Tag Archives: Beer

26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

At The Beautiful Waterfront Park

July 24, 2013 to July 28, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

Here’s the AMAZEBALLS to this Event – Done All By VOLUNTEERS (more than 2,200 volunteers)!!! Thank you for making this event what IT IS!


Watch Out for the Beer Warden!!!

OBF is Craft Beer Heaven! 84 different Craft Beers from 12 States! Fruit Beers Galore – I loved that! 85,000 people attended the 26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival!

Admission: Into the festival grounds is free. To consume beer purchase a souvenir tasting glass (phased out the plastic mug) for $7 and purchase wooden tokens for $1 a piece. 4 tokens for a full glass and 1 token for a taste.

OBF got its start in July 1988 with 4 craft breweries (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland, and Widmer) and today there are 51 craft breweries!

Interesting Facts:

  • Full Sail started in 1987 in Hood River, OR.
  • Rogue Ales started in 1988 in Ashland, OR and later relocated to Newport, OR.
  • Deschutes started in June 1988 in Bend, OR.
  • “OBF is one of the nation’s longest running, one of the largest and best loved craft beer fesitvals!”
  • July is Oregon Craft Beer Month.
  • “Small and independent craft brewers have grown the number of U.S. breweries from less than 100 to more than 2,000 in 30 years.”

I have developed my palate over the years with wine tasting and now with beer tasting! I enjoy sampling and learning about a variety of craft beer styles throughout the U.S. Plus the 5 day event lets you take your time when it comes to sampling! I love being able to hang out with other craft brew lovers too.

Most Unique Brews

Gigantic Brewing Company – & Juice – Beermosa – IPA with citrus juices added

Burnside Brewing Company – Marionberry Berliner Weisse – Berliner Weiss


Loved Hanging Out at Gigantic’s Tap Room with a Beer in Hand on their Patio!

Photo: Happy Hour continues!!!
Hanging Out at Burnside Having the Oregon Berry Fruit Beer!

Best Named Brews & Tasty Too!

Mt. Shasta Brewing CompanySkip and Go Naked – Strawberry and Ginger Hefeweizen

Old Market Pub & BreweryDilution of Grandeur – Mixed Berry Belgian Lambic

My Favorite Light Ales

Good Life Brewing Company – Evil Sister – Imperial Pacific Ale

Alameda Brewing Company – Huckleberry Hound – Golden Ale

My Favorite Brown and Dark Ales

The Dude’s Brewing Company – Grandma’s Pecan Brown – English Style Brown (kept coming back for more!)

Lompoc Brewing Company – EleventyOne CDA – Cascadian Dark Ale

My Favorite Cream Ales

Fearless Brewing Company – Peaches and Cream Ale – American Style Cream Ale and Peaches

Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema – Summer Cream Ale

My Favorite Fruit Beer

Cascade Brewing – Raspberry Wheat – Fruit Beer

My Favorite Fruit Wheat Beer

21st Amendment Brewery – Hell or High Watermelon – Fruit Wheat Beer

My Favorite Hef

Laht Neppur Brewing Company – Peach Hefeweizen – Hefeweizen

My Favorite Saisons

All of them!

Great Divide Brewing Company – Colette Farmhouse Saison – Farmhouse Style Saison

Maui Brewing Company – Lemongrass Saison – Belgian Inspired Saison

Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub – Jackson Sundown – Saison

My Favorite Wit Beer

13 Virtues Brewing Company – Traverse Cherry Wheat – Belgian Wit with Fruit

Entertainment Favorites

#1 That 1 Guy

Mike Silverman aka That 1 Guy and His Magic Pipe, which is an instrument he created! The Magic Pipe has metal, strings and electronics and the sound that comes out of it is nothing I have heard before. I was mesmerized watching him play and perform. A Truly Unique Performance to Watch and Experience!

#2 Blvd Park

Blvd Park was a breath of fresh air with their music originality! A Seattle-based alt-folk band. I loved the harmonies and Brian Ballentine, the frontman, leads with his great vocals. Blvd Park plays and rocks it (folk, rock, Americana, country, and jazz)!


(Photos by RSheridan)

So Going Next Year!!!

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Fifty Fifty Brewing Company

Go Fifty Fifty

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company is located at 11197 Brockway Road in Truckee, California.

Enjoyed a Charlie Brown Ale and a Donner Party Porter – Love the name of the brews!

(Photos by RSheridan)

A Hard Afternoon of Beer Tasting – Ha!


Island Brewing Company

Island Time

Love Island Brewing Company – My favorite is the Island Blonde! What is great about this place is its location and atmosphere – looks out on the ocean (Carpinteria Beach) and is one of those places you can kick back and have a great time.

Award-winning microbrewery located in Carpinteria, California – open Mon – Fri 2 pm to 9 pm & Sat – Sun 11 am to 9 pm – you can bring in food to have with a beer or two or three.

Beer + Ocean = A Great Time

The Island Blonde is a Kolsch-style ale (includes Czech Saaz hops). Light and refeshing with a great taste from start to finish.

The Tropical Lager which is their lightest beer and brewed with organic malts was a great beer. I was torn between the Blond and the Tropical. Oh the Hard Decisions in Life!

The Paradise Pale Ale is an American-style pale ale – think crisp hoppiness but with a great balanced taste – zings on your palate for sure!

The Blackbird Porter is a unique beer with Cascade & Magnum hops and Roasted Chocolate & Crystal malts – a dark and delicious tasting beer. Interesting Fact:  a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Blackbird Porter are donated to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara – Good for You and for SB!!!


Island Brewing Company Beers (Photo by RSheridan)

Here’s to Drinking Great Beer Island Style!!!


Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Firestone

While In Paso Robles decided to take a brewery tour at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. In 2001 owners Adam Firestone and David Walker purchased the SLO Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California.

Firestone is truly Craft Beer and they ferment their ales in the Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system, which incorporates 65-gallon, medium and heavy toast American oak barrels.


Firestone Brewing Company (Photo by RSheridan)

Craft Beers

Tasting Room

Tasting Room is open 7 days a week from 12 pm to 7 pm and usually have about 14 beers on tap.


Firestone Brews Menu (Photo by RSheridan)


Firestone’s Solace (Photo by RSheridan)

I am a fan of the Solace at Firestone. The Solace is a Summertime Fusion Wheat Beer with hints of citrus – refreshing, aromatic, great tasting.


High Gravity Snifter of Parabola – Limited Release (Photo by RSheridan)

Let me tell you that you could stand a knife up in the Parabola – thick and creamy! Aromatic with bold bourbon and tobacco with flavors of dark chocolate and charred oak flavor – tasted like a chocolate liquer. We needed a chocolate souffle while tasting the Parabola.

The style of the Parabola is a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with 13% abv.

Brewery Tour

Tours of the brew house and cellar are complimentary and first come first serve on Saturdays and Sundays. Arrive 15 minutes before tour time to secure your spot and will need to wear flat, closed toe shoes for the tour.

Tour Hours

Saturday at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm

Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:30pm


Brew Deck (Photo by RSheridan)

In a nutshell the brewhouse converts dry malt into a fermentable liquid – a very complex process. Firestone does not pasteurized so cleaniness is important in producing quality craft beers.


Cellar (Photo by RSheridan)

The Cellar is about fermentation and refinement. The Cellar contains multiple stainless steel fermentaters in various sizes.

The Firestone Union is a unique process. Their DBA, Pale 31 & Walker’s Reserve are partially fermented in oak barrels. Basically a portion of the wort is racked to 1 of 42 American oak barrels in the Firestone Union. If I understand it correctly the Firestone Union is taken from the Burton Union sytem, staple in British beer making. Firestone may be the only brewery in the U.S. using this method. This method adds character and complexity to Firestone’s beers – handcrafted quality.

Firestone produces barrel aged limited release beers – “strong beers” due to a higher alcohol content and complexity. These beers spend a certain amount of time in oak barrels – these barrels add the flavors and complexities to the beers. This includes the Parabola as well as Barley Wine, Saucerful of Secrets, Bravo Brown, Velvet Merkin and Sticky Monkey. These beers may become part of the blend that is released each year, their Anniversary series. Our tour guide stated that some of the Paso Robles Winemarkers are invited in to help with the blending of the Anniversary series.


Keg Processing Area (Photo by RSheridan)

The brewery’s keg packaging process is pretty amazing – this baby can sanitize as well as capable of filling 70 kegs per hour – can you say Kegger man!


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)

I enjoyed learning about the bottling and packaging process. I started thinking about Laverne & Shirley while the tour guide was talking about this process. Since they do not pasteurize their beers the bottling and packaging process is important to the quality of their beers. Firestone has invested in the best equipment and procedures, especially sanitation and cleaning processes. The brewery uses a Krones bottling line – this baby can produce 300+ 12 oz. bottles per minute – do you hear beer heaven calling?


Firestone Brewery (Photo by RSheridan)

Stop for a Taste and Take in a Tour of the Brewery – A Fun Experience!


SAVOR

The Central Coast Food and Wine Event

1st time at Savor and had a Blast! Went Saturday, September 29, 2012 for the Main Event at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch. Delicious Food, Wine, Brews – what more could you ask for! Caught a glimpse of Aarti Sequeira, host of Food Network’s Aarti Party.


Welcome! (Photo by RSheridan)


Make Experiences (Photo by RSheridan)

You almost do not know where to start because it seems a little overwhelming with all the choices available. As Mr. Craves stated this event is on STEROIDS! We just decided to pick an area and dive in. Hello! Vons Music and Tasting Garden.

Breweries

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles (love, love, love their brews – just saying!)
  • SLO Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo (Reggae Red was really good)
  • Tap It Brewing, San Luis Obispo (mobbed every time I wanted to try their brews)


Firestone’s 805 Local Brew (Photo by RSheridan)


(Photo by RSheridan)

Restaurants

  • Apple Farm, San Luis Obispo (offered a great salad)
  • Gardens of Avila, San Luis Obispo (great berry polenta cake)
  • Marisol at The Cliffs, Pismo Beach (can you say dessert coma – see pic below)
  • Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo (great punch and desserts)
  • SeaVenture, Pismo Beach
  • Vons (decorated the picnic tables – just GORGEOUS!)


Berry Polenta Cake (Photo by RSheridan)


I seriously could have oinked out on because it was THAT GOOD! (Photo by RSheridan)


Decorations by Vons – BEAUTIFUL! (Photos by RSheridan)

Getting Back to Your Roots

At the Farmers’ Market to Meal Area – tried a fresh pistachio while exploring.

Farmers

  • Bautista Farms, Arroyo Grande
  • Bell Farms, Huron
  • California State Farm Bureau
  • Jack Creek Farms, Templeton
  • JR Johnson Farm, Morro Bay
  • Peppercreek Family Farm, Arroyo Grande
  • Rancho San Miguel Hills, San Miguel
  • Rutiz Family Farms, Arroyo Grande
  • San Luis Obispo Farm Bureau
  • Skyline Flower Growers, Nipomo (BREATHTAKING Floral Arrangements!)


Clam Chowder (Photo by RSheridan)


(Photos by RSheridan)

Destination Dreaming

Where would you like to GO??? Head over to the Central Coast Pavilion and experience all 4 Central Coast counties, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Ventura.

Let’s Dream Shall We . . . Great Eats, Wine & Brews & Beaches – Oh My!

  • Arroyo Grande
  • Atascadero
  • Avila Beach
  • Cambria
  • Cayucos
  • Grover Beach
  • Morro Bay
  • Paso Robles
  • Pismo Beach
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Simeon


Fish from Avila Beach (Photo by RSheridan)


Camping Anyone??? (Photo by RSheridan)


Where Will the Road Take You? (Photo by RSheridan)

Sunset’s International Wine Competition Medal Winners

Drumroll Please . . .

  • HKG Estate Wines,Healdsburg
  • Mantra, Healdsburg
  • Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville
  • Tenuta Ca’Bolani, Italy
  • Venteux Vineyards, Templeton
  • Waterbrook, Walla Walla

This area to taste the wines from these wineries was mobbed! Finally snuck in and tried HKG’s Chardonnay and not one but two Pinot Noirs – the Pinot Noirs were delicious. Congrats!


Grape Goodness! (Photo by RSheridan)

Winemaker Central


Wine This Way! (Photo by RSheridan)

Eventually made it over to the Marketplace. Can I say Great Eats and Wine Overload – WOW!

1st Stop – SLO Donuts from San Luis Obispo – Nutella-filled donut.

2nd Stop – Tasted Some Wines

3rd Stop – Cracked Crab from Pismo Beach for the Crab Bisque – YUM!

4th Stop – Tasted Some More Wines

5th Stop – Harris Ranch from Coalinga – no one was talking just making eating noises of delight – just saying because I was one of them!

And On and On and On

Central Coast Wineries

Talk About Grand and Variety! Plus Palate Overload!

Areas Represented

  • Arroyo Grande
  • Atascadero
  • Los Olivos
  • Paso Robles
  • Salinas
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Miguel
  • San Simeon
  • Santa Maria
  • Santa Margarita
  • Santa Rosa
  • Santa Ynez
  • Soldedad
  • Templeton

All Aboard

Took a ride on the train to get a better look at Santa Margarita Ranch.


Choo Choo (Photo by RSheridan)


All Aboard the Disneyland Train (Photo by RSheridan)


Pacific Coast – Yes Please! (Photo by RSheridan)

Ice Cold Treats

  • Doc Burnstein’s (Sea Salt Caramel – melted in your mouth)
  • Leo Leo Gelato, Paso Robles (tried the Firestone DBA Chocolate – YUM!)
  • Negranti Dairy & Artisan Creamery, Paso Robles (Sheep’s Milk Ice Cream – Really GOOD!)
  • Marich Confectionery Company, Hollister (Homemade Chocolate Delights)
  • Von’s Coffee Lounge (grabbed an ice coffee taster)


Firestone DBA Chocolate Gelato (Photo by RSheridan)


Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab (Photo by RSheridan)

One of my favorites was at Savor that I enjoy every morning for breakfast in my smoothies, Mountain High Yoghurt. This station offered a pomegranate smoothie in the morning and then moved to a blueberry smoothie in the afternoon. Both options were delicious. I love the pureness, creaminess and freshness of their yoghurt products. Plus offers 10 to 11 grams of protein.

The heat became a little unbearable around 2 pm of the event when it hit 97 degrees. Thank goodness for the Mid-American Solar company that was providing ice cold, flavored water (pineapple and basil, cucumber and citrus)! At times I think the line was longer at the water station than the beer and wine stations.

Sunset Garden and Backyard Farm

I love checking out and exploring gardens! I enjoyed how the 2-acre garden space was utilized, especially with vertical gardening. There were these garden boxes with reclaimed windows that acted as a greenhouse for the garden box – pretty cool idea. The bees were in heaven too with all the plants to explore!


(Photos by RSheridan)

Recycling


Yes, those are Wine Corks! (Photos by RSheridan)

My 3-year wish has come TRUE – had a BLAST!!!


Have a Great Day Everyone! (Photo by RSheridan)


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