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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beervana Creeps to Ontario

Where states abut one another, border towns take on the character of one state or the other, not always with deference to state lines. In Eastern Oregon, there is a cluster of towns just west of Boise on I-84 that look to the Gem State. They share Idaho's cultural orientation toward self-reliance, with gun racks in the back of their pick-up cabs and everything they imply. It is even a little pocket carved out for the Mountain time zone. And of course, it's the kind of place where beer comes in cans--the easier for transporting to the hunting or fishing site.

And yet, shocker of shocker, it turns out that Ontario, behemoth of the Eastern-Oregon towns (Vale, Nyssa, Fruitland, ID) at 11,250 people, now has its first brewery. It's called Beer Valley Brewing, and Chris at Belmont Station has a bottle of their amber ale (and hat tip to him for the news).

Even more shocking is that their apparent flagship--or anyway the beer that's featured most prominently on the website--isn't the Mountain-time-zone amber (5.5%, 20 IBUs), but Black Flag Imperial Stout. It is a huge beer (11%, 100+ IBUs) that the brewery describes thus:
Black Flag Imperial Stout, the first beer released by Beer Valley Brewing, is a monstrously huge beer brewed for beer enthusiasts who want to test the edge of sensory perception. Brewed with 8 different malts and 4 different hop varieties to give it depth and complexity, Black Flag Imperial Stout delivers an extreme beer drinking experience like no other beer on the planet.
Whoa--extreme beer from Ontario?! I can't believe it: Beervana now extends to the Idaho border. With luck, that stout will follow the amber over here to the Pacific time zone.

Arghh, mateys!


  1. Hi Jeff,

    You must have missed the posts a couple weeks ago when we received the Black Flag, Pigskin Pale Ale, and "Highway to Ale" barleywine. ;)

    My thoughts:

    The Black Flag was a bit too "hot" for me to really get into, but it's big enough that I bet it'll settle out in time and become an excellent imperial stout.

    Highway to Ale is one of those rare breeds of barleywine (like Old Boardhead) that seems like it was crafted for immediate enjoyment rather than extended aging. I've got a couple in the cellar, so we'll have to revisit this post in a few months and see how its holding up.

    Pigskin Pale was damn tasty (yummy bready malt meets crisp, zesty hops), and for under $3.50/22oz bottle it might be one of the best values in the store.

    I haven't had the Owyhee Amber yet, but I've got one in the fridge, so maybe I'll post my ramblings on that one later tonight.



  2. I am headed over after work to get some of that fine Ontario brewin'. I looked at your post from two weeks ago, but didn't see mention of the stout. Still have it? Guess I'll see what you have after work.