July is Craft Beer month… and the highlight is Bailey’s

This means it was time for the now annual pilgrimage to the Oregon Brewer's Festival. This year we showed we had learned our lesson from hiding at the Buzz Tent last year on a Saturday (now on our Murtaugh List), so this year attended on OBF opening day. Sure, we had to take the day off from work, but it was worth it for no lines and plenty of laid back tasting and conversation instead of loud talking over random group cheers/shoutings/screams that usually punctuates the tents. Thanks to sharing tastings with others, I tried approximately 30 beers. Besides the toasty tasting Maui Coconut Porter, the rest of my faves were at the Buzz Tent (such as vanilla coffee chocolate Caldera Mogli, and pepperjack Riverport 5/5 Pepper), where it took two instead of one tokens to get a taste.

For me, that's not the highlight of this July though. I missed the Rogue Annual Beer and Cheese event this month because I dropped the ball on when it would be and didn't block my calendar, so I had an inevitable work conflict. But that's not the highlight either. No, the highlight is Bailey's Anniversary Barrel Aged Beer Fest. I know there will be no annoying woo-hoos at the mature anniversary event at Bailey's Taproom, our usual hangout for beer, and it is held inside so you can enjoy AC and shade (though they have a few tables for outside patio drinking sometimes). Bailey's is our drinking hole thanks to their constantly (a couple times a week) rotating tap which I follow all the time on FB and twitter. Despite the lack of food menu, they have an understanding with the Mexican hole in the wall across the street, Santeria, that delivers their dishes to Bailey's, and that is just fine with us and leaves you more money for beers. This is their 3rd anniversary, an event they celebrate where they tap aged barrels of beer for sampling at only $15 (which includes a real glass glass and 5 tasting tokens). It's like another Cellarfest! Yes, an event enjoyed indoors with beer aficionados, not 1000 people looking to just drink a lot of beer.

They've written up 2/3 of their descriptions already, and they include, so you have an understanding where my beer palette lies since my re-education and relocation from Chicago thanks to all that is available in micro brew capital Portland… (below photo is quite representative of a typical visit to Bailey's)

  • Oakshire Very Ill Tempered Gnome was first brewed for the Holiday Ale Fest.  Oakshire then took this Strong Winter Ale and aged it in a Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir barrel for five months.
  • Rogue Juniper John John is a Juniper Pale Ale aged in Rogue’s Juniper Gin barrels.  A hint of cucumber and a sprucey note in the aroma are followed by a Juniper bute mid palate finishing with a soft oakiness.
  • Upright Lambicus Six is the first batch of their Six (a dark Rye) that has been sitting in a Pinot barrel since May ‘09 with brettanomyses lambicus added to it.  The result is a Flanders style red/bruin character.
  • Russian River Consecration is a belgian style ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.  Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces and Pediociccus are added, plus currants
  • Firestone Parabola has been on of the most popular beers at the past two anniversaries, this beer features bold bourbon and tobacco aromas and rich dark chocolate, charred oak flavor.
  • Moylan’s Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale.  Moylan’s took this rich malty beer and aged it in both Apple Brandy barrels and Port barrels.
  • Fort George ‘09 Illuminator.  We’ve been holding on to this one for a year.  It is dark brown in appearance, with an intriguing hint of bourbon, rich, malty, and balanced with the dryness of hops and a tart finish.  Aged in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels.
  • Lompoc ‘08 Bourbon LSD.  Another beer that we served at our first anniversary and have been hanging on to.  This beer was fantastic two years ago, we’ll see what another couple of years of aging did to it.
  • Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza is brewed in the Franco-Gelgian tradition of strong golden ales.  It is Spicy and peppery with  a gentle hop bouquet and the beguiling influence of wild yeast.  Aged in Oak barrels.  8% ABV
  • Full Sail ‘09 Black Gold was initally brewed in Feburary 2008 and released as their Imperial Stout.  Full Sail ages a portion in Bourbon casks and releases it a year later as Black Gold. We held on to this for an additonal year.  Chocolate and caramel nuances blend with the hops for a smooth Imperial Stout.  10.5% ABV
  • Allagash ‘08 Curieux is their belgian Tripel aged in Jim Beam barrels for eight weeks.  The beer picks up soft coconut and vanilla characteristics…and also a hint of bourbon flavor.  We had this at our first anniversary and then held on to an additional keg.  11% ABV
  • New Holland Dragon’s Milk has a soft, rich carmael-malt intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath.  New Holland brought this beer to OBF a couple years back, I’m guessing there are a couple of people who wouldn’t mind trying it again.  10%ABV
  • Deschutes Twilight is their summer seasonal that they aged in Pinot barrels.

They have a few more beers lined up, so I am awaiting one more write up at the Bailey's Blog from Bailey's soon with the rest of the beers for their big day. This Bailey's Bday event is to me, the real deal example of celebrating Oregon craft beer month, not OBF.




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