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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Newsy Bits

This cold weather has provoked some interesting tweets (for those of you in real winter climes, our teens/low twenties weather is silly, I know, but it's like that recent snow in Houston for us):
OakshireMatt Bottling 6480 bottles of beer today.The below freezing brewery means the bottles are frozen meaning the carbonated beverage goes in better!

RogueAles Brrrr. It's officially colder in the brewery than inside our coolers!

Roots Epic
is imminent.

BridgePort's latest Big Brew is a bourbon-aged Scottish ale, which is just a little bit strange. Whiskey confusion, or the difficulty of finding a decent Scotch cask in the US? Of course, the Scotch-Irish settled the South, whereupon they started distilling, so maybe there's a logic to this thing after all. There's a historical connection, too. Locally famous Stuart Ramsey was the pub manager at BridgePort when Scottish Ambush was first brewed more than twenty years ago, and this is its reprise.

Seattle sees Portland's many new breweries and antes up as Naked City Brewing opens tonight.

Speaking of new breweries, in that scrum of news last week, I almost missed the tip about a new brewpub in The Dalles called Clocktower Ales. The Dalles! (I wonder which is the largest city in Oregon still without a brewery. Hmmm....)


The Village Voice has a "best of" list, but it's not bad. I sort of like the way they broke things down. Interestingly, Dogfish Head is the highest-profile diss. Overexposed?


Finally, Chow Magazine has a slight piece on Sierra Nevada (not bad if you are unfamiliar with the brewery) that inexplicably circles around this theme: "Sierra Nevada tries to reclaim its cred." Reclaim? Really? Someone should really have let me know they'd lost it. Here I was admiring them all these years.

Update. Okay, one more thing. In the dim recesses of my brain, I had heard of a brewery called Pale Horse in Salem, but what with the extreme distance and all--40 miles--I let it float out of my mind. I don't usually mention meet-the-brewer events, but for new breweries trying to get their name out, it makes some sense. They'll be at Bailey's tomorrow from 6-8 with their three beers, a blond, an Irish stout, and an IPA.


  1. The Pale Horse brewing bottles have been in specialty stores like Belmont Station for 5 or 6 months now.
    I tried them. Verdict: Horrible

    Roots: Epic Ale, special 5th anniversary. I am putting the finishing touches on the label now.


  2. The Village Voice article seems heavily weighted towards East Coast beers. Makes me wonder if my "best beers" list would be overly local. It's good that we support regional beers, but are we preventing ourselves from recognizing good beer in other parts of the country due to regional distribution?

  3. Nicely said Anon...


    So what does the 2009 Epic taste like?

  4. re: Scotch-Irish
    Scotch is a type of whiskey.
    I believe / I suggest Scots-Irish is the proper term for the Border-Scots who immigrated to Northern Ireland to serve as a buffer between the English plantation owners and the indigenous / displaced Irish and then immigrated to the New World to serve as a buffer between the Crown Colonies and the indigenous / displaced American Indians. Sense a pattern?

    A minor / common error excepting the Scots-Irish are a pugnacious / bellicose group you want to avoid offending.

  5. ironically, Jeff, my optimism faded fast as the cold messed with the bottling and left us befuddled. Finishing Friday. Portland needs the Gnome and we are fresh out (til tomorrow). And btw way, if I wanted this cold, I may have stayed in Chicago. ISO warm rainy winter climate!

  6. Not to be argumentative, but there's really no such thing as a Scotch "cask." Virtually all Scotch whisky is aged in either used bourbon barrels or used sherry casks. There are a few high gravity beers that are aged in used scotch casks, but these would have also previously held bourbon or sherry.

    Incidentally, I had an excellent bourbon aged version of Old Chub, Oskar Blues' behemoth Scottish ale.

    Love your blog...makes me wish I was back in Portland!

  7. Well, I think the key thing is what the beer leeches off the barrel. In the case of a cask of bourbon, you get bourbon. With scotch, you would get little of the sherry and mostly scotch. In the beer, that makes a big difference.