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Monday, April 30, 2012

Interesting New Breweries Plus a Challenging Hypothetical

Some years ago, when Derek was still blogging at Beers Around Town (now sadly scrubbed from the internet entirely) (okay, not entirely), he declared Block 15 to be Oregon's finest brewery.  This was after it had been open about a year.  It was a bold claim and hotly disputed, but the more important point was this: some of the breweries doing the most interesting beer were the newest. Within a year of its first beer, you could have made the argument for Double Mountain, too.  Upright?  Could be.

The financial crisis dealt quite a blow brewery start-ups, which languished over the last couple years--but now all of a sudden we are awash in them again.  Gigantic is due to open within weeks, and Boneyard, Flat Tail, The Commons, Logsdon Farmhouse, and Breakside (seems venerable, but their 2nd anniversary is yet on the horizon) have all opened to much deserved acclaim.  And what about Solera, Pints, Occidental, Fire on the Mountain, Sasquatch, Harvester, and the dozen other brand-new ones I'm forgetting?

At some point this summer, once a few of the newer breweries have had a chance to get established, I'll do some polling to see what you think of the new breweries.  For now, let me pose this question: if you had to drink beer from only Oregon breweries that were older than three years or younger than three years, which would you choose?  Given the number of extraordinarily accomplished venerable breweries in this state (Hair of the Dog, Pelican, Caldera, Double Mountain, Widmer, Full Sail, Deschutes, etc.), this should be a no-brainer.  My guess is it's not.

By the way, I turn in the first half of my book in about ten days, and I plan to go on a new-brewery odyssey and catch up on all these wonderful new places I have unforgivably ignored.  I have no doubt some blogging will result.

11 comments:

Brian said...

Older than 3 years: Lompoc, Ft. George, and Double Mountain.

Less than 3 years: Flat Tail, Coalition, 10 Barrel

Jeff Alworth said...

There are a few beers from those old-timers I cannot foresake, so I'd stick with them. But if I was forced to go with the newbies, it's a load I could easily bear.

Unknown said...

Forgetting Base Camp Brewing Company. We hope to be open late summer. Feel free to check it out if you are ever in the area. 930 SE Oak St.

Brian said...

Realizing that I need to pick one of them, I would choose...older than three years by a hair. Not being able to have a Blue Dot or a Black Butte XXIV or any other number of fabulous beers would be too much to bear.

Jon said...

Older than 3 years, not even a question for me.

Of course, at some point the younger-than-3-years will become older-than-3-years...

Brewmance said...

All I know is that I am having a hard time keeping up with trying everything.. I make special outings when I can just to try something new. Nice to see local areas supporting their local breweries. I plan on doing that more so here in Vancouver, WA as soon as they open.

Jim F. said...

Newer than three years -- Boneyard, no question.

Older - either Double Mountain or Hopworks

Anonymous said...

Ninkasi

Jack R. said...

Given a binary choice, I'd vote for breweries older than 03 years with the assumption that many mature brewing co.s continue to produce new, exciting twists/variations on styles of beer.

Daniel said...

Three breweries I could not part with: HotD, Cascade, and Lompoc. I'm going to have to stick with the 'old school'. It helps I have many HotD beers in my 'cellar' older than 3 years, too.

Tyler said...

I think the public has a thirst for new brews and new brewers are the ones who fill that itch. We all have our favorites what we go back to over and over but it is the new breweries that seem to push the envelope these days.

For a lot of us, for every couple of our usual beers we drink we throw in something totally new.

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