May 21st, 2012 | by Brian Yaeger Food & Drink | Posted In: Beer

Oregon Beer News: Fresh'n'Fruity

kali-ma-beer-goddessKali Ma: She's not fit for a beer label. - Wikimedia
Suck it, hops.

There's a new sheriff share of crops in town. Burnside Brewing welcomes the return of the Fruit Beer Festival, which will feature over 30 breweries and even more fruitastic beers.

The website lists “only” 25 beers and two ciders, but more kegs are being added. Most of the beers should have a very good chance of sticking around the whole weekend of June 9-10, though even amid a festival featuring nearly exclusively one-off beers brewed for the fest, some rare shit will be tapped (and promptly kicked) as well. Unlike the Fresh Hop beer fest(s) which are still a few months away, events where brewers predominantly go with IPAs to showcase beer's top ingredient, the Fruit Beer Fest boasts almost as many base styles as it does fruits.

Flat Tail Brewing's Strawberry Rhubarb Corvaller Weisse respectfully maintains Berlin's appellation while emulating its sour wheat Berliner Weisse because this Corvaller Weisse is, well, made in Corvallis. Meanwhile, fans of L-iteration will like Lucky Labrador's Lychee Lager.

The host brewery, Burnside, takes its inspiration from Belgium (naturally) as well as Amsterdam (seemingly) with their Red Light District, an imperial stout brewed with loads of Belgian chocolate and a strawberry field's worth of berries before aging it in Pacific Rum barrels. Even Portland's only cidery, Bushwhacker, is getting in on the action of adding fruit despite the fact that cider is already a fruit beer minus the beer, so it's adding tart cherries—and pucker-inducing Lactobacillus wild yeast to Brookland Sour Cider.

The event turns into a street fest this year occupying Northeast 7th Ave. between East Burnside and Couch adjacent to Burnside Brewing and takes place Saturday June 9 from 11 am-9 pm and Sunday June 10 from 11-6 pm. Tickets start at $20.

In other beer news:

The Beer Goddess blog wished local legend Fred Eckhardt a happy 86th birthday in advance of FredFest, a party held annually at Hair of the Dog Brewing. Eckhardt is known as the Dean of Beer Writing and penned A Treatise on Lager Brewing in 1969 (a full decade before it was legal to brew lagers or ales at home, because Portlanders are always ahead of the curve.) One of the 30 or so brews on hand at the party was Collage, the first in Deschutes' Conflux series of collaborations (it tag-teamed with Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing on Conflux #2 which came out over a year ago, but that's because Collage's roots date back to spring 2010, when brewmaster Alan Sprints made Hair of the Dog's Fred and Adam, two beers that were blended with Deschutes's the Dissident and the Stoic, before aging in a smattering of new and used barrels that will soon go on sale soon in a finite amount of 12-ounce bottles.

At the biannual World Beer Cup earlier this month— entries are judged blind and, unlike the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, opened to breweries the globe over—five local breweries took home some hardware including Breakside, Upright, newcomers the Commons, and aforementioned Laurelwood. Oh, and Columbia River Brewing. While beer geeks love Twitpic-ing themselves at the first four, the often neglected CRBC was the only one won two medals, for Stumbler's Stout and Drunken Elf Coffee Stout.

Kali-Ma won't be bottled. John Foyston at The Oregonian, among others, covered how the teensy-tiny brewpub was on the verge of releasing a black wheatwine ale brewed with toasted cardamom, fenugreek, cumin, apricots, Scotch bonnet peppers, and native India dandicut peppers. The ingredients weren't the news story, the name was. The beer was to be called Kali-Ma, both the Hindu goddess worshipped as the mother of the universe, as well as a reference in Indiana Jones a reference in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Naming a brew after a Goddess had some Indian parliament members perturbed, going so far as to demand that the United States apologize. Granted, it's less dire than a Danish cartoonist blaspheming the prophet Muhammad resulting in calls for his death, but as you can see from one reader's comments in the Hindustan Times, “The USA has committed an act of blasphemy...they have shown their evil thoughts - if they do not correct this matter they will arise the wrath of Gods.”

Fearing that wrath, Burnside canceled the beer.
 
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