Halloween 666

Pre-Halloween

Monday, 28 October, my wife noticed that I was only a few unique beer check ins away from 666 on Untapped. She said, “I should try to reach 666 on Halloween and wouldn’t it be fun if it was something a little devilish.” I replied that “That would be easy seeing as we have bottles of Duvel and of Midnight Sun Fallen Angel to drink.”

Halloween

Here we are today at Halloween and I now am at 663 uniques, although I swear it should have been 664. Not sure what happened there. Nonetheless, the goal is to have the Duvel as unique check in 666 on Halloween and the Fallen Angel as unique check in 667 on All Saints Day.
[all of above written on Halloween.]

Bottle and glass of Duvel. Unique check in #666 on Halloween

Bottle and glass of Duvel. Unique check in #666 on Halloween

Post-Halloween wrap-up:

We met our friend Miles and his parents at The Platypus Pub on Halloween for
dinner and drinks. I was still at 664 so I had a taster of Bridge 99 Bull Trout Stout. Bridge 99 was there doing a tasting of four of their beers. Then the wife and I shared a glass of Bend Brewing’s Big Bad Russian Imperial Stout. Miles had brought a couple things he wanted to share so, despite a bottle of Duvel sitting at home in the fridge, I went upstairs to The Brew Shop and grabbed a bottle of Duvel to share around the table. Unique check in 666 on Halloween.

For those who aren’t aware, “duvel” is devil in a Flemish dialect. The standard Flemish is “duivel.” [See Wikipedia for some details. If Google Translate is to be believed, I find it interesting that: “duivel” means “devil,” “demon,” “fiend,” etc. while “Duivel” means “Satan,” “Lucifer,” “Belial,” Jericho,” “the Tempter,” “Old Nick,” and “Old Scratch.” I find it interesting that there is a difference. We do do something almost similar with “devil” vs “the Devil.” I wonder, though, if there is a definite article present also in Flemish. There’s still the difference between “the devil” and a specific singularly named referent. Or is it simply the lowercase vs uppercase “d” doing all the work? Anyone know enough Flemish?]

Fallen Angel I had hoped to make 667 but it slipped to 671. Nonetheless, I did have it on All Saints Day so I’m claiming some version of the original plan was met. Miles had a small group bottle share on the 1st and we consumed, amongst other things, a Midnight Sun Monk’s Mistress as my unique #675, also on All Saints Day.

Maybe that as a connection is reaching but I prefer to think of a monk’s mistress as an angel—fallen or otherwise—and as perhaps a saint. That is, if I were going to believe in either.

Midnight Sun’s description of this wonderful beer:

ABV: 11.5%
IBU: 22

The inspiration for this beer’s name—previously, La Maitresse du Moine—is the beer itself. Its deep, intense flavors inspired the concept of a monk that seeks solace and satisfaction from the sensory pleasure and mind-provoking effects of this liquid temptress.

Mesmerizing Monk’s Mistress seduces your senses at first sip. Its daunting beauty and intriguing flavor fully captivate your attention. Belgian yeast adds character and complexity. We invite you to give in to this little bit of “heaven on earth”.

While Monk’s Mistress Special Dark Ale accompanies a wide variety of dishes, it is also a lovely and engaging beer to keep you company.

Submit. Surrender. Succumb.

Fallen Angel description:

ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 35

Fallen Angel Golden Ale, first brewed on 6-6-6 [JUN 6, 2006], is named in the tradition of Belgian golden strong ales–after the devil himself. We call this beer our “original sin” because it spawned our 2007 Deadly Sin beer series.

Midnight Sun’s Fallen Angel Golden Ale is a traditional Belgian-style golden strong ale–deep gold in color with tiny, conniving bubbles forming a very thick, meticulous head. Effervescent and crisp, this delicious ale tempts the palate with apple, pear and a little earthy mustiness. Its beauty and brightness is angel-like in appearance but the devil in is its strength.

With its introduction in 2006 and its immediate cult following, Fallen Angel was brewed and released about once a year. Beginning in JAN 2012, Fallen Angel was added to our year-round line-up.

How far will you fall?

Based on that description maybe I should have made the Fallen Angel unique 666 but then I would have had to left my friends to go home since there is none available at the Brew Shop.

Oblivion Brewing Co., newest brewery in Bend

Let’s all give a hearty welcome to Oblivion Brewing Co., Bend, Oregon’s newest brewery (for now)!

Tuesday afternoon as I sat minding my own business in Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café …. Erm. OK. Let’s be honest. As a librarian in the presence of those needing information or passing on great information I find it hard to actually “mind my own business.” Then again, discussions of new breweries in town are well within the realm of—at least what I consider to be—my business. I also made other friends that day by being a librarian and info junkie.

As I was saying, I overheard a conversation about a new brewery in town between the brewery owners and the waitress. I went over and introduced myself to Darin Butschy (owner and brewmaster) and Meghann Butschy (owner and manager) of Oblivion Brewing Co. I gave them my card and they gave me both of theirs and a sticker.

We chatted for a few minutes and I found out that they will shortly be on taps in Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café, Platypus Pub, Brother Jon’s and at least one of the growler fill stations.

According to Darin they brew primarily ales but they do have a pilsner. I also found out a bit about his brewing experience. He worked at SLO Brew which Firestone Walker bought out in 2001 and then brewed for FW for 6 years.

A bit later I went over to talk to Meghann about social media. They are still finding their feet in that regard but they do have a page at Facebook. [By the way, Meghann is a Bendite, born and raised. She makes perhaps the 8th person I have met who can claim that in the almost year that I have been here.]

Their Release Party will be at Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café on Saturday, 24 August from 5 – 7 pm.

I am definitely looking forward to it! I hope to see you there.

 

Central Oregon Beer Week Recap

COBW-Logo-Banner-Med

The 2nd annual Central Oregon Beer Week (COBW)—our first—was, in my humble opinion, a booming success. It was definitely a busy week and involved one or more beers most days but since that is often the case it kind of goes without saying.

I don’t even remember everything we did or every beer I tasted. My daily journal is missing a few details, as usual, and not every beer got recorded in either my paper beer notebook or in Untappd. So be it. Nonetheless, I will attempt something of a recap.

Monday, 20 May, began for us with my event, Beer & Books at Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café at 4 pm. We got there a little early and had some food and got set up. The time slot wasn’t the greatest so in the end there were seven people in the audience but I feel—and have heard—that it went well. Here’s the link for the bibliography for my talk.

Me giving my Beer & Books Talk at Broken Top for Central Oregon Beer Week

Me giving my Beer & Books Talk at Broken Top for Central Oregon Beer Week

I wouldn’t mind reprising it again on other occasions and also moving into other topics and informational resources related to beer resources. I definitely want to do it or something like it again next year. Maybe another venue and time a bit later in the evening would work better. We absolutely love Broken Top and they treat/treated us great but they have their Brews & Bands theme and activities already which takes up all of the prime hours of 5 – 9 pm. If I find other occasions to reprise the talk, though, I would definitely want to do it at Broken Top.

During my talk I had a pint of Vertigo’s Schwindel Alt which was quite tasty and refreshing. Afterwards I was talking with one of the audience and mentioned how much I loved hefeweizen so Dean of Below Grade, who was setting up for the free tasting, brought me some of his Volksvitzen South German Weissbock. I have had it before and it is quite tasty. Solstice Brewing from Prineville was also there and I tasted a couple of theirs including the Prinetucky Pale Ale.

After a short while we caught the Get-It Shuttle over to Worthy Brewing for the Beer Week Kick-Off Celebration. There we had 5 different SMaSH beers (single malt and single hop) from Worthy, Bend Brewing, McMenamins, Phat Matt’s and Deschutes. I thought BBCs, McMenamins and Deschutes were the best, and all quite tasty, with Deschutes getting my vote for overall best as it had the most complex taste. It had more going on, if you will.

As we left we picked up our commemorative COBW glasses—which are quite nice, and large—and caught the Get-It Shuttle back to Broken Top before heading up the hill to home.

On Tuesday we had dinner at Broken Top and I had a glass of Deschutes The Stoic from 2011. Freaking exquisite beer! Sara had a glass of Caldera’s Toasted Chocolate Coconut Porter which was also pretty tasty. Caldera and Deschutes were pouring for the Brews part of Brews & Bands so we sampled a few other things. Abe, from Deschutes, opened some bottles of Conflux No. 1: The Collage which is aging nicely. I have a bottle in The Cellar and plan on leaving it at least another six months or perhaps a year which I believe will continue to improve it.

Wednesday, we had been planning on going to Deschutes Beer-lesque at The Summit Saloon but we decided we weren’t in the mood for a crowd so we opted for the Brewers Reserve Night at Silver Moon and it was a great choice. We tasted five different and very special beers, several of which were barrel-aged. Actually, we sampled a couple more because our friend, Miles, was with us and we didn’t get the same five from the list of seven that he did.

Brewers Reserve Night Beer List at Silver Moon

Brewers Reserve Night Beer List at Silver Moon

Sara and I started with the Alpha Project #5: Uncle Jim’s Maui Wowie Double IPA which we both really loved. You won’t hear me often saying either of us love a DIPA but we both did and I gave it 5 stars.

Next, we had the Oak-aged Conquistador spiced Mexican brown ale, which is their Apocalypto “End of Days strong ale” aged in rum barrels for six months. Then we had the La Vengeance du Sorcier Belgian strong dark ale. Except it wasn’t. They had accidentally brought out a pitcher of their La Travail du Sorcier Belgian strong golden which we had had a week or so prior. It got straightened out and we got a glass of the Vengeance. Next up was the barrel-aged Demolition Man, a Northwest strong ale, which was very barley wine-like and aged in bourbon barrels for eleven months. Lastly, we had the Purgatory’s Oak Shadow, which is their Purgatory’s Shadow Belgian strong aged 6 months in Volcano Vineyards French white oak Shiraz barrels. It was darn tasty.

Thursday began with an early post-lunch stop at GoodLife to try their daily Bourbon & Barrel-Aged Tap of the day, the JAM!, which is a light pale aged with Oregon marionberries in a Syrah oak barrel.

In the afternoon we helped one of the organizers hang the COBW banner at Crow’s Feet Commons for the Ale Apothecary Sahati Bottle Release event that was taking place that evening.

That evening I had the first session of my Beer Sensory Analysis class through COCC with Amanda from Deschutes. Afterwards I met Sara and some friends at Broken Top and had another wonderful glass of The Stoic 2011. Thank you so much Broken Top for storing that keg since early 2011!

Friday, after work, we started at Crows Feet Commons for the Weekend Kick-Off Fire Pit Party but when I mentioned a CDA throw down at Platypus Pub to our friend it was decided we were in the wrong place. So off we went to the Platypus Pub for the Friday Fight Night between Boneyard and 10 Barrel. For $4 we each got a 4 oz taster of both of their CDAs and a ticket to vote on which was the best. After tasting these and voting I got myself a pint of Rat Hole’s–Bend’s newest brewery–Hazelnut Brown Ale.

Crux Bottle Release Party

Crux Bottle Release Party

Saturday morning we headed to Crux Fermentation Project early for their Bottle Release Party where we picked up three bottles of Tough Love Banished Imperial Stout 2013 and two of the Impasse Saison. I had hoped to have burritos for breakfast there and then get a small snifter of the Tough Love but after getting our bottles the burrito line was pretty long. Due to picking up Sara’s bike from REI and having the Cake concert in the evening we chose not to do any more beer events on Saturday.

Tough Love Banished Stout 2013 and Impasse Saison (4th bottle for Miles)

Tough Love Banished Stout 2013 and Impasse Saison (4th bottle for Miles)

Sunday we went out to Sunriver for the First Annual Sunriver Resort Brewfest which was the capstone event for COBW. We stopped at The Mountain Jug beforehand and grabbed a few things to bring home. At the brewfest we were able to taste a few things from Sunriver Brewing (our 1st from them), Full Sail, and GoodLife. Sadly, all of the breweries ran out of beer fairly quickly. Otherwise, it was a pretty good event but they’ll need more beer next year, or need to charge a small fee to hopefully rein in the suds suckers, and they could use another food tent in a different location on the grounds. On the way home we all—Miles was with us—stopped at Broken Top and continued our great conversations and had some more tasty beer.

1st Annual Sunriver Resort Brewfest

1st Annual Sunriver Resort Brewfest

Monday, the 8th and final day of COBW, found us at the Deschutes Pub in the evening for their Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter Tasting Party. Let me just say that Deschutes does it up right! They had tasters available of their Smoked Bruin, Pub Smoked Porter and the Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter. They also had plenty of tasty food. And all of it was FREE! We liked the Smoked Bruin, which bordered on being a dessert beer, and the Class of ’88 the best. We will certainly be picking up a couple of bottles of the Class of ’88 to cellar.

Thanks Deschutes for another classy party! We heard lots of great comments regarding your spread and hospitality from folks who were visiting you for the first time. Bravely done!

Deschutes Class of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter

Deschutes Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter

We also stopped by the new Brew Wërks location twice for lunch and beers during COBW. It is hopefully going to be a better space for them. I kind of liked the previous space but it was NOT a good location for them at all. Mike made a very tasty mashup of his Audacious Amber by using a saison yeast that he called Amber Saison. It may sound weird but it was quite good.

In summary, I would say Central Oregon Beer Week was a great time for us. I participated as an official sponsor and held an event, which I would like to continue next year. I must say the organizers of COBW took great care of me—as a sponsor and as an attendee at numerous events—and I hope to be on that side of the fence going forward. Sara and I had a grand time attending many events, often facing hard choices of what to do versus what to skip, and we had quite a few very tasty beers and a goodly number of quite drinkable beers.

Cole, Let me tell you about beer (review)

Let me tell you about beer Let me tell you about beerMelissa Cole; Pavilion Books 2011WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

Read 9 – 18 February 2013 via Deschutes Public Library – 641.23 Cole.

This is another one of those books that are primarily a list—albeit a fancy, ordered list of some kind—of beers to try. In this case, they are divided by style. This is an order that makes much more sense than the one used by Beaumont in The Premium Beer Drinker’s Guide.

The short story: All in all, this is a good book with a fair bit of information on beers, beer ingredients, brewing, beer styles and specific beers. But the vast majority of the book is descriptions of specific beers, within styles, to try. Useful for the adventurous and for the already converted to craft beer but wants to broaden their tastes into other styles or for someone who has had a great beer in a style they’re not familiar with and want to explore that style further.

Let’s get the Table of Contents out of the way:

  • Introduction 6
  • Part One: Introducing Beer in All Its Glory 10
    • The usual?
    • Basically beer
    • Wonderful water
    • Glorious grains
    • Heavenly hops
    • Yeast: it’s alive!
    • Final flourishes
  • Part Two: Appreciate Your Beer That Little Bit Better 28
    • Buying Beer
    • Storing and serving beer
    • Beer jargon
    • Taste beer like a pro
    • My taste chart
    • Beer and food
    • Beer is good for you
  • Part Three: Beer Styles and Brand Heroes 56
    • Wild beer
    • Wheat beer
    • Lager
    • Golden and blonde ale
    • Farmhouse ale
    • Pale ale and India pale ale
    • Bitter
    • Trappist ale and abbey beer
    • Barley wine, Scotch ale and old ale
    • Mild
    • Porter and stout
    • Fruit, field, spice and all things nice
    • Vintage and wood-aged beer
    • The lunatic fringe
  • Where to find the best beer 208
  • Beer festival 217
  • Beer vocabulary 218
  • Index 220
  • Acknowledgments 224

As you can see from the pagination, specific beers and styles make up ~68% of the total. This is a definitely a book about beers to try. I am not saying that is a bad thing; just that you ought know going in. Seeing as this book is, in my opinion, more reasonably divided than Beaumont’s, you could easily jump around and read about the styles you are primarily interested in as they would actually map to the world of beer styles.

Part One is a short but good overview of the ingredients that make up beer and includes a chart of suggestions for “If You Like This” then “Try This.” For example, if you like “Aromatic dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc,” try “New World-style pale ale, well chilled” (10).

Part Two covers a lot of ground in a short space but does so efficiently. Buying beer in a shop or a pub/bar, seeking out great beer, cans?, storing and serving beer, cellaring, serving temperatures, glasses, pouring, common faults in beer, beer jargon, tasting like a pro, basic flavors, the author’s flavor/taste chart, beer and food pairings, and beer and health all make an appearance.

In her discussion of beer jargon she mentions “the most useless phrases in beer” as being ‘malty’ and ‘hoppy’ (39). Well, guilty as charged. And although I do agree with her, some of us are still trying to develop our palates so that we can do better than this. And as not every new beer is tasted in a perfect environment, we sometimes cannot do much better whether that is due to what also is being consumed with the beer or the fact that we’re drinking our beer in flights and have already tasted several others such that our palates have been temporarily suppressed, or for some other reason. I do promise to attempt to do better because, well, I am trying to do better but it isn’t like I can just tell my palate to develop itself immediately because I now care about describing the beers I drink to myself and to others.

As the author tells us, ‘malty’ “can mean any one of these flavours: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, raisin, smoke, whiskey, liquorice, tar, molasses” and ‘hoppy’ is about bitterness and aromatics and includes “lemon, lychee, coconut, orange, nettle, autumn leaves, geranium, …” (39)

As I said, I do better sometimes and am trying to do better always.

She provides an interesting taste chart on page 49 that is divided into fruits and flowers; vegetables and nuts; woods, herbs and spices; sweeties and pastries; wines and spirits; vinegars, spreads and sauces; Mother Nature and man-made; and mouthfeels.

If one hadn’t already noticed by this point, perusing this list would convince one that this is definitely a British book. This is not a bad thing, by any means. I read lots of books from the United Kingdom but this author’s language is a little more colloquial than many others. Again, not a bad thing but there are quite a few turns of phrase that might poke and tickle the American reader. Most are able to be easily figured out in context, though.

Let me add that the author seems like she’d be a lot of fun to hang out with and to talk (and drink) beer. I’d love to hear some of these turns of phrase in actual conversation.

Her beer and food pairings chart on pages 52-53 lists beers by type and includes three other columns: Great With, Three Best Friends, and Avoid.

Next up, the real meat of the book which is the style descriptions and histories and beers to try and their descriptions.

Wild Beer
Deschutes The Dissident gets a shout out as being “a great New World take on the style [Flanders brown]” (63/67).
As does Destihl from “the wonderfully named town of Normal, Illinois” (63) (Flanders/Oud Bruin 67) I’m a little jealous that this British author has had beer from Destihl when I have not despite living in Normal for six years. Of course, it didn’t open until 3 years after I moved, although, I was only an hour away for a few of those early years but didn’t hear about it until we left Illinois. It seems she most likely had Destihl beer at the Great American Beer Festival (based on a post I found at her blog).

Golden & Blonde Ale
This section focuses on goldens from the UK (97).
Deschutes Cascade Ale is mentioned (97 / 103).
The author’s transition style – “And I also have this beer style to thank for getting me into great beer. Golden ales eased me into the world of cask ale and helped me understand how a beer can uplift you. To me, golden ales hold the promise of summer in every sip — and they have a huge place in my heart” (97). The specific beer that got her “into the world of beer” was Kelham Island Pale Rider (100).

Pale Ale & India Pale Ale
An example of her “odd” Britishisms – “the shenanigans of the Hodgson and Drane likely lads” (119). ‘Likely lads’?

Bitter
The Wise (Elysian, Seattle, WA) (136)
Bachelor ESB (Deschutes, Bend, OR) (137)

Barley Wine, Scotch Ale & Old Ale
Outback X (Bend, Bend, OR) (154) – fresh root ginger

Fruit, Field, Spice & All Things Nice
Um, is it Robert Louis Stevenson or Stephenson as she has it? (185) It is definitely a “v” in Stevenson

Vintage & Wood-Aged Beer
Palo Santo Marron (Dogfish Head, Milton, DE) (199). We have had this recently based on a recommendation from a random guy reaching in to get one at the The Brew Shop/Platypus Pub in Bend while we were deciding on some bottles ourselves. He said it was the best brown ale he has ever had. I picked one up a few days later and O.M.G. is it an amazing beer. And quite affordable too. Highly recommended.

The Lunatic Fringe
Midas Touch (Dogfish Head, Milton, DE) (206) – recipe based on analysis of clay jars from Midas’ tomb. We have one of these in the fridge but have not tried it yet.

Beer Blogs

Beer Festivals

The author includes some very good tips on attending beer festivals. While some of them are common sense …, well, we know about how “common” it is and when combined with alcohol, let’s just say these tips bear serious consideration.

Comprehensive world-wide list – www.beerfestivals.org (217)

Comments:

Perhaps I am displaying some lack of knowledge of United Kingdom practice but her use of place names bothered me some. First, it was kind of inconsistent within its consistency. That is, there are three levels of suggested beers. First are the beers that get a full page of description and they have the fullest geographic information. For example, Bison Brewing Honey Basil Ale is listed as Berkeley, California, USA (186). Next, are the “More to Try …” beers, which are shorter entries of about three per page, and also usually include as much detail. See for example, Buckbean Orange Blossom Ale which is listed as Reno, Nevada, USA (189). But over on the next page (190), we see Maui CoCoNut Porter listed as Hawaii, USA. But Hawaii is a state and an island within said state, and Maui is an island also within said state, and neither is a city. Where exactly is Maui Brewing Co. located? There are a couple of other examples of such inconsistency. Third up are the “Other to try” beers which is usually five to eight beers in a simple list on the last page of the “More to Try …” section. There they simply include country or for the US beers include state and USA. Listing a city wouldn’t have taken up that much room.

But the possible UK practice to which I referred above is as follows. If a beer was produced in Scotland or Wales then it says so. If in the full page section then the UK is dropped. See for example, Otley O-Garden brewed in Pontypridd, Wales (75) or Williams Bros. Fraoch Heather Ale from Alloa, Scotland (185). In the “More to Try …” section then the UK is appended. See, BrewDog Hardcore IPA, Fraserburgh, Scotland, UK (128) or also on same page, Highland Brewing Scapa Special which only says Scotland, UK (see the gripe about inconsistency above). But all of the beers produced in England are listed as UK, along with the other geographic data as appropriate. For example, Worthington White Shield from Burton upon Trent, West Midlands, UK (129) or Batemans Victory Ale, UK (129). Back to the inconsistency, in “Others to try” on page 137 we see Somerset, UK; Suffolk, UK; and Yorkshire, UK; although in most other “Others to try” sections as mentioned above we only get “UK.”

So my gripe is this. Wikipedia tells me (as I already knew) that the United Kingdom “consists of four countriesEnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.” If an author is going to specify (or leave off as they see fit) Scotland and Wales then why do they not need to specify England? Perhaps this is really a small issue but to me it seems—whatever the editorial or other reasoning—like an example of English superiority. England is by no sense equivalent to the United Kingdom. Heck, it isn’t even Great Britain but only one of three countries which make up the island. In many, if not most, of the English geographic locations I was aware that it was England being referred to. Burton upon Trent or London, anyone? But there were a few that I did not know for sure were in England and I only believe so do to the author’s (or possibly the publisher’s editorial team), often inconsistent, use of geographic naming practices. An argument that there is some inconsistency can be made. Whether or not the use of UK as a substitute for England is snobbish or something else might be debatable. But it rubs me the wrong way. [I am aware that this is probably much les of a deal than the characters I have spent on it.]

To offset my gripes about geographic place names and consistency in their use I want to commend the author for her great use of pictures—far better than in Beaumont—and she gives full credit in the Acknowledgments.

All in all, this is a good book with a fair bit of information on beers, beer ingredients, brewing, beer styles and specific beers. But the vast majority of the book is descriptions of specific beers, within styles, to try. Useful for the adventurous and for the already converted to craft beer but wants to broaden their tastes into other styles or for someone who has had a great beer in a style they’re not familiar with and want to explore that style further.

Cole, Melissa. Let me tell you about beer. Pavilion, 2011. Print.

1st Annual Platypus Pub Brewfest

Thursday night the resident Beer Angel and I went to the 1st Annual Platypus Pub Brewfest at the Platypus Pub in Bend. We went early as we knew it would get crowded and loud fast. The event started at 5 pm with representatives from the 15 breweries, in groups of 3, displaying their wares, talking about them and handing out samples beginning at 5:30 with a half hour for each group. There was also going to be raffles for beer stuff throughout the night but we got out before it became a swarm and missed them.

These were the participating breweries: Worthy Brewing, Pyramid, Bend Brewing, Mac & Jack’s, Georgetown, Bridgeport, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Green Flash, Cascade Lakes, Full Sail, Elysian, Stone, New Belgium, Deschutes.

We got there about 4:30 and ordered some food and four 4 oz. samplers. Thankfully, the 15 beers that were the stars of the evening were already on tap.

We had the New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown, the BridgePort Old Knucklehead Barley Wine, the Bend Raven Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter, and the Worthy Lights Out Stout.

Our tasters at the 1st Annual Platypus Pub Brewfest. Back l-to-r: Unknown beer [see update], New Belgium; front l-to-r: BridgePort, Worthy

Our tasters at the 1st Annual Platypus Pub Brewfest. Back l-to-r: Unknown beer [see update], New Belgium; front l-to-r: BridgePort, Worthy

It turns out that I had had the New Belgium La Folie before. I gave it 3.75 stars (out of 5) and before I had given it 3. The first time I believe it was with some other sours and perhaps it didn’t fare as well. 6% ABV.

Bend’s Raven Baltic Porter is an odd one and there were no notes from the barrel-aging. The odd color was definitely off-putting. I gave it 3 stars. 9.5% ABV. [I almost have to wonder if we got the correct beer brought to us on this one. See below: We did not get the correct beer.]

The BridgePort Old Knucklehead had a nice aroma and tasted a little of caramel with hint of honey in the aftertaste. There were other flavors present but I couldn’t quite put my finger on them. This was more of an English-style barley wine than an American one as the hops were quite mellow. It was quite tasty and garnered 4 stars. This was the favorite of both of us. 9.1% ABV.

The Worthy Lights Out Stout had an almost smoky aroma and taste, and included tobacco notes. It was medium-bodied but a bit thin for a stout, in my book. I thought it was a good first effort (as a stout) from Worthy and hope they take it as a base to improve upon. I gave it 3 stars. 7.7% ABV.

Full Sail was the first brewery to take advantage of the brewer’s table and we sampled their LTD 04 Pale Bock/Lager. This is a single malt, single hop (Willamette) brew that was thin but tasty. 7% ABV. I do think they need to do a better job on their promotional materials because some claim it is a pale lager and some a pale bock. Now, clearly, as a bock it is a lager but the reverse isn’t necessarily so. Sara liked it also. 3.5 stars.

Right before we were leaving I noticed that another brewery’s rep had joined Full Sail at the table so I stopped by and got a taster of Georgetown’s Lucille IPA. I am not the biggest IPA fan but I enjoyed this. I didn’t see any IBU counts for any of the beers but this was not excessively hoppy but was still definitely an IPA. Fruity hop aroma. I gave it 4 stars.

Thanks Platypus Pub for your 1st Annual Brewfest and hosting these brewery reps and their beers.

After leaving the Platypus Pub we stopped by Silver Moon to try a snifter of their barrel-aged Purgatory’s Shadow, a wittily (and aptly) named Belgian strong dark ale. 9.4% ABV, 38 IBUs. Slightly sour aroma. Flavors of currants, figs, raisins and other dark fruits. Well-balanced–both hops and malt but also sour and sweet. Nice body. I gave this 4.5 stars and this was the best beer of the evening, by far, for both of us. I understand there’s a limited amount of this so drop by Silver Moon soon if you like big, strong, dark ales.

Snifter of Silver Moon's barrel-aged Purgatory's Shadow

Snifter of Silver Moon’s barrel-aged Purgatory’s Shadow

Again, thanks Platypus Pub and we’re looking forward to next year’s lineup.

Update:

Saturday we went back to Platypus Pub to get a taster of the Bend Raven Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter to see whether we had actually gotten the beer we had ordered on Thursday night. It turns out we most certainly did not. This was most definitely a 9.5% ABV barrel-aged Baltic Porter. Inky black, as a raven should be. Redolent of bourbon, tobacco and figs. Tasting of bourbon and dark malts. It had a very port-like aroma and taste throughout. This was an exquisite beer and garnered 5 stars from both of us.

Two 4 oz. glasses of beer: Bend Raven Baltic Porter on left; Elysian Mortis Sour Persimmon on right.

Bend Raven Baltic Porter on left; Elysian Mortis Sour Persimmon on right.

Deschutes beer tasting night at the Platypus Pub

I had a very bad afternoon yesterday (Thursday, 29th) and by 3:30 pm I was ready to start drinking some very dark, very strong beer. But I didn’t.

Then around 3:50 I saw this tweet from @DeschutesBeer

Meet the brewer & taste The Abyss ’11, ’12, BBXXIII, BBXXIV, & Jubelale on Nitro @platypuspubbend #inbend 2nite 6-8pm. See you there??

Sara and I decided to go since we had not yet had Black Butte Porter XXIII. We headed over around 5:15 to check out the bottled beers upstairs—looking for Midnight Sun Berserker Imperial Stout, in particular. Didn’t find any but there are several Midnight Suns and a few other things we’d like to try soon. Headed downstairs and got a table before the proceedings were to start. Turns out that they even had Black Butte Porter XXIII on tap so we got a 10 oz. snifter to share and some food.

Snifter of Black Butte Porter XXIII at The Platypus Pub

Snifter of Black Butte Porter XXIII at The Platypus Pub

This is what I put into Untappd when I checked this beer in:

Mmmm. Tobacco, figs, slight wine notes, pepper on sides. XXIV is better but this is darn fine.

The event started a bit early but we had our food and it was an ongoing thing for a couple hours so we chilled and ate. The brewer and some other folks were there and had some ingredients—brewer’s licorice, vanilla beans and cherry bark, and something else (I forget)—in jars for smelling and tastes of the beers.

While we were eating we saw that they had flights of the 5 beers so we ordered one. It came with the BBP XXIII & XXIV, The Abyss 2011 & 2012, and Jubelale on nitro. Then they told us there was a special 6th one which we would get from the brewer but a few minutes later a guy from the Platypus Pub came by with our 6th glass and said “Here’s your XXII.” Holy WTF, Batman! Black Butte Porter XXII. Sara immediately texted Stacey and Beth. Beth was able to come join us.  All of the beers were quite good but I wasn’t very good at making notes last night.

Flight of Deschutes beer at the Deschutes beer tasting night at the Platypus Pub

Deschutes flight: Back L –> R: BBPXXIII, BBPXXIV, Abyss 2011. Front L –> R: Abyss 2012, Jubelale 2012 (nitro), BBP XXII

BBP XXII was much smoother than the XXIII and XXIV and tasted more of vanilla and dark malts, with a very slight bourbon/whiskey taste. I think Sara and Beth like it the best of the three but I still like XXIV the most. Perhaps that is because I have had it more frequently and in more varied situations. Sure wish I could give the XXII that chance, too.

Black Butte Porter XXII carton at Deschutes beer tasting night at the Platypus Pub

Black Butte Porter case

These are amazing beers and I want to thank Bend for being the town that it is, Platypus Pub for hosting this evening, and to especially thank Deschutes for brewing so many outstanding libations and sharing them with us.

[This post, Deschutes beer tasting night at the Platypus Pub, originally appeared on habitually probing generalist on 1 December 2012. It was slightly modified in that I removed the initial disclaimer about it being tagged DigiWriMo.]