By Matthew Meador
For the Oregon Beer Growler
As a food and beverage writer for several publications, I usually try to write with humor, relating lighthearted anecdotes as I describe the enormous role food and drink plays in making life so enjoyable. But as the country grows increasingly polarized and people on opposite sides of controversial issues are no longer willing to speak with each other — other than hurling vile insults and screaming obscenities — I find myself emphasizing the potential eating and drinking have to act as bridge-builders.
I have been blessed to enjoy friendships with people of many cultures, religions and colors — and political beliefs spanning the entire spectrum. Although I disagreed profoundly with some of my friends’ positions, I am absolutely certain my life has been vastly enriched by the scope of these varied relationships. Maybe surprisingly, some of the people who blessed me the greatest are those with whom I disagreed most vehemently. Almost never did our hours-long discussions end with significant position changes for any of us. But every time — almost without exception — these dialogues resulted in mutually increased respect around the table. And it was a table invariably littered with crumpled napkins, food-spotted plates and empty pint glasses.
As we celebrate the harvest, it’s worth underscoring the importance food and drink play in bringing humans together. If you set aside your most dearly held beliefs just for a moment, you’ll find we have a lot more in common with each other than we have at odds. I’m not advocating compromising your principles; I won’t do that myself. But when two people with opposing perspectives put aside the issues separating them, they’ll find dozens of interests or tastes they have in common. Every time, guaranteed.
In the spirit of healthy discussion (and with apologies for preaching), we bring you several reds this month — perfect to get the conversation started.
Royale Brewing Co.: Inspektor Red Ale, Portland
6.0% ABV; 31 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Rich, malty, flavorful red ale. Deep crimson red in color. Ripe melon, bright berry and citrus aroma. Toffee caramel, fresh-baked bread malt character. Medium-bodied. Clean finish.
Consumer Comments: The favorite of this month’s panelists, our tasters spoke of the outstanding quenchability of Inspektor. Hints of lemon and hops on the nose yield gently to notes of caramel and a mild bitterness. Panelists overwhelmingly recommended pairing this brew with harvest barbecue.
Backside Brewing Co.: Axeman Red, Roseburg
6.3% ABV; 75 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A notorious Northwest-style red. Deep color and silky layered complex flavoring. If you like reds, Axeman does not disappoint. This beer is a tribute to our local logging heritage.
Consumer Comments: A frothy head and berry palate characterize the affable easy-drinking Axeman. A soft mouthfeel and notes of lemon suggest a broader appeal than a straightforward red — sort of a gregarious strawberry blonde, if you like.
Leikam Brewing: Grateful Red, Portland
7.1% ABV; 70 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Our Grateful Red will ripple through your taste buds with the flavor and aroma of Chinook, Willamette and Columbus hops. We use five different malts and four hop varietals for this hoppy red.
Consumer Comments: Green melon and gentle hops introduce the tantalizing Grateful Red. This lively brew’s fruit yields to a more astringent hoppiness and notes of juniper on the mid-palate, finishing cleanly. An excellent pint, the Grateful Red is a beer-lover’s brew, through and through. I’ll have another Grateful Red, please!
Laurelwood Brew Pub: Free Range Red Ale, Portland
5.9% ABV; 50 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A Northwest-style red with a sweet caramel malty backbone, balanced by a smooth hop profile.
Consumer Comments: If ever a beer had perfect manners, it’s the Free Range Red. With easy notes of charred wood and a shred of butterscotch, this beer possessed a balance and drinkability that immediately earned it high marks. A happy brew, this one should satisfy both IPA lovers and those who prefer a more restrained pint.
Scout Beer: Jam, Portland
5.9% ABV; 20 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: The focus of Jam is on the beautiful and fresh marionberry flavor. Already bursting with fruit from the pounds and pounds of berries added to this beer, we then heightened the flavor by using Kent Golding hops and Scottish ale yeast. If you stop by the brewery, try it blended with Anaphylactic, our peanut butter porter. It’s a PB&J in a glass!
Consumer Comments: The brewers are right: Jam is a berry-centric delight. Tasters liked the fruit focus, noting its subtlety and simplicity heightened the brew’s enjoyability. A straightforward and honest brew, Jam is a perfect pint to drink after a day’s work or as a regular weekender.
Wild Ride Brew: 3 Sisters Red Ale, Redmond
6.0% ABV; 45 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Faith, Hope and Charity. The backdrop of Central Oregon features these lovely Sisters, which are three of the highest peaks in Oregon. We use three main types of malt and hops to represent these Central Oregon landmarks. This beautiful beer has a sunset-red appearance to remind us of their presence at the end of the day. Like many peaks you might aspire to climb, the Sisters can be both bitter and sweet, and the select hops represent the Northwest in every way possible.
Consumer Comments: Notes of sweet apple and malt lead with a beguiling smoothness when a 3 Sisters Red Ale is pulled. Beautifully balanced, this medium-bodied and lightly hopped pint was described as easy to drink and a good “anytime brew,” perfect to serve when trying to please varied tastes.
So grab a pint and have a seat across the table from someone who belongs to the other political party or who practices a different faith or cultural tradition than yours. You don’t need to change your positions or compromise your beliefs. You just need to be willing to listen and to speak easily while enjoying a great Oregon brew. It’s a message I will continue to preach — a lesson I learned that can dramatically enrich your life. And since it’s a lesson best learned over a pint, it’s worth trying, right?
By Gail Oberst
For the Oregon Beer Growler
Ah, the can. Its history began when Napoleon in 1795 offered a prize to anyone who could invent a method of preserving food for his soldiers. According to the Can Manufacturers Institute, by 1809, Nicolas Appert had invented food preservation by sterilization in bottles, and the following year, Englishman Peter Durand developed iron cans coated with tin to prevent rusting. Cans, easy to transport and less likely to break than glass, soon became the cure to scurvy-plagued sailors and soldiers, not to mention countryside pillagers.
The process for packaging carbonated beverages in cans didn’t come to the fore until about 1930 when researchers developed coatings that wouldn’t dissolve under pressure. The first soft drink cans appeared in 1938, because it took a few years to work out the bugs. But beer wasn’t afraid of sissy glitches. In 1935 there were steel cans of Krueger in Virginia. The new packaging was so popular that by 1950, a quarter of all beer sales were canned. The lightweight aluminum can and the pull-ring bumped up can’s popularity in the 1960s. Today, the Brewers Association estimates that about 55 percent of all beer sales are in cans.
In Oregon, canned craft beers had a short hurdle to jump: Discerning drinkers often associated cans with macro-breweries. But that misconception is quickly passing in a state where craft beers accompany us everywhere we go, from hikes in the Three Sisters Wilderness to biking the mean streets of Portland.
Last month, our tasters chose these favorite summer beers, all available in cans:
McMenamins Ruby, Statewide 4% ABV; 5 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A popular standard since 1986. Ruby is a light, crisp and refreshingly fruity ale made with Great Western Premium 2-Row, 42 pounds of Oregon-grown and processed raspberries, and a touch of Chinook hops in every colorful batch. Simple, but delicious.
Consumer Comments: Unusual flavor. I could drink this when I want something out of the ordinary. Fruity! Almost a fruit Belgian, but not sour. Nice fruity flavor. Rootin’ tooty. Fruity and yet citrusy too. Lambic? Belgian? Raspberry flavor!
Burnside Couch Select Lager, Portland 5% ABV; 14 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: This is a helles-style lager brewed with quality pilsner malt, German Tettnang hops and fermented with a Bohemian Lager yeast strain. Cold fermentation produces a nice, crispy snap to a beautiful hop flavor and subtle hop presence.
Consumer Comments: Good beer for sitting on the deck after work. Easy drinker. Good for all-day drinking. Fresh, slightly tangy, great balance. Refreshing! Crisp!
Silver Moon Get Sum Pale Ale, Bend 5.6% ABV; 45 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Redefine your love of pale ales. Get Sum has a light and clean golden body backed by a refreshing citrus hop flavor.
Consumer Comments: An IPA I could drink and drink and drink … Very good. Super. Tickles my nose and my tongue. This was my favorite. Hoppy, but easy to drink. Light and tasty.
Rogue Pendleton Pale Ale, Newport 5.2% ABV; 30 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A light, refreshing pale ale brewed with Delta and Rogue Farms Alluvial and Rebel hops grown on Rogue Farms in Oregon, Rogue Farms Risk, Sacchra 50 and Dextra Pils malts.
Consumer Comments: Great grilling beer. Nice long hoppy aftertaste. Beautiful amber color. Nice hop flavor for a thirst-quenching beer. I could wash down a few tacos and burritos with this beer.
Boneyard Skin N Bones ISA, Bend 4% ABV; 20 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: This India session ale is a single-hop beer showcasing Mosaic hops. Brewed with pale and pilsner malts, it’s light-bodied and golden in color. Perfect to quench your summer thirst!
Consumer Comments: Good chilling beer. Great lawnmower beer. Good bite, hoppy and citrusy, my favorite so far! Good balance. Bike ride beer. A great, light IPA. Drink and run then drink again.
Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale, Portland 5.1% ABV; 25 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Our lightest ale is crisp, dry and refreshing, making it a great introduction to craft beer. This recipe has earned gold at the World Beer Cup as well as silver and bronze at the Great American Beer Festival.
Consumer Comments: Good after-dinner beer. Rich flavor. Oregon’s snappy answer to Bud: “Drink this, big beer.” This was the best. Beautiful beer.
Oregon City Brewing 8-Bit Blonde, Oregon City 4.8% ABV, 25 IBU
Brewer’s Description: Plug in your controllers and hit that power button - it's time to go up a level! This blonde ale sits atop a crisp pilsner malt backbone, and Sterling hops give it a grassy, herbal note that takes down that final boss in one fell swoop.
Consumer Comments: Good summer-break beer. Very good for the style. Tastes light, like a lager. Oh, yeah. All day long. Floral and euro herbs.
NEXT FREE TASTING: Oregon Beer Growler’s Reds and Ambers Tasting 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at F.H. Steinbart Co., 234 SE 12th Ave., Portland
By Gail Oberst
For the Oregon Beer Growler
On a recent day when the mercury hit the 80s, I was standing in my booth serving tastes of Oregon’s pale ales to thirsty visitors at the Hammer N’Ales Brewfest fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity in Canyonville. Pale ales are the perfect beer for a hot day — a great Oregon refresher.
In addition to fests, how about a pale ale on a lake after the cast, on the bank of a river after floating the rapids, behind a lawnmower, after weeding the garden or on your shady porch watching the neighbors sweat it out in their yards. They’re not too strong (official range is from 4.5 to 6.0 percent ABV), so you can drink them for a happy session. Also, pale ales tend to be less hoppy than the India pale ale, so your tongue may be less tarred after a few beers. Pale ale hoppiness usually ranges from 30-45 IBUs, according Beer Judge Certification Program standards. Oregon pales are a bit hoppier, but mildly fragrant and fresh. This popular English style landed in the New World with a hearty “huzzah,” and is ours now.
Here are the Oregon pale ales chosen as favorites in the blind tasting by visitors to the festival:
Vertigo: Closer Pale Ale, Hillsboro 5.3% ABV; 55 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: This ale gets its light copper color from 120 and 60L caramel malts. Magnum and Amarillo hops added for bittering, flavor and aroma give this beer a balanced profile.
Consumer Comments: Smooth, crisp and slightly hoppy. I could be happy with this one because I don’t like overly hopped beers. Great floral flavor. Made my mouth feel like a velvet slipper dipped in rosewater and lemon rind. Crisp, dry, firm bitterness. A beer for beer drinkers. Great for a long afternoon barbecue. Light, nice and bright. Nice summer beer.
Ordnance: RX Pale Ale, Boardman 5.6% ABV; 32 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Pouring a light straw color, this ale gets its spicy flavor from a healthy dose of rye malt. The rye spice combines nicely with Citra and Mosaic hop aromas to create a beer that is perfect for day's end, be it after work or a long day of outdoor pursuits.
Consumer Comments: Light, interesting, mild fruity hop flavor. Hoppy! Nose outstanding. Taste is OMG. Drama in my mouth. Well done! Very nice and exceptionally smooth, and not bitter. Clean and refreshing. Dry. I need to figure out how to get a keg of this into my RV. Light and crisp.
Rogue: Pendleton Pale Ale, Newport 5.2% ABV; 30 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A light, refreshing pale ale brewed with hops and malts grown on Rogue Farms, including Rogue Farms Risk, 2-Row, Sacchra 50 and Dextra Pils Malts; Delta and Rogue Farms Alluvial and Rebel hops.
Consumer Comments: Malty highlights. Crisp and clean taste. Easy drinking. Get out the fried chicken, we’re taking this one on a picnic. Better than most. Light hop and clean taste. Refreshing! Fruity!
Laurelwood: Piston Pale Ale, Portland 5.8% ABV; 37 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Our seasonal pale is the Northwest interpretation of a classic British style, which essentially means — yup, you guessed it — more hops! We have updated our recipe to please the palates of our current crowd of beer drinkers. Expect refreshing citrus hop flavors and aromas.
Consumer Comments: My perfect pale ale. Drinkable and refreshing. Love the floral notes. Hoppier and hoppier! Dude! Smells like killer bud. Hint of sugar and spice. Eat it with simple carbs and cheese. Piney. Nice hop notes. Great aroma — a real winner. Fruit. A drink for a sunny day. Take it to the cabin and drink it in front of the fire.
Big Horse; Badfish, Hood River 5.5% ABV; 45 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: Blond-colored pale with intense hop flavors of tropical citrus and pine. Finishes dry without a harsh lingering bitterness.
Consumer Comments: Well-balanced hops and malt, great drinkability. Not as hoppy as the others. Burst of flowers. Put me in the rose garden. Subtle almost lager-ish mellowness with a satisfying bitter accent. Clean and fresh. Crisp and dry. Best one so far. Nice blend of bitter flavors. Pale ale, as it should be. Not too hoppy, not too light. I loved this beer.
Arch Rock: Pistol River Pale, Gold Beach 6.0% ABV; N/A IBUs
Brewer’s Description: This recent gold medal winner is robustly dry-hopped, giving way to the intense hoppy aroma and flavor. Subtle bitterness and drinkability set this beer apart. Its resinous, citrusy and fruity character comes from CTZ, Chinook, Nugget and Centennial hops. Even with the hop-forward flavor of this beer, it’s well balanced with medium bitterness.
Consumer Comments: Intense flavor for a pale. All about the hops. Bold and strong flavor. Beautiful nose, almost Donald Trump arrogant bitterness presentation. Well played! Sweet up front — hop party in the back. Solid and easy drinking. Good flavor.
Hop Haus: Dr. Bob's Periodic Pale Ale, Gresham 5.8 % ABV; 40 IBUs
Brewer’s Description: A tribute beer to the late Dr. Bob, this pale ale is true to the style — easy drinking with a subtle malt backbone and smooth balanced hop finish. Made with 2-row, C40, aromatic and Victory malts; Chinook and Cascade hops.
Consumer Comments: Perfect amount of hoppiness. Yes! I’d share this one with my friends. I like this like sunshine. Subtle nose. I would date this beer! Goes down well with a little bitterness on the aftertaste. Tasty! A good all-around beer that could be a staple for the ‘fridge.
NEXT FREE TASTING: Oregon Beer Growler’s IPA Tasting 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at F.H. Steinbart Co., 234 SE 12th, Portland.
By Andi Prewitt and Will Oberst-Cairns
Of the Oregon Beer Growler
The Northwest is full of hop heads, which means IPAs are all the rage and pushing the boundaries when it comes to IBUs is now the norm. Enter the double or imperial IPA, where increased bitterness is expected and a stronger alcohol flavor usually comes through. According to Beer Advocate, the term “imperial” is borrowed from the Russian imperial stout that was originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s. The double IPA was the focus of a blind and random tasting competition held in February at homebrewing supply store F.H. Steinbart Co. in Portland. Only consumers are allowed to participate, no one who works for any participating brewery is allowed to vote. The top seven beers are listed below. The following descriptions and comments come from the participating breweries and consumer tasters who attended the event:
Lompoc: C-Note Imperial Pale Ale, Portland 6.9% ABV, 100 IBUs
Brewery Description: This highly-hopped ale has a deep copper to orange hue with a bold aroma of pine and herbal spice. Hints of toffee and caramel are followed by a citrus finish that is dry and refreshingly bitter.
Consumer Comments: Things that make you go hmmm. Rich and luxurious, this should be served in a fine wine glass. Would be perfect for Thanksgiving or even just with a turkey sandwich. Subtle, sneaky delicious. Beautifully red like an Irish minx. Great aroma and flavor. Like the flavor. A bit too bitter, but I would order more than one. Smooth, relaxing, light, refreshing.
McMenamins: Major Threat (Edgefield Brewery) Double IPA, Troutdale 9.29% ABV, 100+ IBUs
Brewery Description: The latest installment in our double IPA series is a true West Coast double IPA. Hops were incorporated in every step of the brewing process, from mash to keg. Nuggets were used for bittering and provide a smooth, mellow bitterness. Cascade, Centennial and Santiams were added during the boil to deliver a piney and citrusy burst of hop flavor. Simcoe and Chinook hops were added late in the boil to give a nice citrusy hop aroma. Finally, a mighty dose of Centennial hops were added during fermentation for a blast of hop aroma. Malts: 2-Row, Dextra Pils. Hops: Nugget, Cascade, Centennial, Santiam, Simcoe, Chinook.
Consumer Comments: You’ve got to hop me up. Great to drink while watching the home team play, even if they don’t win. Best so far, strong hops. Slightly syrupy like your grandma’s down-home pancakes. Balanced. I like mouthfeel for a slower-drinking beer. Like the fruitiness, but too bitter for my taste.
Wild Ride: Brain Bucket Imperial IPA, Redmond 8.5% ABV, 90 IBUs
Brewery Description: Buckle up your chin strap and enjoy the ride! This beer breaks free from the pack and cranks it up a notch. We give IPA lovers more malt and hops, ascending Brain Bucket to imperial status. Classic Northwest hops, pine and citrus tones will knock your senses senseless! It wouldn't be a bad idea to wear a helmet while drinking this big, bold delight.
Consumer Comments: Smooth and balanced. East Coast-style, but fits in perfect on the West Coast. Perfect rainy-day beer. Sweet on palate, tasteful. I’d pair this with fruit and cheese, maybe make mussels with this as the base. Dry finish, full flavor. Finish is very pleasant. More please, more please. I need some beer for an expedition to watch the aurora borealis. Smooth. Refreshingly hoppy. It’s like a unicorn prancing on your mouth. Good aroma, crisp clean taste.
Pelican: Imperial Pelican Ale, Pacific City 8% ABV, 85 IBUs
Brewery Description: Pelican’s mascot, Phil the Pelican, has recreated the flavor of the British Empire with his own American twist. Enjoy the huge Cascade and Centennial hop aroma, the subtle malty sweetness, and the floral, citrusy flavor of this robust, gold-colored ale. This brew began life as a seasonal beer during our first year and was so popular while we had it, and so frequently requested when it was gone, that we turned it into our fifth regular beer style our second year.
Consumer Comments: Summer here in Portland. Really pleasant ride. Love the hops. The hops never stop, brings the flavor to the top. Lots of floral and not too bitter. I’d order another. Light and refreshing, second favorite.
Laurelwood: Megafauna, Portland 9.5% ABV, 140 IBUs
Brewery Description: This beer takes its name from the oversized animals of the Pleistocene Epoch or Ice Age. Large saber-toothed cats, hairy elephants and sloths the size of buses roamed the frozen tundras. Everything was big and/or hairy, with extra horns, tusks, teeth, etc. Like those massive animals, this beer is huge with hop aroma and flavor. We used several new aromatic hop varieties to get a layered and hop oil-soaked beer which, unlike the frozen tundra, isn’t bitter and finishes dry. The aroma and flavor are layers of pine, citrus and tropical fruit and the beer is a pale gold. We hope you drink it in good health and keep warm. **2013 National IIPA Champion**
Consumer Comments: Was my favorite by far. Interesting pine flavors. Not gulpable, but fun to drink. Great flavor, great aroma, would drink this all day. Put on your spacesuit and prepare to blast off with flavor. Excellent flavor hops. Finally, a nice piney sticky (in a good way) IIPA. After a 60-hour week, this is perfect to start the weekend with.
Burnside: Project Ale, Portland 8% ABV, 99.5 IBUs
Brewery Description: An Imperial IPA with a clean, silky malt presence that is loaded with hop flavor and aroma. It’s extremely well balanced, thus maintains its ability to pair with food. Project Ale is not your average hop bomb!
Consumer Comments: Great color. Great aroma. Loved the fruit notes. Crisp and peppy. Want to pair this with chiles. You’ve got to be hopping me.
Coalition: Double Dog Dare Double IPA, Portland 8.2% ABV, 80 IBUs
Brewery Description: The imperial version of our popular IPA, Double Dog Dare, comes in at a very drinkable 8.2 percent ABV. Notes of caramel and biscuit make up the malt profile, while a distinctive Northwest hop profile round out this beer. Bittered with Nugget hops; Sterling, Cascade, and Simcoe provide flavors of citrus, flowers and tropical fruit. A dry hop of Chinook brings the aromatics together in this deliciously big, but balanced IPA. Try some. We dare you. We Double Dog Dare you.
Consumer Comments: Lots of floral which I like, but a bit too bitter. Don’t know if I’d order more than one, very drinkable. I’d have six on a summer day, nice smooth bitterness, great rich flavor. Nondescript, decent.
By Gail Oberst
For the Oregon Beer Growler
If you’re confused about the difference between stouts and porters, you’re not alone. Both dark beers use roasted malts or roasted barley, in addition to hops, water and yeast. Stouts and porters were interchanged for centuries, with stouts often referring to the strongest porters, and sometimes, confusingly, vice versa.
These days, stouts are specialized, starting with the Irish or dry stout with coffee-like flavors; the imperial or Russian stout with a high alcohol content at 9% or more; the milk stout with an added lactose sugar once hailed as more nutritious than milk and given to nursing mothers; and the oatmeal stout with its thick and smooth body. Lucky you: all of these styles are made by Oregon brewers. Many of them have added chocolate, coffee and vanilla to their brews.
Last month, Bier One in Newport hosted our stout tasting. As always, Oregon Beer Growler tastings are blind -- the tasters do not see the brands until after they vote. Our consumer tasters chose the following beers as their favorites from among those submitted by Oregon brewers from all over the state.
Wild Ride: Stand Up and Shout Stout, Redmond 7% ABV, 55 IBUs
Brewery Description: This foreign export style stout features the addition of vanilla beans and Kona coffee, harmonizing the notes of chocolate, caramel and roast.
Consumer Comments: “Satan is my master.” “Good!” “Chocolate raisins?” “It’s heavy, but delicious.” “Chocolaty good taste.” “Bring me my coffee, please.”
Ninkasi: Oatis Oatmeal Stout, Eugene 7% ABV, 50 IBUs
Brewery Description: Oatmeal stouts are characterized by a roasted front flavor, smooth rich oats, a touch of chocolate flavor and dry finish. Oatis is bigger than the traditional style with more alcohol, body and a touch more bitterness to keep it balanced.
Consumer Comments: “Good flavor.” “It’s got a good bitter flavor. Are those hops or what?” “Good mocha!”
Arch Rock: He-Man Imperial Stout, Gold Beach 9.2% ABV, N/A IBUs
Brewery Description: A black, roasty, strong yet smooth Russian Imperial Stout. Complex malty flavors with a noticeable hop bitterness are softened by the addition of rolled oats. Why “He-Man?” This was the first stout recipe James ever brewed. When it turned out well he realized, “I have the power!”
Consumer Comments: “Sweet and light.” “Subtle espresso flavor.” “Easy and mellow. No stout about it!”
Ecliptic: Mintaka Stout, Portland 6% AVB, 35 IBUs
Brewery Description: Named for the star that burns some 90,000 times more luminous than our sun, Mintaka is brewed in the export stout style. It has a full-roast flavor, slight toffee notes, a spicy hop character and finishes very clean and dry.
Consumer Comments: “Nice aroma with good flavor and roasty cocoa.” “Perfect head. Yes!” “Nice balance of chocolate and coffee.”
Alameda: Black Bear Stout, Portland 7% ABV, 55 IBUs
Brewery Description: With two-row, black patent malt, malted rye, Munich, Crystal and chocolate malts, this brew is winner of several Great American Beer Festival medals. It’s surprisingly light-bodied with hints of chocolate and coffee. Despite being the same color as the dark side of the moon, this beer has a subtle and intricate mouth feel.
Consumer Comments: “Easy drinking stout!” “My favorite so far. I like the balance of roast flavor, light sweetness and weight.” “Smooth. Goes down fast.”
Laurelwood: Organic Espresso Stout, Portland 6.3% ABV, 34 IBUs
Brewery Description: Wake up and smell the coffee stout. The brewery teamed up with Portland Roasting Coffee again for this batch, featuring organic beans from Honduras, Sumatra and Mexico.
Consumer Comments: “Strong coffee flavor.” “Sharp and fine.” “Coffee! Coffee!” “Smells like roasted espresso beans.” “Great coffee stout!” “Not bitter. Distinctly different from all the others.” “Creamy coffee!”
Coalition: Bring Out the Imp, Portland 8.5% ABV, 70 IBUs
Brewery Description: This Imperial Stout is designed to keep you warm at night with a smile on your face all winter. A nose of cocoa, cherry, and a whisper of smoke in addition to coffee, chocolate and dark fruit flavors.
Consumer Comments: “Reminds me of Guinness!” “Roasty and light.” “Yes, yes, yes!” “Dry and smoky, but easy drinking.” “Smooth and bold with a clean finish.” “Clean, roasty and slightly sweet.”
Oregon Beer Growler each month invites consumers to “blind” taste a different style or group of beers at various locations across the state.