Oregon

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Eugene, OR

These photos were taken Friday, October 18, day 19 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Falling Sky Brewing House and ColdFire Brewing Company, both of which are located in Eugene, Oregon.

I bid farewell to Matt and Dom on Friday morning and began my drive south to Chico where I would be attending Sierra Nevada’s Hop Harvest Festival on Saturday. After a couple hours of driving I realized I would be going through Eugene. I visited Eugene last year when I went to Ninkasi. I knew I was arriving in Eugene too early to return to Ninkasi, so I pulled over at the next rest stop to see if Eugene had additional breweries, and whether or not they would be open. As luck would have it, they had two that were open and not too far from each other. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Redmond, OR

These photos were taken Thursday, October 17, day 18 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Initiative Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing, and Porter Brewing, a few of the breweries you can find in Redmond, Oregon. The first few photos were taken on the drive from Oregon City to Redmond.

Those of you that follow my travels closely may recall that last year I stayed with Matt and Dom like I am doing this year. Last year they drove me all over the state to different breweries, and they don’t even like beer! They like me, and they like ciders; and Matt really likes to opportunity to show off his home, Oregon. This year Matt and Dom were getting ready to leave to country; so Matt could only spare one day to show me the state. When I arrived at his home he asked me if I was familiar with Central Oregon; I wasn’t sure what that consisted of. He responded by asking if I had visited Bend or Redmond. I spent a couple days in Bend last year so suggested we try Redmond. While he had a friend he needed to visit there anyway he was okay with it, but he didn’t think Redmond was big enough to have a brewery. I had a feeling they might have one, or two. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: Oregon City, OR

These photos were taken Wednesday, October 16, day 17 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at McMenamins Oregon City, and Shattered Oak at The Hive Taphouse, both of which are in Oregon City, Oregon.

I awoke to a wet and dreary Oregon morning, so any plans I had of returning to Portland went down the drain; walking for blocks with a dog just wasn’t as enticing a proposition as you might think. I decided that I would do a little more exploring of Oregon City, which is where I have been staying with my friends Matt and Dom. Since Matt and I are planning a mini road trip tomorrow, I used today as an opportunity to get lunch as a group so we headed to McMenamins. Continue reading

Craft Beer Guy 2019: Portland, OR

These photos were taken Tuesday, October 15, day 16 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Breakside Brewery and Great Notion Brewing, both of which are brewpubs in Portland, Oregon.

Unlike my last visit to Oregon, the friends I am staying with are taking care of business before taking their own vacation, so I am guiding myself for the first couple of days here. I asked on my Facebook page about dog friendly breweries, but it seemed every recommendation was for places that specialized in sours. While I enjoy a good sour as much as the next guy, I am here for fresh hopped IPAs. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2019: La Grande, OR

These photos were taken Saturday, October 12, day 13 of Craft Beer Tour 2019; my annual craft beercation taken before and after the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. These photos were taken at Side A Brewing in La Grande, Oregon.

I left Boise this morning and headed towards Yakima, Washington. When I am at new breweries I like to chat with people and frequently end up with recommended breweries that I will be driving past. I had been given a suggestion for a brewery in Baker, but they didn’t open until far too late for my plans. I took solace in the fact that I knew of another brewery 50 miles up the road that had been recommended to me last year in Boise, Side A brewing in La Grande, Oregon. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Western Oregon

These photos were taken on the western side of Oregon on Monday through Friday, October 1 through 5, days 15 through 19 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I guess if I want to be specific, this part of my journey took me from Vancouver, Washington to Grants Pass, Oregon, all of it on the western side of the state.

When I left Bend I headed to Oregon City to visit my longtime friends, Matt and Dom. As someone that believes that anyone who says they don’t like beer just hasn’t tried the right beer yet, I had attempted, several years ago to find a beer or style that Matt would like. I was unsuccessful; however, Matt continued his quest and discovered that he did enjoy ciders. The point being, that while Matt and Dom did take me around Oregon, we spent a lot of time at brewpubs because of the ciders that are usually found; oh, and they both enjoy new culinary delights. Luckily, Matt and Dom are self-employed and insisted they needed some time off; I visited places I never would have considered as a result. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Bend, Oregon

These photos were taken primarily in Bend, Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30, days 13 and 14 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018. I say primarily because the first set of photos was taken Thursday, in La Grande, Oregon when I was on my way to Yakima.

When I left Boise I had a few breweries in the back of my head as I had received suggestions from friends and Boise locals that named breweries I had to visit. As I did not really know which ones I would really be driving by, I pretty much just looked out for the names of towns that had been mentioned. As I entered La Grande, Oregon I noticed a sign on the side of the road for a craft brewery; I could not tell what the name was, but I figured this must be one of those that had been suggested to me. Continue reading

Northwest Cider Masters Tour at Great Society Cider & Mead

These photos were taken at the Northwest Cider Masters Tour that was held Sunday afternoon at Great Society Cider & Mead in Long Beach. The “Harvest Party” featured two of Oregon’s finest cider makers; James Kohn of Wandering Aengus Ciderworks and Kevin Zielinsk of E.Z. Orchards Farm Market. In addition to the 20 ciders on tap, there were beer and cider blends, charcuterie, cheese pairings, and plenty of information to get people to understand the craft behind cider, as well as the history and tradition of cider. Of course, there were plenty of ciders there so it was interesting to notice the differences between them.

I was there for the “trade show” portion of the event and it was very well attended; I can only imagine how many people showed up when they opened to the general public. It just shows me that hard ciders and mead are coming into their own. Personally, I have a ways to go before I can discern the subtle nuances of different ciders; I am basically at the dry or sweet/apple or pear phase, so it may be a while before I can open Craft Cider Guy, but you never know. Continue reading

Ninkasi tasting at Library Alehouse

As you have probably noticed; I attend quite a few beer festivals of various sizes. I recently had someone tell me that they like to get a list of the beers that will be there then write down the names of the beers that they will sample. The other day at the Alpine Kraft Bierfest I spoke with attendees that try to find their favorite brews and a few that go out to seek new beers. That is pretty much my game plan. I try to find breweries I have never sampled before; then I concentrate on beers brewed by breweries I have limited experience with, primarily focusing on the beer I have never tried. It was at Taste of Brews in Long Beach last August that I first became aware of Ninkasi Brewing Company and more specifically, their Total Domination IPA.

Ninkasi Brewing Company was established in 2006 in Eugene, Oregon where they began brewing in some space they leased at a local restaurant. By 2007 they had moved to their current location where they continued to expand their production to the point that they now have a 55-barrel brewing system, with the capacity of producing 95,000 barrels per year of Ninkasi goodness. With all that beer in a state the size of Oregon it only made sense that they increased their distribution to include Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

It was a few weeks after the Taste of Brews that I noticed Ninkasi’s Tricerahops Double IPA while I was doing some beer shopping at Total Wine. I remembered with fondness the taster I had at the beer festival, and I do enjoy a DIPA, so it did not take much convincing for me to grab a bottle; the $4.99 price tag on the 22oz bottle sealed the deal. A couple days later I was back at Total Wine, this time trying their Believer Double Red Ale. It was another very nice beer with an outstanding price tag. I rarely shop by price, but Ninkasi Brewing turns out a quality product and at $5.00 for a 22oz bomber, how can you go wrong? Continue reading

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