First day in the PDX and the focus was Von Ebert Brewing.
I did not go to the main brewery, nor the newly acquired Ecliptic space but instead wandered over to their golf course brewery and restaurant instead. The Glendoveer location has a fireplace and some seating looks out onto a tee (though it was too gloomy and rainy to see any golfing).
The brewing smell of steeping grains was pleasantly everywhere. My taster tray was a bit of a mixed bag though. My favorite was a Baltic Porter with second best being a Modern Citrus Pilsner.
Apparently VE has two Italian pilsners, one has just kicked but later that day, I had their Lombardy Italian Pils which paired excellently with my salad and pizza.
I also made a stop at my happy place Belmont Station to pick up a mixed four pack that included Wayfinder, Great Notion, Gold Dot and Bale Breaker. But just so many good beer choices there, I could have blindly picked and gotten winners.
If saving money is on your 2024 agenda, then the Pintlife Passport might help out. $25 gets you super discounted / nearly free beers. If you get 4 stamps, that would pay back that initial cost and any beers past that are essentially free.
The participating breweries are not bad, there are a few non-brewing participants and it is primarily South Bay centric but even with only 10+ months left, it is pretty doable.
There are a plethora of both good and bad beer guides out there for when craft beer fans go a’ travelin’. But I thought this post had a really good extension past just the city center out into the surrounding areas.
It so happens this city is Bamberg in Germany, famed for its rauchbiers but the point stands for any good beer city. We should be looking a little outside the bubble for brewery gems.
Check out the recommendations HERE !
One of my favorite parts of the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival brewery announcement is finding the new invitees, seeing which foreign breweries are flying in and the number of my home state, Oregon breweries (7 this year!) in attendance.
There is not really a weak link in the bunch. But let me take a different tack this year, there are a few breweries that I would bench for a year to let in a few more fresh faces.
Revolution out of Chicago is great but I would love to see Funkytown or Turner Haus involved to bring a bit of diversity in.
Omnipollo and Garage Project garner big lines. I mean big lines but I would like to see some English or Scottish micros in California, The Kernel or Thornbridge come to mind.
I would also like to see a Mexican craft brewery involved as well, I think that would add a new dimension to the festival. Or maybe Bow & Arrow out of New Mexico.
I think removing the big line breweries would have the effect of creating more exploration. Instead of waiting 20-30 minutes for one beer, you might try two beers from breweries you don’t know much about plus a food sample.
This is, of course, the most nitpicky of posts you will read about FWIBF. It is such a fantastic festival that you have to resort to it so as not to repeat ones self.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am. If you haven’t been, try.
Long Beach Beer Lab opened their second location earlier this month. On Anaheim Street in the Zaferia District, the second Lab location will be open Wednesday through Sunday.
Part of my daily routine is five minutes of Italian language learning. Trying to keep my little grain active while preparing for a possible future trip to the Boot.
A recent learning section is about bars and besides la birra, I have run across a couple other useful phrases….
What’s on tap?
I want an IPA (pronounced eepa)
One of the cool places for beer on the Central Coast is the Ancient Owl Beer Garden. Big list of draft beers and beer to-go.
Now, you can Owl in San Luis Obispo too as they have opened their second location there this month.
There is not much better in craft beer life than perusing a bottle shoppe so each new one is a gift.
Radiant Beer Co. down in Anaheim will start off February with a bang three years in the making as the go all anniversary with the usual trappings for such parties.
One way for the kinda struggling festival format is to niche it out. Institution Ale Co. has done that with their upcoming festival devoted to the pale ale.