I began writing this blog (after a couple false starts) with lots of encouragement from my husband, a need to do something more creative with my time, and because as I age and drink more beer, it is becoming pretty damn personal. My inaugural post in December of 2011 was about my first attempt at home brewing with my trusty partner in crime and life, Brock. Granted that beer came out a little weird, but it was our weird little baby and we loved it anyway. We’ve continued to brew (much more successfully) and our love of beer and brewing continues to grow. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: March 2012
One of the best deals in town for your birthday is a trip down to Rogue Ales. As a member of Rogue Nation, one receives a ridiculously large birthday beer and a free t-shirt. If you’re feeling crazy and adventurous you can hit up both Rogues in Newport, then hit a third in Eugene before heading in. My birthday was on Monday, so we settled with a modest trip to just the local Rogue. Some great things about Rogue (besides birthday swag): Trivia night with Mr Bill at the Eugene location every Friday at 8pm. Get there early or you’re going to be without a seat. A ridiculous number of Rogue and Rogue partner beers on tap. They do have Bud and Coors but if you order that the bartender will ring a special bell resulting in you being booed, and things may be thrown at you. These taps are essentially just booby traps. Another booby trap: the bathrooms. Labelled simply “hops” and “barley” you’ll hear a few panicked cries nightly of “Am I hops or barley?!” Every Rogue location has a picture of Mo Niemi of Mo’s World Famous Clam Chowder. And she is naked and in a bathtub. Continue reading
St Patty’s has always held a special place in my heart. Not because I’m a good Irish gal, but because it is two days before my birthday. It makes me feel like the whole holiday of drunken foolishness is just for me. Typically the party continues on for two more days into my birthday. As I find myself growing into a grouchy old woman, however, I’ve been trying to pretend my birthday doesn’t exist. My mom is a totally awesome lady, however, and forced me to go get lunch on St Patty’s to celebrate my birthday. We went down to Falling Sky, the newest brewery in town (check out the photos of this place, it’s seriously beautiful and quintessentially “Eugene”). They had some issues with brewing equipment and finally had their own beer on tap and they have some seriously good eats. I had a delicious corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich and we got a flight of all seven of their beers to split. I forgot my phone at home so I don’t have pics, sorry. My favorite was a tie between the bitter and the IPA. Tasty stuff. Continue reading
As promised, I’m finally getting to some of the good stuff. Over the last week, I’ve had a lot of reason to drink beer, celebrate, all that good stuff. Having a beer trade shipment, St. Patty’s and your birthday all roll into town the same week(ish) are a recipe for a lot of beer drinkin’ and not a lot of writing. So I’m going to jam together some notes on a lot of beer in a couple posts. Hold on to your hats.
Firstly, I received my lovely care package from the Lone Star State sometime last week. Monday, possibly Tuesday? Again, it’s been a long week. That night my husband and I decided to crack open the two bottles of Rahr & Sons Iron Thistle.
Laurelwood, a great microbrewery out of Portland, OR recently released a new Cascadian Dark Ale. If that throws you off, CDAs are also referred to as Black IPAs or IBA (India Black Ale). Here in the Pacific Northwest, CDA is becoming the most relevant, and argueably the better name for this type of beer. Here, in an article from craftbeer.com, Eugene’s own Matt Van Wyk, of Oakshire fame, discusses the difference (or lack there of) in these beer types. I have to agree with Matt, I think CDA is a better definition for the beer type. It really doesn’t taste like an IPA, unless all you taste in an IPA is some hop bitterness. A CDA, in my mind, is some hoppy(har, har) balance between porter and IPA and is becoming an increasingly relevant style here in the Pacific NW (Cascadia), thus deserves it’s own name, rather than just being shoved in the corner as an off shoot of another beer style.
On to the good stuff- Ink Heart, the newest release from Laurelwood is a CDA that boasts a unique hop balance. A liberal use of aroma hops give off wafts of citrus and there are some sweet fruity notes as well. It poured a nice, robust dark brown with a little off white head. It drank smooth and the citrus hop notes were amplified by a nice level of carbonation. I thought this was a nice drinkable beer. It smelled great and tasted good too.
I’m quite excited to say I’ve entered that level of beer geekness that can only be achieved by one’s first beer exchange. Through my blogging endeavors, I’ve met a fellow home brewer from Texas that really appreciates the beers of the Northwest. You can take look at his blog whatsinmybeer. Since I’m in Oregon and have access to all this lovely Northwest beer, I thought, “aw heck, I should send this guy some beer. Maybe I’ll get some in return!” Thus, a beer exchange was born. I am incredibly excited, especially because this package should be received by the recipient tomorrow. I really hope I did a good job and picked some beers that are not only appreciated for deliciousness, but also are a little taste of the NW from hoppy IPAs, delicious porters, to a sour Belgian. We’ll see.
I sent 4 22 oz beers (including a homebrew porter) and 1 350mL offering from Russian River (you may remember my discussion of Damnation). The two beers I really wanted to get were Abyss from Deschutes and Pliny from Russian River. But everybody wants those beers and they just weren’t around from what I could find, I’ll have to start keeping a better stock.
If you were embarking on your first beer exchange endeavor, what would you pick as representative of your area/tastes? What would you hope to receive in return?