BONUS POST!! Over the weekend we went to the KLCC Brew Fest in Eugene, Oregon. Put on by the local NPR station, it advertised over 80 breweries from around the west coast in attendance and a unique chance to taste collaboration brews as part of a tour of the world (more on that in a moment), as well as live music and raffle drawings. It sounded like a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Fifteen dollars bought a commemorative tasting glass and two tickets that could be redeemed at any of the brewery station for a sample of one of their beers on tap. After entering the convention center, we may our way around the floor, taking in the sights and determining what we wanted to taste first. What caught my eye first was a stout named Snag Patch from Arch Rock Brewing Company. I quickly traded in my ticket and got my first sample of the day, and it did not disappoint. Full bodied and malty with a hint of chocolate, I was sad when it was gone in a few sips and looked longingly at my empty glass, trying to resist the urge to use my last ticket on another sample. Finally exerting some will-power I made sure to look up their location, so I can plan a visit in the future. Don’t be surprised when you see them show up here someday soon.
Next, we decided to give the tour of the world a whirl. Five dollars later and we had our score cards and a game plan. The neat idea behind this tour was to pair breweries together and have them brew a unique beer from somewhere around the world. From a Jamaican Caribbean stout to an ancient Egyptian style beer, there were some creative offerings. I even enjoyed the Gose despite my usual avoidance of anything sour. I love seeing collaboration beers as I think they often bring out the best in terms of creative beer brewing and thought this was the best part of the event.
Finally, I went back to wandering around trying to find where I wanted to spend my last ticket. I eventually settled on Caldera Brewing out of Ashland, Oregon. Their Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter quickly filled my glass and went across my palate. I was a little apprehensive as I’ve had coconut beers before that overdid the coconut, however they found a nice balance between that and the chocolate to create a slightly sweet dark beer that I quite enjoyed. It too sadly disappeared way too soon.
All in all, I think this event was a hit and I enjoyed myself. I would love to see some of the collaboration beers show up on tap at the local breweries and hope we see more of those ideas at next years event. The only suggestion I have would be to bring more food trucks next year so we can pair beer with unique food creations, but it is a minor critique and certainly won’t stop me from coming back!