Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep Oregon Beered

A slogan commonly seen around Portland, Oregon—it's even painted on the side wall of one local business—is "Keep Portland Weird!" Portlanders apparently take pride in the uniqueness of their city, but the phrase is as much about encouraging the support of local businesses as it is about maintaining a certain level of eclecticism.

Of course, a clever spinoff of this is "Keep Portland Beered!" In fact, local brewery Bridgeport put up a billboard featuring the saying. My personal philosophy when I'm visiting the in-laws out west is to only drink beer indigenous to the state.

KJ and I only spent about half as much time as we did the last time we traveled to Oregon, so I didn't come anywhere near sampling as many brews as the 40 I tried back in August of 2009. This time, I focused on proper beers, instead of opting for the 2-3 ounce samples offered at most brewpubs, and I counted 15 in total. These were all Oregon-brewed offerings, of course, with the exception of a trip to the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington on New Year's Day. But, I'm saving that for a later post.

Here's the list. All were bottles with the exception of Caldera (cans) and those from the Alameda, Laurelwood and Old Lompoc brewpubs (draft).

10 Barrel Brewing Company (Bend): Apocalypse IPA
Alameda Brewhouse (Portland): Papa Noel's Olde Ale, Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA
Caldera Brewing Company (Ashland): Pale Ale
Deschutes Brewery (Bend): Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery (Portland): Vinter Varmer, Workhorse IPA
MacTarnahan's Brewing Company (Portland): Winter HumBug'r Ale
Metolius Brewing Company (Portland): Dolly Varden IPA
Ninkasi Brewing Company (Eugene): Believer Double Red Ale, Sleigh'r Dark Double Alt Ale, Total Domination IPA
Lompoc Hedge House (Portland): LSD (Lompoc Strong Draft)
Rogue Ales (Newport): Brutal IPA

Although two of those listed above—Ninkasi's Total Domination IPA and Lompoc's LSD—were among the five I raved about following the last trip, this time the story was Alameda Brewhouse, which instantly climbed to the status of one of my top three Portland brewpubs, along with New Old Lompoc Brewery and Amnesia Brewing Company.

My first beer at Alameda was their winter seasonal, which was excellent. I'll share here the less-than-140 character review I wrote on Twitter at the time:
Alameda Papa Noels Olde Ale is a rich, malty, non-spicy winter ale with a luscious chocolately finish, and just enough hops bite.
Next, I opted for their Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA, which is a very citrusy, high octane—8.2% ABV—and well balanced offering. In fact, I was lucky enough to find a 22 oz. bomber in a beer store, and was able to safely transport it home in my luggage, although I was a little nervous about that. So, I'm saving that one for a rainy day, and I look forward to enjoying another taste of Oregon at a later date.


  1. Thought you might enjoy this read: http://ht.ly/3CwvF

  2. Thanks Casey. I've heard of Bitches Brew and a couple others, but the only ones I've tried are 21st Amendment's Back in Black and Ninkasi's Sleigh'r Dark Double Alt, of course.

    I'm kind of disappointed that there's no mention of 21st Century Schizoid Ale. Oh well...