Portland Winter Beer: Four Must-Try Local Seasonals
Portland has great beer all year round, but something about long winter nights and seasonal cheer brings out the best from our brewers. Here are four of the most unique seasonal beers of 2012. Drink and be merry!
Breakside New Nordic Porter: The newest brew from Breakside was made especially for Metrovino’s upcoming Aquavit Week. Over a pound of caraway, fennel pollen and dill pollen come together to create a surprisingly savory compliment to the sweet anise spirit. Stop by Metrovino on Tuesday, December 11, to try the New Nordic Porter paired with an array of aquavits. If you can’t make it Tuesday evening, head to Breakside Brewery or The Hop and Vine for more chances to try this unique beer.
Cascade Winter Gose: Although both the sun and geese have left Portland, the Winter Gose has nested at the Cascade Barrel House for the season. This take on a traditional German beer is livened up with seasonal flavors from cranberries to make a lighter and easy to drink winter ale. The Winter Gose is perfect for beer drinkers who are looking for something to cheerful and bright. If you hold a glass of this bright yellow-orange beer up to the light, you may even remember what the sunset looks like before you head back out into the dark Portland winter night.
Double Mountain Fa La La La La: No Portland beer list would be complete without an exceptional hoppy beer and, thanks to Double Mountain, hop lovers can rest assured that they are not being overlooked during this malty winter season. The brewers at Double Mountain have found a way to make an incredibly hop-forward beer seasonally appropriate by mixing the perfect amount of organic Pilsner and Munich malts with Centennial hops. The harmony between these two flavors is so great that it completely rationalizes calling this beer Fa La La La La. If you can’t make the trip to Hood River to try it from the Double Mountain Taproom then head to Apizza Scholls or The Hop and Vine bottle shop to get your winter hop fix.
Lompoc 8 Malty Nights: You don’t have to be Chosen to enjoy this Chanukah seasonal. English style hops give it a light hoppy flavor that allows the roasted chocolate, caraway and sweet malty flavors to take center stage. Seasonal beers often go overboard to be noticed, but 8 Malty Nights is a beer with great balance. The brewers at Lompoc avoid an over sweet beer with a subtle saltiness, and don’t allow the inherent smokiness of porters to overpower the rest of the ingredients that make this beer great. Find bottles of this in well-stocked bottle shops like Belmont Station and Hop and Vine.