Archive for October, 2012

Review: Deschutes Brewing Chasin’ Freshies [Fresh Hop]

Author: Jason Harris
October 19, 2012

Deschutes Brewing knows their stuff when it comes to fresh hop beers – in fact, last year they had the most amazing event where they debuted 5 different fresh hop editions of their best beers.

This year, the company is bottling two fresh hop beers, the always great Hop Trip Ale and a brand new one called Chasin’ Freshies, which is an IPA, not just a straight pale ale.


Weighing in at 7.2% ABV and a very low 60 IBU, this beer features fresh hops that are rushed from Goschie Farms (from just outside Salem, Oregon) to Bend. According to the site, this special type of Cascase hops is an heirloom strain, from one field, restored from the original rhizome developed at Oregon State University so many years ago.

As you pour Chasin’ Freshies, it’s astounding at how clear this IPA most IPAs are copper in color. This beer is simple, crisp and clean – and displays the hops so well. Most IPAs (especially here in the Norhtwest) are a little heavy and way bitter. This is a clean and smooth IPA that just lets the hops glide onto your tongue.

I’ve had 3 fresh hop beers so far this year, and Chasin’ Freshies is by far the best.

So, how does it taste, it’s bright, fresh and utterly amazing. The hops taste of a citrus quality with a little tropical hint as well. The beer is quite fragrant to the nose. Like Jon says, it’s “super drinkable with a simple but clean malted-rich cracker malt base”.

Head down to your favorite pub or bottle shop and pick up some Freshies today.


Taplister re-launches and is better than ever

Author: Jason Harris
October 17, 2012

What’s on tap around you?  What’s the latest brew available at your favorite local bar?

There’ a favorite service of mine called Taplister that’s been around for a few years. For beer lovers, Taplister is a website and mobile app available for iPhone and Android (there’s no Windows Phone app – I’m trying to change that) that lets you either search for a specific beer around you and also shows you what’s on tap at the tavern or pub in your area.

Here in Salem, Oregon, we have a few establishments such as Raen Brew and Venti’s that rotates taps constantly. In this case, Taplister shows me what’s on tap as the database is constantly updated by personnel at these brew establishments.

Taplister has been around since 2009 and I know the CEO – Kerry Finsand. Earler this year Kerry went through Upstart Labs in Portland and has re-launched the service with new emphasis on monetizing the service, which before was a side project for Finsand and the others involved with Taplister.

If you are the proprietor of fine craft brews, such as a restaurant, bar or tavern, using Taplister means you have visibility on the web in a very active beer community. By keeping Taplister up-to-date, beer consumers know what’s on tap and available at your establishment.  Access to Taplister for businesses is $99/month.  Here’s Techcrunch’s perspective:

And for bars and breweries, Taplister should provide a relatively easy way to update their menu via Web browser, telling customers about exactly what they have in stock. (That can be particularly important if you’re a small brewery without much of a marketing budget.) That information will be available in Taplister, but it can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter, and even through something that the company is calling a Digital Beer Board — a digital menu meant to be displayed in the store on an HDTV or 1080 pixel display.

Also, Meet the Startup recently profiled Kerry Finsand in an interview:

For a few of my favorite taplister links of awesome Salem beer bars, see:

Fresh hop ales: Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Santiam Brewing

Author: Jason Harris
October 8, 2012

I’m lucky enough to live in the the heart of Hop Valley, Oregon, also known as the Willamette Valley. In my area, we grow some good hops. They’re so good, that brewers all over the state scramble each September when the hops are fresh and in season. They come over, pick hops and make ‘fresh hop’ ales that are in season from late September to November, depending on the harvest.

Santiam BrewingToday’s beer spotlight is on a brand new brewery in Salem, Oregon called Santiam Brewing. Santiam is a collaboration of homebrewers who call Salem home and met through a local homebrew club.

Located in Salem’s industrial area, Santiam Brewing has been growing and growing ever since its debut a few short months ago. I’ve heard really good things about their beer from those whose opinion I trust, so I was anxious to try their one of their brews.

I purchased a growler of Santiam Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Venti’s in downtown Salem.

Weighing in at around 40 IBUs and at around 7.0% ABV, this pale ale is an American style ale with hops “straight from the field to the kettle”.

At first pour, this is a very clear, traditional pale ale. However, when this ale meets your mouth, the taste of flavorful, herbal and floral hops balanced by a clean caramel body take over. Smooth is an adjective that can easily be applied to this beautiful seasonal ale.

Santiam Brewing Fresh Hop Pale Ale is a crowd favorite and is a fnatastic ale to accompany your autumn events.

Review: Watershed IPA from Oakshire Brewing

Author: Jason Harris
October 3, 2012

Oakshire Brewing is a brewery based in Eugene, Oregon that has been making a name for itself in the last year or two. Most Oregon beer snobs have likely heard of them, as their ales are excellent and consistently good.

Watershed IPAToday’s review will be of a new (to me) India Pale Ale called Watershed IPA from Oakshire Brewing. This ale is available year-round and is sold in kegs and also in 22-oz bottles, which is how I consumed it.

Watershed IPA pours very orange-y in color. I can’t find what hops are used in the ale’s brewing process, but the label says it’s 7.1% ABV and has 75 IBUs. To the nose, the beer has a fantastic scent of citrus hops with a bit of malt for a very balanced aroma. There’s a bit of carbonation in this IPA that gives it a nice bubbly appearance.

Upon first taste, you get just a hint of bitterness from those yummy hops, however it is not overpowering (read: it doesn’t cause bitter beer face – far from it). I also picked upon a nice hint of pine, herbs and maybe even slight grapefruit and then the crystal malt hits, making for a very nice drink.


Watershed is the smoothest IPA I’ve had in a very long time. Even my wife, who likes lighter beers, found it to be pleasant. I found Watershed to be so drinkable – which is a bit dangerous considering its high alcohol count. The lingering of the caramel sweetness leaves you wanting another sip.

Watershed IPA would go perfectly with a nice hamburger or steak. This beer is highly recommended if you are a fan of IPAs.