City of Roses, Beer and Bloggers

Beer Conference

This past weekend marked the 2nd annual Beer Bloggers Conference, which took place in sunny, beautiful (and beer filled) Portland, Oregon, The City of Roses.

But it was beer and love of beer that was in full bloom on the eastside of Portland as close to 100 bloggers got together to learn and drink and blog. And also Facebook post and tweet too.

Of the three day conference, Day One was the most amazing. First was the opportunity to listen to local beer legend Fred Eckhardt talk about his life with craft beer in Portland. When someone has a beer and a beer festival named after them, even chatty bloggers will stop multi-tasking. One word of advice from the master is to listen to your beer. That’s right. Color is important. So is aroma. But you should not forget all of the senses.

The next big item on the agenda was a beer filled bus ride to a hop farm. We got off the bus in Independence, Oregon to be greeted by the smell of hops literally everywhere and a gentle snowing of the green stuff floating in the air above us. We got to see the hops harvested then carted to the processing area. Then the hop cones were separated from the plant and dried on a vast field of hops. Then we saw them bundled up in huge bales, ready to be shipped and used by the breweries.

And if that wasn’t enough for one day, there was the blogger bottle share. There were so many beers to try and simply not enough time. I got a pour of 1994 Old Crustacean barley wine from Rogue that still tasted amazing. Mellow and smooth with a wallop of alcohol. New (relatively) barrel aged beer from the Lompoc Brewery of Portland. Fresh kriek beer from nearby Hood River’s Double Mountain. A red ale from Cigar City in Florida. The list could go on and on.

Other highlights included trying new beers from Breakside Brewery, getting a sneak peak at the Jubel 2011 Christmas brew from Deschutes, watching the world premier documentary about women in the Pacific NW in the beer industry and getting a tour of the Bridgeport Brewery downtown.

Now I have to return to a world where lectures and meetings are not accompanied by great craft beer.

For the craft Beer of the Week, I recommend Conflux # 2. While # 1 is still aging at Hair of the Dog, you have had the opportunity over the past few weeks to sample the “White IPA” that Deschutes created with Boulevard Brewing of St. Louis. Both versions are really interesting saisons in my mind but the Deschutes version is a little smoother and rounded with some vanilla notes to it.

This week’s Homework is to heed some advice that I gleaned at the Beer Blogger Conference. If you have sampled a beer and it has not been to your liking, don’t go slamming that beer just yet. If you had a bottle, try it on tap or buy a bottle from a different store. And if you had it on tap, have a taster or small glass at another location. If it is a beer style that you normally enjoy, it may not be the beer that is the problem.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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