Maybe this is news to you and maybe it isn't, but Oregon makes the nation's best IPA.
That beer, according to judges at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, is Barley Browns Pallet Jack, which beat out 252 other American-style IPAs in the largest American beer festival's biggest category. It was the first time an Oregon brewery won the category since 2006, when it was far smaller and less competitive.
That award was the highlight of a very, very good weekend for Oregon beer at the Colorado Convention Center. While our friends in Washington State will be able to make a really nice Gose with all the tears they're shedding after winning only four medals, Barley Browns and Browns' new offshoot, Baker City Brewing, won five all by themselves, including the coveted IPA gold, gold for their American Style wheat (Shredder's), gold for their Hand Truck pale ale and silver for their Don Vanuchi the Killer stout.
But enough about Barley Browns and our friends up north. Oregon won 25 medals in all, 10 of them gold. How about that local gluten-free beer? Portland's Harvester took gold in the festival's most Portlandy category, with Deschutes grabbing silver.
Portland's Old Town Brewing also won gold in a coveted category, fresh hop ale, with Cent's and Censability. Eugene's Oakshire won gold for barrel-aged beer with Hellshire III and Ninkasi took home Oregon's only gold in a lager category for their Bohemian style Pilsner.
Portland's Breakside, which had our fifth favorite Oregon beer of last year, took home two bronze medals for their Passionfruit sour and ESB.
The Portland Pro-Am will be November 2 inside the former Con-way Warehouse at 22nd and Quimby and features 13 breweries, including 2013 GABF medalists Old Town, Deschutes and Breakside. Ah, that sounds really nice, doesn't it?