Review: Brrr from Widmer Brewing

Author: Jason Harris
December 22, 2016

Editor’s Note: Today is day ten in our Twelve Days of Christmas series on Pints and Steins – where we’ll be letting you know about a winter beer every day between now and Christmas Eve.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Brr from Widmer Brewing!

Widmer Brrr

Widmer is, well, Widmer. They’ve been around since the 80’s, they’re brothers who defined Oregon brewing. Also, they went to Oregon State…..woop woop! I must digress.

Widmer is so big that they have defied the label of ‘microbrewery’. But, they still produce beers that are respectable and are still active in the homebrewing community within Portland, the company’s home town.

Brrr is a ‘winter warmer’ style beer that is actually just a strong red ale. Coming in at 7.2% and 50 IBUs, Widmer’s winter ale pours a deep red/brownish color with a considerable tan head.

To the nose, you pick up on Brr’s deep malty and dry fruit scent, which isn’t strong.

How does it taste?

Widmer’s Brrr is not overly-malty, instead it’s more of a slight malt with dried fruit flavors (think dried cranberries) with a medium hoppy finish. I also picked up on a light toffee taste profile combined with a touch of light citrus and molasses. The medium carobnation gives a little bit of bite to to this yummy beer.

Should I buy it?

Yes – get it in a 6 pack or on draft at your local taphouse.

On the “The Early Show on Saturday Morning” on CBS recently, the program highlighted 5 beers.  What is absolutely great is that all of the beers highlighted are from the great state of Oregon!

We have a reputation for being nuts about beer and it’s great to see some great Oregon brews put into the national spotlight.  Which beers did they choose?  They discussed 5 beers from 5 different breweries all around the state, stretching from Portland, to the coast, then all the way inland to Central Oregon (my favorite part of the state).

Here is an excerpt:

Widmer Hefeweizen: A great American version of a German wheat beer. It’s a little tangy, and very refreshing. A great summer beer. I’d pair it with grilled seafood, raw oysters, that sort of thing.

Full Sail Session Lager: The beer world divides its product into lagers and ales; it has to do with the type of yeast used and the brewing process. But an easy rule of thumb is that lagers are like white wine (lighter, crisper), and ales are like red wine (bigger, richer, more powerful). Full Sail makes a great, tasty lager, good with almost anything. Personally, I’d drink it with hot dogs off the grill, but it’s also a classic all-purpose beer: chicken, potato chips, pretzels, you name it.

Deschutes Green Lakes Ale: This is an ale, so it’s richer and darker than the Full Sail Session Lager. What’s especially cool is that it’s made from organic ingredients. Deschutes is based in Bend, Ore., but it has a brewpub in Portland, too. I’d drink this with a hamburger; for me, ales like this are ideal burger wines.

Bridgeport IPA: Another ale; this was a style invented by the British, called India Pale Ale. Hops, one of the ingredients of beer, act as a preservative, so the British made an especially hoppy brew to ship on the long voyage to India. Hops also add flavor-a kind of citrusy, piney, bitter note that’s very pronounced in IPAs. I think they’re great with fried foods — anything from fried shrimp to French fries — the bitterness kind of wakes up your mouth after all that rich fried coating.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale: This is a darker, more intense style of ale (technically, it’s a German style called a Maibock). It’s a bit higher in alcohol — 6.5 percent — with a toasty, malty character and real texture to it. This is my go-to for big, spicy foods: sausages on the grill, barbecued ribs, that kind of thing.

Kudos to these Oregon brewers for churning out great brew and getting some well-deserved recognition!