April 13th, 2012 4:57 pm | by Brian Yaeger Food & Drink |

Ninkasi to Brew Out Yonder

Yonder Mountain String Band teams up with Eugene Brewer and other local beer news.

yonder-mountain-string-band-photoYonder Mountain String Band likes beer.

On the heels of a big festival celebrating the confluence of beer and music—the daylong Malt Ball that paired local bands with their brew counterparts—Eugene-based Ninkasi reveals it will brew a exclusive light, summer ale for the Annual String Summit.

The four-day twang-fest featuring bluegrass, folk, and jam bands is always headlined by Yonder Mountain String Band. Not only does the brewery return as a sponsor, but along with Cascadia Coffeehouse, Ninkasi Brewery presents the Northwest Local Stage reserved for dozens of local artists.

Publicist Jesse Cutler says that, starting June 1, Ninkasi will be distributing four-pack summer beer samplers with an insert CD compilation featuring tracks from Yonder and other Summiters. Included will be a discount voucher for the fest. Whether members of the band will come in to help brew the one-off beer is unclear (and unlikely), but Cutler notes, “They’re big craft beer geeks.”

The String Summit is August 9-12 in at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, located a half hour west of Portland off Hwy 26. Advance four-day passes are currently $155 and jump to $190 at the gate.

In other news…

Of course, there are myriad brewfests before August. Here are the local ones remaining this month:

April 21 is Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers, where some 40 breweries concoct a unique beer brewed with a high gravity Canadian/Belgian ale yeast (as selected by the people’s choice winner(s) of the previous year which, this year, means Hopworks Urban Brewery, and further determined by a dart throw. Yes, literally, the brewer’s throw of a dart to determine factors like luvibond (color). Very few darts landed in the light zone, so when you go to sample these Belgian classics, don’t be a frite of the dark.

Eugene brewer 16 Tons operates both a taphouse and a cafe, with 18 and 12 taps respectively. To commemorate its second anniversary, it's throwing Week of Wild Ales for the second time, wherein wild and spontaneously fermented beers will spring from the collective 30 taps. Owner Mike Coplin says that starting the 23rd, look for rarities like Upright’s "El Coloquio de Cervantes,” a blend of Upright 6 and the elusive Upright 8 and then some, making it a barrel-aged dark rye saison with raspberries. Then over the weekend, Coplin says bottled sour adds the fray as 52 special bottles will come out including Oakshire Skookumchuck, the Eugene brewery’s blend of wine-barrel aged wild ales. “If we kick a keg on one day, “ says Coplin of the weeklong fest analogous to Belmont Station’s Puckerfest, “we’ll replace with another wild beer.”

April 27-28, the Oregon Garden Brewfest returns for the eighth time to Silverton and few beer fests are held in such a picturesque locale. Not So Professional Beer Blog went through the effort to list the nearly 100 beers (and ciders) that’ll be tapped.
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