Lompoc Brewing will kick off its 5th annual Chowder Challenge with a shrimp boil on Friday, Feb 25 from 6 to 9 pm at Lompoc's Fifth Quadrant, 3901 N Williams Ave. Seafood lovers are invited to roll up their sleeves and enjoy piles of steaming, delicious shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, corn and more, plus special beers on tap and live music by Twisted Whistle. Admission is $12 a plate. There are no pre-sales, so it's recommended you show up early for a plate of seafood goodness!
Then on Saturday, Feb. 26, the public is invited to help determine which Portland restaurant serves up the best clam chowder in the city. Fourteen local brewpubs and restaurants will vie for the coveted Chowder Cup at the fifth annual Chowder Challenge, also at Lompoc's Fifth Quadrant. The blind tasting competition will take place from Noon to 4 pm. Admission is free. Attendees ages 12 and over must purchase sample trays for $10 to participate in the tasting. The family friendly event is a fundraiser for Locks of Love.
Samples of New England-style clam chowders (no Manhattan allowed) from the participants are served in non-labeled, two-ounce cups. After tasting all entries, attendees vote for their favorite. The chowder receiving the most votes will be named the People's Choice Winner and will take home the coveted Chowder Cup. Guest judges will determine the winners of three other divisions, including Most Authentic, Most Flavorful and Best with Beer. This year's judges are John Chandler from Portland Monthly, Lisa "The Beer Goddess" Morrison from Beer O'Clock, and Anne Marie DiStefano from the Portland Tribune.
The festivities also feature a beer garden, live music by Twisted Whistle, a soda garden for kids, Joe the Balloon Guy from Noon to 2 pm, a raffle, and pub food for purchase.
Participating restaurants include Bridges Café, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Coalition Brewing, Columbia River Brewing, East Burn, EAT: An Oyster Bar, Fifth Quadrant, The Fishwife, Green Dragon, Hopworks, Laurelwood, Macadam's Bar & Grill, New Old Lompoc & Superdog. The New Old Lompoc has won the Chowder Cup three of the past four years. Will they do it again?
The New Old Lompoc opened on May 6th, 2000. But the Old Lompoc Brewery (as it was formerly know) has been producing handcrafted ales and lagers since December 1996, while the tavern has been open since 1993.
The name originally came from the movie ‘The Bank Dick’ starring W.C. Fields and Mae West. Most of the movie took place in the ‘Old Lompoc House’, which was the local watering hole as well as a boarding house.
Special thanks to Chris for putting together the information for which you are reading.