(posted by Chris Devlin)
Seattle Beer News staffers Colin, Russ and I spent Saturday in Portland checking out the Fresh Hop Tastival. While it wasn’t the magical experience that Geoff and I had last year, there were some tasty beers. The three of us lost track of each other during the day’s debauchery, but we were all out late enjoying the hell out of ourselves. I’ve never had a bad time in Portland.
Standouts for me at the Tastival included Double Mountain Killer Green, Ninkasi Total Crystalization and Deschutes Fresh Hop Mirror Pond. The rest of the day was spent eating at food carts and drinking all over the place. My beer highlights around town included:
- Little Dog at Hair of the Dog–a 4% session beer made from the second runnings of Doggie Claws.
- Noyeaux at Cascade’s Barrel House–a barrel-aged sour using a Belgian strong blonde as the base, aged in port barrels with raspberries and blended with more of the strong blonde from barrels aged on the toasted meat from the apricot nut.
- Two delicious Upright Brewing pilsners at Apex Bar–one hopped with Hallertauers and the other with Tettnangers.
I can’t speak for the other guys, but I was hoping to take it easy this week in Seattle. I figured I’d stick around home, watch horror movies, drink the beer in my fridge. Not a chance. There are three big beer events this week, and it’s gonna be impossible not to go to all of them:
On Wednesday, Brouwer’s will be honoring our state with a Washington Beer Fest. All 60+ taps will be pouring Washington beers and Chef Eric Draper will prepare a menu of local cuisine to pair with them. Several of the beers will be from breweries not regularly distributed in Seattle such as Birdsview, North Sound, Palouse Falls, Paradise Creek and Riverport. Things get started at 11am.
On Thursday, Bottleworks will celebrate this year’s hop harvest by having a Fresh Hop Fest. At 4pm, beers will be tapped from Anderson Valley, Big Time, Cascade, Double Mountain, Elysian/New Belgium, Fremont and Sierra Nevada. As an added bonus, Anderson Valley’s brewmaster, Fal Allen, will be doing a meet-and-greet from 4-6:30pm.
Finally, capping the week off on Saturday and Sunday is Elysian’s Sixth Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Fest. This is one of Seattle’s biggest beer events, featuring over 40 pumpkin beers from Elysian and other Washington brewers, as well as out-of-staters such as Russian River, Iron Hill, Nodding Head, Cambridge, Jolly Pumpkin and Dogfish Head. There will also be themed food specials, pumpkin carving and the tapping of the Great Pumpkin at 4pm each day. The festivities begin at noon on Saturday.