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Sweet and Sour in Portland

By Joe Ruvel · August 17th, 2013 · No Comments

I have tried to make this comparison before and have not done the best job, but let me try again here. I have been lucky over the past few years to have some amazing wines. Some of the best I have had are from Burgundy. Which overall has a better cost/value proposition than Bordeaux. A word-class wine is of course a somewhat subjective classification, but usually it takes a combination of a few things (land, weather, wine maker, year). And the cost can vary a lot but it is almost over $100.

If you are a beer nerd in 2013 – you are a lot luckier. You can find so many amazing world-class beers in many different parts of the country and for A LOT cheaper. Yes beer prices for premium craft beer does keep going up but you are, in most cases, paying for attention to detail and better ingredients.

Sometimes this idea of how lucky I am to love beer and how many amazing beers there are to try, hits me like a big brick. This happened in Portland in general and most of all when I was sitting with my friend Bill trying beer after delicious beer at Cascade Brewing Barrel House.

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2 dollar tastes people!! If you like sour beer this is a temple to sour. They have worked very very hard to age, flavor, and deliver these beers to you. And then you can try them all (not having to buy a whole bottle) and relish in all the sour glory.

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Of course my notes from a few weeks ago are not great but you can get the idea of the fun:

Lemon-A-Peel – aged a long time – lemon cream flavor

Summer gose – salty delicious

Strawberry – eh – not bad but also not my favorite

Elderberry – great berry flavor – big sour punch

Tangerine dream – one of my favorites – huge flavor – good carb – sour!!

Honey-gin-lime – like the best soda you ever had. Loved it

I want to go back already.

And then to further my argument of the power of beer at our fingertips – close by is another temple to beer - Hair of the Dog. Barrel aged beer is their bag and oh my do they do it well. You want vintages – they have beers for sale from when they started around 1993!

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I went for their barleywine vertical – Doggie Claws 08,09,10,12. And in honor of my dad (and Michael Jackson beer hunter) – I tried the very good blended flanders red Michael.

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You want to experience some of the best beer in America? – I got a cool area of Portland for you to spend a few hours and not that much money.

In-the-area-non-beer-tip:

Near these two breweries is a great coffee shop called Water Ave Coffee. You can even get oak barrel aged sumatra coffee. We had it iced and it was pretty amazing. I talked to them about the process and the nice barista told me that they were letting some oak barrel pieces sit with the coffee beans for a few days before brewing the coffee. I think that I remember they might even do this before they roast the coffee (on site!) and it really does give it a nice light oak vanilla flavor. They are still experimenting with it – so fun things ahead.

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Tags: Beerventures · Tastings · Travel