Laurelwood Brewery (Portland, Oregon) – Organic Free Range Red
I got this bottle right when I heard that they just started bottling their Red. I’ve had it on tap numerous times and boy, it sure tastes great out of a bottle too! Nice work Laurelwood, you’ve never ever let me down! The beer is a red color, not as dark and mahogany as many of the reds I’ve recently had. The flavor is like toasted bread and caramels. There is an initial wonderful taste and it just continues to warm up; it just gets better and better as you sit there. I appreciate this beer because it has a lot of characteristics of a good IPA, but it’s much earthier and warmer. It seems to be a good beer for fall, winter, and early spring.

Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, California) – Pliny The Elder IPA
Pliny The Elder is well-known among Oregonian beer lovers. It’s definitely a beer that we are jealous that California brews it and we don’t. Some consider this one of the best beers ever brewed. I agree…one of the best, but maybe not the best (Ever tried the Double Mountain IRA???) It has all the makings of a great IPA: the pine needle aroma and taste, a great hop burst, some citrusy flavors including grapefruit, and a warm ride, and an aftertaste that keeps going. It’s a lot of fun to taste this one. Unfortunately, if you are not in certain parts of California it may be hard to find. For Portland, It occasionally comes to New Seasons and Belmont Station. I’ve had it on tap at Henry’s and I’m sure Horse Brass gets it occasionally. I picked up a few of them when I heard it was in town.

Bridgeport Brewery (Portland, Oregon) – Hop Harvest Ale
This is a triple hopped beer. Enough said right? So you are expecting to be completely blown away. Unless you know your Bridgeport beers, you will be expecting to be blown away. However, Bridgeport has a more refined taste. Their Imperial Hop Czar was way crazier than this beer. This one is nowhere near as piney and doesn’t burst with outrageously intense bitterness. But it’s not called the Hop Czar is it? No, it’s the Hop Harvest. The taste is actually closer to the normal, lovely IPA they produce but with extra strength from the hops and an extra freshness, and at imperial levels. I don’t think it’s meant to be a “Skull Splitter,” “Hop Monster,” or “Tricerahops.” Not that any of those beers are wrong, they are all good. I call this an excellent beer; this beer is very well crafted and unexpectedly maintains the classic IPA that Oregonians have come to love. It comes with a nice green foil too. Thank you Bridgeport.

This post was originally posted on beerandscifi.com