It's the second day of the Oregon Brewers Festival,
the day when the real crowds start to pour in and beer-tasting strategy comes into play. I tasted some 25 brews last night to better equip you, reader, for the weekend before you. Here are the highlights.
The Very Good
A one-off brew to celebrate Rogue's 21st trip to OBF, this complex olde ale contains some 14 ingredients, including licorice and molasses. Something new turns up with ever sip. And it's 8 percent ABV, so sip slowly.
TERMINAL GRAVITY SINGLE HOP DOUBLE IPA:
Another strong beer, this 7.9 percent ABV IPA balances a huge dose of Columbia hops with lots of malt.
OAKSHIRE OVERCAST ESPRESSO STOUT:
If you haven't tried this black beauty yet, do so. I might be my favorite beer of the year.
BOULEVARD TANK 7: Another
strong beer. This farmhouse ale from the excellent Kansas City brewery is made with corn flakes. It tastes like malt, corn and a hint of bell pepper. I want to drink a lot of it at my next barbecue, but at 8 percent that would be a bad idea. I didn't like this one last year
—I don't know if the recipe's changed or my palate has.
COLLABORATOR SUNSTONE PILSNER:
This year's fruit of Widmer's collaborations with the Oregon Brew Crew, this American wheat pilsner is snappy and bright. A perfect summer beer.
GRAND TETON BITCH CREEK ESB:
My favorite beer from last year's OBF is back.
VERTIGO BREWING RAZZ WHEAT:
One of last year's most popular debuts returns. Made with a crazy amount of raspberries. If you must drink a fruit beer, make it this one.
GREAT DIVIDE HOSS:
A good rye lager with honey on the nose and a bit of hops at the back. It's sweet and smooth. If you like sweet beer, this is a good one.
SEVEN BRIDES BREWING LIL'S PILS:
A nice, creamy pilsner from Stayton.
MAUI BREWING COMPANY COCONUT PORTER:
I don't like coconut beer, but this one is more subtle than Kona's atrocity. It tastes like someone dipped a Mounds bar in a short espresso. (Read WW
's taste test of other weird brews from this year's fest, here
The Very Bad
Don't try any of these. They aren't worth the trouble.
21's Amendment Hell or High Watermelon, Boulder Beer Kinda Blue, Santa Cruz Mountain Olallieberry Cream Ale, The Bruery 7 Grain Saison (fishy), Rock Bottom's Oud Heverlee, Eel River's Organic Açai Berry Wheat, Green Flash Brewing Le Freak, Widmer Captain Shaddock's IPA, Marin Bluebeery.