Posts ByCaroline King and Lauren Raymond, Author at PorchDrinking.com
Winter, particularly in the middle of a global pandemic, is not the time for light beer. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and the only beer that will cut it as the winter solstice approaches is something strong, dark, and smooth. Matchless Brewing’s Off the Cuff II Old Ale is worthy of consideration this time of year–it’s a big beer that demands attention.
To create Off the Cuff II, Matchless brewers blended different Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts with wine cask-aged Old Ales. Blending beer is both an art and a science; Matchless Brewing excels at both in this beautiful blend of bourbon and fruit that’s perfect for a winter night in.
As Halloween approaches, treat yourself to Pelican Brewing Company’s newest release, Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter. As the late Michael Jackson sang, “Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand.” In this case, the Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter should certainly be in your hand. Brewed with Meridian Cacao Company nibs, which are sourced from farmers in Tanzania, this Porter boasts a rich, dark chocolate flavor with subtle caramel undertones, coupled with light roasted coffee notes and a classic malt finish. Whatever your Halloween plans might be this year, crack open a can of Midnight Malt Cocoa Porter under the full moon and let it thrill you.
Cascade Brewing’s latest Sour release — Framboise Northwest — is an ode to raspberries, incorporating 3000 pounds of red raspberries grown locally in the Northwest into their base Blonde Ale. “In this beer, just the flavor of the raspberries is so true to the fruit, it really captured the super-fresh raspberry flavor and we didn’t want to manipulate it in anyway,” shared Kevin Martin, Director of Brewery Operations at Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon.
Located in Seattle, Washington, Fremont Brewing first opened its doors during the 2008 financial crisis and is no stranger to making high-quality beer in the middle of a recession. Quality, sustainability and ingenuity have been the mainstays of brewing at Fremont over the past 11 years, a tradition they continue even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on… and “ingenious” is the word that comes to mind when sampling their latest release: the 11th Anniversary series. These two Stouts debuted in mid-August and are already sold out on their website (but don’t worry: limited cases are still available—see below for details). Their classic barrel-aging process, with a twist, makes these beers something special.
Nestled amongst the sprawling vineyards of the Walla Walla Valley, down a single-lane dirt country road is Dragon’s Gate Brewery. Recently featured as a top brewery in Eastern Oregon, this 10-acre farm offers gorgeous views of the surrounding Blue Mountains and provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy these Farmhouse Ales. Owned and operated by Adam and Jennifer Gregory, this brewery is truly a family affair with beers brewed with passion and rooted in traditional Belgian brewing practices. Their tasting room is in a converted barn, and their brewhouse, barrel room and fermentation area are all on-site. Inspired by old-world stylings, this brewery takes you back in time, or to another world entirely.
From the sea cliffs on the coast to the high plains desert in the east, Oregon beers bring a world of flavor and craftsmanship no matter where you’re enjoying them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we visited the websites of all 302 craft breweries in Oregon and built a database of over 2500 beers for sale. Then, we matched these beers with their reviewer rankings on Untapp’d to identify the very best beers and breweries in the state. We recently published the list of the top ten beers in Oregon. Here, we provide the top three beers and top five breweries in each of Oregon’s eight regions, excluding the beers in our top ten list. Post-COVID, we hope you’ll head out to support these local breweries. Until then, check brewery websites or call ahead to confirm availability and service hours.