This is one of those catch-all posts to apprise of you certain happenings, collected together for your handy reference.
Fresh Hop Article
Although most of you will be familiar with its content, I feel duty-bound to mention this article from Pat Muir in the Yakima Herald on the subject of fresh hops because I am quoted therein. It's a good article, but general--for those not totally familiar with the notion of fresh-hopping.
Skamania Lodge Beer Weekend
Last year, I was invited to attend the first Beer Weekend at Skamania Lodge and had a thoroughly wonderful time. Skamania Lodge is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River, just across the Bridge of the Gods (this side of Hood River). You check in Saturday late morning and by one you're on the verdant expanse of the back lawn overlooking an amazing vista of water, mountain, and amber-hued trees. The fest runs til five, and half-way through, the attending breweries offer new releases of their beers, most of which have not yet been unveiled. (Last year, that's when I got my first tipple of Double Mountain's Dapper Dan.) You can feel free to enjoy yourself, safe in the knowledge that your commute is but steps away. The next morning, you feast on Skamania's famous brunch. It's all happening this Saturday and Sunday (9th and 10th), and you can reserve a space here.
Skamania focuses on local breweries, which is another advantage, and this year's line-up includes: Snipes Mountain, Prodigal Son, Fish Brewing Company, Amnesia Brewing, Laht Neppur Brewing Company, Dick's Brewing Company, Yakima Craft Brewing, Double Mountain Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Salmon Creek Brewery, and Lazy Boy Brewing. No promises, but last year, I saw Full Sail's Jamie Emmerson and Double Mountain's Charlie Devereux, so you may get to chat up some of the brewers.
Fresh Hop Fest
If you really want to saturate the weekend with fests, you can start out with the Portland edition of the fresh hop tastival at Oaks Park on Friday at the Preview (tix here) or the full version the next day. I hope to track down a tap list with concommitant hop info, but consider this just a save-the-date.
Bonus Fresh Hop Note: I got a bottle of Hop Trip from Deschutes in the mail yesterday and promptly drank it. This year's batch employs the always-reliable crystal hops in a beer that has taken on the burnished color of fall. Lots of caramel to back up the zingy hops, creating a lovely harvest ale. Most breweries go for a paler base, so Hop Trip is worth trying just for the alternative presentation. Plus it's tasty.