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Monday, December 19, 2011

Your Nominations for the Satori Award

I had hopes that the Portland beer bloggers would get together and issue annual awards en masse, but it doesn't look like we're getting our act together in time. So for a sixth (and ideally final) year I'll run the Satori Award. Here's the usual boilerplate:
In Zen Buddhism, satori is the moment of sudden enlightenment when the mind realizes its own true nature. The Satori Award, now in its fourth year, honors the beer that in a single instant allows the drinker to realize brewing magnificence. It is that moment when the sheer force of tastiness produces a flash of insight into the nature of beer. I award it for the beer released in the previous year (roughly) by an Oregon brewery (roughly) for a regular or seasonal beer. The inaugural winner was Ninkasi Believer followed by Full Sail Lupulin (2007), Cascade Apricot Ale (2008), and Upright Four (2009) and Prodigal Son Bruce/Lee Porter (2010).
I could use your help this year. Due to a book project, I've been devoting a lot more of my palate-space to beers brewed outside Oregon. I have no doubt that I've missed some of the best releases this year (for example, I haven't tried anything from Occidental, Good Life, or any of several other tiny start-ups from 2011). I've had precious little beer from a few well-regarded newbies like Flat Tail and Boneyard. So, in designating this year's Satori, I'm going to have to rely heavily on the hive mind, possibly even substituting a people's choice for my own if it appears clear there's some movement toward beers I haven't tried (and can't easily get my hands on).

So please offer your suggestions and arguments. Keep in mind that the beer should have been released this year and it needs to be a beer joining a brewery's regular or regularly-recurring seasonal line-up. The idea is to select beers people can actually go back and try.

Nominations, anyone?


  1. I think Boneyard is the best contender here. Anything from them has been topnotch and they are the reason I have fallen back in love with hop forward beers. My top three are the Notorious Triple IPA, Hop Venom, and Armored Fist.

    Boneyard is giveing Pliny a run for its money.

  2. The best I had were Upright Gose and Block 15 Berliner Weisse, although I'm not 100 percent sure they were new this year.

    Two very interesting, flavorful and refreshing summer beers in styles that are tough to find.

  3. Lodgson Farms Seizoen Bretta

  4. If I'm looking for a megaton hops blast, I'd say Hop Venom. I like RPM better, but RPM is evidently a 2010 beer.

    Outside the hops box, they have some terrific beers at The Commons. Urban Farmhouse Ales is very nice. However, I nominate Barrel 1, which is on their seasonal list. Barrel 1 is a pale ale aged in pinot barrels. It's pleasantly (not overly) tart with a nice bit of flavor and a beautiful ruby color. This beer is not readily available, so I suspect it hasn't been widely tasted. It's also in-between styles in a way.

    We need to definitely have some sort of blogger's gathering to discuss this sort of thing.

  5. Hair of the Dog Little Adam was one of my favorites this year. Other contenders for me: Block15 Wandlepad, Logsdon's Seizon, and Burnside Sweet Heat.

  6. Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta.

  7. Boneyard Hop venom
    Burnside sweet heat
    Breakside pumpkin bdg
    laurelwood cardinal sin

  8. I'd like to nominate Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta as well. I first tasted it at NAOBF and it was, without a doubt, a satori moment for me. An amazing beer---and I'm not even a huge fan of saisons. I need to find a bottle of that for the holidays.

  9. Boneyard, hands down. Their IPA is by far the best IPA in the northwest, and the only one that can hold a candle to those California hop monsters. Just when I thought Oregon breweries couldn't make a resiney IPA, here comes Boneyard.

  10. Writing great content on blog like this is only half the battle. Great read!

  11. I was going to suggest Hair of the Dog Little Dogs as a group. Great light but hoppy flavor, low alcohol, low price. I agree with Derek that Little Adam was a standout, but I've enjoyed every variation.

    Logsdon would be an excellent choice also. I've only had it a couple of times, but it's unique and delicious.

  12. I don't know if I could narrow it down any further, but any of the following could easily top my list:

    ~Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta
    ~Block 15 Pappy's Dark
    ~Fort George 1811 Lager
    ~Tilquin Gueuze
    ~New Belgium Clutch
    ~Firestone Walker XV

  13. Two come to mind for me (I'm sure there are more, but I haven't gone back through my notes for the year):

    * Ching Ching from Bend Brewing: since introduced this summer, this has been in regular rotation, and is available in bottles as well. You tried some (that I brought!) during the Beer Bloggers Conference, so I trust you remember a bit about it ;).

    * Sweet Heat from Burnside Brewing: Sublime and completely unusual (to me). Loved it.

    - Jon

  14. Folks, thanks for the input. I've got a post coming online this morning that incorporates your suggestions.

    Jon, I remember that I tried it, but no, after that marathon drinking expedition to the hop fields, my palate was absolutely shattered.