The Beaver State is a beer mecca and it is considered by many to be one of the top craft-beer states in the nation. At last count, Oregon counts nearly 300 breweries, leads the nation in craft beer drinkers, has colleges that condone brewing beer as an academic pursuit, displays a trophy case with too many top medals at the Great American Beer Festival to mention and is the second leading hops producer in the country. Its largest city, Portland (aka Beervana), has more breweries than any other city on earth, and cities such as Bend and Hood River have some of the highest numbers of breweries per capita in America. Peaks and Pints presents a beer from of Oregon craft breweries that we call Craft Beer Crosscut 2.23.19: A Flight of Oregon Beer.
Craft Beer Crosscut 2.23.19: A Flight of Oregon Beer
Occidental Brewing offers Portland, Oregon something truly refreshing: crisp, sparkling German-style suds. Their Altbier is enough to make you want to throw on a pair of lederhosen over your Pendleton flannel. Occidental’s take on Dusseldorf’s broad style features the brewery’s most complex grain bill, which produces a malty, amber beer with a lot of flavor. Saphir hops give it a spicy, noble aroma and delicious hop profile. It’s on the hoppy side for this style of beer, but the beautifully copper color and crisp beer offers a malty chewy and creamy experience.
In 2006, Chris Nemlowill and Jack Harris flew to Virginia Beach, Virginia to salvage an 8.5-barrel Saaz brewing system and drive it across the country to install it in their soon-to-open Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. They went on to specialized in seasonal IPAs and stouts, including From Astoria With Love Russian Imperial Stout — the mother of Matryoshka, the stout to start all Matryoshka stouts. Creamy and smooth, From Astoria With Love delivers some bitter chocolate to balance the cocoa sweetness, plus a deep roasted backbone.
9.5% ABV, 25 IBU
Pelican Brewing serves craft beer at three beaches along the Oregon Coast — the flagship brewery in Pacific City, as well as Tillamook and Cannon Beach. Captain Of The Coast is back on watch after time spent in Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey Barrels. Pelican’s award-winning MacPelican’s Wee Heavy emerged recognizably Wee Heavy, but with added notes of chocolate covered cherries, toasted oak, spice and vanilla in the aroma. The first sip produces flavors reminiscent of malted milk balls and crème brûlée with a silky smooth mouthfeel. Sail with the Captain and you’ll find dried apricots, sherry-like flavors and dark marmalade.
6.2% ABV, 40 IBU
In 2010, Boneyard Beer was started in an old auto shop tucked away in the backstreets of Bend, Oregon’s historical district. Without any outside investors or major bank loans, Boneyard’s inception was unconventional to say the least. After decades in the brewing industry, owner Tony Lawrence built up a “boneyard” of old equipment he collected from 13 different breweries around the country. Alongside co-founders, Clay and Melodee Storey, this second-hand brewing equipment was pieced together to brew the first batch of Boneyard Beer in May 2010. The lightly sweet India red ale Skunkape, a collaboration with Lib Tech snowboarding, is brewed with Cascade, Bravo, CTZ, Eureka, Simcoe, and Super Galena Hop Oil for bitterness of citrus rind and a touch of pine.
10.3% ABV, 100 IBU
Barley Brown’s Brew Pub seems to fly under the radar even though it has been operating since 1998 and winning awards at major competitions since 2006, including five medals and small brewery of the year at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. Perhaps it’s the remote location in Baker City, Oregon. It’s certainly not its delicious hop bombs; Barley Brown’s IPAs, IIPAs and IIIPAs are some of the best in the nation. The brewery’s imperial Cascadian Dark Ale, Chaos, was originally one of its original beers. With more than 12 pounds of Northwest hops crammed into each barrel, Chaos hits with roasted character, then molasses, which fades to a piney hop bitterness that’s rather potent.