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Rob Widmer & McMenamins: 2 new craft beer articles

Thirsty for news about Oregon’s craft beer industry? Check out these 2 new articles by me in the October 2016 issue of the Oregon Beer Growler (more in the print and digital edition too):

Brewing Review and Outlook With Rob Widmer – Oregon Beer Growler

The Track for Craft Runs Through McMenamins – Oregon Beer Growler




How to Start a Brewery: Bplans.com

How to Start a Brewery

Image: Bplans.com/Palo Alto Software

Think you want to start a brewery? There’s so much more to it than just brewing beer. In fact, that’s the most elementary part of what promises to be a wild ride. In this Bplans.com 2-part guide to starting a brewery, I talk with brewers and industry experts on all the other things you have to take care of to start and grow your brewery:

“As of November 2015, there were 4,144 breweries in the U.S.—more than the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873, according to the Brewers Association. In such a crowded market, making good beer and opening the doors isn’t enough anymore. But, the good news is, if all these people could start a brewery, then you can too—as long as you know what you’re getting into and have a solid business plan for your brewery.”

Full story: How to Start a Brewery (Parts 1 & 2), Bplans.com




Brewing on the wild side

Brewing on the wild side - a craft beer article by Anthony St. Clair

Image: Kelly Lyon/The Register-Guard

Wild beers are such a, well, wild ride. Here’s a new piece about wild beers in Oregon, in The Register-Guard.

“Think of everything you know about beer: the bitter punch of a Northwest IPA, the light flavor of an American lager, the richness of a dry Irish-style stout.

Now pour it down the drain.”

Full story: Brewing on the wild side – Tastings – The Register-Guard




Craft Beer Article: Collaboration is Key for Homebrewing Couple

 COLLABORATION IS KEY FOR HOMEBREWING COUPLE

Image: AJ McGarry

New in the February 2016 edition of the Oregon Beer Growler:

“Sometimes newlyweds return from their honeymoon and immediately prepare a room for a baby. But for Kiley and Michael Gwynn of Eugene, they returned from their 2008 honeymoon/first anniversary trip to Hawaii with a passion for a new hobby: homebrewing.”

Full story: Collaboration is Key for Homebrewing Couple




Lane Monthly: McKenzie Cider & Craft Beer Festival is Filling the Festival Void

Raise a glass at the McKenzie Cider and Craft Beer Festival

New article in Lane Monthly Magazine’s November 2015 edition:

On Nov. 13–14, over 5,000 people will enjoy 190 beers and ciders at the McKenzie Cider & Craft Beer Festival (MCCBF). Presented by the McKenzie After 5 and Springfield Rotary Clubs and held at Springfield’s Willamalane Center, MCCBF showcases regional beers and ciders to the benefit of local community organizations and Rotary Club projects…

Source: Lane Monthly | Filling the Festival Void




Willamette Valley-Inspired Beers Made By Walking, Nov. 5, Eugene

Beers Made by Walking - Eugene beers

8 Beers Inspired by the Southern Willamette Valley in Eugene

Beers Made By Walking (BMBW) invites brewers to create place-based beers inspired by plants found on nature walks. The first-ever Eugene-focused BMBW beer tapping event features 8 beers/ciders that were inspired by natural areas in the Eugene/Springfield area. The event takes place on November 5, beginning at 6pm, at the Bier Stein in Eugene.

The hike-inspired beers and cider come directly from a collaboration with the McKenzie River Trust, which sent experts to lead public, summer hikes with brewers on three conservation areas in the southern Willamette Valley. Brewers learned about private land conservation and water resources in the area, in addition to native and invasive plants. The brewers have been challenged to create a beer or cider that represents the trails they walked.

Beer list

Agrarian Ales – Close to Home
Yarrow centric with several other herbs that call the Willamette River floodplain home. Yarrow in the kettle, in the fermenter to inoculate culture, and in the keg. 8 IBU, 5% ABV

Claim 52 Brewing – Conservation Sour
Inspired by a walk through the Berggren Watershed Conservation Area. While enamored with all the property had to give we drew particular interest in the fresh scent of lemon balm, the taste and flavor of mustard seed to the natural habits plethora of pollinating plants. Which in the end drew us to concoct Conservation Sour incorporating lemon balm, mustard seed, honey, and hops. 5 IBU, 5.3% ABV

Elk Horn Brewery – Twisted Wood Belgian Saison
Orange colored Belgian Saison brewed with invasive fennel. 35 IBU, 7% ABV

Falling Sky Brewing
Official Melissa Lemon Balm Pale Ale. 40 IBU, 6.1% ABV

Oakshire Brewing – Down by The River
Brett fermented farmhouse ale with Chamomile and Lemon Balm. 29 IBU, 5% ABV

Plank Town Brewing – Foggy Scotsman Porter with Chocolate & Rosemary
Scottish-style porter with complex malty aromas of dark chocolate, honey, ripe figs, coffee and a hint of smokiness, with an extra chocolate backbone that dances lovely with rosemary. 25 IBU, 5.2%

Viking Braggot Co. – Panacea
Belgian Dubbel style braggot made with additions of elderberry, elder flower, blackberry honey and bee pollen. 25 IBU, 7.5% ABV

Wildcraft Cider Works – Confluence Stingo
A collaborative project with the Hagen family of Confluence Farms. Every ingredient used in its making was harvested from the property, by the family. Whole fermented Blueberries pressed and blended with a knapp weed and pennyroyal wine added to a neutral oak barrel for a secondary fermentation with a juice pressed of Gravenstein and Macintosh apples. 6.7% ABV

Each brewery is donating their unique beer and cider for this event. The proceeds will support the McKenzie River Trust’s work to help people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon.

The Bier Stein is located at 1591 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401.




July 2015 Eugene Craft Beer News

Oregon Beer Growler - July issue

Find the July issue of the Oregon Beer Growler online, all over Oregon, or by subscribing

July is Oregon Craft Beer Month, and amazing beer is flowing at events are underway all over the state.

There’s also lots of news and features in Oregon’s craft beer world. The July 2015 issue of the Oregon Beer Growler shares stories of pioneers and key figures in Oregon’s beer world, from beer writer Fred Eckhardt to the ins and outs of running beer festivals. I’ve also got a few briefs and features in here:

  • Bad Backs But Good Hearts: Volunteers Make Sasquatch a Success, p. 13
  • A Craft Brewery for Junction City, p. 16-17
  • Mancave Launches Bike Delivery, p. 17 & 20
  • Long Game Leads to Year-Round Lager, p. 17

The lager piece, about how Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing has been building to offering lagers in their flagship, year-round beers, is one I’ve been especially stoked about.

In other news, the Summer 2015 edition of Eugene Magazine is out, and is packed with tips on exploring Oregon this summer, an interesting dream home, paddle-boarding, and a tree-house primer. You can also check out my feature on Agrarian Ales, a farm and brewery near Coburg: “Farm-Fresh From Plate and Pint: Agrarian Ales offers seasonal food and ales.”

Now that you’ve got some reading material, here’s to curling up with a good beer too.




English-style Real Ale in Oregon

A Visit to Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge

Confession: my wife’s birthday was crap. She was sick and it was a rough, rough week. So we made up for it with a really, really good Mother’s Day of hiking in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, followed by a late lunch and a pint of English-style cask ale at the Brewers Union Local 180 in the wee town of Oakridge, about an hour’s drive southeast of Eugene. (The BUL is also part of the Eugene Ale Trail.)

Founder Ted Sobel learned the craft of cask ale from brewers in England. He brought it back Stateside and decided to set up shop in the downtown of Oakridge, a town once bustling with logging and now known more for mountain biking and outdoor recreation. It’s an unlikely spot for some unlikely beers, and we had a brilliant time.

True cask ale is a wonderful beer experience. I’ll leave it to Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to describe it:

Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

In other words, instead of forced CO2 and a chilled keg, real ale is typically served between 50-55ºF, and the carbonation comes from continuing fermentation in the cask. The beers change over time, and are complex in flavor and aroma, while also smooth and fun to drink.

The BUL is very family-friendly, and is made with traditional view of a pub in mind: it’s a place for the public to gather and be together.

In addition to the regular pool table, there is also a kid-size one. Books and games are everywhere. Live music is common. There are LED lights and bright colors, and wood paneling and dark corners. If this place were near my house, it would be a second home.

We feasted on fish-n-chips, steak-n-chips, and pints of light rye mild and Young Harry Porter—quite possibly my new favorite beer name.

So, for a truly unique Oregon beer experience that hails from across the continent and across the pond to England itself, take any chance you can to get to the Brewers Union Local 180. And if I can’t be there, have a pint for me.




3 May Eugene Craft Beer Articles

May has been a fun month for craft beer writing! Here are 3 big features about the Eugene, Oregon craft beer scene:




May Craft Beer Articles for Eugene & Lane County

May’s craft beer articles for the Eugene/Springfield area include one of my favorite topics to write about for the Oregon Beer Growler: women in the brewing industry. This year I had the privilege of interviewing Kate Price, who along with her husband Ben founded newcomer Hard Knocks Brewing in Cottage Grove. Our talk is on page 14 of the May Oregon Beer Growler, which you can read online or find in print all over the state.

Also, new for this month is an article for a new publication, Lane Monthly Magazine. Lane Monthly is highlighting the news, events, and lifestyle in the rest of Lane County. It was fun to talk up all the amazing craft beer happening in the rural areas outside Eugene/Springfield. Enjoy, cheers, and slainte!

And now I’d better get back to work. Deadlines ahead.




Hi.

Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

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