I check up on Athletic Brewing and their new beers from their Pilot Program and recently picked up their Thai Coconut IPA (which I quickly posted about earlier this month) and their Hefeweizen. Do they hit the mark?
Starting with the Hefe, which could do with a better name than Athletic Hefe, initially I get a minty hit more Belgian in nature than German. Further sips in and some banana creeps in but it is as if the traditional Hefe clove was replaced with mint and then doubled up. Some of the typical “young” beer flavor is there as well but is masked, for the most part.
Beer two should be both easier and harder. Tropical IPAs abound so there should be an easy path to that flavor profile. Harder because coconut can be too sweet and overpower everything. All I get from this IPA is grapefruit. I was expecting a bit more milkshake style to it, with big coconut but it isn’t there for me. Not bad if the line is citrus but a miss if coconut.
Saving the Blazer emblazoned can for last. Portland beer news has been sad this month, with Bridgeport being shut down by Gambrinus and with Widmer closing their gasthaus/pub. So let’s go to a happier place and talk about the Hefe from Widmer.
Drank this Flagship while the Blazers eked out a win against the Celtics
at the Garden no less. The classic NW Hefeweizen pours originally
cloudy and I am getting more estery character than normal. A little
spice and a little banana more in the flavor than the aroma. The
mouthfeel is pillowy and finishes wet which makes it a quenching beer to
really take full drinks of and not sips. Now I just need cans with the
Timbers and Thorns logos.
The usual inconsistent Blazers have shown up for the 2018/19 season. As prone to a three loss streak as they are to the flipped version. But what is not inconsistent is the classic Widmer Hefeweizen who has teamed up with my hometown team and will have 16oz cans bedecked with the Blazer logo on them.
From December 3 through the end of the 2018-2019 NBA season, the limited edition 16-ounce cans will be available Widmer Brothers’ North Portland pub, the Moda Center, bars throughout Oregon, as well as at grocery stores in four packs.
Now to have my Oregon beer hook-up (Mom) send me some. Maybe drinking them will be good luck.
(Oh, and more Widmer news will be coming soon)
The Widmer Way: How Two Brothers Led Portland’s Craft Beer Revolution.
Combined with the soon-to-be-released book on Goose Island, this history that explores the Widmer brothers live and Portland beer history up to now as part of the Craft Beer Alliance fills in much needed information about the old guard of craft beer.
A rare winter hefeweizen. This time from Harpoon. Winter UFO has vanilla and coffee added.
As part of a Twitter Tasting hosted by the Fresh & Easy Market chain, I had the opportunity to sample a beer new to me, Shore Break Hefeweizen.
This is a “phantom” craft as it depicts bucolic surf scenes and is sold here in California but is brewed by Rheinlander in Wisconsin.
It pours an orange golden color with not much aroma to speak of at all. First sip comes and goes without any banana or clove so you can safely assume this is not a real hefeweizen. But even worse, this beer is watery. Not much there, there. Grain taste is practically non-existent.
Not only is this not a “craft” beer it isn’t a German hefe and it is flat out a really poor example of a wheat beer. I do not recommend this beer and I would avoid other Shore Break and Underworld brands at Fresh and Easy and focus on the tried and true you can get there.
Yesterday was a big day at the yellow building at Golden Road Brewery. Not only were the cans ready to be sold and taken back home to ‘fridges across the southland but four new beers made their debut yesterday.
But back to Canlandia for a moment. These are really well designed. The first and most important part is that they hold a full 16ozs. You are getting your full pint. Second, these have a lovely design that really says Los Angeles on it in a James Cain’s “Paradise” sort of way. Wistful and evocative of an earlier time in L.A. And I love the personal note from Jon on each can. I am a sucker for a well designed label and these are great but it wouldn’t matter all that much and I certainly wouldn’t blog about it if the beer inside wasn’t worthy of it. It is. Point the Way is a great session IPA that doesn’t over bitter the senses and still makes room for a strong malt taste. I heathenly had one straight out of the can and it tasted great. Nice and fresh. The hefeweizen is strong too. Especially on the banana flavor side. You can get both at the brewery or later this month at Whole Foods down here.
On to the new. There was a wide spectrum of styles unveiled. The oft-overlooked brown ale was represented by Get Up Off that Brown and there was an alternate world IPA called Lost its Way. Both of which I will have to sample another day because I went with the cheekily named Either Side of the Hill Strong Ale and the El Hefe Anejo. Either Side is like the hefeweizen in that it is very much on point style wise. It was strong with a raisin, plum and candi sugar swirl of flavors. And like the other Golden Road brews, isn’t at all harsh. Very controlled. A nice winter warmer. The El Hefe sounds like a weird idea. Put Hefeweizen into a tequila barrel. But it works. You get a strong vanilla flavor at first that blends into a banana taste. And then there is a hint of spice at the far back. It did not remind me of tequila but it was extremely tasty.
Thanks to Meg, Jon and Tony for throwing a great introductory party for the tallboys!
I had the good fortune to sample the inaugural beers from the new Golden Road Brewing last night at 38 Degrees Alehouse and I am pleased to report that I thoroughly enjoyed both.
I started with the Point the Way IPA. I have to admit that I was concerned due to the brewer’s Dogfish past and the fact that I am not a big Dogfish IPA fan. (I know it’s heresy) But this was a solid effort. Especially considering it’s new equipment and the first batch. It poured a dark orange with a big head on it and the aroma was pure pine. The flavor stayed that way too and for a 5% abv, I got some heat off of it too. Once it warmed up a little some citrus kicked in as well to really round the flavors off.
The hefeweizen also was helped by warming up. And again it was citrus that crept onto the palate. But this citrus had a candied quality to it. And again it really balanced out the big banana flavors and the clove spiciness. This is a great example of the hefe style with a little twist that adds to it instead of overwhelming.
Overall this was a great start for Golden Road. I was expecting some work to be done but these are really good on their own right out of the gate.
Looks like Orange County has another brewery. Welcome to the Anaheim Brewery!
Headquartered in the Anaheim Historic District, the version 2.0 of the brewery takes over 90 years later! from the first Anaheim Brewing that was shuttered by prohibition.
They are serving up four beers in their tasting room. A gold, a red, a hefeweizen and the “Anaheim 1888 is based on a style of beer brewed at the original Anaheim Brewery and has a flavor that is popular with today’s beer drinker. Copper-colored, full-flavored and well-hopped, Anaheim 1888 is our flagship beer.”
And this review from the Anaheim Gazette all the way back in 1890 on the original version of what is today 1888 gave me a chuckle, it “appears to be fully equal if not superior to the celebrated Anheuser beer of St. Louis.”
Thanks to the Full Pint for first spotting this new brewery.
On to Germany and a Brauhaus. The vibe and beer are completely different from Ireland but the classic quality is the same.
At the Waldschlossen, you can have their Zwickelbier which “is a pale, full-bodied beer. It is brewed on the basis of an original Waldschlösschen Brewery recipe. The special feature of this beer is the fact that it is left unfiltered. It is a bottom-fermented beer with an alcohol content of approx. 5.5%”
Also check out the links on the history of brewing and their brewing process. You will learn something fun for sure.