roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz


19 Nov 2008 - 2:55:55 PM
Beer Blogging Amateur Hour

Ah, my first beer post. I'm going to start with the brewpubs I visited on last month's road trip to Oregon. All those I visited before then... well, guess I'll just have to re-visit them at some point in the future.

Update (8 Jan 2011): Adding a few more beers from my old notes. They weren't detailed, but oh well. Figured I should finally list everything I'd recorded.

Cascade Lakes - Redmond, OR
Didn't visit the brewery itself, but got a taster tray at their 7th St Brewhouse. Unfortunately, I didn't take any notes on the beers, except for which was my favorite. The staff were pretty friendly and patient -- I showed up after 9:30 for dinner when they were closing at 10, and they were very accommodating.

Rob's pick: Monkey Face Porter
Runner-up: Blonde Bombshell

Bend Brewing Co. - Bend, OR
I'd been here once before, but the pint glass I bought (with their old, ugly logo) broke on the way back home. Their new glasses have a much nicer logo on them. Whenever a group of us climbing at Smith would go into Bend for dinner and beer, we would always end up at the Deschutes brewpub, and now I know why. Both the food and the beer are much better there. The BBC is much less crowded, though. They were out of their award-winning Hop-Head Imperial IPA, unfortunately.

    Rob's Picks
  • Metolius Golden Ale - good, refreshing
  • Pinnacle Porter - pretty good
    The Rest
  • High Desert Hefeweizen - meh
  • Elk Lake IPA - meh, not crisp
  • Outback Old Ale - okay
  • Scotch Ale (seasonal) - okay

Silver Moon - Bend, OR
This is now my favorite Bend brewpub. I showed up on a Sunday night, and there was a roller derby girl Halloween party going on. Awesome. Plus, the beer is good. And the staff are very cool. They only had five of their beers available, unfortunately, but it was enough.

    Rob's Picks
  • Hop Knob IPA - pretty cool
  • Bridge Creek Pilsner - nice
  • Badlands ESB - not so bitter, but smooth
    The Rest
  • Hound's Tooth Amber - okay
  • Pumpkinhead (seasonal) - in general I'm not a fan of pumpkin ales, and this one was no exception. Sampler size was enough for me.

Three Creeks - Sisters, OR
Located to your left (south) as you drive into Sisters on Highway 20 from Bend. Wooden building that's easy to miss if you're not looking for it. This is the place where the owner/manager guy asked if would be blogging about my visit. So you can blame him. Opened in July, so it's pretty new.

    Rob's Picks
  • 8 Second IBA - dark IPA - interesting, dark but not heavy, with a bit of a hoppy edge. (Unfortunately, not listed on their web site anymore...)
  • Knotty Blonde - pretty good
  • Oatmeal Porter - not bad
    The Rest
  • Stonefly Rye - okay, similar to Knotty Blonde
  • Old Prospector Pale Ale - okay
  • Anvil Amber - okay
  • Firestone Red - okay
  • Organic Special Golden - blah, minimal hops

Block 15 - Corvallis, OR
This place had 13 beers on tap, but the taster tray was limited to five. Probably for the best because a lot of their beers had pretty high alcohol content. Not that that's a bad thing. Since this was the first brewpub after the beer blogging suggestion, the pictures will start here.

    Rob's Picks
  • Alpha IPA - hoppy and crisp, kinda citrusy. Yum!
  • Print Master's Pale Ale - quite nice, very drinkable
  • Aboriginale - Big! Like this better than Print Master's, actually. 7.1%!
    The Rest
  • Chocolate Porter - very chocolatey, maybe too much so
  • Nebula Oatmeal Stout - kinda weak, but at 6.8% it won't take much to do the trick

Block 15
Block 15 sampler block and logo glass - Corvallis, OR

Oregon Trail - Corvallis, OR
Oregon Trail Brewery is in an odd location. It's tucked into a corner of the Old World Deli, which has all sorts of old European facades inside to give you the feeling that you've stepped into a 19th century European village. Unfortunately, the cheap, cafeteria-style tables and chairs detract from the feeling. The little deli in the back has the Oregon Trail beer on tap, but they don't have any formal taster trays. One of the women working there improvised with those little plastic salsa containers, though, and she gave me some complimentary chips to go along with the pint I eventually ordered. Did a brewery tour, which was fun. They've crammed a lot into their small but vertical footprint -- the rooms aren't particularly big, but they have three floors and have incorporated gravity into the beer-making process. Fun. Also got to try their Hopdoctor, a hopped-up version of the Beaver Tail, and it was really good.

    Rob's Picks
  • Wit - very drinkable, really nice balance
  • Brown Ale - very drinkable
  • Beaver Tail Kolsch - very drinkable
    The Rest
  • IPA - hoppy and crisp, but more on the soapy than citrusy side
  • Ginseng Porter - odd but okay. Ginseng flavor not too overpowering, but brewer said they were dialing it down a bit.

Oregon Trail
Old World Deli refreshment - Corvallis, OR

Calapooia Brewing - Albany, OR
I liked this place. Some of their beer was pretty light and they all seemed filtered, but after the past few beer-soaked days, it was a pleasant change of pace. If they have their seasonal Fresh Hop Rye on tap, you should definitely get that.

    Rob's Picks
  • Devil's Hole Stout - really nice
  • Box Car Brown - really nice
  • Riverdog ESB - crisp, good
  • Fresh Hop Rye - really nice
  • Big Aft Pale Ale - "Big" in name only. Light, but nice. Original name was "Big Ass."
    The Rest
  • White Water Wheat - very light
  • SantiAmber Ale - light, but decent
  • Tugboat IPA - not too crisp or hoppy, but pleasant

Calapooia
Enjoying the fine beverages of Calapooia Brewing - Albany, OR

Whew! This beer blogging is hard work. I think I need a beer...

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15 Nov 2008 - 5:31:31 PM
Hey, a Blog Post

I've been unemployed for over a month now, though, so it's time I finally did something productive, right? At the moment, blogging now counts as being productive. So, let's see, during a brief road trip last month down and around Oregon, I did some rock climbing at Smith Rock and visited some friends in Corvallis. Along the way I stopped at various microbreweries to sample the local beers and collect a few more pint glasses. At one fairly new brewpub, the manager or owner asked me if I'd be blogging about the brewery visits, which seemed like a fine addition to the usual roblog themes of climbing, hiking, bands, movies, and travel, especially since I haven't blogged about bands or movies in ages. Maybe one of these years I'll add labels to my posts.

I'll start with the rock climbing. Got two days of climbing in with Erin, Bram, and Ben. The weather had a slight chance of iffiness, but it turned out great, and the popular spots were extra crowded, it seemed. Led some, top-roped some. Got three brand new routes in, which was very fun, and made it to Mesa Verde for the first time. Starred routes mean it was my first time leading or top-roping them.

My leads:

  • *Adventure... (5.8) (first pitch of Wherever I May Roam)
  • Phone Call from Satan (5.9)
  • Caffeine Free (10a)
  • *Nightengale's on Vacation (10a)
  • *Phoenix (10a)
  • *JT's Route (10b)
  • *Screaming Yellow Zonkers (10b)
My top-ropes:
  • Staind (5.9)
  • Irreverance (10a)
  • *Moons of Pluto (10d)
Maybe next year I'll try leading Moons of Pluto. It's a very cool route. Check out the pictures, courtesy of Erin.
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