Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beer links

Here's a quick look at some beer-related news in Bend:

  • Ride your bike to the bar, drink at the bar, then ride and drink at the bar. That's the idea behind the Silver Moon's Roller Rumble event. The Bulletin's Heather Clark has the story here.
  • The new kid on the block, 10 Barrel is trying to name its new pale ale, which will replace Code 24. I had it earlier this week and was not impressed. Thoughts? In all honesty, I'd rather see Code 24 stay if it's going to be replaced by this.
That's all we've got for now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eugene road trip

Man, I go out of town and the blog shuts down shop. I guess we know who the MVP of the BBB is.

Anyway, I was in Eugene last weekend and made sure to sample some of the local treats. Only 2 1/2 hours from Bend, Eugene's not a bad drive at all if you're in the mood for a microbrew vacation.

The first night I was in town I headed over to Ninkasi Brewing. Arguably the fastest-growing brewing company in Oregon, Ninkasi doesn't have brewpub, but a cool little tasting room on site at their brewing facility. In addition to recent favorites like the Otis Oatmeal Stout and Total Domination IPA, Ninkasi had on hand a few beers that don't often make it over the mountains. Cool environment where there's plenty of beer geeks on hand to chat microbrews with.

Day No. 2 was all about Oakshire Brewing, a great-tasting brewery in its own right which at least around here in Central Oregon is overlooked because of all the great things Ninkasi is doing. Hunkering down at Cornucopia, I had the Oakshire Frog's Wort Pale Ale and O'Dark:30 Cascade Dark Ale, both winners. Dare I say I enjoyed Oakshire's Cascade Dark even more than Deschutes' Hop in the Dark CDA? I do. In Bend, the Abbey Pub, Jackson's Corner, Nature's, Whole Foods, Ray's and The Brew Shop all carry Oakshire brews. It's definitely worth a try.

My final Eugene-area brewery experience was completely by chance. Having dinner with friends from Portland, the bar we were at told us that all the Hop Valley Brewing beer was free for a limited amount of time. FREE. A rep from the Springfield brewery was at the bar buying rounds for everyone for about two hours. I'll admit, the name of the brewery didn't knock me out, but their Alphaholic IPA - another regrettable marketing choice - was great. The double IPA the brewery rep recommended was forgettable, but the regular IPA was something I'd pay for next time. It looks like they've got a brewpub not too far off I-5 just north of the Gateway Mall. I'm not sure I'd make it a destination, but I wouldn't shy away from their IPA if I saw it on tap somewhere.

Quasi-beer related notes:
  • Cornucopia rocked both times I ate there. Homemade chicken pot pie one night and a reuben the next in which they make their own corn beef. And they've got great beers on tap.
  • College towns are happy-hour heavens. Renni's Landing, a great pub right off the University of Oregon campus had microbrew pitchers for $7.50 from 4 to 7 p.m. Taylor's had a $6 burger and beer special. Life is good and cheap in Eugene.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three for Tuesday: Sampling some non-Bend beers

So Mondays with the BBB spilled in Tuesday with the BBB, as the crew came over to my place to try some 22s.

Here's what we got: Lagunitas Imperial Stout, Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, and Widmer Brother's Reserve Cherry Oak Doppelbock.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mondays with the BBB: Abbey Pub

So I made a long-put-off trip to Abbey Pub, just off College Way. And it was definitely a worthwhile trip.

Some of the early reviews of it weren't so favorable, but the fluorescent lights of the past have replaced, and it honestly felt like a comfortable place to have a beer. There's a lot of natural light in there, for a bar, but it's really not that bad.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bend Brewing Co. release at Abbey Pub

The BBB was just at Abbey Pub on the west side for our Monday beer, and we found out Bend Brewing is having a release party for its Doppel Bock today, at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. And you can meet the BBC brewer. Go check it out!

And sorry if you got a goofy feed from us...I was trying to post from my mobile earlier, and that ended up being a lot of gibberish. We're still trying to work out the kinks.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stopping in at the Double Mountain release party in Bend

We didn't have a ton of time to hang out at the release of Double Mountain's "Empire Strikes Back" English IPA release party at Brother Jon's Friday, but we did stop by and have a brew.

It was standing room only (as you can see in the pic) when we got to Brother Jon's. While it's usually busy there from 5 to 7 p.m., this was the busiest I've seen it, obviously due to the release party.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout: A Review

It's delicious. Creamy, and made for a fine accompaniment to our baked beans and cornbread. Get a bomber on sale at Food-4-Less (north of town off hwy97, in Trader Joes parking lot) for under $4 ($3.65 maybe?). I've seen it at Newport too, but you'll pay more.
Not bad for a Eugene, Oregon brewery that's just shy of it's fourth anniversary.
7.5% alc/vol. 45 ibus

P.S. Who has a better beer selection: Whole Foods or Newport Market?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Dark Message in a Bottle

Hop In The Dark C.D.A., Deschutes Brewery's trendy Black India Pale Ale has passed the tap test. It will soon be served in bottles, too.

It's the first Black I.P.A. I know of to make the expansion into retail refrigerators and yet another style of beer Deschutes seems to have invented — and reinvented. (C.D.A. stands for Cascadian Dark Ale)

And yes, that's correct, "Black" and "I.P.A." in the same title. Hops with roasted. Bitter yet decadent.

It's been on tap at Deschutes Bend and Portland pubs for more than a year. It started as a polarizing beer, either way too weird or intensely invigorating, that was most palatable in a 4 oz. sampler, maybe a half pint. But after continuous and innumerable improvements, this liquid has become a go-to pint for people who appreciate original character. Your mouth won't be bored.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

McMenamins releases Irish Stout

McMenamins released its Irish Stout on the first of March. According to the brothers' press release, McMenamins Irish Stout will be served all of March on nitro tap.

From the web site:

Irish eyes will be smiling all March long with the arrival of McMenamins Irish Stout. Irish StoutThis is our Saint Patrick's Day Seasonal and will pour exclusively on our ‘Nitro' taps the entire month of March. McMenamins Irish Stout is our interpretation of the internationally renowned beer style that originated in Ireland and was popularized by legendary brewing institutions, such as Guinness, Murphy's and Beamish. Historically speaking, the style emerged early in the 19th century from attempts by Irish brewers to capitalize on the success of London porters. To cut costs, unmalted (and therefore, untaxed at the time) roasted barley was used, which imparted a unique and distinctively different coffee-like bitterness to the flavor and aroma of the ale. Thus, a new beer style was born.

Chocolate Beer Dinner at Deschutes

We pulled this from the Deschutes web site:

Join us for an evening of Deschutes brews paired perfectly with five courses of chocolate-themed menu items. Brewer Jimmy Seifrit will be on hand to explain each beer, its chocolate notes and its specific brewing process. In fact, all the beers AND food at this delectable event are made with chocolate.

Double Mountain release party in Bend, this Friday

We've been pretty heavy on the Brother Jon's news, but this one is pretty cool.

Double Mountain Brewery, out of Hood River, is having a release party for its newest beer, the Empire Strikes Back All-English IPA in Bend. It'll be from 5-9 p.m this Friday (March 3) at Brother Jon's (1227 NW Galveston Ave.).

Beer and Pizza

One of the best happy hours in Bend is over at Pizza Mondo.

Most of you are probably familiar with their After Mountain Special during the week, but it's worth repeating.

From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. you can get any two slices of pizza and a beer on tap for $6.50. It's one of my favorite deals in town. Right now they've got 10 Barrel Apocalypse, Deschutes Black Butte Porter and Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale on tap.

If you don't want the beer (I'm not sure why you're reading this blog then), it's only $5.50 with a soda.
Eat, drink and enjoy,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On tap update: Brother Jon's and Deschutes

When I have something interesting to add the Central Oregon tap list resource page (which you can read here, by the way), I'll try to post a quick blog update. I'm not talking about Bud being swapped out for Coors, or if x pub has a new type of Deschutes you can already get elsewhere. But if there's something new that might be hard to find here, or if a brewpub has a new beer on tap, we'll try to report on it.

Mondays with the BBB: A Deschutes growler and exploding Hair of the Dog

As we are getting the Bend Beer Blog started, we are planning on having Mondays be a regular "beer excursion" day. It gives us an excuse to drink, to talk about the blog, and gives us something regular to blog about. We actually have Mondays off, usually (pretty choice, right? Actually, it could be worse...it is locals night at Deschutes), so it works for us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Portland road trip

This weekend I went over the hill for work in Portland - unfortunately the Bend Beer Blog isn't quite turning a profit yet - but made sure to sample the local brew scene as much as possible.

If there's a better beer town in the world than Portland, I'd like to know where it is. That being said, here are some thoughts from the final weekend in February: