Great Beer Names – March 2020

OK, I lied in the March table of contents post because, we return to Oregon for the beer names / beer labels highlight for the month. Both of these beers, despite the disparate styles sound like a good pairing to me but I really like the juvenile wordplay for the Coasted Toconut and then the old school ‘fridge graphic for the pastry stout. Kudos to Hopworks Urban Brewery.

HUB and Bob

Los Angeles has been getting a low flow of beers from organic brewers Hopworks of Portland. And though the excellently named Chill Murray is way too limited to reach us, maybe this beer will…

“Love Letter NEIPA is the third beer in our new Win-Win Partnership Series, which highlights ingredients from fellow eco-champion businesses. The beer truly is our love letter to Bob’s Red Mill, as it features Bob’s haze-inducing organic oats, organic wheat, and organic spelt for a velvety, fluffy texture. It is dry-hopped with citrusy and fruit-forward Jaryllo, Mosaic, and Denali hops.”

Why? Because we get Bob’s flours and other sundry items down here just like they do in Portland.

Featured Review – Fat Tire & Friends – Part 2

At the beginning of the month, I reviewed two of the Fat Tire & Friends riffs. One from Firestone Walker and the other from Rhinegeist Brewing.

Now, I tackle the remaining three of the collaborations variety box which I have dubbed…
…the Sour & Wild Trio.

Again, there are twin goals here. Which beer “adds” to the original Fat Tire while retaining its essential amber-ness and simply, which beer is best.

Starting with…
The Fat Sour Apple Ale from Hopworks Urban Brewery
Has a pronounced apple cider aroma but the mouthfeel is practically nitro. Very creamy with a green apple taste that is less sour than it is fresh Granny Smith apple juice. I can taste the Fat Tire underneath almost as if the beer was simply layered. The creaminess really ties this together like an anti-rejection drug.

The Fat Wild Ale from Avery Brewing is the closest collab of the group.
When poured it looks just like the regular Fat Tire but that first aroma heads straight to wild country. It is sort of a plain wild too. It doesn’t quite grab my palate though. There is an underlying spice note and a touch of sweetness with a kind of oaky hit to this one.

The Fat Funk Ale teams New Belgium with stalwart Belgian-style brewer Allagash.
Much like the wild ale, the Fat Funk is a perfectly pleasant beer. Not out of place especially in the Allagash universe but when I think “funk”, I guess I am expecting more much like I expected more from “wild”. Lots of clove here that I enjoy but I would order an Allagash White again before this.

The winner for this round is the HUB apple offering. Overall, I would take the Firestone Walker hopped version. And in the future I will have to keep my expectations in check.

Review – IPX Single Hop Centennial by HUB


Thanks Hopworks, now I have to get my hands on the Amarillo, Meridian, Falconer’s Flight and Cascade hop versions too!  Love the label.  Simple design with a great use of graphics to give a little bit of hop knowledge to the drinker. I especially like the disclosure of the hop farms that grew the hops that made it into this particular beer.


The Centennial version pours a dark orange.  Aroma isn’t huge to me.  I get some spice notes primarily.  The taste has a solid level of bitterness and it is tilted more to spices and herbs.  By solid, I mean that it delivers hops but doesn’t bludgeon you with them.  Nice and bubbly and fresh tasting.  The IPX tastes a bit stronger than 6%.


And since we are reviewing part of my bounty that I brought back from Portland, I would be remiss not to mention that Season 3 of Portlandia is now streaming on the Netflix.  I thought Season 2 was a bit less funny than 1 (despite the standout Battlestar Galactica episode) so I am curious as to how the latest season plays out.  And to see which Portland Trailblazer (if any) make a guest appearance.

Hopworks goes Belgian

Some interesting developments from Portland’s organic HUB, Hopworks is introducing a new series of bottle conditioned beers featuring classic European styles through our own Northwest perspective. The first in this series is an Abbey Ale. The second in the series is a Belgian Pale Ale, launching in July.

Hopworks Organic Belgian-Style Abbey Ale is made with this year’s Portland’s Cheers to Belgian Beers yeast, Abbey is made with five different organic malts and organic dark brown sugar, resulting in a complex multi-layered aroma. The flavor is equally rich with a caramel malty sweet, fruity flavor finished with effervescent carbonation and a smooth, warming alcohol finish.”

from PDX with beer


TSA approved beer!

Twice now I have ferried beer via airline from Portland to Los Angeles. This is the second part. A new red ale from the organic folks at Hopworks, a special release from Redhook and a Full Sail specialty Belgian with the awesome name of Sanctuary.

Can’t wait to try these goodies.

Oh and here is my official grainy video of the opening of OBF 2010. The Year of the Superbrewer!

HUB Rise Up


Another new bottle from the organic brewers at HUB….almost sounds like the Trailblazer slogan from last year.
“This full bodied NW Red is mahogany smooth and hopped to the rafters with locally grown Cascade and Centennial hops. Raise your pints in the air, Rise Up, gather round, Organic Beer from the ground.”