The drive from San Diego to Seattle covers 1,500 miles of ridiculously gorgeous Pacific coastline along Highway 101 (or sometimes Highway 1 in California). It could technically be tackled in two 15 hour driving shifts but I don’t recommend that. In fact, it took me nearly 40 years to have tackled the entire shoreline. So I reflected back on some favorite breweries along the way and wrote up this epic 15-brewery drive along the Pacific Coast.
Illustration by Brandon Loscar
As Ben Dobler, a brewer at Widmer Bros, elucidated: “Some (collaboration beers) play on the strengths of one partner, some play on the strength of both partners, sometimes we take a big leap of faith and try something completely out of our wheelhouses.”
Another round up of Merc beer blogs, capped by a cider blog.
- Ménage à trois and circle jerk jokes aside, this one’s about a pair of IPA collaborations from two separate brewery trios involving Fort George & Pfriem Family Brewery and another involving Portland’s Ecliptic Brewing.
- The beacon of the state capital’s emerging brewing scene, Santiam Brewing, released their first sour ale, Gin Peche, at the Upper Lip
- A recent Live from the Barrel tapping—Cascade Barrel House’s weekly series—blanches palates once again with Napoleon Cherry, a blend of blonde and wheat ales aged in white wine barrels with local Napoleon cherries
- Meadmaker Brooks Cooper is crazy enough to turn an NE industrial space into Stung Fermented. It is Portland’s only dedicated meadery.
- 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.
That’s enough for now.
Wherein I review the following new releases on shelves or on tap:
Flat Tail: Cider Wit (Jan. ’12)
Philadelphia’s: Barrel-aged Betsy Ross Golden Ale (Feb. ’12)
Everybody’s Brewing: Little Sister ISA (Mar. ’12)
Lompoc: Batch 69 Baltic Porter (Apr. ’12)
Fort George: Roses on Roses (May ’12)
Hopworks Urban Brewery: Abbey Ale (June ’12)
Double Mountain: Devil’s Kriek (July ’12)
Base Camp: In Tents IPL (Nov. ’12)
Salmon Creek: Märzen (Dec. ’12)
Caldera: Mogli Bourbon-oaked Imp. Chocolate Porter (Jan. ’13)
Agrarian: Espelette chili beer (Apr. ’13)
Flat Tail: Lemon Diesel (Aug. ’13)
Lucky Labrador: Black Sheep bourbon-aged CDA (Sep. ’13)
Finally, well, most recently, this review of Rogue’s Brutal IPA…per the editor’s request to review it particularly as it tastes having traveled to Amsterdam. (Jan. ’14)
Thinking about the popular bar snack beer nuts, I pitched this exploration nutty beers to CraftBeer.com (Dec, 2012). Truth in advertising is vital in craft beer culture. There better be fresh hops in our fresh hop beers, real cherries in our krieks, and just as seasonally-relevant, real pumpkin in our field or pumpkin beers. Yet the distinguished British classic, nut brown ale, contains nary a nut.
The name derived from this medium-bodied beer’s use of toasted malted barley as opposed to roasted malt—gives the style its telltale nutty color and flavor.