Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oregon Garden Brewfest

The Oregon Garden Brewfest is this weekend. Check out the list of beers here.

I'm gonna be bad. The local beers are generally part of the standard offerings, and while it's not usual 'round here to see so many in one place on tap, it's not like you can't get bottled versions of most of them. There aren't many special brews at this festival.

So I'm gonna highlight two imports, which are rare around here, two moreover that aren't very high in alcohol, and which depending on the weather would make splendid session beers, one if it's damp, the other if it's sunny.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Hoegaarden Witbier.

They are emphatically not hopheadia brews. Neither beer blows me away, but I find both deeply satisfying and comforting. Even in Portland you only find them on draft occasionally. Your mileage may vary.


  1. You scared me - I was sure I was going to see a list of Budweiser, Coors or Miller! ;>)
    To my inexperienced eye it looks like an impressive local list. What were you hoping to see?

  2. Fair question! Here's four of the largest craft breweries and their offerings. To my mind Full Sail is nearest to the mark. What I really want is something from their "Brewer's Share" series of limited draft-only beers. The Deschutes offering will satisfy some with different tastes than mine, but I think the pours from Sierra Nevada & Widmer are dullsville.

    Deschutes - beers for the wrong season!
    Hop Henge Imperial IPA
    Red Chair IPA

    Full Sail - right idea, but both of these are available in bottle, though Keelhauler wouldn't be around here in draft.
    Keelhauler Scottish Ale

    Sierra Nevada - flagship beers available everywhere & boring!
    Pale Ale
    Summerfest Lager

    Widmer - same!
    Drifter Pale Ale

  3. Thanks for helping me understand. :>) You'd like to be wowed by something new from the brewery along with their Spring standards?
    What do you think of Calapooia's brews?

  4. Calapooia? Things described as "truly unique" set off alarums in my world. And are often anything but unique. Other chili beers I've had were stunt beers, and I see no reason to believe this is not also a stunt beer.

    "Massively hopped and balanced" is a flat-out contradiction. Riparian IPA scores a bonus for wordplay, but is not a beer to my taste.

    Anyway, Calapooia is a welcome stop in Albany, but not a tap Capital Taps seeks out elsewhere. At the moment, I'm more curious about Block 15.

  5. Ah! Good term for the chili beer! It was fun for a small taste, but I wouldn't be able to drink anymore than that.
    I did enjoy their Devil's Hole Stout, but then I'm a sucker for most smooth, dark stouts.
    Is Block 15 bringing something good to the fest?

  6. In defense of Calapooia, I should note that they won a third place for "people's choice" at the Portland Spring Beerfest. And others generally speak and write positively about them.

    Block 15 will have an oat stout - there's a smooth dark stout for you! - and an imperial red ale. Of their beers, I have only tasted Ridgeback Red and a Belgian Brown. They do some wheat beers , some fruit beers, some belgian beers, and have in the "print masters pale" a sweet homage to type and print. Though I haven't yet tasted print masters pale, it's also on my radar because it invokes amarillo hops, a tangeriney, grapefruity, fabulously citrusy hop. That's the kind of beer Capital Taps loves! (Others have described amarillos as "slightly harsh, chemical" - just proof again that your mileage may vary!)

  7. I just discovered the Hop Henge you mentioned earlier -- I had a pint of it on Thursday in Portland. I found it to be surprisingly sweet, although I still loved it.