About- Andy Hagemann
School is back in session, the leaves are beginning to change, and I even need a jacket in the morning on some days. Fall is just around the corner. While breweries are racing to get their pumpkin beers and fall seasonals on tap and on the shelves, I’m refusing to let go of summer just yet. That’s why I’m enjoying my last reserves of Cascade Brewing Gose.
This was my first foray into the world of beers from Prairie Artisan Ales out of Krebs, Oklahoma, and I have heard nothing but excellent opinions of their creations. So when I was able to snag a bottle of their Eliza5beth Farmhouse Ale when I was back in Colorado, I was both excited and curious. It’s not that I am new to farmhouse ales by any stretch of the imagination; I have just found it extremely hard to find their beers. My only regret was that I didn’t buy more…
Crux Fermentation Project in Bend, OR claims that for this beer they were “at an impasse”—use standard fermentation techniques to have a more controlled beer and greater yield, or use the traditional Belgian style of open fermentation to produce a more unique flavor profile. In an ode to the ages-old Belgian saison style, they threw caution to the wind and went with the latter. And as the consumer, we should be glad they did!
The most controversial shopping day of the year is nearly upon us. Black Friday (now starting on Thursday evening) is the one chance a year to score outrageous deals on things you didn’t even know you needed. Some people live for this day, planning months in advance and scouring every store’s mailers for the deals of the century. Others avoid it like the plague, refusing to leave their house and risk getting caught up in the cutthroat madness. A select few have even been known to consider it a spectator sport and wake up at ungodly hours to watch the chaos ensue…guilty as charged. Regardless of which group you identify with, at the end of the day, you are going to need to do some serious recovering and reassessing. This will surely call for the Ultimate 6er Black Friday Edition.
It’s that time of year. The temperatures have begun to tickle the freezing mark and now that I’m in Oregon, the rains have come. Yes, the fabled northwest rains that have prompted me to eat Vitamin D tablets like candy and consider purchasing a sun lamp. The other remedy for this otherwise depressing weather? A delicious, flavorful winter beer that warms the soul; a beer that is a little more malt-forward, slightly higher in ABV, and has the right spiciness and flavor that reminds me of the holidays. That’s what I have found in the Hopworks Urban Brewery Abominable Winter Ale.
This past weekend I volunteered pouring beers at the Portland Fresh Hops Festival. The event is an annual tribute to our love of lupulin-laden libations that are crafted within hours of the hop harvest. While the vast majority of breweries showcased their share of lagers and pale ales, IPAs and CDAs, there was one beer that really stood out to me. Logsdon Farmhouse Ales’ Fresh Hop Seizoen piqued the interest of my taste buds in a way that no other fresh hop beer has. After about ten 4 oz. samplers of hop-forward beers, a subtly-hopped Belgian Saison was just what the doctor ordered. The Fresh Hop Seizoen from Hood River, OR is 7.5% ABV and really opened up a new perspective on fresh-hopped beers for me.
As I sit here sweltering on an unseasonably hot Oregon day, I feel like the beer gods have smiled on me. In my hand is a HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) IPX Single Hop Series brewed exclusively with Centennial hops. Unlike many of the intense, resiny IPAs that I am used to drinking that test the limits of my taste buds, this one is quite refreshing and definitely the right choice for a scorcher of an afternoon. At only 6% ABV and 60 IBUs, it is also very sessionable. I wish I had more bottles!