Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Brew-tiful day in Portland.

So I had the incredible pleasure of attending the 20th annual Oregon Brewers Festival yesterday on the waterfront park in downtown Portland. This adventure was the brain child of Mrs.Wildcat11. She thought this would be a great present for her father’s birthday and all daughters should be as thoughtful as Mrs.11.

We rented a minivan from Chuck Colvin in the AM and our five person crew (Wildcat11, Mrs.11 (Designated Driver), Father-in-law, Younger Brother-in-law, Youngest Brother-in-law) and hit Brewfest at about 12:30.

The set up is pretty simple there are six total trailers set up on about 300 yard x 75 yard gated lot. Trailers 1-3 are on the South end of the lot, in the middle are the food and gift tent/booths, and Trailers 4-6 are on the North end of the lot. Each trailer hosts up to 12 different brewers as they are all line up with the taps flowing ready to take your tokens.

The way it works is you pay $4 for an official plastic mug and then you have to purchase wooden tokens ($1 = one token) in order to get yourself some beer. When you get up to a beer you want to sample you can either pay one token for a taste or 4 tokens for them to fill up your mug. The great part was the one token was a pretty decent amount of brew. We figure that each “taste” was equal to 6 oz of beer.
So with Mrs.11 as our map guide we made the rounds for the next 4 hours and had more than our fair share. Below is everything we tried on the day and we ranked them on our professional 1-4 four star rating system.

Trailer 1:
Ballast Point Brewing Co (Yellowtail Pale Ale)**
Bison Brewing Co (Orgainic Chocolate Stout)**
Hale’s Ales Brewery & Pub (El Jefe Weizen Ale)*
Klamath Basin Brewing (Crater Lake Golden Ale) ***
Laurelwood Brewing (PNW Pils) **
Steelhead Brewing Co (Full Count Pale Ale)****

Trailer 2:
Calapooia Brewing Co (Yankee Clipper IPA)**
Fearless Brewing Co (Fearless Scottish Ale)****
Grand Teton Brewing Co (Bitch Creek ESB)**
Sprecher Brewing Co (Mai Bock) ****
Trumer Brauerei Berkeley (Trumer Pils) ***

Trailer 3:
Collaborator (Rawkin Bock) ****
Hazel Dell Brewpub (Red Zone) ***
Luck Labrador Brew Pub (Triple Threat IPS) *

Trailer 4:
Diamond Knot Brewing Co (Industrial IPA)***
North Coast Brewing Co (PranQster Belgian Golden Ale) *
Stone Brewing Co (Stone Vertical Epic)***
Victory Brewing Co (Prima Pils)****

Trailer 5:
Redhook Ale Brewery (Long Hammer IPA)****
Spanish Peaks Brewery (Black Dog Ale)***

Trailer 6:
Full Sail Brewing Co. (Full Sail LTD 02)***
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Summerfest Beer)****
There was some heavy debate on just who had the best beer but one brew did standout above them all and it was Collaborator’s Rawkin Bock. The beer has incredible flavor and went down smooth. Collaborator’s isn’t even a brewing company. They are actually a homebrewing club that is partnered with Widmer Brothers. I’m really hoping Widmer will put this out to the masses one day because it’s now a WC11 favorite.

Overall the brewfest was fantastic fun. The crowd was easy going, the weather was perfect, and the beer was cold. Could you have asked for a better July weekend?

1 comment:

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