Portland, OR – It has come to our attention (over two weeks ago) that an event that is not to be missed is coming this Saturday to Hop & Vine. Conceived and demonstrated first during last July’s Oregon Beer Month, we are happy to see Brewing Up Cocktails make its return, November 13th.
If you are curious what Brewing Up Cocktails is, then you clearly know nothing about Jacob Grier of Liquidity Preference or his partner on this lecture, Ezra Johnson-Greenough of The New School blog. Back also for a second round is Hop & Vine owner Yetta Vorobik who will be hosting this spirited event. Brewing Up Cocktails, is an experience thru one of the truly unexplored taboos of alcoholic drinks, mixing beer and spirits.
Inspired by the success of Brewing Up Cocktails 1, Ezra, Jacob, and Yetta, adopted the theme of Fall and all that it offers. There are some that would question the venue given how well regarded Portland’s pub culture is. Instead we listened to The New School and their thoughts regarding why Hop & Vine is the perfect spot.
"The Hop & Vine balances a love of beer, wine, cocktails and food, plus a well-chosen bottle selection for there or to go. Few other beer bars offer the options of The Hop & Vine, which makes it stand out, as far as I am concerned. Couple that with their art gallery and beautiful backyard garden patio, and owner Yetta Vorobik has built one of the best and most up-and-coming hangout spots in Portland."~The New School
Alright, enough banter about why you should go. Instead we invite you to read the menu attached and decide for yourself if you know everything there is to know about cocktails. Special thanks to New School beer blog for supplying us with the menu.
Full Cocktail menu with Descriptions:
Described in the bible of homebrewers by Charlie Papazian: The Joy of Homebrewing as a drink made from the piping hot first runnings of wort (unfermented beer) as it leaves the boil kettle on its way to the fermenter. At this point in the process the wort is a hot sweet, malty and hoppy nectar that you can clearly taste every ingredient in. A brewer would simply fill a pint with the elixir and drop in a shot of Scotch (or whatever grain based alcohol was handy). Adding its own twist Brewing up Cocktails will serve the wort steam heated from Upright Brewing's Five a farmhouse pale ale and topped with a dollop of housemade cream.
One of the classic cider drinks is a Stone Fence, a concoction of rum and hard cider. According to legend, it was this drink that gave Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys the courage they needed to storm Fort Ticonderoga. Our version combines Samuel Smith's Organic Apple Cider with the funky, pot-stilled Smith and Cross Jamaican rum and spice notes from J. Witty Chamomile Liqueur.
When the original beer conceived for this cocktail became unavailable organizers were left with a conundrum, what to replace it with? Glancing at Hop & Vine's taplist an altogether different but interesting beer offered an exciting new challenge. Dexter, Michigan's Jolly Pumpkin Brewing makes barrel aged belgian and farmhouse style beers all with a tart and funky quality from the brewers use of wild yeasts and barrel aging. Luciernaga "The Firefly" is a beer described by the brewery as: "An artisan pale ale brewed in the Grand Cru tradition. Enjoy its golden effervescence and gentle hop aroma. Coriander and Grains of Paradise round out the spicy palate, melting o so softly into a silken finish of hoppiness and bliss!"
Combined with Gin and St. Germaine with a pinch of Cayenne powder yields a beautiful drink with a fruity yet dry citric tartness that gives way to the spiciness of pepper and chiles. The tart acidicness combined with the heat balance each other out for a thirst-quenching cocktail.
Based on the classic German mulled cocktail our version adds a bit of NW classic winter beer flair with the fan favorite Jubel Ale from Deschutes Brewing. Heated in a pot with carmelized roasted apples, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and for the booze a healthy dose of whiskey and a bit of dry sherry. After stewing for a bit and letting the ingredients meld it is served hot with a a lemon ring on top.
This drink is sure to warm even the most jaded of beer and cocktail skeptics.
Son of the Furburger
Named in honor of the original jokingly named beer cocktail from Brewing up Cocktails 1 that used a different version of the same oak-aged beer as this.
Son of the Furburger started with the simple and obvious idea of combining Bourbon, Smoked Bacon and of course Maple Syrup for what we thought was a sure thing favorite beer cocktail. But upon trying the cocktail out with various porters and stouts none of them would hold up and the drink alternately tasted watered down or just bitter. We realized we needed a bigger, bolder and richer beer that would accentuate the flavors of maple and smoke and so we went back to our standby from the original Furburger the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing which has a great creamy moderately heavy mouthfeel, soft chocolate and smoke from the roasted malts and vanilla flavors from oak aging and just a bit of sweetness.
Finally the martini is rimmed with a mix of powdered sugar and ground pepper bacon bits.
Jacob Grier has a soft spot for the Irish Car Bomb.
"Sure, it’s got a politically incorrect name, it’s messy, it curdles if you don’t drink it fast enough, and it requires chugging a half-pint of Guinness, but it’s also tasty and fun."
Even so he was not about to put it on the menu at Carlyle, where he was the bar manager at the time he dreamed up his new version using a handmade beer foam that he dubbed the Defusion.
"I came across beer foam while flipping through the Alinea cookbook, which describes an ale foam in one of its dishes. This immediately gave me the idea for the drink. Achatz’ foam technique wouldn’t work for me though. It’s fine for the coursed service at Alinea, but behind the bar I needed something I could prepare in advance and keep stable throughout the night."
Instead of Guinness our version for Brewing up Cocktails 2 will use Eugene, OR's Ninkasi Brewing's Oatis: A rich complex Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, and the addition of oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability.
About The Minds Behind Brewing Up With Cocktails
Jacob Grier is a freelance writer, barista, mixologist, and magician in Portland, OR. He writes, eats, and drinks a lot. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Reason Online, The Oregonian, and other publications.
Ezra Johnson-Greenough is a brewer, writer, artist and general conceptual creative designer of all things artistic from music, to events and drinks.
Yetta Vorobik is the proprietor of The Hop & Vine with a longtime passion for wine and spirits and a recently discovered love of craft beer that has made The H & V a must visit for beer geeks.
Saturday November 13th, 2010
Brewing Up Cocktails 2, The Hop & Vine
1914 North Killingsworth Street Portland, OR 97217 (503) 954-3322