We’re heading to Mill Street for our last stop in Eugene, Oregon at Coldfire Brew Co. Here are my choices for the initial taster tray that I would order.
Czech Pilsner – “This pilsner is both light and soft and has notes of spice, honey and lemon. Bohemian floor malted pilsner and Czech Saaz hops give this beer the classic underpinnings inherent in the style. A well rounded easy drinking lager.”
Don’t be Bitter! an ESB – “This traditional ale is a classic in every way. We start with a water profile that fits the style and selected only the highest quality English malts and hops. This beer is fermented with West Yorkshire Ale yeast, and dry hopped with East Kent Goldings for a truly beautiful combination of nostalgia and flavor. DBB drinks as a light; but malt forward ale with a balancing, refreshing bitterness that will leave you wanting one after another.”
Pick Me! a Pale Ale – “Crafted with the best Chinook and Mosaic hops available for a bright, classic, yet modern flavor.”
St. James IRA – “Winner of the 2017 – GABF Double Red Silver Medal! A malty, biscuity red ale balanced by generous additions of dry hops.”
Affogato coffee cream ale – “This coffee cream ale was brewed with traditional ingredients; but infused with milk sugar and high-quality, cold processed Columbian coffee. All of the traditional elements of the cream ale are apparent in this creation.”
Our second stop in Eugene, Oregon is Claim 52 Brewing. The name “refers to the donation land claim settled by pioneer William Luckey in what is now part of South Eugene.”
Here are the beers that I would be ordering for my initial taster tray….
Starting with their Kolsch and then moving on to Willamette Wit before heady to hoppy with their Good Neighbor IPA, their Krispy Brut IPA and then off to their My Brother’s Farmhouse IPA. I would finish with their Voyager Strong Ale.
Our first stop in Eugene is not at a brewery. Nope, heading to Viking Braggot instead to try one of these off kilter (braggot is basically a blend of mead and beer) beverages…
Freyja Blonde – “is our light and flavorful blonde braggot. Two-row barley and wheat provide much of the body while a simple addition of Crystal and Cascade hops gives a subtle, yet present hop flavor. We’ve kept the flavors of this braggot simple in order to let the true star, honeybush, shine through. Honeybush is a South African herbal tea that we blended with local wildflower honey to create a delicate, but distinctly flavored braggot!”
Reverence – “is our take on a red ale. In this braggot, certified organic two row and specialty malts provide a strong malt profile and rich red color. Multiple hop additions, including dry-hopping, give Reverence a distinct, but not overpowering, hoppiness. The star ingredient, orange blossom honey, serves to balance out the hops while providing an inimitable aroma and truly unique taste.”
Battle Axe – “is our flagship IPA style braggot. We took the light wildflower honey and combined it with a generous amount of Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, and Centennial hops. followed by a dry hop addition of Zythosto create an extremely floral and fragrant IPA. This IPA is a balance between the bitterness of all the hop additions and the wildflower honey, that leans slightly on the hoppier end.”
Alpenglow – ” Named after the vibrant red light of high mountain sunsets, Alpenglow is a ruby red style braggot brewed with Northern California pomegranate honey. Light and sweet!”
I recently got a sample of Spring Reign from Ninkasi Brewing which was decent, but what I was really looking forward to was Los Angeles getting some of the Prismatic Lager Series. And Lo and Behold, Pravda appeared as if by providence.
I was a little worried though. This won the 2013 GOLD at the Great American Beer Festival last year. It pours a very clear dark yellow hue. Thin head and many bubbles streaming from the bottom to the top of my pilsner glass. The aroma has that metallic and slightly sweet note that my taste buds tend to pick up from this style. The taste is very crisp and clean. With a touch of bitterness. It is light but not to the point of watery at all. Grain taste is not there but I do get a twinge of citrus as each sip fades off.
I recently had a Heater Allen pils (right here in LA!) and that beer matches up well to this one. Both are big on the mineral taste with a bit of salt/savory going on. The carbonation keeps the proceedings fresh and ready you for the next sip. I am looking forward to seeing where the Prismatic Series goes next.
I have talked about how happy I am that one of my favorite Oregon breweries, Ninkasi is in Los Angeles now and not just in Seasonal Sampler Packs. I love the Oatis and Vanilla Oatis and I have a Sleigh’r in the ‘fridge awaiting the true Holiday ale season (AFTER Thanksgiving).
Further proof was a recent dinner that they held for the L.A. Beer Bloggers at the Library Alehouse. I wasn’t able to attend but the intrepid Rich Rosen was there and sent back the photographic proof……
Here is the menu: Squash meets Ninkasi
Total Domination IPA / Tricerahops Double IPA – Vegetable Curry Served in a Roasted Delicata Squash
Believer Double Red – Spice-Rubbed Chicken Roulade with Yam Puree
Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt Ale & Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout – Pumpkin Panna Cotta w/ Chocolate Ganache and Oatmeal Cookie
If you haven’t had the food at Library Alehouse, it rivals the beer list is all I am going to tell you.
Ninkasi Brewing has been showing up in Los Angeles with their Tricerahops Double IPA. I first spotted them at the Blue Palms 5th Anniversary party and then on tap lists for the Food GPS Beer Blast. The craft brewery based in Eugene (Home of lightning yellow football uniforms) signed agreements with independent wholesalers here as well as Orange County and and San Diego County. Flagship and limited release offerings are on the way in 22 oz. bottles and kegs.
The ever growing Oakshire Brewing has a new Baltic Porter a brewin’: “Axe of Perun is strong dark lager with hints of chocolate and licorice in the aroma. It has a sweet middle with a touch of roast and chocolate flavors that keep it in balance. 7.4% abv.”
One neighborhood in Eugene, Oregon is the beer buying equivalent of the Mall of America. The latest entrantSixteen Tons adds to an area of the Duck town with several other beer retailers, including Beer Nuts, a smaller bottle shop about a block away, and the Bier Stein, a great bottle shop that also offers beers on tap and food, about two blocks away. And then there’s the Circle K convenience store across the street.
Bet there are some happy craft beer lovers in that part of town.
The rise of the Cascadian Dark! Oakshire makes some great stuff. Especially the Overcast Espresso Stout. Now here comes their take on the black IPA.
Oakshire Brewing Company of Eugene, Oregon has released their newest Seasonal Beer, Ill-Tempered Gnome throughout the state of Oregon on draft and in 22 ounce bottles. This winter seasonal is a complex brown ale with an underlying American hop punch. At 6.8% abv, the Gnome provides, bitter, roasty, chocolate, pine resin, citrus, dark fruit, coffee and sweet flavors all in one glass.