Sunday, June 17, 2012

Southern Oregon Craft Beer Festival

Well, it just so happened that I was home in time for Medford Beer Week here in Southern Oregon. Great planning on my part.

So Saturday was spent perusing the offerings at what is possibly the second year of an ever growing event. Most of the breweries were from Southern Oregon, with a few reaching into Eastern Oregon and beyond. I felt a little bad that one of my favorite beers from the whole festival was definitely not a local one. Damn you, New Belgium Brewing for creating a line of interesting, delicious new flavors.

Here are some of the beers I sampled:

Quick Wit Witbeer
Light and refreshing, overall a great example of a wheat beer.

Sweet As Pacific Ale
Passion Fruit notes, light and refreshing but not overly fruity. I really liked this one because a) I love fruity beers and b) I extra love passion fruit.

New Belgium Brewing Fort Collins, CO
Lips of Faith Cocoa Mole
Spicy finish, notes of honey and cocoa...I want to try this as a beer float. It left the burning sensation of spicy food in my mouth, with notes of chocolate and honey at the forefront. Definitely not something I can drink quickly and I might have broken into a sweat from the heat of the chipotle...

Their Lips of Faith series also includes a lychee beer, which I tried earlier in the week. I'm pretty excited about New Belgium's venture into the realm of experimental flavor crafting!

Connor Fields Applegate, OR
Second Nature Saison
Light, with notes of a white but without the tangy flavor in Shock Top or similar whites.
This brewery doesn't seem to have their own page yet, but you can follow them on facebook

Anthem Cider
Similar to Strongbow, not sweet, slightly dry with lots of fruit notes. Very easy to drink and refreshing.
They also had a hopped cider called the Anthem Hop, which I didn't like very much, but I'm not into hoppy beers so why would I like a hoppy cider?

Sierra Nevada Chico, CA
Kellerweis Hefeweizen
A light and refreshing hefe, great for a hot summer's day.

Raspberries Gone Wild
This is a special release raspberry sour and it definitely lived up to that name. Fruity without a hint of sweetness. I actually liked this, but it was not something I could drink a whole 6 pack of. 

Phat Matt's Redmond, OR
I liked the brewery's logo more than I like the beer. My partner in tasting had their Red Ale and was also unimpressed. They guy pouring seemed super nice though and I hope that they do well, but the beer just isn't there yet. They are a relatively new brewery, so I hope that they get a few brews under their belt and improve in the years to come.

Radiant Seasonal Ale
A red ale from a recent Oregon powerhouse brewery. Ninkasi has really hit the forefront in the world of Oregon microbreweries and this was my first beer of theirs. Reds aren't my favorite, but they are ok. This one was good, not too hoppy. I don't remember the exact flavors because it was the last beer I tasted, which meant it was the last in a long list.