All posts by rosen8090

Zwicklemania 2020

Another Zwicklemania. This time we headed out of downtown Portland to the fringe areas off Sellwood, Milwaukee and Oregon City. I was not sure how they would handle Zwicklemanian out in this fringe area so this was and exploratory. We had planned on more of us going but a late season flue bug fell two of our members so it was just Mike, Audre and myself this year. Our first stop was at Breakside brewery. We had a little wait for our tour so we tried a sample tray of their beer. We only found one that was really notable. Unfortunately they were having some concrete work being done in the brewery so we could not do a full tour. We had a chance view it from afar but they made there warehouse the main tour. The warehouse crew went nuts with stringing light to make the place exciting and their black-light and old poster bathroom was a hit. Our guide gave us a tour of all of the support activities the warehouse gives the brewery.

Our next stop was to drive down to Oregon City and we made our first stop at Coin Toss Brewery. It was a small mom and pop operation that was keeping the spirit of Zwicklemania alive. The brewer was pouring two samples off the Zwickle. It was a nice simple set up, no crowds and a more mature group. The next stop was just a short distance away the Hive Taproom. The place has a brewery set up lining the back of the space where Shattered Oak is brewing. It was an interesting arrangement where small brewers come in and use the equipment and are able to put their beers on tap. They had two sample to try. After that we were off to Oregon City Brewery. We had some great barreled age beers here before so was excited to see there opperation. We tried some small pours of four of their forty beer they had on tap before our tour began. Their young brewer gave one of the best tours we all agreed we had ever had and was open to answering question after the tour. They do small batches just for their taproom so are always rotating what they are offering.

After this we were off to our last stop at Unicorn Brewery in Sellwood. This place has a taproom and home brew supplies up stair and a small brew yourself area in the basement. They do some of there own brews for the taproom and custom brewing for a few pubs around town. We finished up the day at Double Mountain Taproom with some pub grub. Overall they did a better job of keeping the Zwicklemania spirit going out in this area then we have been experiencing downtown.

2020 Reflection

On the eve of Zwicklemania, that kicks off the annual micro brew events it has been interesting to look at the list of participants and see how many are missing from last year. The micro brew industry has hit the mature phase in the product life cycle. A big shake out is under way and we saw a lot of closing of breweries and very few openings last year. We also lost two nice beer festivals and most the ones remaining have turn to making profits rather then promoting the micro brew industry. All of this is happening with changes in the market place and the beer community. New competition has happen with the growth of other adults beverages gaining popularity. Cost for a pint of beer has increased as more consumer dollars are having to go to pay rent. The shinny newness of the micro brew has worn off. And the failure of a number of breweries to adapt to changing tastes of consumer. Then there also that this have been going on long enough that some of the early stars are starting to retire. It will be interesting to see what this year brings.

Portland Craft Beer Festival 2019

We were off to the Portland Craft Beer Festival on the fourth of July. This is one beer fest we still like. We were there when the gate open and were almost the first ones in. Being early allows us to start when it is quit as when we left four hours later it was crowed and noise.

We had a nice selection of beers from local breweries to sample. After trying the two stouts we moved on to the IPAs and went down the list. There were also a large number of Hazy IPAs this years. We also bridge out some and found out that dank is like it sounds, questioned if Gose & Sour should be considered beer, and further found out why ciders are catching on. The big change was in Belgium beers where there was only one offered. So once again a good time with friends and good selection of beers to sample.