Portland Fruit Beer Festival 2013

June 10, 2013

This last Saturday, I went to the Portland Fruit Beer Festival for the thrid year in a row. We got there at about 11am, and because of the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, parking was horrible as always. I think this festival is also growing, as it was starting to get pretty packed when we left at 1:30.

Before I start talking about the beer, I should make a note that there was a “ticket creep.” Last year, it was $20 for 10 tickets, and this year it was $20 for 12 tickets. Where is the creep in that, you ask? More and more of the beers cost two tickets, so you were actually consuming less. However, we still feel like this was a very good value, and fruit beer is expensive to make.

There were a lot of similar things there. For example, my husband Burtle started with a New Belgium Brewing Love with Cherry and Nectarines, while I started with Logston Farmhouse Cerasus. Both were very similar and kriek like (sour cherry beer), though Burtle’s was slightly sweeter. Both were very good, though I’m not sure which one I liked better.

The festival kept promoting Breakside Brewery’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, where they put entire pies into the beer. However, I found it to be lacking and disappointing. I actually heard others around saying the same thing. However, Two Towns Ciderhouse Rhubarbarian actually tasted of rhubarb, which it a difficult thing to ferment and still taste like. I think it would be excellent paired with a strawberry pie. This cider was one of the highlights of the festival.

Besides the Rhubarbarian, the other rememberable/really good beer was 10 Barrel Brewing Cucumber Crush. It really did taste of cucumbers with a touch of lemon, and was very refreshing.

Other tasting notes:

  • The other similar beer was the Beer Valley Brewing Oregonberry Wheat, which I felt was better than the Lompoc Brewing Cherry Wheat.
  • Bushwhacker Cidery did a collaboration with Upright Brewing, so it was a cider blended with rye beer that had been aged in wine barrels with Brett and currents. The cider portion was a rose hip cider aged in a hazelnut rum barrel. Once blended, it was all added to a whisky barrel for a week. I write all this because it was just a lost drink. It didn’t know what it was or what it should be. The two krieks were better.
  • The Commons Brewery had a Bier Royale with black currents. Something was wrong with that beer, as it tasted like butter.
  • Burtle got a Burnside Brewery Co. Ivill Krushu, which had an amazing nose on it that I swore I’ve had before at the Holiday Ale Fest. I think what it was 10 Barrel Brewing Co. Frosty’s revenge, where both of these beers were aged on figs and dates. The result is a darker malty caramel beer with some sugar.
  • My last beer was a Lucky Lab Brewing Blue Raspberry Lager. It was an okay beer, but they tried to make it blue, but it wanted to be golden, so it was almost a green beer. It was a little odd.
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