BrewDog TV

Next month, BrewDog takes to the small screen.  Will it be able to contain their hijinks?

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Here is the 411, ““Brew Dogs” premieres September 24 at 10 p.m. It stars Scottish “beer evangelists” James Watt and Martin Dickie, who own the UK’s fastest-growing brewery. James and Martin have come to America with a vital mission: to prove that the drink of the masses doesn’t need to taste mass-produced. In each episode, they will visit a different American beer town, celebrate distinctive craft beers and create their own locally-inspired draft.”

One of their stops along the way is the fabulous Belmont Station in Portland.  I am anxious to see how they view one of my favorite beer locales.

Happy Anniversary Belmont Station

All day today, BELMONT STATION will be celebrating it’s 15TH ANNIVERSARY.

And here is what they are going to do to celebrate, “Yep, it’s been 15 years since the founding of Belmont Station as the first specialty beer store in the Northwest. Thanks to you we’re still here so we’ll be breaking out some vintage bottles to sell and have a few surprises on tap. Ted Sobel of Brewers Union Local 180 is bringing us two firkins of his unbeatable genuine cask-conditioned ales, including one brewed just for our 15th, with 15 malts.”

I wish I could take the day off, fly up to Portland and stay there all day if only to have Brewers Union beers.

5 Questions with Carl Singmaster of Belmont Station

Belmont Station is my first stop whenever I go to Portland, so I thought I should ask Carl Singmaster, the “Chief Bottle Opener” as he is called on the Beer O’Clock radio show 5 questions about the bottle shop and bier cafe.

1. Since Belmont Station is such an institution, do you get a lot of beer tourists ?
Belmont Station has been around since 1997 so we fortunately seem to have developed a reputation as one of the key beer stops for any beer-interested tourist coming to Portland. And of course for anyone keenly interested in American craft beer and its history Portland is a must visit.

2. Have you ever put a beer on tap that surprised you with its popularity?
I am more often surprised by beers we would expect to be popular, (for our place “popular” means in demand or intriguing to craft beer aficianados), but get virtually ignored. As my Belmont Station founder Don Younger says “don’t listen to what people say they want, watch what they do.” By now we have a pretty good idea of what our customers prefer.

Having said that, at this year’s Puckerfest (an annual Sour Beer Festival we hold) I was pleasantly surprised by the number of young folk (twenty-somethings) that came out for sours.

3 . What beer style do you think is under appreciated at the moment?
Brown ales and pale ales are very often overlooked here. I have been pleased to see the increased attention given to craft lagers, something that did not get the same level of interest 4 or 5 years ago.

4. Do more people buy to go beers or tap? Or is the majority of customers having one of each?
The majority of our business is beer to go. But many people do have one or two here and buy a few to go. It’s nice to enjoy a pint while you shop!

5. Do you get beer geeks coming in looking for the latest and greatest rare beers?
Constantly. People always want most what they can’t get!

Beer Dim Sum

Don’t be confused. This is not pairing craft beer with Chinese food. (That’s an idea for another day). No, this is a great beer tasting idea that the Belmont Station folks created. They rummaged around their excellent store and bier cafe, which you must visit. They pulled out some aged beers. What follows is a list that should blow your mind…
Stone Oaked Bastard 2006 & 2007
Stone Vertical Epic 07-07-07
Stone Vertical Epic 08-08-08
Stone Double Bastard 2006
Stone IRS 2006
Full Sail Top Sail 2008 & 2010
Full Sail Black Gold 2009
Full Sail Imperial Stout 2008
Full Sail Wreck the Halls 2006
Bridgeport Old Knucklehead 2009
Roots Epic 2008
Deschutes Abyss 2007, 2008 & 2009
Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood 2006 & 2008

They named it Vintage Beer Dim Sum and each beer cost a different number of $1 tickets– from one to five tickets, depending on its rarity. Part of the proceeds went to charity.

This is a great idea. I am kicking myself that I did not think of it. You bought your tickets and the beer would come around. You could choose to use your ticket or tickets, or not. It wasn’t a tasting where you could feel cheated because you are the one choosing!

This is exactly how I am going to hold my next tasting event.

New School Brew Blog

Due to my being born and raised just south of Portland, I follow the craft beer scene from afar and try to get to events and new breweries as time and money permit. The next best thing is reading about what is happening. And here is another voice that you might enjoy reading…
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You can check out the latest posts HERE