Bourbon Barrel-Aged 1st Anniversary Wheatwine
To celebrate their first anniversary in 2011, Breakside Brewing decided to brew a beer using five types of wheat, including malted white wheat, German spelt, and flaked wheat. The beer was aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for 13 months, and it clocks in at a hefty 12.7% ABV. The beer tastes about as strong as it sounds.
A collaboration between Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, the appropriately named Collage consists of a blend of The Stoic and The Dissident beers from Deschutes and the Adam and Fred beers from Hair of the Dog. This malt-centric beer was aged in two different barrels over a span of two years, and it made its debut here at FredFest. It's very boozy, with a funky nose like a Flemish brown, a hint of sourness, and notes of bourbon and raisins.
A seasonal Belgian farmhouse ale from Prodigal Son Brewing, the Sundown Saison blends two Saison yeasts with long pepper, the dried fruit of an Indonesian flowering vine. Flavors of cloves and hop bitterness dominate the palate, driving this beer well away from your garden variety saison. (6.6% ABV)
Belgian Strawberry Blonde
10 Barrel Brewing Company's Belgian Strawberry Blonde made its first appearance about a month ago at Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers festival, for which several breweries crafted beers using the same yeast strains (in this case, the Wyeast 3864-Canadian/Belgian Ale strain). This pinkish blonde ale delivers a whisper of strawberries behind a sharp hit of acidity. (6.5% ABV)
The Man of the Hour
Festival namesake Fred Eckhardt sharing some laughs and brews with friends in honor of his 86th birthday. Here's to 87, Fred!
Cascade Brewing is known for, if nothing else, its superb sour ales. The FredBonic Plague is a special sour blend of various iterations of the brewery's Bourbonic Plague, which itself is a blend of a dark porter aged in oak, wine, and bourbon barrels and another dark porter brewed with cinnamon and vanilla beans, all aged for 14 months on dates. At 12.6% ABV, it means business, with a mild alcohol burn and a strong fruit presence.
Named after Hair of the Dog Brewing Company founder Alan Sprints's mother, the Lila is a 12-week lager brewed specially for FredFest 2012. For a 6% ABV lager it has a magnificently full body (no surprise given this brewery's other beers), with the hops front and center on the palate. Refreshing and impressively flavorful.
This unusual hefeweizen from Portland's ubiquitous McMenamins was aged on French oak soaked in locally produced Momokawa Pearl Sake. Pale, cloudy, light-bodied, and coming in at 5.29% ABV, the beer is surprisingly bitter, with the Oregon sake making an appearance on the finish. Huge head on this pour.
La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado
A collaboration from Stone Brewing Co., The Bruery, and Elysian Brewing Company, "The Heavenly Pumpkin of Citracado" was brewed with pumpkins grown on Stone Farms, yams, rye, toasted fenugreek, birch bark, and lemon verbena, so there are a lot going on here. The flavor is as unusual and hard to pinpoint as it sounds. A strong herbal presence comes through the strongest, so it would probably taste great alongside a Thanksgiving turkey. This is one for the adventurous drinker. (5% ABV)