First off, I'll apologize for the hiatus in blog posts, I was out of town for the holidays. I'm about a month or two behind in posting beers that I've tried, so I'll probably be posting quite a few in the next couple days. However, if there are certain beers/topics/ideas that you're interested in, don't hesitate to email me or post about it. I also have my newest homebrew, the Shah Mat, which should be up and ready to drink in the next few weeks.
Over Thanksgiving I was up in my home state of Oregon. In addition to enjoying the cold weather and the home cooked meals, I did quite a bit of beer sampling... well, drinking; "sampling" conjures images of standing around at posh bars, while tuxedo wearing waiters with pencil mustaches pour you shot sized portions and give you a disdainful eye when you belch and ask for more. No, this was more like taking down a 22 on my own with perhaps the small indulgence by my parents, who were curious about the different types of beers I was drinking.
For those of you who haven't been fortunate enough to ever visit Oregon, the first thing about beer drinking that you have to understand is that drinking good beer up there is much more common place than it is in other states. I was once told that there are more micro(craft)breweries in Portland than in the rest of the nation combined. I don't know if that stat, is still or, was ever true, but just walking into an ordinary supermarket in the Beaver state you'll be pretty floored by the selection of beers made available to you. It's a refreshing site when you're used to seeing the same old generics at California grocers, next time I'll have to take a picture.
Most of the beers you'll find are from Pacific Northwest region. There are always a few other labels from around the country that get mixed in, but mostly it's Oregon beers. It's a subtlety that I enjoy as it feels like I'm buying local, but also obtaining access to a number of smaller, less well distributed brewers who otherwise would be impossible to try.
Highlighted on this trip was the Ninkasi Brewery out of Eugene that has been growing in leaps and bounds, both in scale and popularity. Definitely worth trying are their double and single IPAs, the Tricerahops and the Total Domination, respectively. I enjoyed both beers immensely, although I slightly preferred the Total Domination, which I found to be a little cleaner in its taste. However, I got so excited about these two that I forgot to write down tasting notes. I also tried the Believer Double Red, the Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Sleighr, which is their seasonal. Next up are four reviews on some of the beers I took the time to write notes on.