One of the best events of the year arrives in Portland tomorrow--Belmont Station's annual celebration of sour, Puckerfest. The lineup:
- Tuesday, July 19 - Breakside (with appearances by Ale Apothecary, Alesong, Boneyard, the Commons, Culmination, Rogue, Upright).
- Weds, July 20 - Gorge Night, featuring Double Mountain's annual Kriek releases (including a keg you can't even get in Hood River), Logsdon, pFriem, and Solera.
- Thurs, July 21 - Belgian Giants. Rodenbach Alexander (!) and Grand Cru, Cantillon Iris and Gueuze, Hannsens Oude Lambik, Bockor Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge, and Liefmans Goudenband.
- Friday, July 22 - Cascade.
- Saturday, July 23 - Block 15 & De Garde.
- Sunday, July 24 - Califorina breweries. Almanac, Bear Republic, Firestone Walker, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, Russian River.
2. Hop Acreage Expands 18.5%
American IPAs are great for beer drinkers--and even better for hop growers. Brewers are now using absolutely crazy amounts of hops when they make IPAs, and that means hop acreage has had to expand to keep up with demand. This is from the Hop Growers of America:
After a 15.4% increase in acres harvested in the US in 2015, a 10.2% increase in 2014, a 10.3% increase in 2013, and a 7.2% increase in 2012, acreage has jumped up once again. For the second year in a row, U.S. hop acreage has surpassed previous records to reach all time highs. With 53,213 total acres strung for harvest in the U.S., that’s a whopping 8,303 new acres from 2015 – a 18.5% increase.It is whopping, too. In 2004, which looks like a serious low tide for hop-growing, the US grew only 27,742 acres--almost exactly half the acres it grew in 2015. A few interesting notes:
- Zeus (21%), Willamette (21%), CTZ (18%) and Galena (17%) were the big cultivars back in 2005. There were just 6% of Cascades.
- Variety was much more pronounced in 2015. The biggest cultivars were: Cascade (14%), Centennial (9%), and CTZ (9%).
- Hop acreage outside the Northwest increased 64% and is now 4% of all acreage. Michigan, with 650 acres, is leading the pack.
3. The Price of a Beer
This last one is not much more than a link, but it's a good one. Care to guess how the price of a pint of beer stacks up now to any time in the past fifty years? (Hint: this is one way you don't want to make America great again.) Interesting graph for those who find graphs interesting.