Portland's caffeine dealers reigned supreme at the Northwest Regional Barista Competition and Brewers Cup, held in Tacoma last weekend. In the Barista Competition, Coava Coffee's Sam Purvis narrowly beat out Stumptown's Ryan Wilbur by half a point in the finals, using Coava's Guatemala Xeucalvitz. In the Brewers Cup—a new competition for brewed coffee based almost entirely on taste—it was another victory for Coava, with Devin Chapman using the company's new Kone Funnel immersion brewer to best Seattle barista Mark Pfaff and Olympia's Will Frith. Portland's Matt Milletto from Water Avenue Coffee also made it into the finals. Both Purvis and Chapman will go on to compete in the U.S. Barista Championship and Brewers Cup in Houston in April. Suck it, Seattle.
R.I.P. YOUNGER: Horse Brass Pub founder Don Younger died shortly after midnight Sunday, Jan. 27. The 69-year-old publican was one of the Oregon craft brewing industry's earliest and most strident promoters. The Horse Brass, which he founded in 1976, counted among its regulars the Widmer Brothers and founders of Portland Brewing, BridgePort and Full Sail.
IN THE BAGUETTE: NW Documentary founder Ian McCluskey's tranquil skinny-dipping short film Summer Snapshot has been chosen to screen seven times at the Festival International du Court Métrage à Clermont-Ferrand, the second-largest film festival in France (behind Cannes). It is one of only five American films selected by the fest this year, and will show Feb. 5-11.
SMASHED: Fallen celeb Gallagher—hammer swinger, melon ruiner, honky Cheech Marin—was set to perform for free at the label party for Portland's One-Hour Pharmacy Records showcase at Sway Bar last Thursday night. Apparently Gallagher, in town to present at last Friday's Portland Music Awards, agreed to appear as a bewildered favor to his Portland handler, PMA impresario Craig Marquardo. Later, Gallagher refused to perform. He was, according to his handler, too stoned, and so skipped his scheduled set to instead talk to strangers on the sidewalk for more than an hour and a half. Portland flame-breather Draydin the Damned was told to piss off after he told Gallagher he was Draydin's inspiration at age 8 to be an entertainer.
U-UPDATE: In last week's review of U-Licious Smokehouse & Grill, author Chris Stamm wrote that he saw flies in the barbecue restaurant's "dingy" dining room. U-Licious owner James Harris called to adamantly insist he runs a "clean establishment" and to clarify that he serves food on china plates in his dining room—not Styrofoam containers. The author confirms his original account, but U-Licious did score an 85 on its most recent Multnomah County health inspection April 8, 2010. A restaurant must receive at least a 70 to pass the inspection.