2015 Portland Fruit Beer Festival Preview By John Lovegrove
Growing up I never ate rhubarb. My Dad always said it was the most disgusting food and not fit for human consumption. Even as an adult I can’t remember trying it, going so far as to turn my nose up at it and/or smack talk rhubarb behind it’s back.
My dad also doesn’t approve of beer.
He’s going to be very disappointed that one of my favorite beers at the upcoming Portland Fruit Beer Festival is a Kettle Soured Strawberry-Rhubarb Wheat Ale from Fort George named Pucker Pi.
At a preview event for the upcoming Festival, I tasted a few of the offerings and here are my top 5, in no particular order.
Laurelwood Brewing: There Gose the Neighborhood
Very Refreshing. I could drink this all day. Every flavor is subtle, just a touch of sea salt to accentuate every flavor.
ABV: 5.1% IBU: 8
Alameda Brewing: Berried By Night
A solid CDA, with a really great hop Aroma. Uses 7 different hops: Summit for bittering, then Citra, Cascade, Ella, Hull Melon, Centennial and Azacca.
25 pounds of berries per barrel, yet still very balanced fruit, roast and hop flavors.
7.4% ABV. 75 IBU
Fort George Brewery: Pucker Pi Beer
My Dad’s worst nightmare. He hates rhubarb and beer. This one won’t change his mind. It’s a kettle soured version of last years Pi Beer, very easy to drink though, and really tasty.
Burnside Brewing/Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider: Fruit of the Garden of Good & Evil
This is bound to be the big hit of the festival. It’s approximately 2/3 Burnside’s Sweet Heat (Apricot and Scotch Bonnet Peppers) and 1/3 Reverent Nat’s Tepache (Pineapples and Spices), with extra Ghost Peppers to kick it up a notch. It’s a slow burn and a great aftertaste. Perhaps save it until last, because it’ll wreck your palate for a good 20 minutes.
Try a side by side(r) taste of Burnside Brewing: Peaches of Immortality (6.2% ABV 3 IBU) and 2 Towns Ciderhouse: Peach Saison Cider 6% ABV).
One’s a Kettle soured peach farmhouse ale and one’s a cider, but both use peaches and French Saison Yeast so they’re a brother and sister that compliment each other nicely.
Best Named Fruit Beer
Didn’t try it, but the best named beer by far:
Stormbreaker Brewing: I AM FROOT
For more information on the Portland Fruit Beer Fest and links to their website etc go to – www.portlandbeerfestivals.com/portland-fruit-beer-festival