image of OBF 2007 courtesy of's Flickr page Portland, OR – While it has been tough living in the Northwest and writing about Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; it has been even harder to balance out the coverage. Ask anyone with a zip code, and they will tell you sometimes allegiances are solely based on where one hangs their head.

This weekend, we will be shifting gears to visit breweries, pubs, and of course the Oregon Brewers Festival, in Portland.

With the prospect of weather being in low 90’s, we thought we would revisit the list of suggested beers for those still undecided. So without elaborating much regarding the Oregon Brewers Festival’s history we will dig right into the list of beers featured for general consumption and at the buzz tent.

10 Barrel Brewing, ISA "India Summer Ale"

  • Brewery Description

Lighter and less bitter than a typical IPA, 10 Barrel's India Summer Ale was brewed especially for the Brewer's Festival. Medium bodied with moderate hop bitterness, it has a citrusy hop aroma from four additions of hops in the boil, plus dry hopping. It's a little maltier than the typical IPA - but watch out, the alcohol level of 6.7% might sneak up on you.

  • Our Justification
    Since 10 Barrel is hard to get up in Seattle, this will be another opportunity to sample their beers.

Ballast Point Brewing, Big Eye IPA

  • Brewery Description

Hops, hops, hops. Hops are added into this beer at every opportunity:  first-wort, boiling, finishing, and dry-hopping, a mix of Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial and Galena. American 2-row, Munich, and crystal malts provide a malty balance. This San-Diego style IPA won a Bronze at the 2002 World Beer Cup.

  • Our Justification
    We first tried this beer in Arizona and have been hooked (pun not intended, see their label). For us this will be a reminder of a truly tasty IPA.

Caldera Brewing Co, Caldera Hibiscus Ginger Beer

  • Brewery Description

This beer is not about the hops. Ginger root, beets, and hibiscus flowers provide its unique spicy, zesty flavors and aromas. Belgian candi sugar boosts the fermentables provided by two-row and carafoam malts. Ginger and hibiscus are boiled with the wort, along with a small amount of Willamette hops. The beer is "dry-flowered" with hibiscus. It was brewed special for the OBF, so get it before it's gone.

  • Our Justification
    Can’t go wrong with the canned brewery in Ashland, although we are keen to see what a ginger hibiscus beer tastes like.

Collaborator Sunstone Pilsner

  • Brewery Description

Created by Portland home brewer David Hayes and brewed in Widmer's Rose Quarter brewery, Sunstone Pilsner combines a traditional German Pilsner with a twist. Inspired by the grain bills of the Wallonian Farmhouse ales, the brewers blended European Pilsner malt with about 35% American wheat, which  adds a zesty "snap" to the finish and lightens the body. A bracing dose of Tettnamger hops balances all that rich, bready malt. Lagering makes it smooth and crystal clear.

  • Our Justification
    Another brewery we have yet to try.

Upright Brewing Company Reggae Junkie Gruit

  • Brewery Description

Safe to say, this is the least-hoppiest beer at the festival. There are no hops in this beer. Instead, the sweetness of the beer's organic pale and munich malts and organic spelt berries is balanced by bitter orange peel, sichuan peppercorns, hyssop, and lemongrass.

  • Our Justification
    Can’t say enough about this brewery. We will continue our journey through Upright’s beers, given that we haven’t found a bad beer yet.

Buzz Tent Choices

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t list out buzz tent beer choices. Note, clearly we will be checking the tent to see what gets put on, but here is our must try beers. And remember these are two tokens each for the same size pour, so budget accordingly.

ore beers listed on the website for the Buzz Tent, here.
  • Blue Frog-10th Anniversary Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
  • Caldera-Caldera Mogli
  • Fort George-Barrel Aged Coffee Girl Stout
  • Grand Teton-Tail Waggin Double White Ale
  • Great Northern-Barrel Aged Big Fog Amber Ale
  • Hales's Ales- Bucephalus
  • Hop Valley-Pinot Barrel Aged Belgian Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Kona-Oceanic Organic
  • Laht Neppur-Booted Reer
  • Laughing Dog-Bourbon Barrel St Benny's Labby Ale
  • Laurelwood-Framboise
  • Lompoc-Oak Barrel Aged Doppelbock
  • Lucky Labrador-Barrel Aged Son of Old Yeller
  • Mad River-The Mad Belgian
  • Maui -Heaven & Hell BalreyWine
  • Mt. Emily-Wildfire Red Ale
  • Mt. Shasta-Skip and Go Naked
  • Natian-Hint O'Mint
  • Ninkasi-Eugene Collaboration Beer
  • Oakshire-Barrel Aged Very Ill Tempered Gnome
  • Santa Cruz Mountain-Oak Aged Imperial Stout
  • Southern Oregon-Barrel Aged Black Hole
  • Surly -Four Anniversary Beer
  • The Bruery-Oude Tart
  • Upright-Single Cask Anniversary Ale
  • Vertigo-Friar Gone Wil.

Well, that’s it for us, we will see you at the festival! Want more information about the breweries or the Oregon Beer Festival visit the website.

Oregon Brewers Festival

Special thanks to Gary Corbin for supplying us the descriptions.

About Gary Corbin

Gary Corbin is a freelance writer and consultant in Vancouver, WA, a suburb of Portland, OR. In addition to assignment work for private sector, government, and not-for-profit clients, his creative and journalistic work has been published in BrainstormNW, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, and Global Envision, among others.

He is currently seeking representation for his completed novel, "Lying in Judgment," about a man serving on the jury for a murder trial that he committed. He is a member of the Willamette Writers Group and participates in workshops and conferences in the Portland, Oregon area


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