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.
Admittedly, it’s not always easy thinking up themes for my Beer Traveler column in All About Beer. But even at the beginning of the year I knew that with the Totality streaking across the entire USA, there’d be enough breweries submerged in darkness to squeeze a handful into a travel story. Featured herein are breweries from Pacific City, OR where the Path of Totality first hits land, through Salem (also in OR), Lincoln, NE, St. Louis, Paducah, KY (probably the first time Paducah has appeared in any beer-related travel story), Nashville, and Greenville, SC (from the comments, boy are folks in nearby Columbus and Charleston, SC upset about their omission through my lack of ability to include every single brewery that’s going to experience mid-morning nighttime.) Anyway, feast your eyes on these (you don’t even need those special glasses to view it.)
The Brewers Association announced to their freelance crew that they would be adding a feature called “Walk this Way” for their Beer Muses blog (about walkable brewery ‘hoods). Natch, I pitched that it needed to start with Inner Southeast Portland’s twins Buckman and Hosford-Abernethy. Here’s the result, published August 30, 2016.And already
The kicker? Fewer than 7 weeks later, we’ve already seen Mt Tabor Brewing Company – PDX & Scout Beer open. (And possibly in the next 7 weeks we’ll welcome Wayfinder Beer & Ross Island Brewing.) That will bring us to 13 independent breweries within a 2.5 mile walk! CheersGrixsen Brewing Company, Baerlic Brewing Co., Ground Breaker Brewing,Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, PDX Green Dragon, Cascade Brewing, The Commons Brewery, Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, Base Camp Brewing Company, Burnside Brewing Co
At first I was inclined to not post this In Memoriam I penned following the loss of craft brewing industry pioneer Jack Joyce. He co-founded one of Oregon’s oldest and largest breweries in Rogue. Then I figured that A) I’m honored to be able to continue to pay respects to him and B) I write about all facets of the brewing world, namely the people who populate it, and death is a fact of life that, as the industry and its pioneers age, will become more of an issue. It’s even possible in the future that beer publications will have to start an obit section seeing how many thousands of people are employed by the industry.
Bonus hyperlink alert: One little-known fact about me is that the first brewer-related story I ever had published was an obituary for Karl Strauss, the legendary Pabst brewmaster and namesake of San Diego’s first microbrewery. It appeared in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
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.
Kids in the Brewhouse is the first story I wrote for this magazine in 2008 (Vol. 30, Iss. 2, 2009) about the second generation of craft brewers. Not the men and women who opened the second-wave of craft breweries, mind you, but the first wave’s founders’ kids.