It's PART 2 of my tribute to my neighbors to the North! And these guys are some pretty heavy hitters. Two classics and a brewery who is rocking the sour beer world. It's time to lift the curtain on Beers #77-79! First up, one of the most archetypal American porters on the planet, the one, the only...
BEER & BREWERY #79
Deschutes Black Butte Porter, 5.2% ABV: This beer is neck and neck with the Obsidian Stout for taking the title of best representing a style of beer. In fact, I named Obsidian as one of the Best American Stouts in my first 100 beers. 30 days. challenge! CLICK HERE to see the awesome list of winners. And believe me, Black Butte has won a plethora of awards over the years.
I have known the Black Butte for years, and it was one of my first West Coast Craft beers, outside of Sierra Nevada. Classic porter character of a malty, roasted nose with notes of chocolate, coffee, charred wood, and grain on the palate. I don't think I have ever met a beer-lovin' soul who doesn't like Black Butte Porter, or enjoyed it countless times throughout the years. It's a great beer year-round, as it carries a medium body and a low alcohol content. However, I like it best in the fall months, when the breeze starts to get cooler, and evenings are crisp.
Deschutes began back in 1988, right about the time I was getting braces, starting to wear makeup, and generally in adolescent angst.( At least something came good of that year. ) Located on the Deschutes River, the brewery started out in Bend as a small brewpub. Since 1993, Deschutes has been operating in a 50-barrel traditional gravity brewhouse and according to their site, "a new one-of-a-kind 131-barrel Huppmann brew system from Germany." Some of their most popular beers include (besides Black Butte and Obsidian) Mirror Pond Ale, Inversion IPA, and Twilight Ale. my personal favorites? Mirror Mirror, The Abyss, and their anniversary Black Butte, numbered each year.
BEER & BREWERY #78
Widmer Deadlift Imperial IPA, 8.6% ABV: Known nationwide for their popular Hefeweizen, it was a pleasure to see another offering on tap during my visit to San Diego Brewing Company. After eating a huge lunch (I mean MASSIVE), I needed a palate hop blast! I knew this was a beer I had to try. Fresh, wet hop aroma. Squeezed citrus (grapefruit and lemon combo), wet grass after a rain, herbs. A refreshing IPA. For Hopheads, this can be downed all too easily. As it warms aromas of candied fruit arises, which is a bit offsetting, but it's all the more reason to enjoy it while it's cool! Just be careful, this guy sits at 8.6% ABV, and it'll will be like deadlifting 500 pounds to get you off your barstool.
The popularity of Widmer's Hefeweizen has unfortunately, I think, typecast them into a single production brewery in many people's minds. Kind of like how Zach Galifiankas and Jason Statham always seem to end up in the EXACT same role in every movie. But little do most know, Widmer produces 9 beers, including their Hefe.
Located in Portland, Oregon Widmer Brothers Brewery was founded in 1984, after over a decade of traveling, dreaming, and planning. Two years later, they created what would become one of America's most popular Hefeweizens. An award winner and bar favorite, Widmer has made its mark on the Craft beer world. I hope their other beers can rise too.
And finally for the brewery that is BLOWING everyone's minds.....
BEER & BREWERY #77
Cascade Sang Noir, 9.5% ABV: A Double Flanders Red aged in Pinot Noir and Bourbon barrels, then blended with barrels containing Bing cherries. Aromas of tart cherry, blackberry vines and fruit, oak, sweet tobacco, and mild vanilla. Bracing sour cherry on the palate, hints of the aromas come after that initial punch. Complex, interesting, and yes, delicious, I think this beer will age beautifully, and I look forward to tasting it again in the future!
I just love this Portland brewery. And I have been incredibly impressed with everything they have offered so far, and I am thrilled there is another brewery out there with such a dedication to sour beers. Stay tuned for a FULL brewery feature of Cascade, including a lineup tasting of their wonderfully delicious beers with some Craft beer friends!
Until next time,
Explore, discover, and as always, drink Craft beer.