July may be Craft Beer Month, time of 47 fests and great pandemonium, but December is craft brewer's month. 'Tis the season when brewers' sugar plum dreams are made manifest in the most extravagant beers. (Hey, sugar plums, that gives me an idea....) In this omnibus post, I hope to catch everthing I find especially noteworthy. Please revise if I missed something.
It's not enough for breweries to release one winter ale; two is now de rigeuer. Old Lompoc is the outlier with six (!). These are in addition to the beers released in past weeks or those already discussed here.
- Alameda Papa Noel - English-style winter warmer hopped with Fuggles (7.7% abv).
- Amnesia Sleighjacker, Frosty's Revenge - No info.
- Amnesia Kuykendall - A strong, hoppy pilsner aged 6 months.
- Caldera Cauldron Brew (Dec 15) - No info on this year's version.
- Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout - A massive beer spiced with a potpourri of peppercorn, licorice, chocolate, and lavendar (10.3% abv).
- Cascade/Raccoon Lodge Baltic Porter - Barrel aged, available on tap and in 22s (8.5%).
- Double Mountain Fa-La-La-La-La - a "hop bomb" with 83 BUs of Centennial hops (7.6% abv).
- Heater Allen Sandy Paws - Cross between a doppel and schwarzbier (6.7% abv). Only 42 cases bottled.
- Laurelwood Weihnachtsfest Doppelbock - Made from imported malts and hops (8% abv).
- Old Lompoc Blitzen - Dry-hopped with coriander and orange peel (5% abv).
- Old Lompoc Brewdolph - Belgian-style strong ale made with honey and wheat (8.8% abv).
- Old Lompoc C-Sons Greetings - Strong ale hopped with all seven C-named hops: Cluster, Columbus, Challenger, Chinook, Crystal, Cascade, and Centennial (8% abv).
- Old Lompoc Jolly Bock - Strong bock (7% abv).
- Old Lompoc Old Tavern Rat - A barley wine cellared for ten months prior to release (9% abv).
- Old Lompoc Holiday Cheer - Robust porter infused with vanilla beans (7% abv).
- Pelican Perfect Storm - 2007 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.
- Roots Chocolate Habanero Stout (Dec 10) - brewed with chocolate wheat malt, cacao nibs, and Alma Chocolate and "dry hopped" with habaneros.
- Roots Epic (Dec 18) - Hand-smoked Munich malt over cherry wood soaked in Glenlivet Scotch, cognac, and cherries. Available at the brewery and also in 22s and jereboams. (14% abv)
- Widmer Babushka's Secret - (Gasthaus only) Black raspberry-infused imperial stout (9% abv)
One winter beer fest is not enough, you say. You're in luck: Amnesia's hosting their first winter fest, and it includes a bunch of breweries that didn't make it into the Holiday Ale Fest (and some that did), including Caldera, Double Mountain, Lucky Lab, Roots, Walking Man and, oh yeah, Amnesia. Proceeds benefit the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation.
Amnesia Winter Ale Fest
832 N Beech St.;
Noon- 9 pm, Sat, Dec. 13th
Just in time for the holiday office party, Angelo notes that Old Lompoc just had their first bottling. Following Roots in the mobile-bottling tradition, they just had Green Bottling over to package up some C-Note and Lompoc Strong Ale.
Lost in the mix, a new brewery planned.
And another one opened in Gresham:
The Brewtal Brewing Co., formed by Bend resident Tony Lawrence, will be the region’s eighth brewing company. Lawrence began moving into a small warehouse near downtown Bend on Tuesday and will begin building the brewery he hopes will fill its first keg this spring.
“I’ll be brewing ales, like most craft breweries do, IPAs, pale ales,” Lawrence said. “Some guys are over the top heavy-handed with hops, but that’s not my school. I’m a more traditional, balanced brewer.”
Yesterday, the 4th Street Brewing Co. opened its doors in the town of Gresham. While the Grand Opening won’t take place for another month or so (January 16-17), you can stop buy for lunch or dinner Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Owner and brewer Adam Roberts has been brewing beers in the new space for about a month. What’s he been making? Well, five beers — Gresham Light, Demented Duck Amber (that’s just a brilliant name), Black Roots Blonde, Powell Porter, and Eager Beaver IPA — will always be available, while the brewpub will rotate several seasonal and specialty beers throughout the year.
Had enough? Me, too. Time for a beer.