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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

All the News That's Fit to Reprint

[This post has been updated with new info.]

July may be Craft Beer Month, time of 47 fests and great pandemonium, but December is craft brewer's month. 'Tis the season when brewers' sugar plum dreams are made manifest in the most extravagant beers. (Hey, sugar plums, that gives me an idea....) In this omnibus post, I hope to catch everthing I find especially noteworthy. Please revise if I missed something.

It's not enough for breweries to release one winter ale; two is now de rigeuer. Old Lompoc is the outlier with six (!). These are in addition to the beers released in past weeks or those already discussed here.
  • Alameda Papa Noel - English-style winter warmer hopped with Fuggles (7.7% abv).
  • Amnesia Sleighjacker, Frosty's Revenge - No info.
  • Amnesia Kuykendall - A strong, hoppy pilsner aged 6 months.
  • Caldera Cauldron Brew (Dec 15) - No info on this year's version.
  • Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout - A massive beer spiced with a potpourri of peppercorn, licorice, chocolate, and lavendar (10.3% abv).
  • Cascade/Raccoon Lodge Baltic Porter - Barrel aged, available on tap and in 22s (8.5%).
  • Double Mountain Fa-La-La-La-La - a "hop bomb" with 83 BUs of Centennial hops (7.6% abv).
  • Heater Allen Sandy Paws - Cross between a doppel and schwarzbier (6.7% abv). Only 42 cases bottled.
  • Laurelwood Weihnachtsfest Doppelbock - Made from imported malts and hops (8% abv).
  • Old Lompoc Blitzen - Dry-hopped with coriander and orange peel (5% abv).
  • Old Lompoc Brewdolph - Belgian-style strong ale made with honey and wheat (8.8% abv).
  • Old Lompoc C-Sons Greetings - Strong ale hopped with all seven C-named hops: Cluster, Columbus, Challenger, Chinook, Crystal, Cascade, and Centennial (8% abv).
  • Old Lompoc Jolly Bock - Strong bock (7% abv).
  • Old Lompoc Old Tavern Rat - A barley wine cellared for ten months prior to release (9% abv).
  • Old Lompoc Holiday Cheer - Robust porter infused with vanilla beans (7% abv).
  • Pelican Perfect Storm - 2007 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.
  • Roots Chocolate Habanero Stout (Dec 10) - brewed with chocolate wheat malt, cacao nibs, and Alma Chocolate and "dry hopped" with habaneros.
  • Roots Epic (Dec 18) - Hand-smoked Munich malt over cherry wood soaked in Glenlivet Scotch, cognac, and cherries. Available at the brewery and also in 22s and jereboams. (14% abv)
  • Widmer Babushka's Secret - (Gasthaus only) Black raspberry-infused imperial stout (9% abv)

One winter beer fest is not enough, you say. You're in luck: Amnesia's hosting their first winter fest, and it includes a bunch of breweries that didn't make it into the Holiday Ale Fest (and some that did), including Caldera, Double Mountain, Lucky Lab, Roots, Walking Man and, oh yeah, Amnesia. Proceeds benefit the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation.

Amnesia Winter Ale Fest
832 N Beech St.;
Noon- 9 pm, Sat, Dec. 13th

Random News
Just in time for the holiday office party, Angelo notes that Old Lompoc just had their first bottling. Following Roots in the mobile-bottling tradition, they just had Green Bottling over to package up some C-Note and Lompoc Strong Ale.

New Brewery
Lost in the mix, a new brewery planned.

The Brewtal Brewing Co., formed by Bend resident Tony Lawrence, will be the region’s eighth brewing company. Lawrence began moving into a small warehouse near downtown Bend on Tuesday and will begin building the brewery he hopes will fill its first keg this spring.

“I’ll be brewing ales, like most craft breweries do, IPAs, pale ales,” Lawrence said. “Some guys are over the top heavy-handed with hops, but that’s not my school. I’m a more traditional, balanced brewer.”

And another one opened in Gresham:
Yesterday, the 4th Street Brewing Co. opened its doors in the town of Gresham. While the Grand Opening won’t take place for another month or so (January 16-17), you can stop buy for lunch or dinner Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

Owner and brewer Adam Roberts has been brewing beers in the new space for about a month. What’s he been making? Well, five beers — Gresham Light, Demented Duck Amber (that’s just a brilliant name), Black Roots Blonde, Powell Porter, and Eager Beaver IPA — will always be available, while the brewpub will rotate several seasonal and specialty beers throughout the year.

Had enough? Me, too. Time for a beer.


  1. For those of you who saw this post just after it went up, sorry if it's shifting a bit. I immediately found three beers I hadn't included on the list.

    Incidentally, if anyone has a metro-area sighting of that Caldera imperial, let me know. Holy moly.

  2. Hey, that's great, Amnesia hosts the breweries that FORGOT to go to the Holiday fest?

    Caldera Cauldron Brew is called a "double hemp brown ale" this year. I had it at Green Dragon a couple weeks ago, pretty good. HorseBrass says it's on right now.

    I've had the Caldera stout in years past, it's beautiful. A couple vintages were at last year's Barleywine fest at Quimby.

  3. Hey Jeff, you listed Old Lompoc Blitzen twice… the second description should probably be the Brewdolph.


  4. Thanks Anónimo. You're right, it's Brewdolph. I have corrected the text.

  5. Great resource of winter beers from the area.

  6. Had Old Growth at Bailey's last year (I assume Geoff will have it again) and I have been waiting for this years release every since.

  7. Although New Old Lompoc is the outlier, Roots is nipping at their heels with 5, 3 more than you listed.
    1. FESTIVUS IBU 58,7.5ABV A big English Olde Ale. This beer is malty, with a dry warming finish. A touch of of crystal malt and other specialty malts, gives this winter ale, nice biscuit and bready flavors, which help balance out the noble hops. We age it until it’s smooth. (from their website)
    2. Chocolate Habanero Stout (listed)
    3. EPIC (listed)
    4. Dec. 31st: OAK AGED IMPERIAL STOUT 10.5% Nicknamed, Younger’s Nightmare…

    5. Jan. 14th '09 BELGIAN FLANDERS RED 10.5% (Commenters on Foyston's blog point out this one is a believe it when you're drinking it type beer)

  8. Patrick, true enough. I left off the later Roots releases because they're weeks off. Plus, they have been advertising the Flanders Red for six months and I no longer believe what I read about that beer.

  9. Jeff,

    Despite my nits, well done list by the way. Reminds us how fortunate Portland craft beer fans really are.

    And HUB should have Floggin' Noggin, Abominable Winter Ale & (I hope) Kentucky Christmas at certain points this month.

  10. Roots' Younger's Nightmare was on cask for not-even an hour last Saturday night at the Horse Brass… I was lucky enough to get a half-pint but not lucky enough to get another. :)

    This is a bourbon-aged beer you might like, Jeff… not at all harsh - relatively mellow IMO as bourbon flavors go (think Firestone Walker's XII) but stronger than at Roots' 3rd anniversary on CO² - and a great imperial stout to boot.

    As bummed as I was to miss out on my own bottle of XII, this helps to remind me how many other [cheaper] beers are out there that can do just as well.