Yes, there are oddball adjuncts appearing in beers today—Stilton cheese culture and beard cultures, civet poop coffee and elephant poop coffee, bull testicles and dung-smoked whale testicles—but as much as cucumbers seem weird to throw in a beer, once shock wears off, deft and delicious beer remains.
I’m not sure which is more astonishing: that there are several beers made with this vegetable or the fact that cucumbers aren’t veggies at all.
It was apparently National Ketchup Day, and the third annual one at that. Enter a malty homage to tomato paste and vinegar: two collaboration beers from Portland’s Coalition Brewing (who are gearing up for their fifth anniversary) and Portland-via-Eugene’s Red Duck Ketchup.
Perhaps Portland has more breweries than any city in the world because it has more diehard craft-beer drinkers who live to let their livers process as much new, unique beer as possible. But along with in that scenario comes the “problem” that folks will always want to try something they haven’t tasted before. For one day only, one taphouse provided a solution by accumulating a baker’s dozen kegs from Oregon’s remotest breweries. Full disclosure: I’m the guy who organized The Rural Brewer.
Oh, is it beer fest season? It certainly feels as if they occur at a rate of more than one a week. Having said that, only a handful feel like cornerstones of the yearlong sudsy celebration, and the upcoming fifth annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival is deservedly one of them.
The leaves were losing their fiery colors, replaced by brown in only slightly varying shades. Nights arrived an hour earlier, giving up a minute of sunshine with each passing day. But before we grabbed our saws to chop down our Christmas trees, we paused to give thanks. Oddly, no one’s cornered the Thanksgiving beer market. Well pilgrim, Coalition Brewing has just the thing.
Brewery co-founder Kiley Hoyt is a Vermont native, so it makes sense Coalition offers a porter brewed with maple syrup. Loving Cup Maple Porter is available year-round at the brewpub, but was being bottled as a seasonal offering for the first time. The British-style porter is on the dry side, offering desirable chocolatiness without being thick or sweet.