Saturday, March 29, 2008

High Tide Fresh Hop IPA

Here is another picture. It's of Port Brewing's High Tide Fresh Hop IPA. From reading BeerAdvocate, this beer was released last fall, so here in late March, I am guessing its flavor profile may have mellowed. I thought it was very good, and if it had mellowed, it must have been fantastic last fall. I like fresh hoped IPAs. They have strong hop flavor but a lower alcohol level. This beer had an ABV of 6.5% that is lower than many IPAs.

(I took this picture with my iPhone. Getting the picture into Blogger is a nightmare as it always imports on its side. I had to duplicate the picture and save it to the desktop before importing it in order to get it to stand up straight. I need to experiment to get a higher quality photo and background.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anderson Valley Imperial IPA

I have never been a huge fan of Anderson Valley's beers. In general, I think they are OK, but will always choose another craft brewery when given the choice. This afternoon I picked up Anderson's twentieth anniversary Imperial IPA and drank it this evening. Quite a beer, to say the least. It does not jump up to my list of favorite double IPAs (Dorado, Ruination and Pure Hoppiness to name a few) but it has a magnificent flavor profile and is a superb beer. The label says it has twenty different hops and significant malts. It pours a deep amber with a rich head. The bitterness was there for sure, but the malt was at the forefront, too. To me, it tastes like Alesmith's Holiday Yulesmith, which is an imperial red ale. It sure was good. Much better than Pizza Port's Imperial Red Ale. It gives me new respect for Anderson Valley's beers.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is not known as a beer town, but the number of breweries is surprising. I was at a conference there this week and saw brews from Uinta, Squatters and Wasatch. (Squatters and Wasatch have common ownership.) Not too bad. To sell beer in a bar Utah law requires an alcohol level of 4% or less. Brewers make higher alcohol beer but not for consumption in a bar. I saw pale ales, pilsners, and the catch-all amber ales. I had a Uinta Cutthroat Pale in Delta's Crown Room. It was drinkable, but not memorable. I had a draft amber ale at a reception from an unspecified local brewer, and it was horrible and undrinkable. A Wasatch Devastator Double Bock in the bottle was good. It is an 8% double bock (a style I am not that familiar with) that was sweet, malty and refreshing. This is a drinkable beer that would be good with dessert.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I was in Portland (Oregon) last week and had a short time after some meetings to scout out restaurants for a longer trip to Oregon at the end of the month. I went into Henry's 12th Street Tavern, which was right across the street from where I had my all-day meeting, and had a taster of Hopworks Organic IPA and Double Mountain Hot Lava IPA. The Double Mountain was forgettable. The Hopworks had a great smell and great hop taste. Its color was pale and belied its hop presence. I thought it may need more balance but would need a full pint to pass definitive judgment. I would like to try the Hopworks again. Henry's is a beer bar and not appropriate for kids, so my stay was short.

I walked down to the Bridgeport Brewpub and Bakery at 1313 Northwest Marshall in the Pearl District. From what I had read Bridgeport's brewpub underwent an extensive remodel and recently reopened. What a cool place. It is family-friendly, too, with a kids' menu and a full menu that goes beyond the typical brewpub. This place does not mess around. I had a Bridgeport IPA and it was served in a 20 oz. pint glass with no discernible head - beautiful - the way all beers should be served. This is a mild IPA, but no wallflower. It is a flavorful, reserved beer in the English-style, not a West Coast hop-bomb. It was light orange and cloudy. It was a compelling beer that made you want to drink more. It has been a week and am looking forward to having another pint or two in a few weeks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Sculpin Experience

I had the Sculpin growler over a couple of nights. The first thing you notice is the smell. Hop aroma filled the kitchen when I opened the growler and poured the Sculpin into an English pint glass. The flavor matched the smell. A strong hop bitterness that was well balanced with malt. It is an excellent IPA and better than the Big Eye, which I enjoy. The aroma.....