Here's the list, with brief comments. You may obviously vote for a beer I didn't mention here.
Bend Brewing Ching Ching
Jon Abernathy says it's good, says I said it was good, and that's good enough for me. Sadly, my one experience with the beer came at the Beer Bloggers Conference at the end of a long day of sampling, and my memory is foggy. A pomegranate-hibiscus beer that took bronze in this year's GABF.
Bridgeport released a whole raft of new beers this year after the departure of founding brewer Karl Ockert. Kingpin seems to be the consensus fave.
Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat
Burnisde made a great debut this year, joining Portland's growing group of eclectic new breweries (I'm looking at you, Ben and Alex). In an inversion of norms, I found Jason McAdam's offbeat beers--the harder ones to brew--to be the special ones. The pale and IPA I could leave. The Gratzer, Berliner Weisses, and my fave, Sweet Heat, were fantastic.
Boneyard Hop Venom
Boneyard has made some serious noise this year, and I regret I haven't tracked down a pint yet. Although they have fans of many of their different beers, Hop Venom, a double IPA, seems to be the fave of faves.
Coalition Wheat the People
This isn't going to win--I know that. It's a small, elegant little wheat ale, not a booming hop monster, aged sour, or funky experimental beer. But it is a fantastic beer and it deserves to be on the list.
Putting this beer on the list is a bit of advocacy on my part. It grew out of the collaboration experiment with Boulevard that produced a white IPA. This is more a white pale, and it was the better of the two versions. It shouldn't work, but it did, and I loved the way the spices and hops worked together. Maybe Deschutes will bring it back.
Fort George 1811 Lager
This is a bit like Wheat the People--probably too ordinary a beer to be crowned king. Yet in a state blessed with far too few lagers, 1811 was a joy. I drank a lot of it over the summer and admired how it stayed true to the roots of the style while also gave a strong nod to hoppy, ale-loving Oregonians.
GoodLife Descender IPA
Another beer I haven't tried, but which seems to be getting some fine notices. Has a dab of Galaxy hops, which are the current rage.
Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
A truly rustic beer made in a true farmhouse, Wyeast founder Dave Logsdon's brett-aged saison is the odds-on fave to win the Satori this year. The only handicap? I wasn't a huge fan. The brett (a strain from Dave's private store) is quite aggressive, bordering on violent. Turns out brett is hard to use in saisons--Boulevard's absolutely exquisite Tank 7 (possibly America's best saison) sees all its rustic malt and yeast character crushed under the brett influence. Nick Arzner manages it in Block 15's saison--he knows how to keep the brett from overwhelming the beer. Seizoen Bretta? I'm not there yet. But I'm willing to be convinced--after all, it is my favorite style of beer. (Today.)
Laurelwood Organic Pale Ale
As with all things Laurelwood, this beer attracted very little attention. But as a parting gift to the brewery, Chad Kennedy couldn't have done better. It is the best pale I've had in the last five years, easy. Vivid hopping, but amazing balance.
A beer where I seem to be out of synch with the beer geek crowd. I found it smoky and lush, others found it sweet and insipid. Of course, I'm right.
Occidental ... err, Cloudy Summer?
I haven't had any beer from this brewery either. But come on--St Johns, German styles? It's got to be good, right? Cloudy Summer, a kolsch, may be their best, if the internet doesn't lie. And I've certainly never found it to.
If I missed any, holler and I'll post them to this list. Otherwise, vote now and let me know what you favor.