Fixing Oregon's Homebrew Laws
None of you will have forgotten the national news of last year; the OLCC and Oregon DOJ randomly decided that a 30+ year old law restricted the transport and public serving of homebrews, pretty much ending competition for the past six months. The Oregon Legislature will eventually fix this--there's no opposition, it doesn't cost anything, and everyone loves beer--but there are competing bills and a looming $19.7 jillion budget hole that may distract legislators from the important stuff. One bill supported by the Oregon Homebrewers Alliance and 26 legislators is up for a hearing this Thursday in the Senate. You can help make this bill become law by following the simple steps outlined below:
- Go to the Oregon legislature site and find your Oregon rep and senator.
- Using the contact information provided, call or email these folks and let them know you support Senate Bill 444. Of course, be polite and generous-spirited. It was, after all, not these folks who caused the issue.
- If you are connected to a homebrew shop, are a professional brewer, or member of a homebrew club, contact the Homebrewers Alliance so they can assemble lists of supporters.
SNOBs Are Cool, But Angels are Divine
The Pink Boots Society is kicking off a new initiative called Barley's Angels. The goal is most admirable: "As the consumer leg of the Pink Boots Society, Barley's Angels is committed to involving women in the enjoyment of craft beer by creating environments where women can learn more about beer in a friendly, educational and supportive atmosphere, thus creating more women beer enthusiasts, and, ultimately, involving more women in beer- and brewery-related careers."
So what will the Angels do? One example is an event Lisa Morrison is hosting:
We will taste and compare at least six beers, pairing them with some fantastic snacks, learning a bit about recent developments regarding beer as a healthy addition to your diet. This will be held in the new brewery at Fort George, so there will also be a brewery tour and you can learn first-hand how beer is brewed.Sorry gents, you have to sit this one out.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 20, 2-5 p.m.
Where: Fort George Brewing's New Brewery, 1483 Duane St., Astoria, OR
Cost: $35 per person, available now at Fort George
Breweries continue to put out fascinating beers, and here are some interesting ones to which I look especially forward:
- Alameda My Bloody Valentine (available now). A blood-orange saison made with dried peel in the kettle and blood-orange juice later (conditioning tanks?). I'm a sucker for saison.
- Burnside Sweet Heat (Feb 8). A wheat ale brewed with an addition of 200 pounds of apricots and dry hopped with Jamaican Scotch bonnet peppers.
- Deschutes Stoic (April). There's a news embargo on this beer, but I managed to prize a bit of info out of the brewery. What I believe I can get away with: big and barrel-aged. I wondered if it might be related in any way to the similarly obscurely-named Dissident. The short answer: yes.
Each year, the Oregon Brewers Guild cajoles its members into opening their breweries for a single day of tours and open houses. Sort of like first Thursday for breweries, but just once a year. This year it's February 19th. Zwickel, incidentally, is a verb, meaning, to pour beer straight from the conditioning tank. (Also a noun, for beer thus poured.) I have no idea whether it's an ancient German term or one invented three years ago by OBG director Brian Butenschoen, but it has come firmly into the regional vocabulary. Details about which breweries are participating and where to find area shuttle busses is here.
Van Havig Appreciation Night
A reminder that the Grain and Gristle is hosting an appreciation of Van Havig tomorrow at 6pm. I will regrettably not be able to attend, but Van knows how much I appreciate him, anyway. (By the way, I drove past the Grain and Gristle for the first time today and realized it's in the old Chilango's space. That was my corner burrito joint when I lived three blocks away a few years back. So strange--that used to be sort of a lost and derelict corner.)