Brown – Three Sheets to the Wind

Three Sheets to the Wind Three Sheets to the Wind: one man’s quest for the meaning of beerPete Brown; Pan Books 2007WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

Read 20 Aug – 15 Sep

My review from goodreads:

I really enjoyed this. I just wish they didn’t plaster “The beer drinker’s Bill Bryson” (TLS) all over his books. I almost didn’t buy it because of that. I can see the comparison but I do not find Bryson funny generally and his humor ventures into almost being cruel in his poking fun at times. I find Pete Brown downright funny and even if he manages to enter potential cruel territory he pulls it off with a certain British charm. May not make it any better—not claiming it does–but it is far more gentle and, dare I say it, unintended. Sorry to my friends who are Bryson fans. We’ll just have to disagree about him. 5 stars.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • One: ‘Just the one’
  • Two: ‘Los Borrachos’
  • Three: ‘Where you find beer, there you find good life’
  • Four: ‘A hundred thousand welcomes’
  • Five: ‘The smell of freshly poured beer is the smell of my country’
  • Six: ‘Beervana’
  • Seven: ‘Mate, are you right?’
  • Eight: ‘Toriaezu birru’
  • Nine: ‘Countless thousands of fattened creatures…’
  • Ten: ‘… making themselves objects of derision…’
  • Eleven: ‘Wi’aht it, he’s miserable’
  • Appendix: Where to buy
  • Further reading

Three Sheets to the Wind is a travelogue that attempts to fulfill the expanded cover-subtitle: “300 bars in 13 countries: one man’s quest for the meaning of beer.”

‘Just the one’ sets us up to how this all started for Pete. Locations are London and Prague. ‘Los Borrachos’ sees him in Barcelona and Madrid. The Czech Republic is the primary setting of ‘Where you find beer, there you find good life,’ including trips to Plzen* and Ceske Budjejovice*. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, the chapter titles are all things said in each respective area.

‘A hundred thousand welcomes’ has Pete traversing Ireland. ‘The smell of freshly poured beer is the smell of my country’ represents Belgium, and having lived there I’m not disagreeing. ‘Beervana’ “represents” the US (as well as any other set of 3-5 cities elsewhere) by hitting  Milwaukee, New York, and Portland, Oregon. Australia asks of him, ‘Mate, are you right?’ ‘Toriaezu birru’ covers Asia (Tokyo, Shanghai). The Oktoberfest (or Die Wies’n) is covered in ‘Countless thousands of fattened creatures…’. Scandinavia smirks at those ‘… making themselves objects of derision…’. England gets a bit of post-trip letdown coverage in ‘Wi’aht it, he’s miserable’.

I did really enjoy this but I took no notes. It’s also been a while since I read it. It reads much like a novel, though, so a leisurely reading is probably best for this type of book.

I got my copy at Powell’s in Portland while there for the Oregon Brewers Festival earlier this year; new $15.95 pbk.

Highly recommended.

27th OBF: a photo non-essay

This photo non-essay (as in pretty much no words except for captions) covers all three days I attended the 27th Oregon Brewers Festival at Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon.

[Note: minor edit to fix misidentified Rogue character. Thanks, Jon! (see comment below)]

Day 1: Wed., 23 July

Oregon Brewers Festival sign as I approach the entrance to the fest.

Oregon Brewers Festival sign as I approach the entrance to the fest. 2:40 pm.

Saying Hi to festival friends - Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer http://womenenjoyingbeer.com/

Saying Hi to festival friends – Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer

Roaming musicians weren't going to let gray skies and rain dampen anyone's spirits.

Roaming musicians weren’t going to let gray skies and rain dampen anyone’s spirits.

Large amounts of rain? Who cares? The crowd fits fine under the big tents so is non-plussed. North tent. 3:49 pm

Large amounts of rain? Who cares? The crowd fits fine under the big tents so is non-plussed. North tent. 3:49 pm

Day 2: Thu., 24 July

Trailer 4 waiting on opening for Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker. 11:53 am

Trailer 4 waiting on opening for Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker. 11:53 am

(Some of) the Dutch brewers chatting with Art Larrance.

(Some of) the Dutch brewers chatting with Art Larrance. Yes, they really were constantly smiling the whole time. I’m not the only one who noticed either. 12:29 pm

People on the grounds of Oregon Brewers Festival and the Specialty Tent. 12:52 pm

People on the grounds of 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival and the Specialty Tent. 12:52 pm

Tap locator sign in center of 27th annual OBF grounds. 12:58 pm

Tap locator sign in center of 27th annual OBF grounds. 12:58 pm

People under the North tent, I believe. 1:52 pm Have had tons of questions re crowds so here's some idea. Not bad at all.

People under the North tent, I believe. 1:52 pm Have had tons of questions re crowds so here’s some idea. Not bad at all.

Festival glass and both sides of the tokens.

Festival glass and both sides of the tokens.

Library Instruction West conference Portland Spirit voyagers group photo

Library Instruction West conference Portland Spirit voyagers group photo. This is simply to prove I was in Portland for (er, with) the librarians. Hi, lovely wife.

Day 3: Fri., 25 July

Books I was ogling and/or fondling at Powell's. Bickerdyke's The Curiosities of Ale and Beer.

Some of the books I was ogling and/or fondling at Powell’s. Bickerdyke’s The Curiosities of Ale and Beer.

Loftus' Sustainable Homebrewing

Loftus’ Sustainable Homebrewing

Fix's Principles of Brewing Science

Fix’s Principles of Brewing Science

Fisher & Fisher's The Homebrewer's Garden

Fisher & Fisher’s The Homebrewer’s Garden

Keeping Portland weird. The Rogue food vending stall side: Cut-out of Rogue head brewer John Maier's head and a cow with a bondage hood on a surfboard. Why not? 12:54 pm

Keeping Portland weird. The Rogue food vending stall: Cut-out of Rogue head brewer John Maier’s head and a cow with a bondage hood on a surfboard. Why not? 12:54 pm [edited to fix misattribution]

Crowd under tent on Day 3 at 2:33 pm

Crowd under tent and at beer lines, which are at worst 3-4 people deep, on Day 3 at 2:33 pm

I honestly never waited more than 2 minutes for a beer and the average was probably closer to 45 seconds, except for at the Specialty Tent. Even there I usually only had 4-6 people to stand behind. Sometimes none. Once I was about 12th in line and we waited for about 10 minutes but that was because it was just 2 pm and the daily specialty beers were a bit slow coming out. Nonetheless, several people were complaining. I had an extremely hard time refraining from kicking them in their shins.

OBF Beer Garden 2:56 pm

OBF Beer Garden 2:56 pm Day 3

Here ends my assorted babblings about the 27th Oregon Brewers Festival. It was my 1st OBF and I had a grand, and apparently tasty, time.

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Recap recap

Recap of my first Oregon Brewers Festival

Overall, Oregon Brewers Festival was great. I found it well run and everyone was upbeat. This was my 1st year attending and I was able to attend in the first couple of hours each day Wed.-Fri. So it was mostly relatively quiet for me.

Gripes for OBF

I have only two gripes overall. One of them, smoking, I addressed in my previous post. Probably not much can be done about it for a good while.

Drinking water is my second. There was plenty of rinse water at the fest, although all except the rinse station at the Specialty Tent had crappy water pressure/flow. Bottled water was available from assorted vendors and I bought mine from Rogue each day for $2/each. But honestly, $2 for a bottle of water is too much of a markup when every possible means to get people to also consume water should be the goal. Moreso if it is sunny and hot out. There is probably some agreement between the fest and vendors but perhaps the fest ought vend the water at $0.50 or even a dollar. That should make them a decent profit. I am truly grateful for the $2 bottles of water being available; I bought one every day I attended. I am particularly glad they weren’t priced like at the movie theater! But it is still a ridiculous markup when water consumption should be heavily encouraged.

Some may dismiss these gripes as small. I admit in ways they are. I doubt anything will or can be done easily in either case. It’s all good. I’m trying to spend a good bit of space and a lot of time to talk about my experience so I get a couple small gripes.

Props to OBF

At each of the trash / recycling areas the fest had volunteer Trash Talkers. I sadly got no good pictures; their shirts proudly proclaimed them to be from that rare breed the “Trash Talker:” people who help you by taking your assorted refuse and/or help you get it in the right bins. Some were willing to help educate and some just got the job done. I appreciated it and want to say “Kudos” to the Oregon Brewers Festival folks. Well-implemented.

More props to the Oregon Brewers Festival crew: 10 out of my 33 beers were rated highly by me. That is a 30% “success rate” (for my palate) for beers they brought to the fest. And it gets even better. Darn good job! [More info below.]

Stats, various, from my OBF 27 visit to Portland

  • Total # tried: 33 at fest (1 was a repeat from an earlier occasion); 5+ not at fest [fest: 14 day 1; 10 day 2; 9 day 3]
  • Int’l beers (at fest): 8 Netherlands; 1 Germany. (Out and about 3): 1 “Ireland”; 1 Germany; 1 Austrian Trappist
  • Special beers: 4; 1 of which was Canadian
  • Beers rated 4.5-5: 10. 30% “success rate.”

Top Beers

Top Beers (4.5+) = 10
It turns out there were ten beers which I gave a 4.5+ in Untappd so I will declare them my “top beers” (or “favorites,” if you insist) of OBF 27. There were two 5s and 8 4.5s. Of these 10, only one was a special beer and two were international. That means 70% of my top rated beers at OBF 27 were a single token each. That’s pretty good.

  • Dogfish Head Oak Aged Strong Ale (posing as “Shelter Pale Ale”) 5 “Amazing! My kind of old ale.”
  • Mazama El Duque do Porto 5 “Their Grand Cru from port barrels.” $
  • Sprecher Abbey Triple 4.5 “A tad sweet but otherwise amazing! Exceeded expectations and hopes. Aroma = heavenly.”
  • Deschutes Ester the Farmhouse Maiden 4.5 “Excellent.”
  • Bear Republic Grand Am APA 4.5 “Tasty.”
  • ‘T IJ Ijwit (Netherlands) missed checking in ? 4.5 “Damned tasty. Could use a tad more CO2. Very lightly spiced.” $
  • Boundary Bay Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Pale Ale 4.5 “A: pine and a lt fruitiness. C: sl hazy orange. Oh yeah.”
  • Logsdon Straffe Drieling (tripel) 4.5 “A: lovely. Lt pear & some acidity. C: med hazy med yellow. I like this.”
  • Full Sail 26th Anniversary Cascade Pilsner 4.5 “I was skeptical of a NW Pilsner but damn fine job, Full Sail! Happy anniversary!”
  • Cigar City Hunaphu Imperial Stout 4.5 “A: cherry over roast malt. Vanilla w/hint of bourbon. Sweet finish w/choc/cocoa & cherry. Not as good as hoped.” $

Sara asked me on the drive home if I enjoyed it enough to make it a regular trip—we’re still trying to find and program in the fests we like—and I had to say no. If it worked out like this time where we were in Portland anyway, and relatively cheaply, and I could attend the same time of day. Sure! Otherwise not so much. I did say I would like to do the brunch and parade some year, but again I’d want all the other stipulations too. So maybe won’t happen any time soon. I did truly enjoy myself and can only imagine what it was like for those who couldn’t get there until the weekend. For me, it worked well.

Thanks, to the Oregon Brewers Festival crew and all volunteers, breweries, distributors, vendors and so on. Also, a big thanks to Art Larrance for bringing the Dutch and German brewers and their beer to the fest. Massive thanks to Chris Crabb and Jon Abernathy for getting me hooked up to go.

I have decided there will be one more post on Oregon Brewers Festival. It will consists mainly of a baker’s dozen or so pictures.

[Full disclosure: Oregon Brewers Festival provided me with a festival glass and 12 tokens for free. Thus I got in for free and had a couple free beers. Take that for what you will.]

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Recap day 3

Day 3: Fri, 25 July

I started this day feeling much better than the one before. Again, I had plenty of time to wander around. Having learned the evening before that I was only a dozen or less blocks from the heart of the Pearl district I headed down there. I tweeted to see what there was to do. [I full well know about Powell’s and was trying to avoid it.]

Got to Deschutes eventually. Not open.

A Twitter friend recommended Lovejoy Bakers so I found it and had 2nd breakfast there. It was indeed quite tasty and affordable.

Got the expected Powell’s response.


Being well fed I wandered around seeing assorted sights in the Pearl District with almost no one around. Kind of liberating. But also interesting things not yet open. Tried to avoid Powell’s while exploring a few streets / further than other times. Ended up there anyway. 

I headed straight to the beer / brewing section and had four books in my hand at one point but slowly narrowed it down to one, while chatting with a couple of guys. After getting in line I took the book I had chosen and put it back (is brand-new and was pricey) and settled on another. I ended up getting Pete Brown’s Three Sheets to the Wind based on one of the guys recommendations; plus, he’s a beer writer I am aware of but unfamiliar with.

Three Sheets to the Wind Three Sheets to the WindPete Brown; Pan Books 2007WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

After Powell’s I went back to Deschutes a couple minutes before opening. A crowd was beginning to form; lots of folks needing to kill an hour before OBF opened. I followed a guy in to the bar on opening and he asked me to join him. Nice guy; I liked him. We chatted a good bit. Wanting a pub beer, I had a small glass of Altnomah Falls. It was tasty enough. I gave it 3.5 stars. Also glad I had my Ester the Farmhouse Maiden at OBF as, at least at opening on Friday at the pub, it was no longer on tap. After ours beers, my new friend and I walked together to the fest. I left him at the glass & tokens tent and went after my first OBF beer of the day.

1st OBF beer of day: Duits & Lauret Kiem Helles Bock.

Duits & Lauret Kiem Helles Bock. 1st OBF beer of day 3 for me.

Duits & Lauret Kiem Helles Bock. 1st OBF beer of day 3 for me.

Untappd data issues. I have been experiencing more and more things with bad/incomplete data. Much of it is “geographic”: Oregon breweries not in list of Oregon breweries; boats listed as such in FourSquare and Untappd not counting as such. There have been a few others lately too that I can’t think of currently.


Smoking on fest grounds?

I got an email that I got a response but I never saw (or could later find) the tweet in my timeline. Weird. Hmm. I think maybe it was pulled. I have the tweet text in the email but the gist is that “although we rent out the park it is still for the public.” I understand (legally). But I don’t want to.

Recreational usage.


Crowd navigation.

Humoring myself regarding Cigar City Hunaphu Imperial Stout.


Last tokens.

After the fest I met Sara to visit the Portland Art Museum which was free that evening. Turns out it was still $5 each to see the special Tuileries exhibit but we willingly paid that and saw some interesting things throughout the museum.

Hercules Battling Achelous as Serpent, 1824.

Hercules Battling Achelous as Serpent, 1824.

Plaque for Hercules Battling Achelous as Serpent, 1824.

Plaque for Hercules Battling Achelous as Serpent, 1824.

We headed downtown as Sara was after good beer choices. We tried to go to Bailey’s Taproom but it was stupid busy. We ended up around the corner and above them at their offshoot, The Upper Lip. I got a Maisel Weisse Original .3l and Sara got a very generous 4 oz pour each of Pelican Stormwatcher’s Winterfest and Stift Engelszell Benno Trappistenbier, which caused some serious confusion with identifying it. Turns out they had the right name but the wrong style listed. I wasn’t impressed with anything, although I think I definitely liked the Stormwatcher’s Winterfest more than I do Mother of All Storms. I was pretty burnt out on beer at that point.

Sitting at the Upper Lip this is what we saw out the window. I tweeted a snarky tweet regarding the “brewery fresh” light being off. Sara decided she was hungry and we should try going there. We got in right at the end of happy hour (6:59 pm) and after a taste or two we ordered the brown they had. We left 80% at the table when we were done eating. Guess I got repaid for being snarky. Or, I should have listened to myself. Food was pretty tasty, though.

Tugboat Anchor Tug (American brown)

Tugboat Anchor Tug (American brown)

While we were finishing up at Tugboat Sara was keeping an eye on Bailey’s Taproom. She finally saw an open table and ran across the street while I gathered up our stuff and came across more leisurely. She had a Mazama Nightside Eclipse. I had a few sips but I was basically done. I can now say I’ve been to Bailey’s Taproom but that was not my scene; at least not on a Friday evening, of OBF. I never even saw the tap list. Maybe I can drop by during a weekday next trip. [I see they open at noon. Thank you!]

Day 3 beers: Deschutes

  • Altnomah Falls 3.5

OBF

  • Duits & Lauret Kiem Helles Bock 3.5 $
  • Boundary Bay Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Pale Ale 4.5 “A: pine and a lt fruitiness. C: sl hazy orange. Oh yeah.”
  • Logsdon Straffe Drieling (tripel) 4.5 “A: lovely. Lt pear & some acidity. C: med hazy med yellow. I like this.”
  • Fort George The Optimist [2nd checkin – bad can] 4 “Nice. I could go for a bit more flowery/fruitiness but nice.”
  • Maximus Imperial Saison (Netherlands) 3.5 “Ok. Was hoping for more.” $
  • Full Sail 26th Anniversary Cascade Pilsner 4.5 “I was skeptical of a NW Pilsner but damn fine job, Full Sail! Happy anniversary!”
  • Cigar City Hunaphu Imperial Stout 4.5 “A: cherry over roast malt. Vanilla w/hint of bourbon. Sweet finish w/choc/cocoa & cherry. Not as good as hoped.” $
  • Central City (Surrey, BC) Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter [not checked in] “A: bourbon; vanilla. C: Mostly opaque pomegrante-black. A tad thin.“$
  • De Molen Bommen & Granaten English Barleywine (Netherlands) 3.5 “A: Oh. My. C: dk amber. Sweet. Ok. Def malty but needs a tad more hops.”$

Upper Lip (Bailey’s Taproom)

  • Maisel Weisse Original 3
  • Stift Engelszell Benno Trappistenbier [Saison] 2.5

Tugboat

  • Anchor Tug (American brown) 2.5 [photo – left most]

Best beers of the day:

  • Boundary Bay Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Pale Ale
  • Logsdon Straffe Drieling (tripel)
  • Full Sail 26th Anniversary Cascade Pilsner
  • Cigar City Hunaphu Imperial Stout

Day 3 ended fairly well. The next day we’d head home.

My next and last post in this series will cover my top-rated beers and one more small(?) gripe about the fest. See smoking above but realistically nothing can probably be done about that any time soon. There truly were not very many people smoking while I was there but then I went during the “quiet” times.

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Recap day 2

Day 2: Thu, 24 July

Thursday morning I was feeling the afternoon and evening before. Thanks to being an early riser I had plenty of time to wander Portland and nurse myself back in time for a noon opening. I got to the fest grounds about 11:50 am, got my wristband and headed to the tent with the Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker since so many people were talking about. I was a bit disappointed that there was no noon beer whistle but within a few minutes the “We’re pouring” call came.

I did not drink all of quite a few of my beers this day as my point was to try many and hopefully find a few I truly liked. My top ranked beers of the day were Bear Republic Grand Am APA, Mazama El Duque do Porto, and ‘t IJ Ijwit.

  • Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker 3.5 “Like a liquid Sweet Tart but finishes kind weak. Really not so puckery.”
  • Rodenburg Terra Incognito (Netherlands) 3 $
  • Nothhaft Rawetzer Zoigl Kellerbier (Germany) 4 “Bready and lightly sweet.” $
  • Rooie Dop The Daily Grind Coffee Porter (Netherlands) 3 “Ok” $
  • Bayern Amber 4 “More Märzen than amber but tasty”
  • Bear Republic Grand Am APA 4.5 “Tasty.”
  • Grain Station Brew Works Epernay Weiss 4 “Nice but a tad too grainy perhaps. Subtle flavors otherwise.”
  • Mazama El Duque do Porto 5 “Their Grand Cru from port barrels.” $
  • Oakshire Brewers Reserve 7 Anniversary Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter 3 “Tart cherries but a tad thin for a Baltic.” $
  • ‘T IJ Ijwit (Netherlands) missed checking in ? 4.5 “Damned tasty. Could use a tad more CO2. Very lightly spiced.” $

Got a little irate about the wrong mustard.

Portland Spirit

  • Widmer or Fort George Pils
  • Widmer Drop Top Amber 2.5 [ no credit for ship ]

        Thursday evening I took a dinner cruise on the Portland Spirit with the librarians of Library Instruction West conference. They had a couple Widmer beers and wine. I first grabbed the pilsner and when I went to verify if it was Collaborator Czech’d Out Pils or something else the barman told me it was Fort George and they hadn’t been able to get the Widmer. Um, OK. Maybe it was Fort George’s. Next I got a Drop Top Amber but I mainly checked it in to Untappd to get credit for having a beer on a boat but for some reason I did not even though the location says it was a boat.

Day 2 wrapped up nicely and I was in better shape than the previous night, thankfully.

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival: Recap day 1

I believe that I must say my 1st Oregon Brewers Festival was quite successful. Thanks to Sara being heavily involved in the Library Instruction West conference at Portland State University I was able to attend Wednesday through Friday in a relaxed manner.

Day 1: Wed, 23 July

Left the PSU dorm and arrived at the 27th Oregon Brewers Festival at 2:45 pm. It rained on and off during the afternoon and it even poured a few times. Thankfully, I was under a tent when it did.


I got off to a good start by having my top 3 want-to-try beers in my first 4 beers. I began with the lowest ABV beer present, the Cigar City Blood Orange / Dragon Fruit Florida Weiss, known as Dragon’s Blood in Untappd, and found it refreshing.

My 1st OBF 27 Beer: Cigar City Blood Orange / Dragon Fruit Florida Weiss, known as Dragon’s Blood in Untappd

My 1st OBF 27 Beer: Cigar City Blood Orange / Dragon Fruit Florida Weiss, known as Dragon’s Blood in Untappd

The Sixpoint was practically next door so I had that. Sadly, I was underwhelmed. Next, I went for the also nearby, and fairly high on my list, Sprecher Abbey Triple. I really liked that one. To finish off my top 3 want-to-try beers I wandered down to the other end for the Dogfish Head.

The sign for the Dogfish Head said it was Shelter Pale Ale. No one was in line but there was a guy who had just got a glass chatting with the server as to whether or not it was the old ale or this advertised pale. I noticed it was pretty dark for a pale. For a token I decided it was worth the risk. Oh. My. This was the first of only two five star beers for me at OBF 27. I was so tempted to get a taste of this every day but at 11% ABV it was the strongest beer in the regular 88 beers. My next choice, Deschutes Ester the Farmhouse Maiden, was the third in a row that would end up in my top 10 highest rated beers of the fest. This is in the first 5 beers I tried. Good job prioritizing, Mark. ::pats self on back::

Sara and I had had a discussion of the naming of Ester the Farmhouse Maiden a couple days before we left when I came across it looking at the beer list and making my priority list. I said it had to be a pub beer as pub beers get those kinds of names frequently but not production beers. But which pub? I turned to my friends Jason and Gina at @DeschutesBeer and asked as I know I can rely on them to get correct info. Turns out it is a Portland pub beer and will have a different name when it is bottled soon. 

A guy has a very “Wow!” reaction to his beer so I ask him what it is. Turns out it is a hot pepper saison, he loves it and gives me a sip. Not my thing but tasty.

Note: $ = 2 tokens in Special Tent. Numbers (5 or less) are what I rated the beer and phrases in “” are my comments from Untappd checkins.

Day 1 beers:

  • Cigar City Blood Orange / Dragon Fruit Florida Weiss “Dragon’s Blood” Untappd 3.5 “Refreshing.” [Photo ?]
  • Sixpoint Barrel-Aged 3Beans 3 “Tasty enough though not as good as I hoped”
  • Sprecher Abbey Triple 4.5 “A tad sweet but otherwise amazing! Exceeded expectations and hopes. Aroma = heavenly.”
  • Dogfish Head Oak Aged Strong Ale (posing as “Shelter Pale Ale”) 5 “Amazing! My kind of old ale.”
  • Deschutes Ester the Farmhouse Maiden 4.5 “Excellent.”
  • Stone Witty Moron 3
  • Mazama Rasplendent 4
  • het Uiltje Lekker Bakkie Kobi Imperial Oatmeal Stout (Netherlands) 3.5 $
  • The Dude’s Grandma’s Pecan Brown 4
  • Natian Portland Fog (organic NW golden ale) 2.5
  • Gigantic Who Ate All the Pies? 3.5 “Better than expected.”
  • [?? Old Ale – just deciphered this note from my book. Seems I had another Dogfish Head]
  • Duit & Laurent Stout (Netherlands) – not checked in. “Meh.” $
  • Central City Red Betty Imperial IPA 3.5 “Alright.”
  • Heathen Megadank 4

Had my first Guinness Draught in quite a long time. Hard to believe this is the beer that finally turned me on to stouts. Even on nitro at The Rookery at The Raven & the Rose it was not what I wanted. 2.5 “Really. Seriously. I don’t remember this tasting like this. Thin. Weak.”

Next up, day 2.

Librarians in the Beer Tents

Guest post from @esquetee – librarian, beer lover, and married to the Bend Beer Librarian.

The worlds of beer and libraries will collide this week in Portland, Oregon. Mark already wrote about the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival, also known as Oregon BrewFest or just #OBF27 for the twitter-inclined, but just a few blocks away at PSU there will be an equally exciting though blissfully smaller festival-of-sorts going on … the Library Instruction West (LIW) conference.

On Wednesday night, brave librarians of LIW will troop over to OBF for the EveryLibrary Meetup in the North Tent. Think you’ll know us by our eyeglass chains and dusty cardigans? Expect to catch a whiff of leather and paper when you stand behind us in line? Looking forward to the hush that will follow us as we move through the crowds?

Oh no, my friend. You won’t recognize us all. But if you have a fetish for the meeting of beers and books, here are some other opportunities:

To my fellow librarians, info nerds, and beer geeks – I’ll raise a toast to you at the BrewFest.

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival

Taking place this week is the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon and I will be there for my 1st Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF). [Far more details below or see the OBF website.]

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon, July 23 - 27, 2014

27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon, July 23 – 27, 2014

Last year was the first year we could have attended but we had conflicts. This year my wife is the co-chair of the Library Instruction West conference, being extremely conveniently held at Portland State University all during OBF. Both of us will be at OBF Wednesday evening with a group of librarians going there for dinner and socializing. I will also be there Thursday at noon for a few to several hours and maybe back again with Sara on Thursday evening.

I am truly excited to be attending and am looking forward to quite a few beers. I do not know yet what will be in the Specialty Tent but I am following @OBFLTDTent on Twitter to keep abreast of what is pouring there. Of the 88 beers in the main fest I am particularly interested in trying many of the following, which are in a loose sort of prioritized order and then simply alphabetically:

  • Cigar City Mangosteen Florida Weisse (lowest ABV)
  • Dogfish Head Burton Olde English (Old English-style strong ale)  (highest ABV)
  • Sixpoint Barrel Aged 3 Beans (Baltic Porter)

These are my top 3 and should truly be reversed. Cigar City has the lowest ABV at the fest and is a fruit Weisse. There are, in fact, several Weissen at the fest. It is a style I am trying to explore a bit more and we don’t generally get Cigar City in Bend; no idea whether Portland does. The Dogfish Head is the Old Ale half of Burton Baton minus the IPA part. A big old ale. From Dogfish Head. That I simply cannot buy elsewhere. Yep. I am THERE. I have been wanting to try something from Sixpoint for a while now and this is my first opportunity (I believe) and it is a barrel-aged Baltic porter. Not missing this one either.

  • Mazama Rasplendent (Raspberry Wit)

I really like Mazama and try to support them. Raspberry is not my favorite ingredient but I’m betting they can pull it off for my taste buds.

  • Sprecher Abbey Triple (Tripel)
  • Stone Witty Moron (Black Wit)
  • The Dude’s Grandma’s Pecan Brown (English-style nut brown ale)

I have not had any Sprecher beer although I did love their root beer [I don’t drink soda anymore]. Want to give this a try. What the heck is a “Black Wit” but, hey, it’s Stone and it has a witty name. I enjoy a good English nut brown ale so I’ll see what The Dude’s can bring. Their website says it’s their flagship. Alrighty then! That’s different and perhaps bold and I respect that. Going to give it a try,

  • Boundary Bay Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Pale Ale
  • Bear Republic Grand Am (APA)
  • Deschutes Ester the Farmhouse Maiden (Saison)
  • Ecliptic Perihelion Crimson Saison (w/rhubarb)
  • Full Sail Cascade Pilsner (NW German Pils)
  • Gigantic Who Ate All the Pies? (Strawberry Rhubarb Gose)
  • Golden Valley Young Franken Stein (Kellerbier)
  • Logsdon Straffe Drieling (Triple)
  • Natian Portland Fog (Org. blond)
  • Old Town YoSteamite Sam (California Common)
  • Rock Bottom Cascadian Kölsch

The above I want to try for assorted reasons: I like Mosaic hops and pales, I like Saisons, Deschutes Saison sounds tasty and has a silly name and I’m guessing it is from one of the pub brewers [Verified my hunch. Is a Portland pub beer as I suspected.]. Gose, Tripels, Kölsch, California Common, ….

  • 10 Barrel Cider Weisse
  • Anderson Valley Summer Solstice (cream ale)
  • Bayern Amber Lager (Marzen)
  • Collaborator Czech’d Out Pils
  • Fort George The Optimist (IPA)
  • Grain Station Brew Works Epernay Weiss
  • Lucky Lab Hopperopolis (copper ale)
  • Nimbus Red Ale (amber ale)
  • Paradise Creek Huckleberry Pucker (Berliner Weiss)
  • Pelican Phil’s Pils (Pre-Pro Am Pils)
  • Upright Old News Saison

These I would love to try but there are quite a few before them and, as I wrote above, no good idea what is going to be in the Specialty Tent. Then there’s the issue of these all sounded potentially tasty a few days ago but what will in a few more?

Actually, I know there will be about 100 specialty beers that will rapidly come and go so, if you are interested, following that @OBFLTDTent account might be the best way to keep up. Also in the Specialty Tent will be 11 Dutch and 1 German brewery with up to 5 beers apiece pouring daily Wed.-Sat. [See more below. See also pp. 8-9 of the event guide for even more.]

Seems we’re looking at over 200 beers; how much over depends on how many beers each of the Europeans bring. Hard decisions will have to be made. Drink responsibly, folks!

I want to thank my friend, Jon Abernathy, for hooking me up with this opportunity. I am sorry he cannot attend this year. Here’s his post for this year and you can find previous ones at his blog.

Bits and pieces culled from the press kit I was supplied and from the festival website and the event guide [big PDF].

Info on the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon

The OBF was founded in 1988 by Art Larrance, co-founder of Portland Brewing Co.; Dick and Nancy Ponzi of BridgePort Brewing Co.; and Kurt & Rob Widmer of Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. Along with McMenamins, these were the only microbreweries in Portland at the time, and there were just three more across the state. Today, there are 173 brewing companies operating 214 brewing facilities in 70 cities in Oregon. Portland alone has 56 breweries — more than any other city in the world. The Portland metropolitan area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of breweries at 76.

Venue: Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon. Main entrance at S.W. Oak Street and Naito Parkway.

Dates: July 23 – 27, 2014 — “Always the last full weekend in July”

Times: Wed through Sat, taps are open from Noon to 9pm. Sun, taps are open from Noon to 7pm. Token & glass sales close one-half hour prior to the taps shutting off (8:30pm daily, except 6:30pm Sunday)

Admission: The OBF is NOT a ticketed event, admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2014 souvenir tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full 12.8oz glass of beer, or one token for a 3oz. taste. Glasses and tokens are pre-sold up to two weeks prior to the festival at select local locations, including Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Belmont Station, Deschutes in the Pearl, Rogue Ales Public House and the Green Dragon. The festival is cash only, and there are 8 ATMs on-site.

Description: The Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals. Situated on the west bank of the Willamette River, with towering Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for anyone who loves craft beer. With a laid back attitude and scores of award-winning beers, the festival reflects the essence of the city of Portland. The Oregon Brewers Festival exists to provide an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of craft beer styles from across the country. 86 craft breweries from all parts of the nation offer more than 30 styles of handcrafted brews to 85,000 beer lovers during the five-day event; an additional two taps are dedicated to gluten-free beer, and a tap is reserved for the Oregon Brew Crew Collaboration project.

In addition to the main taps, there is a Specialty Tent featuring uber-geek beers, cellared specialties, one-offs, and other brews you might never see again. These beers are highly prized, very expensive, and the selection is very limited in quantity (follow OBFLTDTent on Twitter). As part of this year’s specialty tent, the OBF is bringing in a handful of craft brewers & their beer from the Netherlands. #NLtoPDX is a natural progression in the evolution of craft brewing worldwide, a collective celebration of great craft beer. We will offer these Euro beers daily in the specialty tent and pour them until their allotment per brewery is exhausted.

The OBF’s focus is craft beer, but there’s more than sampling involved. The event features live music, beer-related vendors, displays, homebrewing demonstrations, and an assortment of food vendors. The Crater Lake Root Beer Garden offers complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors and designated drivers. Minors are always welcome at the festival when accompanied by a parent.

The Oregon Brewers Festival strongly encourages responsible drinking, and urges patrons to take advantage of the MAX Light Rail line, located just one block west of the festival on SW Oak Street. Go by bus, train or taxi, just don’t drink and drive. The festival also offers free monitored on-site bicycle parking.

Statistics

  • 27th year of the festival.
  • 88 handcraft beers are poured in the main festival; another 100+ in the Specialty Tent.
  • There are 86 participating breweries (Deschutes has two entries, one Gluten-Free), plus Collaborator, a project in which Oregon Brew Crew homebrewers create the recipe and have it made and distributed by Widmer Bros. Brewing.
  • 14 states are represented: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin; plus British Columbia. In the Specialty Tent we also have Germany and The Netherlands.
  • In the main festival, Maui Brewing Co traveled the furthest at 2,568 miles; Dunedin Brewing from Dunedin, Florida, was a close second with 2,483 (and the brewers actually drove their kegs on a road trip to the fest!); and Dogfish Head from Milton, Delaware was third at 2,434 miles.
  • There are 17 breweries making their first appearance at the festival this year, including Ashtown, Central City, Cigar City, Coronado, Crux, Ecliptic, Ex Novo, Fitger’s, Grain Station, Kells, Mazama, No-Li, North Rim, Payette, Sixpoint, Viking Braggot and Wild Ride.
  • The following breweries have never missed a festival: Bayern, BridgePort, Deschutes, Full Sail & Widmer.

There is a Mobile Guide “app” www.coaster.me that I have played with some. It is an app in that is a website that does a particular job. It might be useful if you have a good fast (and cheap) data connection. Otherwise it seems to me it would seriously tax your battery. Then again, maybe heavy use of Untappd also seriously taxes a battery. Bottom line is the more you use your phone the faster the battery drains. I think it is a good stat but not as good as I would like. Give it a try and see what you think.

There is also an intriguing color code used. It is used throughout the event guide for each individual beer and all are collected from lightest to darkest in the last few pages of the guide. So if, for whatever reason, you want to choose your beers based on color you have some help.

Brewers from the Netherlands and Germany

See page 9 of the event guide.

… for the first time in the festival’s history, nearly a dozen brewers from the Netherlands will join in the celebration.

The Oregon Brewers Festival is flying over both beer and brewers from Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Brouwerij Rodenburg, Microbrouwerij Rooie Dop, Brouwerij Maximus, Brouwerij Duits & Lauret, Brouwerij de Molen, Oedipus Brewing, Het Uiltje, Oersoep and Ramses Bier. Bierbrouwerij Emelisse is also sending beer as well, although no brewer representation.

Each brewery will serve five of their beers daily in the festival’s Specialty Tent, an area where vintage, barrel aged, blends and esoteric one-offs from participating breweries are also offered. The brewers will be available for daily meet the brewer sessions at the event. They will also be doing a special Meet & Greet and beer tasting event at Belmont Station, a local bottle shop, on July 24 from 4 to 8pm.

Dubbed NL to PDX (#NLtoPDX), the program started when festival director Art Larrance learned that Portland has a Friendship City relationship with the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Upon visiting, he discovered a growing craft brewing movement that reminded him of the Northwest craft beer industry in the 1980s; brewers who are just beginning to explore new flavors and styles.

“Featuring international brewers is a natural extension for the OBF,” explained Larrance. “We want to develop a long term cultural exchange and share our passion, knowledge and friendship with these brewers as part of a collective The Dutch brewers will join Portland brewers while they’re in town to collaborate and share information. Portland breweries including BridgePort, Ecliptic, Gigantic, Portland, Laurelwood, Hair of the Dog, Upright, The Commons, Hopworks Urban Brewery and Upright have all stepped up to host their Dutch counterparts.

  • Bierbrouwerij Emelisse (http://www.emelisse.nl)
  • Brouwerij ‘t IJ (www.brouwerijhetij.nl)
  • Brouwerij Rodenburg (www.brouwerij-rodenburg.nl)
  • Microbrouwerij Rooie Dop (www.rooiedop.nl)
  • Brouwerij Maximus (www.brouwerijmaximus.nl)
  • Brouwerij Duits & Lauret (www.duitslauret.com)
  • Brouwerij de Molen (www.brouwerijdemolen.nl)
  • Oedipus Brewing (www.oedipusbrewing.com)
  • Het Uiltje (www.brouwerijhetuiltje.nl)
  • Oersoep (www.oersoepbrouwerij.nl)
  • Ramses Bier (www.ramsesbier.nl)
  • Brauerei Nothhaft (German)

Each brewery will serve up to five of their beers in the Specialty Tent starting at Noon (Wed-Sat); the brewers will be available for meet the brewer sessions those days as well.

Live Music

There will also be live music throughout the event. The schedule is also in the event guide.

References

Visiting Portland? Be sure to check out Travel Portland to learn about restaurants, attractions and more. You can also download a concise visitor guide.

Want to learn more about Oregon craft beer? Visit The Oregon Brewers Guild.

Want to learn about the history of the Oregon Brewers Festival? Watch a video of founder Art Larrance.

Map

The map which is also in the event guide.

I am truly looking forward to my 1st Oregon Brewers Festival and to being there mostly when it isn’t massively crowded and in full-on party mode. I will report back with some kind of after action report about the tasty beers I had and the cool people I met. Maybe I’ll see you there. Cheers!