We’re Back!- Maybe you missed us, maybe you didn’t. But after a long hiatus, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to taste beer and report on interesting beer news. Make sure to check this column regularly for fun happenings, new breweries or brews you might want to try, and anything else that’s silly, funny, or beer related. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoy writing it.
McMenamins Black Widow is Here for Halloween-October is here, and you know what that means – cooling weather, changing leaves and time to ditch light microbrews and delve into something darker and heavier. We’ve got just the thing for you, McMenamins dark-bodied Black Widow Porter! Originally created at Thompson Brewery more than 20 years ago, Black Widow has since become a much anticipated Halloween treat at McMenamins properties all over the Pacific Northwest.
This festive pour beckons you to head on in to a McMenamins pub, (the Grand Lodge and Cornelius Pass Roadhouse are not that far from Vernonia) and enjoy its robust black and roast malt flavors with undertones of caramel and licorice.
Black Widow is available on tap and in 22 oz. bottles at all McMenamins locations starting October 15 through Halloween.
If you’re planning to try the Black Widow, you might consider heading to the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (CPR) on October 29th, starting at 6:00 PM, when they are offering a night of “Spooky Ales,” limited-edition beers, including the Black Widow, at happy hour pricing all night long. CPR brewer and Vernonia resident Brady Romtvedt tells us that the other beers they will be pouring that evening are :
• The Widow Jager-a deep black goblet full of black and roast malts, further spirited with ethereal wisps of caramel and licorice. But wait! Don’t forget the Jager-soaked oak spirals that add depth and goulish delight. At 7.35% ABV this should give you a good scare!
• Ghost Lager-six ghost peppers conspire with a dozen habaneros to haunt you. Spooky good flavor with a scary hot finish!
• Pole-Axe Strong Ale-deep mahogany in color and dangerous just like the ancient weapon it’s named after. Also rated at 7.35% ABV… sip slowly or lose your head.
Meet the brewers, ask beer questions and enjoy limited edition pours at happy hour prices. What a great way to get into the spirit of the Halloween season!
More Roadhouse News-As October turns into November, mark your calendar for November 7th for The Cornelius Pass Roadhouse’s Fall Brewers Dinner. This beer party in the Octagonal Barn is the quintessential fall gathering! Brewers will introduce their beers, which are paired throughout the five-course meal; a Helles Bock with roasted New York strip and wild mushroom, an Irish Coffee Stout with stout chocolate cake, and more. Hear from the brewers as they introduce their favorites, all paired with a seasonal menu. Tickets are $70 and must be purchased in advance.
Oregon a Big Winner at Great American Beer Fest- Oregon breweries and brewers made quite a haul at the 2014 Great American Beer Fest (GABF) in Denver earlier this month. There were 268 medals awarded this year from 5,507 entries and Oregon brought home twenty-two of those. Among the highlights was Milwaukie’s Breakside Brewery bringing home the gold medal in the prestigious American-Style India Pale Ale. In the most contested category at the festival with 279 entries, Breakside IPA came out on top.
Another big surprise was newcomer Buoy Beer Co. of Astoria. Buoy Beer is less than a year old and was recently featured in the Wauna FCU autumn newsletter insert in the October 2 issue of Vernonia’s Voice. Buoy Beer won the silver medal in the European-Style Dunkel category for their Buoy Dunkel. A quick look at the Buoy Beer Co. website shows a beautifully converted cannery building right on the water, with fourteen of their own beers on tap, and a fantastic food menu. Looks like a road trip to Astoria sometime soon is in our future!
Other big Oregon winners at the 2014 GABF were Barley Brown’s Brew Pub in Baker City which brought home four medals, including two golds and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. from Bend with three total medals. Portland Breweries that won medals included Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Ground Breaker Brewing, The Commons Brewery, Old Town Brewing Co., and 13 Virtues Brewing Co.