Tag Archives: beer

Pacific Northwest Craft Beers to Try This Summer

IMG_5195On Saturday night, we decided to head out to the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival in downtown Medford. We split our time about 50/50 between enjoying delicious brews and laughing at try-hard hipster outfits. Speaking of which, are sweatshorts a thing now? And I’m not talking about the athleisure trend, I’m talking about $5 Walmart sweatpants cut off at the knee. I saw at least three guys wearing them last night paired with chucks, and I don’t really know how to react to that. I’m currently stuck somewhere between “ew” and “but I do love sweatpants.” It was kind of like this:

Source, in case you want to buy some for your man.

Source, in case you want to buy some for your man.

Anyway, enough about hipster clothing. I’m really writing this post to tell you about my favorite brews from the night so that you can try them out this summer. Before we start, I feel like I should warn you: if you’re looking for a serious beer review containing phrases like “mouth feel” and “intricate lacing,” this won’t be that. This is more, “what I’ll be drinking this summer while watching Netflix in my underwear in front of a box fan.”

Ninkasi Brewing Company, Dawn of the Red

ninkasi-dawn-of-the-red--23694-991z
Everyone in Northern California seems to be raving about the Eugene-based Ninkasi Brewing Company right now … and now I can see why. Their Dawn of the Red India Red Ale was easily my favorite from the entire night. I like me a super hoppy IPA, but even if you don’t typically like IPAs/IRAs you should still give it a try. It’s got a slightly fruity flavor (the label says it’s brewed with mangoes, papaya, and pineapple) that mellows the hoppiness a bit. Plus, how cool is the name? It’s a special release, so I’m not sure if you’ll see it in stores. If you do, pick it up.

OakShire Brewing Espresso Stout

bottle_template_StoutI wasn’t originally going to try this one, but I’m SO glad I did – this may be my favorite coffee/espresso stout I’ve tasted. I love coffee, and my main complaint with espresso stouts is that the java flavor isn’t strong enough. However, this was like drinking a glass of iced coffee. The whole time I was drinking it, I kept thinking, “This would go so great with a giant piece of chocolate cake.” (Then again, when do I *not* think that.) These guys are from Eugene too – apparently we need to plan a road trip, stat.

2 Towns Ciderhouse Hop & Stalk

hopAndStalkI mentioned that I love a hoppy beer, and I also love cider, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this imperial hopped cider from the Corvallis-based 2 Towns Ciderhouse. If you’re not a beer fan, you’ll probably love this – it’s super fruity, and it’s made with red rhubarb and fresh-pressed apples. It’s 8% ABV and goes down easily, which means this is a good choice if you’re looking for a nice buzz with not a lot of effort 🙂

Hop Valley Citrus Mistress IPA

hop-valley-citrus-mistre-24039-543zI’ve raved about Hop Valley’s Citrus Mistress IPA before, but I couldn’t leave it off the list. It’s tart, refreshing, and the grapefruit flavor isn’t too overpowering. I’m no expert but I feel like it would go really well with fish tacos. Mmm, fish tacos.

That’s it! If you can’t find these in stores near you, then there’s really only one solution: Plan a trip to Oregon right this minute.

Voodoo Doughnut Beer + FlipBelt Review

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen that we tried a kind of unusual beer on Friday night:

Voodoo Doughnut BeerIt first caught my eye because PINK BOTTLE! but then when I realized it was a collaboration with Voodoo Doughnut, I knew I had to buy it. Verdict: It definitely smelled like a delicious doughnut, but it wasn’t over-the-top sweet – to me, it just tasted like a mild chocolate ale. I couldn’t detect the banana or peanut butter flavor at all, but that’s probably because my 29-year addiction to processed cheese products has ruined my palate.

On Sunday I figured I’d do some running to counteract my beer drinking, so I headed out to the trail around the lake to take my new FlipBelt for a spin. I’m going to share my thoughts with you, mostly so I can say that one of the over 300 posts on this blog has been useful. You’re welcome.

While a couple of things annoyed me, overall I am a huge fan. Let’s start with how it works: Basically, it’s a stretchy tube with several openings around it that allow you to slide items into the tube. You then flip the belt over so the openings are flush against your body, keeping all your items secure:

FlipBelt 1

Like this.

I took my phone, chapstick, house key, and energy chews, and it all fit easily. However – I would suggest sizing up if you would prefer the belt to sit on your hips as opposed to your waist. I had planned to wear mine down lower, but after about a half mile of having to tug it down every few steps, I just gave up and let it sit up around my natural waist where it wanted to be. It actually didn’t bug me as much as I thought it would, since it wasn’t too tight and didn’t bounce around at all, but if I had to go back I’d definitely size up.

I was also impressed that I was able to fit all that crap into the belt and it didn’t look like I had a massive spare tire under my shirt:

FlipBelt 2

Pro tip: Take blog pictures BEFORE your run to avoid pit stains.

Verdict?

Question of the day: What’s the weirdest beer you have tried? Aside from the Voodoo concoction up there, mine would probably be banana bread beer. (Which Dave and I both really liked. Maybe we both have messed up taste buds.)