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Ossie Bladine  |  obladine@newsregister.com

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What’s Ale-ing You?

By Matt Meador

Of the Oregon Beer Growler

Oregon is known for its unbridled creativity and its sense of fair play. Without the former, we wouldn’t have earned the worldwide recognition we get for the wines, brews and coffees we produce. Without the latter, so many small operations wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to create such Oregon beverages. When we decide we like something, there’s no shortage of talented Oregonians who’ll commit to creating superlative examples of whatever it was we set our fancy on.


But we’re totally spoiled now — when we travel, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll have to settle for the low-grade crap the rest of the world accepts as normal. Going to Southern California? Good luck finding decent coffee. And you may find a some top-shelf Oregon brews among the miles of mass-produced silver cans of slop. But you might have to spend a little time looking.


Of course, it’s a lot better within the state. But I’ve learned a lot about beer distribution in Oregon. I’ve discovered that once a brewery is picked up by a large distributor, that brewery’s footprint grows considerably larger around the state. But what about the small breweries? The new ones? Fortunately, the pragmatic Oregon spirit manages to spread the good brews with creative alternatives like self-distribution. Still, that can be a lot of work for a little brewery. At the Oregon Beer Growler, we’d like to help you get the word out for small breweries, too.


If you operate a brewery of any size, visit our website and make sure we’ve got your current contact information. If you’re a fan of a particular Oregon brew you’d like to see featured in Super Brews, make sure your brewer talks to us. Once a month, we’ll be sending out an email call for brewers to submit their products for the following month’s Super Brews theme. Then, all you need to do is send us a couple of your brews! That’s it!

Springfield
hopvalleybrewing.com
4.5% ABV; 20 IBUs

Brewer’s Description: 
With a bright hazy appearance, tropical aromas and a velvety smooth finish, this unfiltered hybrid ale packs a punch of flavors while keeping the drinkability of a blonde, the creaminess of a hefeweizen and all the hop aroma of a Northwest pale.


Consumer Comments: 
With a hazy lemon-yellow hue capped by high, airy froth, Hop Valley Brewing Company’s Divine Shine Hybrid Ale presents a happy countenance right up front. Bright by nature, this expertly balanced brew offers a clean and easy-drinking malt profile rounding out sharp, citrusy hops. The Divine Shine’s mellow citrus-lemon theme continues through a bright finish — this beer’s multiple facets complement each other perfectly! Our tasters suggested pairing this upbeat brew with ginger chicken or just about any Thai dish.

HOP VALLEY

BREWING COMPANY

Divine Shine Hybrid Ale

Bend
silvermoonbrewing.com
6.0% ABV; 25 IBUs

Brewer’s Description: 
A mouthful of summer, this easily drinkable and enjoyable pale ale is packed with traditional fruity Northwest hops and a perfect hint of tropical mango.


Consumer Comments: 
A beautiful sunset orange pours forth before settling on a husky golden hue in the glass. Topped by a high-but-quick head, the Mango Daze Mango Pale Ale from Silver Moon Brewing is hoppy and fruity in equal measures at first, building a yeasty citrus warmth through a mild finish. Panelists were evenly split on recommending tacos or barbecue chicken as amiable companions for this brew. Or enjoy the Mango Daze by itself, living dangerously by garnishing with a twist or a Mandarin orange wedge.

SILVER MOON BREWING
Mango Daze

Mango Pale Ale

Astoria
fortgeorgebrewery.com
5.5% ABV; [Unavailable] IBUs

Brewer’s Description: 
Once in a while you find that magical place — a creative confluence of scenic panoramas, bountiful lands and independent spirit. A site on the edge of nowhere yet enticing to all, where cityscape ends and the open ocean begins. Whether you call it Shangri-La or Utopia or the City of Dreams, one thing is certain — this is the beer you will find there.


Consumer Comments: 
Disguised by a cheery, unfiltered hue of pineapple juice, Fort George Brewery + Public House’s City of Dreams Pale Ale offers up bright fruit and citrusy hops on the nose — with a shred of pineapple! This brew’s fruit character yields to sharp hops underscored by yeast over the mid-palate before receding to a clean and long finish. With a chewy mouthfeel, enough hop punch for IPA lovers and a solid yeast profile, the City of Dreams is the perfect brew to pair with starchy appetizers.

FORT GEORGE BREWERY + PUBLIC HOUSE

City of Dreams Pale Ale

Eugene
ninkasibrewing.com
5.4% ABV; 50 IBUs

Brewer’s Description: 
Fiercely flavorful and refreshingly drinkable, Pacific Rain is your call to experience the Pacific Northwest. Crafted with water from Oregon’s McKenzie River and a band of four distinguished hops, this Northwest pale is citrusy, crisp and tailor-made for easy drinking.


Consumer Comments: 
A generous but fleeting head caps a crystal-clear brew the color of golden straw. The Pacific Rain Northwest Pale Ale from Ninkasi Brewing offers mild wafts of hops, yeast and a little banana coupled with floral and citrus notes. This gently flavorful brew offers an initial warmth across the palate followed by an increasing focus on hops. Low carbonation and a clean mouthfeel lead to a clean finish, marked by the brew’s pleasant bitterness. Our panelists suggested pairing the Pacific Rain with hot dogs or classic summer fare.
 

NINKASI BREWING

Northwest Pale Ale

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