HazyGoldMonk Chocolate

Moonstruck Chocolate has struck out beyond their Oregon home to their neighbors both North and South for a trio of beer + chocolates with Sierra Nevada, Pike Brewing and Breakside Brewing. In my boozy chocolate experience, spice and barrel comes through more than subtle flavors so I would guess that the tripel and the hazy would be true-r to the beers.

Learn in Milwaukie

Setting aside that I am a Linfield grad, the chance to work with Breakside Brewery would make me sign-up for this Lewis & Clark class…
This is from Brewbound.com, “For the past 3 years, Breakside Brewery and Lewis & Clark College have partnered to offer a course in brewing and the business of beer for students interested in the craft beer industry. Sponsored by Lewis & Clark’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the course is instructed by Breakside brewmaster Ben Edmunds and R&D brewer Will Jaquiss.

The course is a comprehensive introduction to the beer industry, designed to prepare students with a practical understanding of how beer is designed, developed, produced and sold. The course focuses on three intertwined elements of brewing: fermentation science, beer as a business, and beer as an artisan craft, and students develop a broad understanding of the skills and theory needed to understand and/or join the beer industry.

In the capstone project of the course students split into small groups and each brew a beer of their own design on Breakside’s 3 barrel pilot system. The students work closely with Breakside’s brewing staff to select raw materials, develop a recipe, and create a sales plan for the beer. In the final class of the semester, the beers are evaluated by brewers from other breweries in Portland, so the students get real-time feedback from sources other than their day-to-day instructors. Unlike other brewing seminars for students, these beers are actually sold to the public and marketed just like any of Breakside’s other beers.”

I would love to take this class if I was still back in my hometown of Milwaukie. Not for the brewing part as much as the marketing at the end. How to sell a beer that you have had a hand in crafting must be a fascinating exercise and would put me squarely in the shoes of the people that I usually buy from.

Here is the list of the 2016 student beers and all three have aspects that draw me in…

Going Golden – American Summer Ale 5.3% ABV 22 IBUs
“This hoppy golden ale is equally refreshing and complex. it features the new Enigma hop, which has notes of apricot and peach, as well as touch of Mosaic and Cascade hops.”

Sunny Day Wit – Hoppy Belgian Wheat 4.1% ABV 15 IBU
“This is an interpretation of a Belgian witbier with the addition of more flavoring and aroma hops than would be found in a classic version. The hard-to-find Huell Melon hop, featured here, provides beautiful notes of honeydew and grass.”

Royal Baby – American ESB 5.8% ABV 35 IBU
“An American take on the classic English-style ESB, with a spicy, citrus aroma from both English and American hops, and a rounded mouthfeel from the addition of Torrified Wheat.”

Plums, Lychee and more for 2015

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My down the street from childhood home brewery, Breakside is on a tear releasing a bunch of new beers to the world and though I don’t like the clown, not a fan of chiles, tired of the SIPA phenomenon and would like a plain old Gose, these four beers sound really tasty.

Juggling Plums Gose

“To kick off 2015, we have a draft-only collaboration brewed with our good friends at Fat Heads Brewery. The beer, a Gose, is a slightly sour wheat beer made with salt and coriander. In a non-traditional twist, we derived all of the salt in this beer from an unlikely source; the Japanese Salt Plum or Umeboshi. Salt plums are small Japanese plums that have been cured with red Shiso and salt and spend a year “fermenting” in wooden barrels. The fruit is intensely briny, with a light sweetness and herbaceousness. Seriously though, these things pack a punch: we need fewer than 5 lbs of salt plums to impart a recognizable (yet balanced!) flavor to 1,000 gallons of beer!

In the spirit of collaboration, we brewed components of this beer at each of our breweries; Fat Head’s grew up the sour wort we used to give the beer it’s tartness, while Breakside supplied the base wort and salt plums. We think that you’ll find the finished beer to be incredibly refreshing and complex. It’s a “gateway sour” with a moderate body and slightly spicy finish. Cheers!”


“Our brewers draw inspiration for beers from all corners of the world of food and drink, and this beer is a perfect example. Influenced by a dish at Johanna Ware’s restaurant Smallwares in Portland, OR, two of our brewers designed a beer using lychee and Peruvian Yellow Chilies. The playful intermingling of moderate spice and unctuous, tropical fruit keeps this beer in balance. Early aromas of pepper give way to a rich and fruity mid palate that is followed by a pleasant, lingering heat. The use of several “Hot” hops with distinctive tropical aromas add additional depth of flavor to this unique beer.

This is the first release in our new Farmhouse, Fruit and Funk series. This set of six beers–each available for two months of the year–showcases the deft and playful ways in which our brewers use non-traditional ingredients to make complex, flavorful beers. From Lychees and Yellow Chilies to Oregon-grown Peaches and California Kumquats, this line of beers stakes a claim for the “culinary beer” as an emergent, delicious and elegant new beer style.”


“This characterful session Saison is a true delight for the palate! Notes of white pepper, coriander, orange, freshly cut flowers, and ginger come together beautifully in this easy-drinking Belgian-style Farmhouse beer. The delicate balance of herbal hop aromatics and spicy yeast flavors make this beer light, spritzy and refreshing.

“Amuse” is a Chameleon-like word with many meanings, and here, it means to have fun, to enjoy oneself. Amuse is a beer to enjoy with friends: to kick off a meal, to enjoy on a sunny afternoon outdoors, to share as a gift. We hope you’ll find drinking this beer as fun and amusing as it is for us to make. Cheers!”

Lunch Break ISA

“Lunch Break is our hop forward session beer, built for enjoying any time of day. Whether you call this beer a Session IPA, American Pale Ale, India Session Ale, Mini IPA, or something totally different, we know that you’ll find this beer to be full of juicy, classic hop flavor with just enough malt backbone to keep things in balance. We reserve some of our favorite hops–Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial–to use in this beer, which gives the aroma a heady mix of lemongrass, orange marmalade, grapefruit, pine and resin. Hop heads who seek a big punch of hops in the nose need look no further!”

Holiday Beer # 21 – Big Country from Breakside

Breakside Big-Country

Breakside Brewery Big Country / Oregon

“Our take on a winter ale is something uncommon in the Northwest: a rich and balanced strong ale inspired by the starkbiers and weinnachtsbiers sold in winter in the open air markets of Germany. Malt driven notes of orange, cocoa, candied fruit, and toast dominate the aroma and flavor of this beer. the body is luscious and full and gives way to a refreshing, spicy finish.”

with thanks to Samurai Artist!

Breakside (in my hometown!)

As promised / threatened, here are some photos and a little more description of the new facility for Breakside Brewing near where I grew up (lo those many years ago).


I shared a taster tray with my brother-in-law which ran the gamut of beer styles.

Two of the favorites were the sour options, the Passion fruit sour and the Imperial Sour Apricot.  More fruit notes in the former and less apricot than expected in the latter.  But both (with varying sour levels) were quite nice.
The Spruce wheat was the clear un-favorite. Way too much pine for me. Needed something else to balance it out. Maybe rye or a sturdier malt? The ESB was a little too light as well and the Session Brown was a beer in search of a style.
The tasting room is dominated by a large wooden wall with taps tucked into the bottom. They have one food option and the warehouse area around them could use a food truck to help out because it is not inspiring food wise around them. A good amount of chairs at the bar and at tables. It is a big space so crowd noise is at a minimum.

My two favorites of the tray (and subsequent visits to the Amarillo Wheat and pilsner) were the Old Skool hop bomb which is a great concept to return to the base hops that have been a bit forgotten. The one that worked best though was the Aquavit Braggot. They used the spirit barrels that held this unique liquor. Which they made the wash for to begin with! It was spicy and light and just easy drinking and a different barrel aged experience.


Back in the PDX


My trips to Portland have to have three things.  Time with my mom.  Time with my sister and four nephews and lastly, time with the beer that I don’t see in LA (though yes I did have some Ninkasi which is now available in the Southland.  So here are the beers of Portland along with ** or !!! to signify what you should be trying when you visit the Rose City next.

Base Camp In-Tents IPL
Oakshire Line Dry Rye +
Ninkasi Total Domination & Believer Red

@ Breakside Milwaukie (more on this spot in a later post)
Passion fruit sour +
Spruce wheat – (my brother-in-law tried to talk me out of it
Esb –
Old Skool hop bomb +
Imperial sour apricot +
Session brown –
Aquavit Braggot ++
Pfriem Strong Blonde +
Fort George Three Way IPA collaboration with Gigantic and Lompoc
Occidental Kolsch + (16oz tallboy)
Double Mountain Cluster single hop IPA +++
Kloster Andechs vollbier @ Beer Mongers +++
Freigeist pink gose +
Elysian super fuzz blood orange pale —
Breakside Pilsner +
De Garde Berliner Weisse +
in Hood River

pFriem tasting tray at their excellent taproom near the Columbia river
pilsner +
blonde IPA ++
Little saison +
saison +
schwarzbier +

Big Horse Brett +
Everybody’s Brewing Hoedown Brown
Back in Portland

Boring Brewing Oatmeal pale
Gigantic High Fidelity pale
Lompoc Rat and Warthog IPA
Lompoc Eleventy One CDA
Burnside Lime Kolsch
Migration Glisan Street Dry hopped pale ++ (at Podnahs BBQ)
Breakside Amarillo wheat
Worthy Imperial IPA

5 Days. And I did not set foot in Belmont Station or Bailey’s Taproom or Cascade or other favorite haunts.

(more on growlers in grocery stores and Breakside in Milwaukie and other Stumptown beer posts later this month)

Breakside’s unusual collaboration

First there was Avery-Brown-Dredge. A collaboration between beer bloggers/writers and BrewDog. And now Portland’s Breakside Brewing has taken a similar tack. Inviting local beer notables to help create beers.

The first three sound really good and the last one will certainly be different. Here is the list (that is probably gone by now, they were tapped on the 4th, but hopefully this will be an annual event!)

Lisa Morrison of Beer O’ Clock fame – Meyer Lemon Kolsch
John Foyston beer writer for the Oregonian – NW Alt
Saraveza the great beer bar – Strong Saison
Margaret from the great Brewpublic blog – a beet beer!

I love that it includes all walks of beer lovers. The more the merrier!