Eugene Brewery # 3 – Coldfire Brew Co.

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.”

Eugene Brewery # 2 – Claim 52 Brewing

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.

Up From the Cellar – Collage # 1

One of my goals for late 2018 that will bleed over into 2019, is to clear the ol’ beer cellar to a more manageable size. That means, more of this…

I have been holding onto this beer for quite a while now.  Almost opened it on a couple of occasions but I finally broke through and brought it up from the cellar.  With the combined knowledge of Deschutes and Hair of the Dog, my worry about how this was holding up was more allayed than for other beers.  Initially, there is oak and quickly I learn that Collage #1 is still boozy after all these years.

Cherry and spice swirl around in pie formation but settle into the vicinity of a Flanders Red.  For a beer so old, it really tastes bright.  Not viscous or weird at all.  I probably should have sipped this a bit slower to look for more flavor adjectives but my surprise at its durability had me drinking it quicker.

Eugene Brewery # 1 – Viking Braggot

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!”

2018 Holiday Beer # 11 – Winter Ale from pFriem


Back to Oregon where they have a better chance at snow than we do here in SoCal. This next beer is from Hood River’s pFriem Family Brewers. Winter Ale has “hints of spice, orange zest, caramel and a touch of spruce tree. You may even sense the subtle notes of fruitcake, which might encourage you to share this Winter Ale with your family and friends. Unlike fruitcake, this is a beer that will not be re-gifted.”

Portland – McMinnville – ASTORIA / Part 4

Here is the 3rd leg of the journey…

Fort George Field of Greens, Talisman Pilsner, Optimist IPA, Big Guns and Candyman at their Duane Street taphouse.

Buoy Beer No Worries Pale, Strata Single Hop, Brown Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Dunkel Lager and a can of their flagship IPA.

Reach Break Patio IPA, McRea’s Oyster Stout and their Songful Farmhouse Ale

I also bought a can of Cannon Beach based, Public Coast their O’ Valencia was a pleasant citrus IPA.

PORTLAND – McMinnville – Astoria / Part 2

Instead of travelogue, I am going to throw up some photos from my recent 3-city tour of Oregon interspersed with beer lists.

Wayfinder Hell, Flowers in the Kettle hazy IPA, Panopoly Hefeweizen, Doomtown IPA and Hidden Hand Black Lager.

Upright Supercool IPA, Old Town Pillowfist IPA and pFriem Bright Pale Ale.

Portland – McMinnville – Astoria / Part 1

I will be posting photos and additional commentary on my recent trip to Oregon, but here are some initial reactions from stops in Portland, McMinnville and finally Astoria….

It has been a patio drinking kind of trip. Sitting at Wayfinder beer watching the tables fill up with Portlanders who take every opportunity to sit outside to Allegory Brewing in McMinnville before the UFO parade to the sorta-outside seating section at Fort George. Usually, one bundles up in Oregon but even at the tip top of the state with Washington across the water of the Columbia it has been blue skies.

Beer-wise Wayfinder was strong. Primarily light and tilted to belles and dark lagers with an excellent hefe. I snuck into Beer Mongers for a quick pint and ran across Mirage Brewing of Seattle whose Neon Guts hopped pils was really nice.

From there to Allegory who had nine beers on offer and nary a dud in m6 taster tray of five. They even had a barrel-aged small stout.

Then all the way up the 101 to Astoria. Walking to Fort George, after parking the car a couple blocks from their city block I walked past a distillery, a cidery, a bottle shop and tap house and Astoria’s newest brewery, Reach Break. Typical Oregon.

More Oregon photos and a list of beers drunk in later posts.

That Bottle is New to Me

It seems that states are having to take the environmental lead in this day and age and that continues as the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative with seven Oregon breweries will begin testing a reusable beer bottle program.

The Oregon Bottle Bill is already a strong program but this adds another layer that other states will need to catch-up with. New, stronger bottles are being made of (you, guessed it) old recycled bottles.

In the Tap Lines for May 2018

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Lots of good stuff on tap for May (now that the blog is back up and viewable). There will be weekly nods to the upcoming Firestone Walker Invitational as well as a report from Oregon where I will be heading back to the alma mater.

~ e-visits to three breweries from the New England area.
~ special featured reviews of two new cans from L.A. Ale Works
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads whatever the library finds for me from my long list!
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your May started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) May 4th – System of a Stout Release at Beachwood
2) May 13th – Mother’s Day at Boomtown Brewery