It makes me think about the sexy topic of infrastructure. I have been lucky enough to visit Buoy a couple of times and the combo of beer and river view is amazing but when the Columbia is surging it becomes scary.
And with a business that is capital intensive already, improvement checklist items for days, weeks and months can be pushed. This collapse is probably not due to that but it is a wake up call to make sure everything is, pun intended, ship shape.
When in Astoria, I also made a side trip, well, not a long one since, it was across the street from Reach Break Brewing. Pilot House Distilling creates vodka, whiskey, canned cocktails and for me, gin. I had three different versions. A bar version which was my favorite as well as The Painted Lady and a Barrel-aged Painted Lady. The last two had a kick to them but they were very unique and shows how different gin can be.
Back to Astoria and a birthday month excursion for Stout Month!
So, no, I did not go inside Fort George on festival day, I was pretty close though. Despite a chill and consistent but not heavy rain, there were lines at the start but I ran across many people who were waiting to go in, a thing I had not seen before.
I started my day at Reveille Cider with a Breakfast in America apple and pear cider with botanicals, orange and grapefruit zest. Lovely tart citrus mix. Fruit punch notes. Almost like orange juice.
Next door, Reach Break was pretty busy too. Only two IPAs on the board. They also had a kolsch and coastal hefe on tap. Here is a quick rundown of the five beers, I sampled…
Duane Street Wild Ale – gin botanical collab with Pilot House. Really nice. Bready with botanicals spicing
Merlot Veraison– wild ale with Merlot grapes. Nice red color. Very red wine, tannic.
Evolution of an IPA 9 – hazy dipa. Wood chips. Sawdust. Quite bitter with some creamy softness.
A Storied History – dopplebock collab with Buoy. Sweet and malty. Just tastes Germanic to me.
Hessian Aggression – collab with Rowley from NM. Barleywine. Smokey. Real nice.
February will find me back in Astoria for the second time in as many years. This time to visit during Stout month. Reports from the Oregon Coast as well as birthday beers are to be expected but first there will be a little bowl of Super…
~e-visits to (3) off the beaten path breweries like Everybody’s Brewing in Washington State, Taos Mesa Brewing in New Mexico and Zillicoah Beer Company in Asheville. ~ special featured reviews of beers that are low alcohol and/or low calorie ~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events ~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark ~ A Book & A Beer reads The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith ~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to The City – Season 2 – Reno ~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month ~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.
Here are two events to get your February started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) February 3rd – Brew Lab at Dry River Brewing
2) February 15th – Los Angeles Ale Works 3rd Anniversary
Having visited Buoy Beer this year makes me wish I could get my hands on their winter seasonal…
This 7.7% beer will warm you up when it gets cold, “Brewed with Caramel & Chocolate malts, this Winter Ale has a touch of sweetness and warm roasty aromas capable of weathering any storm. Swells of hop bitterness balance this robust ale with copious amounts of Simcoe, Comet, and Centennial hops.”
When researching the beers and breweries that I wanted to taste and visit in Astoria, I did not come across cider. Which is odd because Reveille Ciderworks literally shares a building with Reach Break Brewing. But the two ciders that I tasted were quite good. Perhaps a bit too similar in flavor profile but that mattered little on a warm coastal day.
They get their base apple juice from Hood River and have a peach tinged cider and a blueberry Belgian cider. Plus the occasional special cider from other cider makers. And as a special plus plus, they serve their ciders in really cool glasses that I associate as IPA specific but must be cider-centric.
I will certainly look for any bottled product the next time that I am in Oregon.