Saturday, September 12, 2015

Returning to Culmination, Baerlic & Tugboat

Yesterday John had a few hours free, so he decided to hit a few breweries to see what was new. Here's his recap:

I started at Culmination where, at 1 in the afternoon, the brewery and the bar were both humming along. Culmination has more than a dozen of their own beers on tap, plus a few carefully selected guest taps. I tried 3 of their IPA's and a couple of sour beers. The Vic's Secret was my favorite of the bunch - I have a soft spot for new hop varieties and single-hop beers. 

On to Baerlic Brewing. I got there right as they opened at 2, and by 2:30 there was already a decent crowd, including a dozen-strong tour group. 

The highlight of my drinking day was Baerlic's cask -- their Invincible IPA. It had been dry-hopped with the first Oregon-grown Amarillo hops. Amarillo's were formerly exclusive to Virgil Gamache farms in the Yakima Valley. I could smell the hops from a couple of feet away from the pint glass. The beer was cloudy -- due to the sheer volume of hops -- and delicious. The fresh hops gave a nice spicy edge to the beer that complimented the usual Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo hops in the standard Invincible.

Onward to Tugboat Brewing, a brewery which, much like an actual Tugboat, takes it's own path and perseveres through Portland's crowded brewery scene. Tugboat is one of Portland's oldest breweries, pouring their house beers since 1993. I was lucky enough to run into owner Megan McEnroe-Nelson who poured me their just-tapped Hoppy Jalopy IPA (great name) and their flagship 13% Chernobyl stout. 

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