Portland Cider Co. Teams Up With Blue Star Donuts For Blueberry Bourbon Basil

Collaborations are all the rage in the craft beer world and, apparently, they’re popular in the cider world as well. If you enjoy cider, blueberries, bourbon, donuts and barrel-aged libations, then Portland Cider Co. and Blue Star Donuts have the collaboration for you.

One of Blue Star’s most popular donuts is their Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut (Which sounds incredible! I need to get down to Portland to try one.). This best seller was the inspiration for Portland Cider Co’s new Blueberry Bourbon Basil Cider.

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Portland Cider Co’s Sorta Sweet Wins Two Double Golds

PORTLAND, Ore. (Dec. 19, 2019) –– Portland Cider Co., one of Oregon’s longest operating independent cider producers, recently brought home two double gold medals for its flagship Sorta Sweet cider; the first from Sip Northwest‘s 2019 Best of the Northwest Cider, and the second from the 2019 Cidercraft Awards.

Portland Cider Co.’s Sorta Sweet is a love song to the Oregon craft cider movement and the company’s most award-winning cider. It’s semi-sweet, refreshing and effervescent, and balances the higher levels of natural residual sugars with just the right amount of tartness. Available year-round, Sorta Sweet offers a fresh finish that tastes like biting into a crisp apple. It has won more than a dozen medals in the last seven years, including two double golds and a few silver medals in 2019.

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Raid The Cellar At Cascade Brewing

As I recently mentioned in another article here on CraftBeerMonger.com, Cascade Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon has, for years, set the gold standard for Sour Ales produced in the Pacific Northwest. They’ve been producing outstanding Sour Ales since 2006 and I can honestly say I’ve never had a beer from them that I don’t like.

Most craft beer lovers I know have at least a few Cascade bottles in their cellar. If you don’t, or if you’d like to make your cellar a bit more Cascade heavy, then they have an event coming up next week that you’ll want to check out. From July 22nd through July 29th, Cascade is hosting a “Raid The Cellar” event, with heavily discounted pricing on select Sour Ales.

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Cascade Brewing Releases Ocean Views Hazy Pale & Coastal Gose

I love a good Sour Ale. We’ve got a few breweries around the Sound producing some excellent sours (Urban Family Brewing and Engine House No. 9 are two that immediately come to mind) but, for me, the gold standard for sours from the Northwest is still Cascade Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

For years, Cascade was the name that immediately sprang to mind whenever anyone asked about good sour ales from the Northwest, and with good reason. Cascade’s portfolio speaks for itself and now they’ve released their two latest creations: Ocean Views Hazy Pale and Coastal Gose. While it’s obviously not a Sour Ale, Ocean Views marks the first been Cascade has released in 16 oz cans, and it will see national distribution. Coastal Gose will release in 500ml bottles and will also be distributed nationwide.

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Fort George Partners With Cloudburst & Ruse For This Year’s 3-Way IPA

Do IPAs have a season? Years ago, I used to think of the IPA as a bit more of a Spring/Summer beer, but their unrelenting popularity and proliferation has allowed the IPA to defy any kind of seasonal constraints. As the #1 most popular, style of craft beer that makes sense and explains why it’s so easy to find IPAs on tap all the time, and pretty much anywhere you go.

Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon clearly understands this demand for IPAs. In addition to all their other great IPAs, each year since 2013 Fort George has searched for other breweries to collaborate with in order to bring us that wonderful IPA known as 3-Way. Now, in collaboration with Cloudburst Brewing Company and Ruse Brewing, this year’s 3-Way is ready to make its debut.

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Breakside Rounds Out 2018 With Quiescence

Breakside Brewery out of Portland Oregon has a pretty diverse portfolio.  I’ve had quite a few of their beers over the years; everything from their IPAs to their Stouts and Sours and, for the most part, they’ve been pretty solid.

More recently, Breakside has been working to expand their barrel-aged Sour program.  Perhaps you’ve had their In the City of Flowers or their popular Qualia (one of my favorites of the series).  Now, as 2018 draws to a close, Breakside is preparing to release Quiescence – a blend of 13 casks of wood-aged sour beer aged for 12 months in Archery Summit Pinot Noir barrels.

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Homebrew Con Comes To Portland This June

Do you homebrew?  I started homebrewing way back in the late 80’s and I have more than 25 years of homebrewing experience.  Sadly though, when I moved a few years back I didn’t have a good place to brew so I actually wound up selling my 10 gallon, all-grain brewing system rather than let it sit, gathering rust and dust (I’d rather see a brewer put it to good use).  I have every intention of getting back into brewing again – and on an even larger system – but I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can make that happen.

I still have a great interest in homebrewing, even though I’ve allowed me membership to the American Homebrewer’s Association lapse until I have a new system, and I’m often impressed by some of the stellar beers being produced by homebrewers today. Equipment has improved, techniques are evolving all the time and homebrewing is as popular as it ever was, if not more so.  This year marks the 40th year for the National Homebrew Conference (Homebrew Con), and thousands of homebrewers from across the nation will come together in Portland this June 28 – 30 to talk homebrewing, attend workshops, learn new techniques and more.

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Breakside Brewing Reveals Their 2018 Release Calendar

For those of you keeping count, how many beers do you drink per day?  Would you say you drink at least 2.6 beers per day?  If you do, I assume you’re drinking a mix of different style from different breweries.  After all, not many craft beer drinkers I know (if any) stick to just one beer or even just one brewery.

If you want to keep up with Breakside Brewing Company’s entire 2018 release calendar, however, then you’ll have to have at least 2.6 Breakside beers each day (Yeah, I know. Don’t ask me how to have .6 of a beer. lol). That’s because they’re planning to release over 140 different beers this year.  They recently revealed their release schedule for every beer that will be coming out this year.

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Deschutes Brewery & Bendistillery Release Black Butte Whiskey

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Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales.  Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.

The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients.  I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII.  It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.

Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey.  Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.

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The National Cider Conference Comes To Portland Next Week

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I’m a beer guy.  I’ve always been a beer guy.  Sure, I enjoy the occasional glass of wine and I love a good Bourbon, Whiskey or Tequila, but my first love when it comes to adult beverages has been, and I think always will be, a great craft beer.  Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t still make an effort to broaden my horizons, and the incredible rise in popularity of craft cider (see the press release below) is making that much easier.

I’ve got to give much of the credit for my increased interest in cider to both Seattle Cider Company and The Beer Junction in West Seattle.  Both are places I usually visit when I’m in the mood for a beer but, since they both have a great selection of ciders on tap as well, I often find myself switching things up a bit and ordering a cider instead of a beer.

I also haven’t been to many cider festivals or conventions yet, and unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make this one either but perhaps you can.  Coming up next week, starting February 2nd and running through February 6th is CiderCON 2016, presented by the Northwest Cider Association.

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