Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival!!

Yesterday I visited Burnside Brewing Co. for the first annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival!  15 different local & regional microbreweries participated with over 20 different beers.  Admission was free, and for $15, I got a commemorative pint glass, and 10 tickets.  Most 4 oz pours were 1 ticket, with the exception of the festival's "rare rotating taplist", those were 2 tickets. Here's what I had, I'm going to rank them in the order that I liked them, starting with my least favorite, but by no means does that mean it wasn't a good beer.  All the beers I tried were good, very good.

8. Laurel Mango Mint Pale Ale.  Very interesting, I didn't really taste the mint, and it wasn't heavy on the mango, but the combination of the two ingredients created a nice earthy balance between the two.

7. Widmer Brothers Brewing Himbeere Bose mit dem Eibisch.  Gose with raspberries and hibiscus.  The raspberries and hibiscus were heavy on this one, but not at all in a bad way, as the beer wasn't too sweet.  Raspberry red in color.

6. Lompoc Brewing Sour Willy.  A blend of 5 different beers.  Light, complex, sour ale, fruity, with a mellow cherry oak flavor.  Definitely a tasty summer beer.

5. Beetje Brewing Zure Krenten.  Pinot Noir Barrel-Aged farmhouse ale with champagne currants and dosed with a lambic blend.  Brewed with pilsner, 2-row, wheat, and crystal malts, and a light touch of noble hops. Very tasty complex beer.  Definitely want to try more beer from this brewery.

4. Coalition Brewery Wheat from the Tree.  The was from the rare rotating tap list.  An American style wheat aged 2 months in a chardonnay barrel, light notes of bartlett pears and wine grape, with a sweet and tangy finish of mandarin and tangelo.  Delicious, and definitely my favorite beer so far from this Portland brewery.

3. Block 15 Brewing Psidium.  A rustic farmhouse ale matured with guava fruit and blended with a sour golden ale.  Brewed with Belgian Pilsner, French Pale & Wheat malts, saaz & citra hops, and French farmhouse yeast.  Awesome beer from a Corvalis Brewery, the guava aroma was heavy, but balanced nicely with the other ingredients.  Love the French farmhouse yeast, I use one for my Saison's.  Another brewery to look out for!

2. Upright Brewing Barrel-Aged Pure Wit with Orange.  A single cask version of their seasonal Belgian-style wit with a pound of dried sweet orange peel added to the barrel.  This tart and hazy wheat beer has a strong aroma, but is light and crisp on the palate.  I've blogged about Upright before, definitely one of my top 5 Pacific Northwest Breweries.

1. Drum roll!  Host of the festival Burnside Brewing's Gooseberry Berliner-Weisse!  A slightly tart wheat beer with a mild fruitiness.  Lowly hopped, and fermented with a lactic bacteria in addition to the German ale yeast resulting in a slightly sour finish.  A percentage of this beer was aged in French oak barrels with 50 lbs of Washington Gooseberries.  Awesome!

The festival is going on for one more day, TODAY!, so if you're in Portland and want to try some of the areas most interesting beers, definitely hit this up!

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