February 15, 2010

On Saturday, my husband and I toured three brewpubs as part of ZwickelmaniA

A zwickel is a small tap on a large beer fermenter that allows the brew masters to sample the beer inside to check on the quality of the beer. So, essentially, we went around Portland trying beers from the zwickel and also the finished project. Some of the breweries praticiapating in Zwickelmania do not normally open the brew house for the public to tour.

Since my husband is a beer SNOB (I mean literally – he is a member of Support Native Oregon Beer), he was the one who picked out where we were going to go. Our first stop was Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub, home of Cascade Brewing. There, we tasted a few sour style beers from the zwickel, three beers that were being aged in oak, and one finished apricot sour beer.

From there, we took a little detour to a new home brew supply store called F.H. Steinbart Co. It is a very large homebrew supply store, with a staff member dedicated just to kegs, but they have very limited hours so that they can spend time with their families. It will be difficult for us to make it there ever.

Back to ZwickelmainA, we then went to the Rogue’s Green Dragon, where we got a tour. They are still in start up mode, and really only had one set of equipment going. The unique thing about the Green Dragon is that they allow the Oregon Brew Crew, which is a club of amateur beer makers, to come in, brew on a much smaller scale, and serve it in the Green Dragon at one of their 40 taps.

The Green Dragon also shares space with a distillery called Integrity Spirits, so we got a little side tracked from the beer. There, we sampled chamomile vodka, an unusual tasting gin, and unsweetened absinthe. Apparently, there was a Valentine’s Distillery Tour being put on by Portland’s Distillery Row, and while it would have been nice to join up, we had beer tasting and tours to get back to.

Our last stop was Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). This was probably the most informative tour, as they talked about equipment and showed us how hops that had been reduced into pellets took up less space than the natural flowers, and they were easier to clean up out of the vats when they were done. HUB claims to be the second largest brew pub in the state, where they are only counting beer sales of their beer within their pub.

From there, we went home, because the next day, we were going to be busy tasting wine.


One Response to “ZwickelmaniA!”

  1. […] the herbs and spices to become infused before the steam condenses back into spirit. My husband and I had been there before […]

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