Beer>’Tis the season for rich ales, lagers, porters and more
Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery
Above: Christian DeBenedetti at the Wolves and People facility in Newberg. Photo by Rusty Rae
Newberg Brewer: Christian DeBenedetti Collaboration Barrel-aged Dark Beer Brewer notes: A collaboration with The Bitter Monk and Heater Allen Brewing in McMinnville, this dark beer was fermented with both a wild yeast from our own farm and a classic lager strain favored by Heater Allen; then we barrel-aged the beer in an Old Tom Gin casks from Ransom Spirits. The result is rich, long and complex with an almost Fernet-like herbaceous quality. A very strange yet very delicious beer. Barrel-aged Tractor Pull Old Ale Brewer notes: We are aging some of our Tractor Pull in a Port barrel we got from our friends over at Dobbes Family Estate, which will be really interesting. Trolley Pull Old Ale Brewer notes: We will also release Trolley Pull, a version of Tractor Pull, aged in Eagle Rare bourbon casks we obtained from Interurban, a Portland bar and gastropub. By aging big beers in spirits barrels, we can harness new levels of richness and complexity.
Favorite Winter brew: “I don’t have a single favorite winter beer, but, in recent years, I’ve loved Pfriem’s Belgian Strong Dark. It’s so well made, balanced, delicious, with plummy-cocoa notes. One of my favorite imported beers (but hard to find) is La Moneuse, a rich, complex, 8 percent Saison from Brasserie Blaugies in Blaugies, Belgium. It’s a tiny farmhouse brewery run by a wonderful family that also operates a rustic restaurant.”
— Christian DeBenedetti, Wolves & People brewer
Allegory Brewing McMinnville Brewer: Charlie Van Meter
Beast Fable Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout ABV: 10.3% Brewer notes: The Beast is an imperial stout aged three months in freshly emptied Heaven Hill Bourbon casks. Cinnamon Babka IPA Pastry IPA ABV: 8.4% Brewer notes: Brewed at and in collaboration with Fort George Brewery for Holiday Ale Fest, this one’s a strong, hazy IPA with cinnamon, vanilla and lactose.
Field Fresh: Cranberry Cranberry Sour Ale ABV: 5.2% Brewer notes: Our Field Fresh is a house-lacto sour ale base-conditioned on more than 200 pounds of fresh cranberries from Hurst Berry Farm.
At left: Cranberries awaiting from the Hurst Berry Farm awaiting processing. Submitted image.
Favorite Winter brew: “Bourbon barrel-aged stouts like Rhino Suit from Alesong.”
—Charlie Van Meter, Allegory brewer
McMinnville Brewers: Rick and Lisa Allen Sandy Paws Baltic-style Porter ABV: 7.0% Brewer notes: This porter offers a big, rich, malty and smooth taste experience. Rauch Bock Dark Lager ABV: 6.0% Brewer notes: A smoked, higher gravity dark lager to be released in early December, this beer is more a play on smoke versus malt.
Favorite Winter brew:“My favorite winter beer would have to be the Schlenkerla Doppelbock, which is made for Christmastime. It’s incredibly hard to find in the U.S., but I was able to have it at the source two years ago, and it helped inspire our Rauch Bock. I also have memories attached to Jubelale since it is a beer I kind of grew up around, and I still seek it out and have at least one every winter.”
—Lisa Allen, Heater Allen brewer
Golden Valley Brewery
McMinnville Brewer: Jesse Shue 50 Foot Milkmaid
Imperial Milk Stout
Brewer notes: A milk mustache is in order for this small-batch imperial milk stout designed by brewer Piper Gladwill. A whiskey barrel-aged version will be released, too.
Atlas Elevator Doppelbock
Winter Seasonal Lager
Brewer notes: It’s as strong as the Tannen Bomb but oh-so-smooth thanks to many weeks of lagering.
Tannen Bomb Classic Winter Warmer ABV: 8.0% Brewer notes: A variety of specialty malts gives this hefty, strong ale depth of character to match the significant hop presence. Also look for the barrel-aged version of Tannen Bomb that has spent a year in George Dickel whiskey barrels.
Favorite Winter brew: “Stille Nacht from De Dolle Brouwers of Esen, Belgium.”
—Jesse Shue Golden Valley Brewery brewer
Grain Station Brew Works
McMinnville Brewer: Joseph D’Aboy
Czech-style Dark Lager ABV: 5.9% Brewer notes: Showing aromatic notes of toffee and caramel with a mild roasty finish, this beer has a clean, crisp finish from cold fermentation and lagering. Barnstormer Double Red ABV: 7.8% Brewer notes: Full, sweet caramel malt body finished with Ella and Mandarina Bavaria dry hopping, this double red is back for the winter season. The high ABV gives a pleasant warming finish. Coffee Stout Imperial Milk Stout ABV: 7.1% Brewer notes: An imperial milk stout blended with Flag & Wire coffee, this ale has a vibrant coffee nose with a full, sweet body and chocolaty mocha finish. We choose a different roast each year and name the beer after that coffee. Wanted: Imperial Stout, Dead or Alive Barrel-aged Imperial Stout ABV: 11.2% Brewer notes: Brand new to our winter lineup this year, this imperial stout is aged in House Spirits Westward American single-malt whiskey barrels. This beer has a full, rich malt body that will take the chill out of the winter days ahead. We sent the barrels back to House Spirits in Portland so they could refill them with whiskey to get that rich malt character on their next batch.
Favorite Winter brew: “Heater Allen’s Sandy Paws.”
—Joseph D’Aboy Grain Station brewer
McMinnville Brewer: Ben Acord
Grandpa’s Nap Barrel-aged Millet Wine ABV: 11.5% Brewer notes: The single-malt, single-hop millet wine is barrel-aged in gluten-free oat whiskey barrels and millet whiskey barrels from KOVAL Distilling in Chicago. Get ready for lots of toffee, cherry, coconut, tobacco and oak flavors in this one. It’s probably the best beer we’ve put in bottles. Yamhill Punch Barrel-aged American Wild Ale ABV: 7.0% Brewer notes: Aged in a mixture of red and white wine barrels from various local wineries, and aged on Pinot Noir grapes and Riesling juice, the wild ale is finished with foraged blackberries and plums. It’s mildly funky with layers of berry and plum and prominent white wine undertone.
Favorite Winter brew: “My favorite winter beer is a good, thick stout brewed with cardamom, such as Põhjala Talveöö, a rich, smooth Baltic porter brewed with coconut, vanilla and cardamom; and Matchless Brewing Dallah Breakfast Stout, which reminds me of breakfast with my grandma.”
—Ben Acord Evasion brewer
Favorite Winter brew: “My personal winter favorite is imperial stout. Stay tuned!”
—Craig Lapp Evasion owner
Long Brewing Newberg Brewer: Paul Long
Paul’s Porter Vienna-style Lager ABV: 6.2% Brewer notes: The beer appears a rich copper color and offers a soft elegant malt aroma with a subtle hop spiciness. On the palate, the lager contains soft but complex malt flavors layered with a light hop spiciness, subtle toast, silky mouthfeel and a nicely balanced finishing. Wee Heavy Heavy Scotch Ale ABV: 7.5% Brewer notes: Full-bodied, rich and complex malt shows layers of caramel, roasted malt and dried fruit flavors with a hint of smoke, spice and sweetness. The finish is malty with just enough hop bitterness to balance the sweetness.