It’s that time of the year again when our NBA team the Portland Trailblazers start their season and we open the Tasting Room before their home games. The regular season kicks off this Wednesday when the Blazers take on the LA Lakers at the Rose Garden. Before this game and every other home game the Tasting Room will be open 6pm until tipoff (7 or 730pm) for your pregaming cheap beers. Check out the full schedule here.
New and Upcoming Bottled Beers
Late Harvest – The 2012 Late Harvest is out in Portland area bottle shops and in the brewery tasting room. This vintage was aged in second-use Big Bottom whiskey barrels and made with cubeb pepper, elderberries, and grains of paradise. The beer has its usual spicy and tart edge with a bit of cherry and other dark fruit notes in the back, giving it a character not unlike a Manhattan. As with all Late Harvest bottlings, this one will cellar quite well, developing more aromatic complexity over time while the acidity softens a bit.
Bad Brains – The next seasonal beer release will be a new lager with a label inspired by the band Bad Brains. Made in a similar vein to 2010′s “Clash Beer”, this nameless beer is essentially an imperial pilsener with some roasted malts added for color, yielding a dark brew with a nice balance. Not too far off from a traditional German-style schwarzbier, but leaning bitter and with more hop flavor. Expect kegs of this 6.4% abv lager in Portland-area bars in early November, with a special bottle release at Saraveza’s Bad Habit Room on Black Friday November 23rd. More details soon.
Fatali Four – Following the “Bad Brains Beer” will be the third release of Fatali Four, a special barrel aged version of our wheat beer with homegrown chile peppers added. As always, Upright master gardener “Snob” Ritch supplied the peppers. As of this writing two thirds of the batch is already soaking up the flavors and aromas from the fruit, and we expect the final round from the Marvin Estates very soon. The beer will then rest on the peppers for another handful of weeks before being blended and bottled. Conditioning should go relatively quick and we hope to release the Fatali Four by the end of the year
Fantasia – Now in the conditioning room at Upright is the second batch of Fantasia, brewed in September 2011 with 600 pounds of fresh Henry peaches from Baird Family Orchards. This lambic-esque beer has a wonderful nose full of fruit with gentle acidity from a mix of various yeasts and bacteria. It was matured in six barrels sourced from Artisanal Cellars for over a year before blending. The Fantasia takes some time to develop in the bottle and will spend the next couple months at the brewery before being released sometime in January.
Billy The Mountain – The upcoming Billy the Mountain, marking the fourth vintage, will follow along the processes of the previous by using a blend of roughly 75% freshly brewed strong ale to 25% barrel aged beer, in this case now two years old. This complex brew is bottled still (without carbonation) and will spend up to three months in the brewery cellar before the two components mesh into an old ale that will be ready to enjoy or lay down for several years. People enjoying the young beer can expect a respectably hopped and malty ale with almost no carbonation, while those who hold onto it will see the hops fade while the rest of the beer takes on a more vinous character with a spectrum of aromas, slowly producing CO2 along the way. The release is subject to proper conditioning time which is variable, but sometime in February is likely.
Draft Beer News
A draft version of the “Bad Brains Beer” will be out in early November. See above for details. Also getting kegged at the same time is our annual rauchbier, the Pear Wood Smoked Lager. Exactly how it sounds, this beer was produced using hand-smoked malt made in Upright’s custom smoker. The base beer is a malty amber lager which balances the gently smoked brew just right. Perfect to pair with hearty foods, expect to see it on tap at the Grain and Gristle and a few other local bars and restaurants.
Following the Pear Wood Smoked Lager will be a couple new Belgian-style one-offs for December and leading into January. The first, a session beer that will clock in around 4% abv will bring back the Todo Modo name from last year, again using a reasonably well hopped recipe that’s light and dry. After that we’ll brew a tribute beer for our friend and colleague Chris Spollen from Amnesia Brewing up the street. The beer, titled Spollen Angel, will be styled much like a tripel with a big fruity aroma and packing a punch with its high abv. Both the Todo Modo and Spollen Angel will use a special yeast strain new to the brewery.