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Dean Kirkland

Beervana

http://beervana.blogspot.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: March 24th, 2017 at 05:06 pm

ping: http://ignoregon.com/ping/151

295 post clicks in the past 90 days

A blog about beer. Very good beer. Oregon beer.

My journey into cervezas artesanales--Mexican craft beer--began at Societe Brewing in San Diego. I'd just flown in from Portland, and Hector Ferreira thought it would be a shame to miss one of San Diego's bounty when so many were at hand. This turned out to be a better metaphor than I imagined; it's impossible to imagine th

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A new title has elbowed its way onto the increasingly-crowded beer section at your local bookseller: The Secrets of Master Brewers, my latest book. It is, foremost, a guide to homebrewing. But it's not just a brewing manual. The idea behind the book was to introduce the idea of national tradition, this notion that people wh

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Yesterday afternoon, those of us who were still around following the Ensenada Beer Fest made a couple stops. Hey, what else would you expect beer people to do? The second—and for me, final—stop was at Baja Brews, a “colectivo” where several breweries are on hand pouring their beers. Imagine a food court, but with br

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I send my dispatch today from under the sunny(ish) skies of Ensenada, Mexico. There's an annual craft beer festival down here that has grown to become one of the more important dates on the annual calendar. Over a hundred breweries will be pouring beer on Saturday and as a lead-up there is a series of talks and lectures

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In one week's time, my latest book will officially be published: The Secrets of Master Brewers from Storey Publishers. Next Thursday, March 23rd, the book launches at a very cool event in Hood River, where I've sagely arranged to have Josh Pfriem, Matt Swihart (Double Mountain), and Jason Kahler (Solera) join me in a panel

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Follow-up posts are like newspaper corrections: only a tiny percent of the people who saw the original error will ever notice the correction. Nevertheless, the conversation following that post along with Stan Hieronymus' comments convince me there's another juicy bite to be had from this apple. I erred in using Zoiglhaus a

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Yesterday afternoon, San Francisco's Speakeasy Brewery shuttered their doors. A tweet came out followed by this announcement: "Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has been forced to immediately cease brewing, packaging, and tap room operations at their San Francisco brewery for an indefinite period of time. Difficulty s

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Over the course of the coming year, I hope to post these kinds of things from time to time. Below is a short audio clip of Kurt and Rob describing their first sale. It captures the rawness of experience, both of young brewers and also bars used to dealing with familiar distributors, but also of a different time in Portland.

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For the most part, modern beer is a European expression. The styles available in nearly every commercial setting issue from a handful of countries in a plot of land that would fit inside California. So any time an American or New Zealand or Japanese company makes a beer, they are (pick one) borrowing from, referring to, or

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Brewer vignettes feature quotes from brewers I picked up in my travels around the world. “I was an avid homebrewer, starting back in 1969, and brewed through the seventies and ran a homebrewing supply store that I founded in 1976. I had brewed a range of pale ales and when we were thinking about starting the brewery I wa

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Yesterday afternoon, I tansferred two half-batches of beer to into kegs. They contained a pale ale--and an experiment. One had been infused with two ounces of Simcoe hops (pellets), one two ounces of Yakima Chief's soon-to-be-released hop product called lupulin powder from Simcoe hops (backgrounder here). The notion is

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Scientists long ago figured out the mechanism through which hops turn beer bitter: the alpha acids in the lupulin glands become isomerized over the boil--a process that allows the bittering compounds to become soluble. There's a mathematical curve that demonstrates the process, and the amount of bitterness is a direct funct

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The Oregon Beer Awards were handed out last night, and there were a few surprises. The first came when Wolf Tree (Seal Rock) won the first gold medal. Wait, who? That happened several times throughout the night, as obscure breweries took home medals: Freebridge (the Dalles), Back Pedal (Portland), Salem Ale Works, and Wil

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Each year, General Distribution's Jim Fick closely tracks the sales of Oregon beer in Oregon, and he very graciously forwards me the spreadsheet with the numbers. Frustratingly, the OLCC, which tracks these numbers, has gotten fairly lax and the figures aren't terribly reliable. One obvious example is that they somehow do

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If you were to name the four or five hottest breweries right now, measured in beer geek coolness points, Boston's Trillium Brewing would have to be on that list. They are makers of many different types of beer, but are famous for being one of the charter members of the New England IPA movement, with all the requisite rarity

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Periodically--too infrequently, if you want my opinion--a friend of the blog will feel inspired to send me beer from their distant location. When breweries send me beer, I make no promises to review or ever even comment on them (though I will drink them; I'm not a halfwit), but when a person spends hard-earned cash to purch

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We have a very special episode of the Beervana Podcast for you this week, and I want to tease it by quoting from a section of the interview. Patrick and I visited the labs and brewery of Tom Shellhammer, who is a professor of fermentation science at Oregon State University and one of the world's leading hops researchers. Be

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Bird of death. Pete Dunlop has an excellent but alarming post in which he warns: AB is quietly implementing a plan designed to bury independent craft brewers. And they might just pull it off... You might not know it, but the High End kicked ass in 2016, a pretty lousy year for craft beer. The High End's growth rate

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Yesterday, the President of the United States stood before the press and told them: "We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan." This was for an election in which he received fewer vo

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(l-r) John Foyston, Dick Ponzi, Carlos Alvarez Over at Willamette Week, Matthew Korfhage has an article about Oregon's tightening beer market. The story is an Oregonized version of one we've seen applied to the national market a number of times over the past couple years. Thumbnail: in a tightening market, it's harder for

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No beer sounds better on paper than a fruit stout--and that's where I first encountered the idea. It appeared in the recipes section of Charlie Papazian's classic Complete Joy of Homebrewing (in print since 1976!), and seemed so obvious. What goes better with cherry than chocolate? Alas, no beer more often fails to live up

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The view from The Horn in Depoe Bay The Oregon Coast is slowly filling out its compliment of breweries. In the near future, it should be possible to drive Highway 101 from Astoria all the way to Brookings and get a beer from a brewery in every town along the way. I have driven a chunk of that coast this winter (by far th

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Brewer vignettes feature quotes from brewers I picked up in my travels around the world. Two unrelated quotes today from Michael Schnitzler, the Weihenstephan-trained owner of Hausbrauerei Uerige. To go with them, I'll show you two photos, one of Michael, and one of the brewery. It contains, as you will see, one of the mor

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I like bright beer and I cannot lie... What humans prize is inversely proportional to what is common. Is this a need to desire what others don't have? Do we have a gene that tells us the rare is useful to survival? Whatever the reason, it's an iron law, and one we follow, in the manner of self-parody, back and forth acros

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(l-r) Angel Marquez, Ray Widmer, and Kurt Widmer Over the past month, I have been interviewing people for my current project about the Widmer brothers. Their story arc spans thirty-odd years, but a good chunk of that has happened at the current facility (in different forms) on North Russell Street. As a consequence, a lo

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Last week, I noted that AB InBev's Super Bowl ad contained a certain political valence. I wasn't the only one to notice. After the ad aired, it sparked an online effort to #BoycottBudweiser, along with all the usual overheated rhetoric you get with modern politics. (Amusingly, half the people protesting the ad spelled t

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Any one of these could be a full, hearty entree, but I think they'll do even better as small plates. See what you think. My Sponsor Comes to America For the past year, I've been delighted to welcome Guinness as a sponsor on this blog--this week we learned we could welcome them back to the US as well: Diageo today annou

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AB InBev's latest entry in their "hard way" commercial series is ... interesting. Leave aside the lame myth-making and execrable history. As a story, it's trite and embarrassing. But the text is not the point here--the subtext is. As this immigrant struggles to make his American dream come true, he confronts h

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This is very cool: SheBrew Homebrew Competition This competition is AHA sanctioned and open to any amateur female homebrewer age 21 or older. It is open to all non-commercial, home brewed beers produced by persons of female identity.  Deadline: February 17th (Shipping) or 18th (Dropoff).  Register here. Women have stea

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Post slightly edited for clarity.  This past weekend I had the chance to zip down to snowy Bend, and I seized it. On a chill Saturday following a festive brewers dinner, I strolled down a frosted Deschutes River, and thereafter retired to cozy pubs for warming pints. At Worthy, I discovered the beer list you see to the

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