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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mighty Mites Fest Makes Its Triumphant Return

How about something completely uncontroversial?  This Sunday, as a part of the Hawthorne Street Fair, the Mighty Mites fest makes its triumphant return.  Some of you may recall that a couple years back, I helped organized the first edition.  Fest organizing is not really my strength, so it was headed to oblivion until Ezra Johnson-Greenough stepped in to revive it. 
The Mighty Mites
Sunday, August 18, 11am - 7pm, $10, all ages welcome
Hawthorne Street Fair
SE 32nd Place and Hawthorne (in front of Bazi Bierbrasserie)
Entrance to The Mighty Mites is $10 and includes a cup and 4 tickets. Each ticket is good for a half pour of any session beer and dditional tickets cost $2. Full pours just two tickets.

I'm going to repost the introduction to the concept I wrote two years ago.  I'll put the current (but still incomplete) taplist below the fold.  Hope to see you all there--


mighty (adj): possessing might; powerful.
mite (n): a very small object or creature.
I am a fan of small beers. However, unlike many of my fraternity, the reason isn't because I particularly care about long sessions in a pub. For me, the reason is purely aesthetic: small beers taste great. Aesthetics is something we don't often apply to beer, but we should. We should approach each beer with an eye toward a kind of artistic mark of perfection and say: how does this beer perform against an ideal? In this way, best bitters are not judged ill because they lack the roasty heft of an imperial stout.

Beer geeks are generally pretty good about this, except when it comes to beers that ring in at under 5%. They are then dismissed as lesser substances, like diet soda, skim milk, or frozen yogurt. (And indeed, in America the small beer has been roughly treated--it's often a throwaway beer aimed to appeal to Bud drinkers.) Yet a small beer by its nature is not a compromise. It exists as a fully-formed beer, ready to be judged on its own merit.

Many small beers are vivid with flavor. The virtue of small beers is that they have less molecular density; the flavors have room to unfurl and blossom in the mouth. Certain styles have taken full advantage of this: Bavarian weizens have remarkable complexity (and are just psychedelic, period); Irish stouts can be sharp and intense with roast and hop bitterness; Berliner Weisses are so sour that Berliners developed the practice of cutting them with sugar syrups. And on cask, British ales reveal flavors you can never find on regular taps, sometimes with such bell-like clarity you feel you've found a fourth dimension of beer. Unlike heftier beers, the flavors in these little ones are distinct, particular, and knowable.

With this in mind, Ezra has curated the tap list to help nudge along passion for wee beers.  I'll put the current list of beers--and one cool session cider--below the fold.  As you can see, they are most alluring.

Reverend Nat's Hard Cider: "Session-Style Ciderkin"
The process of making Ciderkin dates back to pre-Colonial times. After pressing apples once, the dry pulp is wetted and repressed the following day. We've taken the resulting small cider and added citrus zest blend to it as well as a hint of ginger, and back sweetened with honey. Under 4% ABV.

De Garde: Cranberry Bu Weisse
Second small batch iteration of our Berliner aged in second use gin barrels with Oregon coast cranberries.

Boneyard: Shotgun/Lite Mosaic IPA

Brewed with Pale and Pilsner malts, this single hop Northwest blonde ale is crisp and refreshing with a mild hop character. This rotating hop series is totally poundable and was made for those days that you're in it to win it!

Burnside Brewing: lowercase IPA

A sessionable, hoppy ale brewed to showcase the floral, tea-leaf flavor and aroma of the Perle hop. At 4.8% ABV and 50 IBUs, this deep orange colored IPA is highly quaffable. The minty bitterness is balanced by pale, munich, and vienna malts with a touch of medium crystal. Dry hopping with 12 pounds of whole leaf Perle adds additional layers of grassy and floral hop complexity.

Green Flash: Citra Session IPA
Pale gold Session IPA is brewed with high quality Marris Otter and Vienna Malt but the flavor is dominated by the Citra hop.  100% Citra hop is used to bitter and flavor the brew with additional Citra in the dry hop for aroma intensity.  Citrus notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit are the main traits of the hop with light floral and lemon grass undertones.  The abv at only 4.5% makes this hop laden brew an easily sessionable quaffer.  4.5% ABV, 45 IBU

Eel River: Cali Pale
Light in color, crisp, and ready for summer, Cali Pale Ale had beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike requesting bottle availability.  Cali Pale Ale’s use of aromatic dry hopping with Simcoe and Citra hops leads to floral notes of citrus and tropical fruits.   At 4.8% and 38 IBUs, Cali Pale Ale is the beer of summer.

Lompoc: Lompeizer
Lompoc's tribute to American domestics.  Brewed with Pilsner malt and 30% flaked rice, the result is a pale straw colored beer that is highly drinkable and perfect for summer in the Northwest.  4.5% ABV

10 Barrel: Swill
Grapefruit infused Berliner-Weisse with soda added. More beer and less soda than the traditional radler makes for a great summer beer. 4.5% and 13 IBU’s.

10 Barrel: German Sparkle Party
Berliner Weisse is a sour, tart, fruity, effervescent ale, often referred to as the champagne of beers for its light and sparkly texture. A little different but we like different… give it a run for yourself.  ABV:  4% IBU: 16

Fort George: Devil’s Advocate
The name of this beer is befitting, shall we call it a vegetable beer or fruit ale. Either way this particular brew is made with 50 lbs of beets, 4 lbs of Blood orange puree, and just enough Citra hops to make this beer pleasantly layered. First the bitterness hits the palate then the under lying earthy beet flavor, that then develops into that amazing citrus burst. This beer cannot be described as fitting any one category of beer but is easy drinking and fun to look at. The Devil’s Advocate pours a deep rose color almost magenta with a bright pink head. The aroma is fulfilling, as is the brew to drink. 4.35%

Widmer: Portlander WeissePortlander Weisse is brewed in the spirit of the original Berliner Weisse.  Its simple grain bill and low alcohol content are meant to keep with tradition and result in an extremely drinkable ale.  Using a souring process in the kettle, this unfiltered brew has an intense tart quality, but ends with an extremely refreshing, crisp, dry finish. Try it with one of the flavoring syrups, which also keep with the tradition of this age-old beer.  3.4% ABV, 6 IBU's. Peach ginger syrup or a blackberry coriander syrup available for mixing.

Hop Valley: 541 Lager

A crisp and refreshing American lager. 4.8%

Breakside: Session Brown

A rich and full bodied English-style brown ale using chocolate, caramel, and English mild malts. For fans of our Scottish 70 and Mild, this beer is for you! (Silver medal, 2012 GABF mild category)
4.0% ABV  14 IBU


  1. I had to change the title. The name of the fest is plural, but fests are singular, so it was properly Mighty Mites Rolls Again--but that looked so weird I had to scrap it. Triumphant Return is in any case far superior.

  2. Filled with IPA and Weisse. Darn.