the American-Style Extra
Special Bitter or Strong Bitter category; Full Sail Session
Premium Lager in the American Cream Ale or Lager class; Laurelwood
Organic Deranger in the Imperial or Double Red category; and
two for Pyramid — which used to call Washington home
but is now based in Portland. Its Pyramid Hefeweizen got bronze
in the American-Style Hefeweizen category, while its Crystal
Weizen (a filtered wheat beer) got bronze in the American-Style
Wheat Beer class.
Laurelwood, which won a medal for its Organic Deranger, and
Roots Organic, both of Portland, are among a handful of breweries
leading the push for organic brews across the country. This
"greening" of North American craft beer will be
celebrated June 10 at the second North American Organic Beer
Festival at the World Forestry Center in Portland.
It's not easy being green: To qualify as an organic brew,
beer has to be made from organic hops and barley, which are
grown without certain fertilizers and pesticides — nasty
stuff that contributes to conditions that are harmful to wildlife,
fish and plants.
Roots co-owner Craig Nicholls was one of the local pioneers
of organic brewing. He has included organic beers in his lineup
since 1998, taking the organic mantra to several different
establishments. But he and Jason McAdam got serious when they
opened Roots, making it an all-organic brewery.
Roots is hosting the 2006 North American Organic Brewers
Festival, which promises to pour organic beers from across
the U.S. and Canada alongside organic beers from England and
Germany. The event, which also will include sustainable and
organic vendors, is a benefit for organic certifier Oregon
Tilth; the Oregon Food Bank, an organization that feeds the
hungry; the World Forestry Center, which is dedicated to sustainable
forests; and a local women's shelter. The event will run from
noon to 9:00 p.m. on June 10. Tickets are $4 per person (bring
three cans of food to donate to the Oregon Food Bank and receive
$1 off admission).
The Oregon beer scene is mercurial, to say the least, but
a slew of recent or upcoming brewer moves promises to create
some big changes on the face of Oregon beer.
First off, Head Brewer Christian Ettinger is leaving Laurelwood
Brewery and Public House to set off on his own. Ettinger plans
to open an establishment at Southeast 30th and Powell (yet
another contribution to the argument that inner-southeast
Portland is the beer cultural center of the universe —
see below). Ettinger is targeting an opening date for later
in the summer. More on this in a future “Oregon Trail”
With Ettinger setting up shop on Powell, a void is filled
in southeast Portland for a good-beer establishment. Former
Oregon Brewers Guild executive director Jim Parker's Oaks
Bottom Public House, located in the Moreland area in the southeast
quadrant, has had a waiting list nearly every evening since
it opened in March. These two additions extend the craft-beer
scene even further in the already foamy Hawthorne District,
which features Roots, Lucky Lab, Hair of the Dog, Clinton
Street, BridgePort Ale House and several McMenamins establishments.
On the north coast, longtime Bill's Tavern head brewer Jack
Harris is departing Cannon Beach to join with former Wet Dog/Astoria
Brewing Company brewer Chris Nemlowill in a new venture in
Astoria. Details are still in the works, but when this comes
to fruition, Astoria could be the next craft-beer hotspot,
being home to the aforementioned Wet Dog Café, a Rogue
pub and this new establishment.
Meanwhile, folks in the Tigard area and those taking part
in the recreational opportunities of Fanno Creek will soon
find a new brewpub to enjoy. Brewer Max Tieger, who revamped
Tuck's Brewery in southwest Portland into a lauded establishment,
is opening his own place with a partner.
Tieger says Max's Fanno Creek Brewpub is right on the river
in downtown Tigard (12568 Main Street). It's not slated to
open until summer, but Tieger says the establishment will
feature a 10-barrel system and have six of his beers on tap,
plus a couple of special brews and a Belgian or two. A full
bar, high-end Oregon wines by the glass and a family-friendly
environment also will be on tap, Tieger says. He's looking
at a July or August opening; watch this column for updates
and grand opening coverage.
Oregon Beer Week Expands
Last year, a group of three "brewsketeers" decided
to stop complaining about how craft beer was taken for granted
in Oregon, and instead get off their barstools and do something
about it. Because of their "hoproots" efforts, Oregon
Beer Week was born. The week, which was actually nine days
because there were so many events going on, was a huge success
— coinciding with the Oregon Brewers Festival and bringing
Oregon's incredible craft-beer culture into the local, state
and national spotlights.
This year, that already lengthy week has grown into a month!
And it's backed up by a proclamation from Governor Ted Kulongoski
and Portland Mayor Tom Potter. The month includes a beer-and-cheese
tasting with the incomparable Fred Eckhardt, a distillery
festival at Rogue, several beer fests — culminating
in the granddaddy of them all, the Oregon Brewers Festival
(always the last full weekend in July) — and numerous
other events. Please see the sidebar for a sampling of the
So many beers, so little time! Must be summer in Oregon!
OREGON BEER MONTH EVENTS
Buoy 10 Brew Fest
Seafood and culinary treats coupled with local and regional
craft brews, art and entertainment on the north Oregon coast.
New this year are a catch-and-release sturgeon derby, a carnival
and an outdoor music stage.
Great American Distillery Festival
Rogue Ales Public House, Portland, Ore.
Sample tastings from a gathering of micro-distilleries from
across the nation, accompanied by food and live music. Donation
at the door; sampling costs additional.
Oregon Brewers Blind Tasting
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Ore.
This benefit for the Oregon Commission for the Blind Foundation
will feature 12 Oregon IPAs and 12 Oregon pale ales served
on a tasting tray. The brewer representing the People's Choice
Award wins a trip for two to a European beer festival. Meanwhile,
the person who correctly identifies the highest number of
beers of either style also will win a trip to a European beer
festival for two. Following the tasting and test, all 24 beer
taps will be opened and attendees will be invited to sample
Second Annual Sasquatch BrewAm
McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Ore.
Team up with celebrity brewers and other duffers to enjoy
this super-fun course — one of the coolest in the country.
You don't have to be a good golfer to enjoy round a golf,
a picnic lunch, raffle prizes and a souvenir golf shirt. Proceeds
benefit the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation to support the brewing
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!