Tuesday, November 30, 2010

quote of the day

“I work until beer o’clock.”
- Steven King 

things i learned from deschutes

one last post about hopscotch 2010!

i was lucky enough to be given a ticket to attend an invite only seminar on "history of deschutes and what the future holds" which involved getting several tasters of jubilale and hop trip while listening to the very entertaining lance mitchell, marketing manager for deschutes

some of the high points:

the jubilale was intended to run out between christmas and new year's
but its so popular that it will be sold out by around december 6th
so if you want some for christmas, you'd best be picking it up now!

deschutes was founded in 1988 in bend, oregon
by gary fish, who wanted to serve local foods and local beers to the locals

it wasn't an easy road getting to where they are today
21 years ago all the beer got contaminated and they had to pour all of it out on christmas day and start over

their new brew system is german
it is 28 feet wide
the road to bend is only 30 feet wide, so they got a police escort

deschutes is one of only two breweries in north america to use whole flower hops (sierra nevada is the other)
using the whole flower hop provides increased aromatics, bitterness, smoothness and balance
they have a climate controlled hop room in which bales of hops wait to be used
this is also known as hop heaven - i wold love to get my sniffer in that room!

deschutes is now the 6th largest brewery in the US
and they aren't even in all the states yet

they are dedicated to quality beer
they have a sensory room for quality control
anyone who works at deschutes can sign up to be quality control, and one of their most reliable tasters is part of the janitorial staff

the black butte porter is their flagship beer

the cascade ale is going through a change, they're taking down the alcohol percentage in order to make it a sessionable beer

the jubilale is a winter seasonal that features new artwork each year
(anchor steam's christmas ale also does this)
the artwork includes labels, packaging and tap handles
they're new each year, featuring a local artist's work

deschutes has a brewpub in portland (in the pearl district)
its a 22 barrel system
they have no budget restrictions on research and development
they tried 39 batches of hop in the dark before settling on the recipe
and they used the portland brew pub regulars as the guinea pigs on those batches

much like howe sound, deschutes tries to lower its waste by offering its spent grain to farmers and using some in pizza crusts

coming out in december will be "the abyss"
its a 2x of their obsidian, featuring licorice notes
its 11% and aged in whiskey barrels
the bottle are hand-dipped in wax for a classy look for this seasonal

they have also brewed the "dissident"
12 barrels of sour brown, featuring wild yeast
(good luck finding that anywhere around here!!)

it was a great talk
mitch is incredibly entertaining
and it never hurts to attend a seminar that gives you free samples!
the recipe changes yearly too

Monday, November 29, 2010

link love

for a review of howe sound's rail ale on the lager blogger, click here

for an article about granville island being bought out by the devil, click here

for a van east beer blog about what makes craft beer craft beer, click here

for a blog post from brewdog about their latest cooperative beer effort, click here

and brewdog's punk ipa coming in cans, click here for the blog post

beer is the new wine!  click here for the newspaper article

hopscotch #5

just the beer geek photos of all the great beers!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

quote of the day

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”
–Ernest Hemingway  

hopscotch #4

that's right, i'm not done talking about hopscotch yet!

how about we talk about whiskey and food today?  and then throw in a little beer chat at the end, because this is afterall a beer blog!

hopscotch is known for being a great festival to try new brands of scotch, whiskey and other spirits
especially the expensive ones that perhaps you can't afford to try other places
i stayed away from most of the hard liquors because i'd been pounding back the beer and just didn't want to prove once again that the old adage "beer before liquor, never siquor" is totally true
these guys we met and beer geeked out with totally insisted that we try an ontario whiskey
moderately priced and soooo smooth
so like the good little sheep that we are, we hustled right on over to the forty creek stall and tried us a couple of their copper pot distilled double barrel aged whiskey
the double barrel reserve with deep vanilla notes, toasted aromas of pecan and walnut was the winner for me
very moderately priced at $59 a bottle, it's one sipping whiskey i'll happily stock in my liquor cabinet!

now onto the food!
and yes, there was some!
what's a booze fest without some food?
plates of cheese and crackers, mini burgers, chocolate - there was something for everyone!

chocolate shoes!
cheese and crackers
mini burger!
the chocolates were from xoxolat, and come in many beautiful designs, including shoes, and some of them have booze in them!  visit their shop at 2391 burrard street if you need a holiday gift to impress!

we also snagged several fabulous coupons in the food tent:
a free sleeve of whistler lager or pale ale at the charles
buy one scotch, get one at the blarney stone
2 for 1 sandwich at the charles
2 for 1 sandwich at pivo

and last, but certainly not least, i got several business cards while i was beer geeking out
carlsberg canada
deschutes brewery
afic exim (canada) corp

Saturday, November 27, 2010

rogue news

caption contest:

ode to the ipa

at this past week's beernesday i had an ode to the ipa sort of evening
it seemed like it hurt my head too much to come up with beers for a sampler
and i knew they had some great ipas on tap...
so i just went with four pints of four different ipas
(and didn't love myself as much as usual on thursday morning when i woke up...)

howe sound's total eclipse of the hops:  8%  a supremely well balanced and drinkable imperial ipa weighing in at 90 ibus and 8% alcohol.
you know i love this one!
so happy to see it back in the rotation at st. augustine's
its a damned fine day when a seasonal that you thought was all sold out comes back to let you savour it again!

driftwood's fat tug ipa:  7%  a northwest style india pale ale that is characterized by an intense hop aroma
i do love this brew
very aromatic hop nose
not quite as balanced as the howe sound
but oh, so delightful to drink!

hopworks ipa:  6.6%  rich and resinous flavours of citrus fruit and pine.  the finest organic pilsner malts and then bring balance to your new fave beer.
anna, who is not a big ipa fan, loves this beer so much she gestured too vehemently with her arms and spilled beer all over me
fortunately it wasn't the hopworks she spilled, and also fortunately they gave her another pint of her pilsner
(and yay for me, i dried before i had to make the long trek home in the snow!)
delicious and delightful
such a great ipa

elysian's the immortal ipa:  6.3%  golden copper in color and loaded with new world hop flavor and aroma.  lively aromas of citrus and pine greet the nose while tastes of bready and sweet caramel malts beautifully balance the hop bitterness
i don't taste breadiness, which is a good thing as its not my favourite hop balancer
what a great fourth ipa to round out my crazy ipa-fest

anna let me try her salt spring ales fireside ale:  7%  with a rich ruby colour, and a complex fruity nose.  low hop bitterness allows notes of fresh fruit to come through backed by flavourful malt
which neither one of us particularly liked
for me, it was too fruity and malty

so she switched to the paddock wood czech mate pilsner:  5.4%  made with european pilsner malt, czech hops, and water as soft as that of pilsen itself
much better choice
this is a mighty tasty pilsner

i do have one question for st. augustine's though, and that is:  how long does it take to reno a bathroom?  seems like the bathroom destruction has been taking forever to move into any sort of renovation...

Friday, November 26, 2010

quote of the day

“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.”
- Saint Arnold of Metz  
The Patron Saint of Brewers 


and photos from this week's beernesday, back at st. auggie's as usual!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

gift idea

in case you were wondering what to get me for a gift...

check this out!  such a funny cartoon.  either a framed print or the greeting cards would suit me just fine. thankyouverymuch!

pike press

from pike brewery in seattle:

By craft brewery standards,  we are but a baby in relation to many of the greatest European breweries. However, in America, we are regarded as a pioneer. At 21, our beers give those breweries from across the pond, a real run for their money. Our customers tell us daily that Pike beers are both first and world class. We may be mature, however,  we still feel like a kid with a future as bright as a Pike Pale. Speaking of which, our coming of age was celebrated for a week, with prices rolled back to opening day prices on Pike Pale, XXXXX Stout, and IPA. Guests were delighted with our special prix fixe dinner, described by various guests as "awesome," "sensational," and "delicious."

Our birthday celebration was a movable feast,  with delicious events at which Charles and I presented Pike. At Lamb Jam we were so popular  that we had to do a second beer run an hour into the event, confirming what we already knew:  beer goes perfectly with lamb; especially when it is prepared by restaurants like Ponti, Matt's in the Market, Crush, Ray's Boat House, Andaluca, and TASTE. Kudos to Jamie Peha for a sensuous experience. We then headed to  The Shelburne Inn, where a sold out Wild Mushroom and Pike Dinner  was worth every mile of the four hour drive from Seattle to Seaview. The Shelburne features Pike beers all year long in their handsome and comfortable pub, a revered reprise for tourists and locals alike.  It doesn't get much better than Pike Naughty Nellie Organic Golden Ale with the Shelburne's succulent razor clams and chips. David, in addition to his qualifications as innkeeper and chef, is an accomplished potter and sculptor, outdoors person, local historian and writer. A mushroom expert, he foraged all the mushrooms served at the dinner,  and his article about wild mushrooms appeared in Coastal Life. The Shelburne is warm and friendly with one of the planet's best breakfasts, and a short hop, skip and a jump to the spot where Lewis and Clark ended their quest for the mighty Pacific. David and Laurie also own China Beach Retreat, a compound of luxurious rooms located in "Paradise" overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River, a few miles from the Shelburne. 

The Picasso exhibit at SAM, across First Avenue from Pike Brewing, is a bigger hit than anyone anticipated. Our guests are invited to experience the art of dining and drinking at Pike before or after your visit. Don't forget to pick up your SAM CARD when you purchase or pickup your tickets. Can't get enough Picasso at SAM and don't want to cross the street? You can also drink Pike beer at TASTE Restaurant, the "tasteful, organic, sustainable and fabulous" restaurant at SAM.

With Thanksgiving around the corner and "the frost is on the pumpkin" (at higher elevations anyway), it's time to close your eyes and think of "auld" friends. Nothing says hoppy holidays like our recently released Auld Acquaintance,  the perfect beer for turkey, cranberries, and candied yams, not to speak of pumpkin pie. Like pumpkin pie, we add cinnamon and nutmeg -also dried orange peel and coriander - fantastic!

Just as I was about to send out this newsletter, we received some very exciting news! Pike Brewing has been selected as a Beer Finalist in the Good Food Awards. Our buttons are popping! 

Fantastic is also used to describe our Microbrewery Museum, telling the exciting story of 10,000 years of brewing, from Sumer  to Seattle. Did you know that the Museum Room at the Pike Pub is a perfect place for you to host your holiday events and parties?  Book your holiday party before December 15 and take advantage of these specials.

Cheers to you, our loyal customers, friends and fans. 

Cheers and Hoppy Holidays!
Rose Ann & Charles Finkel

2010 Old Bawdy Barley Wine will be available December 1
on Draft and 22 oz. Dinner Sized Bottles
On January 30, 2011 Pike Brewing will host its Annual Old Bawdy Vertical Tasting of rare archived vintages: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and the 2010 vintage that releases on December 1st. 
We hope you will join us.

Date: Sunday, January 30, 2010 
Time: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM 
Place: The Museum Room at The Pike Pub 
Cost: $20 in advance /$25 at the door
PIKE PUB CLUB and WABL members $15 (passport required) 
Reservations: Brown Paper Tickets
For information: Tara Shuttleworth 206.812-6604 
(Limited to space available if purchasing your tickets at the door.)

hopscotch #3

the wonderful, the darned good, the pretty good and the also-rans of hopscotch, according to moi

firstly, the beers i've had before and love, so i had them again!
efes dark
efes pilsner
rogue yellow snow
red truck limited steam
moylans double ipa
steamwhistle pilsner

the wonderful:
odell brewing ipa - 7% with simcoe and amarillo hops, out of colorado - this one has won awards, and i can see why!
caldera ipa - 6.1% with cascade hops, out of oregon
great divide double ipa - 85 ibs out of denver, colorado
stone's ruination ipa - 7.7%, 120 ibus - the stuff of legends i tell ya, legends!
stone's self-righteous ale - 8.7% - malty hoppy and makes you believe you could session it... but at 8.7% i think you'd hate yourself later if you did!
smuttynose ipa - their single ipa - delightful and deliciously hoppy
smuttynose big a ipa - their double ipa - just as delightful and even more hoppy... i might actually like the single better though...
ballast amber ale - perfectly hoppy - this is a non-ipa that makes me just as happy as an ipa - which makes it a thing of utter beauty!
la parcela #1 pumpkin ale - okay, not a fan of the pumpkin ales, but this one is soured!  it was fabulous - i'm a huge fan!!
kronenbourg blanc - who knew that i'd like a white beer? normally i run from them, but steve convinced me to try it, and i'm so glad i did.  nicely fruity, quite cloudy, but not wheaty at all.  i was refreshed!

the darned good:
eel river acai berry wheat - berryish and not wheat annoying to me, this is a very fine thing!
central city winter ale - apparently there is vanilla in there, but the hops balance it out so well that i couldn't taste it - yay - for a winter ale, this stuff is marvelous - its my new fave winter ale
victory prima pilsner - out of pennsylvania - i do love me a pilsner, and this was a stellar example!
tree raspberry porter - not overly fruity, nicely malty - for a fruit beer, i like it, i like it a lot!
alaskan smoked porter - reminiscent of a chipotle beer with its smokiness, but without the bite half way down the throat!  to make this one, they take the malt and smoke it in the smokehouse where salmon get smoked, giving it the essence of bacon.  strangely enough, it pairs well with smoked salmon i'm told - i'm a fan, bridget loved it.. try it!
mill street tankhouse ale - cascade hops in this pale ale make me a happy camper

the pretty good:
lagunitas brown shugga' - "sweet release" is right - its very hoppy at first, then its got a total brown sugar hit back.  enjoyable, but not sessionable
shipyard xxxx ipa - 9.25% - very drinkable, and if it was the first ipa i'd had all night, i woulda been a very happy camper, but as it was half way through the mix, it just didn't stand up to the rest of the high performers
shipyard ipa - too much of an english style ipa for me to love it
yukon ice fog ipa - 6% - not uber hoppy and that relegates it to pretty good for me
saranac ipa - out of utica ny - its alright, but not amazing.  again, probably the company it was keeping

also ran:
r&b spirit chaser porter - maybe my palate was wrecked by the time i got to this one, but it was insipid and i just couldn't find the coffee that allegedly is there
i must try this again some time, just to make sure...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

southern oregon brewing news

Business News and Other Stuff!

If you haven't received a newsletter since August, you're not alone... I haven't had time to write one!  Sorry!  Believe it or not I have been "too busy".  Hopefully I can make up for it with this issue. 

#1 Favorite Local Microbrewery
2010 Medford Mail Tribune Reader's Choice Awards
We are extremely proud and honored to be chosen as the favorite microbrewery in the Rogue Valley by the readers of our local newspaper.  Thank you for your support and your vote.  We can't do what we do without you!

 Trader Joes
In our last newsletter I teased you with some "big news" coming.  Well we are excited to tell you that you can now find most of our beers in all 10 Oregon Trader Joes stores.  Everyone I've mentioned this to says "tell them to put a Trader Joes here!"  I don't have that kind of influence but I will do my best.

Once again we are proud to be a donor/sponsor and the supplier of amazing hand-crafted local beers to Southern Oregon's premier holiday fundraising event.  Southern Oregon Brewing Co. beers will be available at both the formal dinner/auction on Wednesday December 1st as well as during the Holiday Party on Thursday December 2nd.  Click on the FOT link above for more info about the events and where the proceeds will go!

This years Portland Holiday Ale Festival will take place in Portland's Pioneer Square December 1-5 and promises to be better than ever.  We are sending "Mrs. Claws" to represent S.O.B. (read more about her in the Beer News section below).  More than 50 potent winter ales are featured at this year's event, all of which are created specifically to bring warmth and cheer to the holiday season. These aren't beers you'll find in the supermarket as participating breweries have put together special recipes just for the Holiday Ale Festival. From Belgians and Barleywines to Porters and Stouts, these beers are rich, robust and full of complex flavors.  This is a don't miss event for the beer connoisseur. 
New Food Options!

We have recently started working with two local food delivery services in an effort to provide you with a dining opportunity while you enjoy our hand-crafted ales and lagers.  You now have access to 27 different local restaurants via The Dinner Roll or Muffins on the Move.   Order your dinner via the internet or by phone and have it delivered while your enjoying your first pint!  

The Dinner Roll
The Dinner Roll

Muffins on the Move
Muffins on the Move
 New Taproom Manager!

We are extremely proud to announce Jenn Molloy Brown as our new S.O.B. Taproom Manager.  Jenn comes to us with a plethora of craft beer and customer service knowledge and skills.   She was an assistant manager at Sacramento Brewing Co. and also owned her own bar in Jerseyville, IL.   You will find Jenn's personality and energy to be contageous as she gets to know each and every one of you.   She will spearhead our local public relations efforts as well as launch the upcoming S.O.B. Mug Club and online merchandise store!  Come on down to the S.O.B. Taproom and meet Jenn while you enjoy pint of your favorite beer!
Beer News
 Mrs. Claws Barleywine

Scott Saulsbury has created a little something extra special for the holidays.  This year's surprise brew is a barleywine and promises to keep you warm on those cold blustery days of winter.   Crafted in the classic British style with dark wheat and flaked oat element this gem will be released in the S.O.B. Taproom the night before Thanksgiving.  If you don't want to deal with all the crazy shoppers the day after Thanksgiving, Mrs. Claws will take care of you!   If you go to the Holiday Ale Festival in Portland the first weekend in December, you also find it there.   Draft only, no growler fills, no keg sales...Sorry!
9.5% abv, Color: 4 SRM, IBUs: 65
 Old Humbug 2010

Old Humbug

Our very popular winter ale, Old Humbug, makes its return!   A traditional winter ale utilizing specialty malts that lend a hint of dark molasses flavor.  In its 4th season, it promises to be everything you could want for Christmas!  This ale will help keep your belly warm during this holiday season.  Here are some specs for ya.
8.2 % abv, Color: 26 SRM, IBUs: 77
 Hops: Nugget, Centennial and US Perles
Weyermann Carafa II, Weyermann Pale Wheat
S.O.B. Tap Room
On November 8th  the S.O.B. Taproom changed its hours to make them easier for me to remember and will give you more opportunities to experience our amazing hand-crafted local beers while you and your friends relax in our warm publican atmosphere.  Check out the new hours as well as a "Happy 2 Hours" every day where all S.O.B pints will be just $3.00.   
New Hours Tuesday-Saturday:  3 p.m. -  9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

"Happy 2 Hours"
Tuesday-Friday: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
($3 dollar pints)

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day 
$3 Thursdays have been discontinued
A Gentle Reminder
In these challenging economic times, Southern Oregon Brewing Company would like to encourage your patronage of local businesses that are working with us to create a sustainable local economy.  When you spend your hard earned dollars on local products in local businesses, those funds stay local and are recirculated through other local businesses.  Your support of local businesses helps to create new jobs or preserve the jobs of your friends and neighbors.  So when you order a beer, buy local Oregon beer!   Spend your money at establishments who sell local Oregon beer!  Thank you for your support!  Our employees really appreciate it!
Support Your Local Brewery!
Do you like our beer?  Do you like the fact that we are local, we are creating local jobs and that we reinvest money back into your local economy and support multiple local philanthropic causes?  Then we need your help.  Please consider doing one or all of the following.

1.  Pass this newsletter on to one beer loving friend and tell them to sign up for the newsletter. 

2. Become a fan of S.O.B. on FACEBOOK and start following us on TWITTER!, write about us on YELP! or tell your friends you are at S.O.B. and qualify for special deals by using FOURSQUARE on your smartphone. 

 Next time you go to your favorite restaurant, bar or store, look for our beers and if they don't have any or don't have your favorite style, talk to the owner or manager and request that they get some!  Help them understand how supporting Southern Oregon Brewing Company supports their business by keeping their dollars local!  If they are dismissive or disinterested.......well use your imagination!

4.  Go to Ratebeer.com or BeerAdvocate.com, and create a profile (its simple).  Grade our beers (be honest) and write something eloquent about the amazing, A+ beers we hand craft.  This will help people in other parts of this great country realize that S.O.B. is making some pretty darn good beers. 
Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in the S.O.B. taproom real soon!
 S.O.B. Christmas Gifts!

If you are anything like me, you probably have all your Christmas gifts bought wrapped and under the tree.....NOT!   Lets start over... If you have no idea what to get that special someone this holiday season, don't worry!  Come on down to the S.O.B. Taproom,  have a pint of Old Humbug or Mrs. Claws and it will suddenly become very clear!  You friends and family really want beer or S.O.B. logo merchandise for Christmas...you know they do!  We have growlers, pint glasses, t-shirts, hats and gift certificates in stock for your shopping convenience.  We are ordering more shirts and the very popular S.O.B. Hoody to make sure we have what you need.   22oz. bottles of S.O.B. make perfect stocking stuffers and if you really love someone, buy them a kegerator and fill it with a keg of S.O.B.!  Wasn't that easy!
Southern Oregon Brewing Company
1922 United Way
Medford, Oregon 97504