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July 22nd, 2009 BEN WATERHOUSE | Headout
 

Strange Brews

Among the 81 beers on tap at the 2009 Oregon Brewers Festival are dozens of mind-blowingly excellent stouts, ales and tripels. And then there are a few ostentatiously weird beers, brewed with everything from lemongrass to pomegranate juice. We tasted thre

     
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ILLUSTRATION BY DENNIS CULVER

Hell or High Watermelon


21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco
A watery wheat beer flavored with watermelon during fermentation, lending it a Jolly Rancher character. One tester compared the sweet flavor and slimy texture to “playing middle-school tonsil hockey with someone who’s been eating a lot of watermelon.” Another was more succinct, saying only, “I like it.”

Bluebeery Ale


Marin Brewing Co., Larkspur, Calif.
“It hurts my nose,” complained one taster upon taking a whiff of this remarkably foamy American wheat, brewed with blueberry extract. “No, no, no, this is not something I want to drink,” said another. “It smells like bubble bath,” added a third. “Cat flea dip,” said a fourth. The taste? Blueberries. Lots and lots of blueberries.

Organic Açai Berry Wheat


Eel River Brewing, Scotia, Calif.
A fizzy brew with a strong floral scent. Sweet and inoffensive. “If you’re going to drink a girly, fruity beer,” observed one not-at-all-girly taster, “you could do worse.” Another called it the My Little Pony of beers. Conclusion? Not great, but harmless.


TASTE IT: 22nd Annual Oregon Brewer’s Festival, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Southwest Naito Parkway between Oak and Pine streets, oregonbrewfest.com. Noon-9 pm Thursday-Saturday, noon-7 pm Sunday, July 23-26. Free admission, $10-$50 taster packages. All ages.

Headout Picks

WEDNESDAY JULY 22


[WORDS] LANCE ALLRED
Being a deaf kid raised as Mormon in a polygamous commune seems an unlikely beginning for an NBA player, right? Allred’s memoir, Longshot, tracks his bizarre ascent. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.

THURSDAY JULY 23


[MUSIC] PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART
Trebly, nostalgic fuzz pop songs from a former Portlander who obviously idolizes both Belle Sebastian and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Thank goodness it’s summertime! Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248-2900. 8:30 pm. $10. All ages.

[SCREEN] TOP DOWN FILM SERIES
The NW Film Center’s top-o’-the-parking-garage cinema revs into its second week with The Wild One, a motorcycle picture starring some kid named Brando. These days, he’d drive a Stella. (Hey-yo!) Hotel deLuxe parking garage, Southwest 15th Avenue and Yamhill Street. 8 pm Thursday, July 23. Pre-show live music by the Old Believers.

FRIDAY JULY 24,


[MUSIC] PDX POP NOW!
Finally, it’s PDX Pop Now! weekend. That means: 48 bands, all for free, and three of the best days of the year. Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., 234-5683. Noon-1 am. Free. All ages.

[WORDS] PDX ZINE SYMPOSIUM
The epic festival of self-publishing descends. Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, 724 SW Harrison St. 2:30-7 pm Friday, 10 am-5 pm Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday, July 24-26. Free. All ages.

[STAGE] JAW: A PLAYWRIGHT’S FESTIVAL
Portland Center Stage’s festival of new plays in progress features readings of works by national writers performed by some of the city’s best actors, for free. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. Various times Friday-Sunday, July 24-26. See Stage listings, page 67. Free.

SATURDAY JULY 25


[DISH/HOME] TOUR DE COOPS
See how PDX’s urban chicks live. And by chicks, we mean chickens. 11 am-3 pm. $10 for a tour guide booklet. Go to growing-gardens.org for full listing of distribution locations.

TUESDAY JULY 28


[MUSIC] SONIC YOUTH
Thurston, Kim, Lee and Steve (plus bassist Mark Ibold) are all pushing 50 (or already there), but Sonic Youth’s latest barn-burner, The Eternal, is its wildest album in years. Roseland, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. $23 advance, $25 day of show. All ages.
 
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