Beer, Blazers, basketball

It has been eons since I last saw a Portland Trailblazer game. But this year, as a birthday present for myself, I saw Lillard & McCollum and the new crew take on the Utah Jazz at Moda Center (for how long that name will last is anybody’s guess).

Before the confetti fell on a hard fought 115-111 win, I had a 10 Barrel beer (Riding Solo) in the first half and a Laurelwood beer (Project Pale) in the second.
The Moda Center has a plethora of beer choices. 10 Barrel (with Bud help, I have to assume) has commandeered the Pines bar on the 3rd level but Laurelwood has cart in multiple spots, there is a huge Pyramid bar plus Widmer is easy to find as well.

$9.75 is a stiff cost for a beer when most in Portland set you back 4 to 5 but it is a typical to low end of the captive customer cost.
You can always take the Max to Dr. Jack’s to get some beer and food or head to Upright Brewing nearby too. And that is just within a block or two. Expand out to five or six and the choices grow even more.

NBA Contenders – Brewery # 3 NoDa Brewing

Charlotte has an eclectic roster.  Two Indiana rail thin forward-centers.  The mystery that is Lance Stephenson.  The mystery that is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s shot and a grear workhorse in Al Jefferson. But they might have enough to win their division with Miami losing LeBron.


And NoDa is a perfect fit because of one beer: Jam Session. “The evolution of American Pale Ale—still a session beer but it sacrifices nothing—clear hop flavor shines through without being too dominant, and there’s a great malt flavor uncommon to the variety. The backbone of this beer is the balance of imported Maris Otter and Caramunich malts with the pine and citrus flavors of Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra hops.”

And here are the other brews to taste while watching the Hornets:

Hop, Drop ‘n Roll – “2014 World Beer Cup® Gold Award Winner, American-Style IPA. Hops in your face. Crisp, mouthwatering, American citrus hops dominate for an ideal IPA character. It’s hopped before, during and after the boil with late boil additions of Citra and Amarillo for a complex flavor profile. The rich golden color comes from a blend of English and American base malts accented with substantial amounts of Vienna and Wheat malt. This is the beer that started it all for NoDa Brewing.”

Cold Crash Winter Ale – “Crash through the cold weather with our malty, hearty ruby red ale! Cold Crash offers a malt-forward and dark fruit-accented flavor profile with a distinct winter spice sharpness, subtle hop presence, and a warming 6.3% ABV. Perfect for the cooler months or just warming the soul.”

Midnight Madness – “This is our version of a Cascadian Dark Ale, more commonly known as a Black IPA. Made with six hop varieties: Cascade, Centennial, Columbus (Tomahawk), Chinook, Simcoe, and Warrior it has a nimble complexity surprising for it’s style. Sweet malt notes linger in the finish and despite its opacity it’s fairly medium-bodied and smooth.”



NBA Contenders – Brewery # 2 Faction Brewing of Alameda

Klay Thompson stayed.  A new coach has arrived.  Can the slightly re-jiggered Warriors take it up a notch in a hyper comptetitive Western Conference?  So far the answer is a resounding yes.

Maybe they can if they don’t split into groups and instead have beers together at Faction Brewing in Alameda.


I would start my taster tray with:

Pilsner – A Traditional Czech-Style Pilsner with Castle Pilsner malt & Saaz hops

2 Hop – Instead of single hop ales.  They mix and match a pair of hops to see how they blend together.

Defcon V Belgian Table beer – A merger of English hops and Belgian yeast and hops.

Barleywine – An American-Style Barleywine with American 2-Row, Crystal 77 & Chocolate malts and Chinook & Centennial Hops


NBA Contenders – Brewery # 1 Empirical Brewing of Chicago

Da’ Bulls chances rest on the health of Derrick Rose. If he stays on the court, then Chicago with the added offensive power of Paul Gasol will be in the hunt for the Eastern Conference championship.

You could say that is an empirical fact. And a brewery too, Empirical Brewing.


I love the use of the word Empirical throughout their website and because I like that they are upfront that some recipes are being “refined”, those are the beers that I would put in my taster tray first.

πR/2 Beers

Atomic Amber Ale:

“Moderate hop aroma with a nice malty nose. Reddish Amber color with an off-white head. Malty sweet flavor balanced with American and German hops and a caramel malt presence.”

Infinity IPA: 

“Prominent hop aroma. Dry hopped to give it intensity. Reddish-copper color with a persistent white head. High bitter hop flavor with a support of malt sweetness. Smooth but definitely hoppy and bitter.”

Event Horizone Oatmeal Stout:

“Roasted coffee-like with a slight hop aroma. Black with a persistent tan colored head. Sweet medium dry flavor with a complex oat and dark roasted presence. Nutty and earthy full-bodied flavor. Rich silky mouth feel.”

In the Tap Lines for November 2014

header_attractionsLast November this blog went dark as I focused on my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. AKA, National Novel Writing Month.  I will be running that word gauntlet again this year so there will be less posting than usual but enough to keep you informed about great new beers and events in the Los Angeles area.  Plus I will again start my annual Christmas Beer Blog Advent Post Calendar.  AKA, an assortment of Holiday ales from around the country and the world.  But only AFTER Thanksgiving (which is later this year).

~ e-visits to three breweries from cities that may challenge for the NBA crown this year
~ video reviews of two gluten-free beers from the Canadian brewer, Glutenberg
~ two more beers will come up from the BSP cellar to be reviewed.
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world
~ … and Session # 93 will converge bloggers onto a single topic, this month it is beer travel

Here are two events to get your November started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) November 8th Alosta Brewing 1 Year Anniversary
2) November 11th Friends of Local Beer photography exhibit at Mohawk Bend

Hoops and Beer


So this statshot shows the cost of a SMALL draft beer at NBA arenas across the nation.  Now I can see that Miami would charge big because of their status as World Champions but I really expected NY to be at # 1 followed by LA and Washington.  For the life of me though, I don’t know why anyone would buy one during the game and not before and after.  Portland has Upright Brewing ACROSS the Street.  You could get a regular size beer and then some there.

You can read the Bleacher Report analysis right HERE.

Blazing a Trail

I am a big Blazer fan. I know it’s been rough injury wise for what seems like forever. But I will never root for another team (except whoever is playing the Lakers) That is why it was a great treat to have Terry’s Porter at Migration in December and now this b-ball brew

….. “Saraveza and Amnesia Brewers, Chris Spollen and Sean Thommen, will tip off a dedicated handle (during games) of Amnesia’s Trail Hazer! This dry hopped unfiltered version of the Dusty Trail Pale will be on special every time the Blazers are on the court. It is the perfect beer for a game watching session with friends.”