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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

Classic Tetris World Championship Viewing Party Photos

These photos were taken Sunday afternoon at Strand Brewing Company in Torrance, where they held a viewing party of the 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship, featuring seven time world champion Jonas Neubauer, who also happens to be the taproom manager for Strand Brewing.

The Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) was established in 2010, and Jonas has won every year except 2014, when Harry Hong defeated him. Sunday’s competition would include Hong as well as a new star in the game, 16-year-old Joseph Saelee. The interesting back-story on Saelee is that he learned Tetris strategy by watching Jonas play online. Saelee is also the first player to ever reach Level 31 in Classic Tetris. It was set to be an intense match. Continue reading

5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off at Select Beer

These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, where they held their 5th Annual Brewer’s Chili Cook-off. The annual event has been a fundraiser for the last few years; this year the beneficiary was Providence TrinityCare Hospice. I am not sure if they choose different beneficiaries every year or not.

This year, there were nine participating breweries; Bottle Logic, Yorkshire Square, Cellador Ales, Three Weavers, Riip Beer, Burnin’ Daylight, L.A. Ale Works, King Harbor Brewing, and Firestone Walker’s Propagator.

I am not really sure that I have attended any of the prior events, so I know nothing about the prior competitions other than what I overheard and my understanding is that in previous competitions all the chilies were somewhat similar. This year each chili was quite different from the others. Continue reading

Founders Brewing Releases Harvest Ale

harvest ale IPA


Harvest Ale is available nationally in bottles through October 2018.

It is definitely a great time of year for a hophead such as me. Having just left the Yakima Valley during their hop harvest, coming home to Founders’ Harvest Ale was great timing.

According to a recent report from Hop Growers of America, your next craft beer is more likely than ever to contain Michigan hops. Founders Brewing Co. is celebrating the rise of local hops with this year’s release of Harvest Ale, a wet-hopped ale. An annual mainstay since the early-2000s, Harvest Ale is the brewery’s ode to the beauty of American hops grown in their backyard. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Yakima, Washington

These photos were taken in Yakima, Washington on Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28, days 11 and 12 of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

To be completely honest, when I started this journey, I kind of figured that my Portland area friend might take me into Washington, but it would probably be a border town like Vancouver; but things have a way of changing when you try to juggle multiple friends, and their schedules.

The night before I left Boise, I contacted my friend Jon Urch to let him know that I would be meeting him in Bend, Oregon the following day; that is when he notified me that he would be leaving Bend pretty much as I arrived, and I should consider going to Yakima, Washington instead. When I contacted my Portland area friend Matt, I discovered he was going to be working a show over the weekend. That sealed it; I headed off to Yakima instead. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Idaho

These photos were taken between September 24 and 26 at Sockeye Grill and Brewery, Payette Brewing, Boise Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, White Dog Brewing, County Line Brewing, Home Brew Stuff, and Barbarian Brewing, which were days eight through ten of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Rock Springs, I set my sights on Boise, Idaho as some good friends of mine moved there a little over a month ago. While Steve and Catherine are not exactly craft beer aficionados they do have some favorite restaurants; one of which is Sockeye Grill & Brewery on Fairview, so we made that our first stop.

Sockeye has been brewing since 1996 and has a production brewery as well as two brewpubs. The location I visited opened in 2012, where they started brewing and canning to keep up with demand as the production brewery could not keep up. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Wyoming

These photos were taken Sunday, September 23, at Wind River Brewing in Pinedale, and Square State Brewing Company in Rock Springs; which was day seven of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

When I left Denver I headed out for an eight hour drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for Roadhouse Brewing, where a friend has recently become their California representative. It was going to be one of my longest drives of my journey thus far, so I didn’t visit any other breweries as I wanted to get to Roadhouse before they closed, and maybe hit up Melvin Brewing if there was time. I was about 10 miles north of Pinedale on Hwy 191, maybe an hour south of Jackson Hole when the road was closed due to a wildfire or forest fire.

I got out and spoke with the sheriff, who gave me a couple alternate routes to Jackson Hole. One was an additional two hours, the other an additional three. I tried to take to shorter of the two routes “around the mountain” but that road immediately went from a two lane highway, to a one lane paved road to a one-lane dirt road; my Dodge Charger is not meant for off-roading, so after a few minutes I gave up. After a couple minutes of turning around without going into a ditch, I backtracked 10 miles to Pinedale because I had noticed Wind River Brewing as I passed through. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2018: Denver

These photos were taken Saturday evening at Colorado Plus Brew Pub, Goldspot Brewing and Blind Faith/DeSteeg Brewing, September 22, which was day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2018.

Like last year, I spent my days in Denver at the home of one of my nephews; so when I finished GABF Saturday afternoon, we went out to see what new craft breweries we could find in Denver. Our first stop would be Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse, because they are a brewpub and we both wanted food.

I first visited Colorado Plus almost exactly two years ago; but circumstances being what they were, I don’t think I even walked past their dog friendly patio. As we did not have any dogs with us, we sat at the bar. Continue reading

2018 Great American Beer Festival – Day Three

These photos were taken during session one on Saturday, September 22, which was day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2018 and day three of the Brewer Association’s 2018 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

After leaving the 2018 GABF Awards at the Bellco Theatre I headed over to the first of Saturday’s two sessions, which had probably been going on for a half-hour. My goal was simple; try some medal winning beers and get photos of those that I had yet to see during the prior two days; mission accomplished. Continue reading

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