Portland breweries usually roll out a couple new beers every month. Some, like Cascade Barrel House, tap several kegs of new stuff every week, more than anyone not behind their bar can track. In the hype-driven craft brew market this makes sense, I guess, as there's no easier way to distinguish your product than to make hundreds of slightly different versions of it.
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales' approach is refreshingly different. The tiny brewery in the countryside near Hood River has only four products out right now. And they're all great. Willamette Week named the fresh hop seizoen Oregon's Beer of the Year for 2011. Brewvana readers said the same about its seizoen bretta. A few weeks back the brewery won the Cheers to Belgian Beers festival.
So when Logsdon roll out a new brew, like the Peche 'n' Brett dropped off at Portland stores on Thursday, it's actually kind of exciting. Having figured this out, it's nearly doubled the price on this one, charging $17.50 a bottle at BeerMongers instead of their standard $10.
I know what it looks like, but, seriously, this isn't at all unreasonable.
First, because it's an expensive product to make. Logsdon used a pound and a half of organic peaches per gallon of this stuff, which was kept in barrels after fall harvest until their once leaky bottling line could get it into glass without spilling too much.
Second, because it's really, really good beer. Like Logsdon's other bretted beers, the peche uses the special yeast that gives lambics and gueuze their distinct tart character. Working on the peaches, the result isn't as tangy as you might expect. This is a balanced beer, with less peachyness than, say, Dogfish Head's peche, but far more nuance. Think Cantillon, not Lindemans. All those additional fermentable sugars from the fruit did, however, pump the alcohol way up, to an imperil-grade 10% ABV, meaning this 750 ml has nearly as much go-go juice as a bottle of wine.
And would anyone think twice about paying $17.50 for a great bottle of Oregon wine?
Well, Archery Summit's 2009 pinot noir is $48.
Logsdon might not have reached Archery Summit yet, but they're climbing fast.
Other beer news from around Oregon...
Speaking of things vineal, the New School tells how Hop & Vine is creating its own private label collection of beer and wine. The Berliner Weisse made with Burnside seems interesting, though why would a cloudy, low-alcohol style like Berliner Weisse need wood? Woodruff syrup, yes. Aging in pinot and gin barrels? Hmmmmm.
Meanwhile, over at OregonLive, John Foyston has the scoop on Gigantic Brewing's opening in Southeast Portland. (Spoiler alert: this Wednesday.)
Oh, and in the interest of balance, since we don't want to be too pro-bretta, here's Beervana explaining how rogue yeast can cause problems for brewers.