jGray wrote:I'm not trying to say that you guys don't know whats going on.... because really it's not your fault. The northwest is very far away from where most of you are. That being said, you guys don't know whats going on. (If that wasn't beer-snobby enough for you, talk to someone from Portland)
Guilty as charged.
This is actually not an uncommon shirt to see on the street here in Portland:
To jGray's point, though, PacNW beer is both blessed and cursed with a situation similar to Germany's: breweries here are numerous and excellent (Portland's got more than any other city on earth now), but mostly quite small and with limited distribution. The only Oregon breweries with any kind of national presence are probably Rogue, Deschutes and Widmer, and none of those would make my top ten list. These might, though:
Seven Grain Survival Stout: probably the most perfect coffee stout I've tried. Even people who consider coffee a gimmick end up liking this one -- smooth, rich, and the coffee flavors go nicely with the malt without overpowering. Plus, these are they guys who commissioned the Hopworksfiets Keg Bike, and their graphic design is pretty sweet.
Capture By Porches
: Husband and wife organic brewery about an hour outside of Portland, this is one of those labels that can do no wrong. Perfectly balanced IPA and a Hefeweizen that tastes like what Widmer is supposed to taste like.
Hair of the Dog
: Maybe the best brewery in Oregon, with lots of "cellaring" beers that improve with age. The Fred is an old world style strong ale with these amazing raisin and toffee notes. Not an everyday beer, but fantastic with dessert (seriously).
: Little place in North Portland that does Belgian-style wheat beers, using honest-to-god open fermenters. Their "Four" is a totally perfect summer beer.
: Another "do no wrong" brewery based in Hood River, founded (I think) by a couple of former brewers from Full Sail just down the road. Best Kolsch I've had from a US brewer, and a nifty IRA: Red Ale that's hopped like an IPA. Sadly, they don't bottle, but lots of local places have them on tap.
And just to show that we do
drink outside of state borders: North Coast Brewing
's Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. A friend of mine once described by saying "It tastes like smoke and 1962 and tuxedos and bitterness." Also chocolate and coffee.
And this, just discovered at a local beer fest this weekend: La Folie, a totally respectable Colorado take on a Flemish Sour. Puckery, summery, complicated and super-drinkable. Kind of renewed my faith in New Belgium
, which lost me after too many Fat Tires (which is a fine amber, I just don't like ambers).
Tap me if you're in town -- we'll get a beer.