The Ale List: Dan Peterson starts Ferment, plans HR brewery

Dan Peterson of Hood River is the microbiology-trained brains and brawn behind Ferment, one of Oregon’s newest breweries, and a unique one.

Peterson started Ferment in Portland in 2015 after leaving pFriem Family Brewing, where he worked for two and a half years.


Dan Peterson

“It was a tough decision, but it was a great opportunity at the right time to have creative control over the beers,” Peterson said.

He focuses on a “balanced, English-style” of brewing, adding that “there’s not a lot of English-style beers being made in Oregon.” Peterson relies mainly on English malts, though his IPA employs Belgian yeast.

He’s also doing the entire brewing process himself, and distribution will be limited.

Ferment pale ale, Irish dry stout and ESB are available at Pine Street Kitchen, and the IPA is pouring at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe, both on the Heights in Hood River. The pale is on tap at Camp 1805, on the waterfront. Peterson’s wife, Jen, is a partner in Pine Street Kitchen.

Ferment brewery and pub will both be known simply as “Ferment.”

Peterson, a University of Vermont microbiology graduate, worked in a cancer research lab before his love of homebrewing took him to a combination lab/entry level brewing job at Brooklyn, N.Y., Brewing. He moved to Hood River to go to work at Full Sail Brewing for three years before shifting to pFriem.

Peterson brews now at Pints in Portland, and will add two fermenters to the new Portland brewing cooperative Zoiglhaus. His yeast concoctions start at his home yeast lab.

Those are parts of what makes Ferment unique. Another part is that Peterson plans a pub first, then his own brewery. The pub will be in Portland, at a location soon to be announced. The brewery, however, will be in Hood River. Peterson is looking at a variety of locations, one of which could be in one of Key Development’s new structures to replace the Expo Center, now being torn down.

His brewing regimen starts in Portland, where he creates his wort, and then takes samples to the slopes of Mount Hood where he leaves it in the open overnight for wild yeast to join in.

At the pub, “food will be made to suit the beer.” The pub should open by late summer, and the brewery would follow in late 2016 or early 2017.

In Portland, the ESB and pale are available, respectively, at Clyde Commons and The Richmond.

Full Sail presents Session ‘Mashup’

Session Mashup has a flavor to meet any beer tooth.

Mashup, a new variety 12-pack with a rotating, handpicked seasonal selection, is now available in stores from Full Sail Brewery.

“Imagine you’re at our pub in Hood River on the outdoor deck overlooking the mighty Columbia,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s executive brewmaster. “We thought it’d be great to share a mix of stubbies, just like ordering an iced bucket of Sessions. The Mashup is a bit of our pub in every box.”

The inaugural Session Mashup, available now, features four award-winning Session beers: crisp, clean Session, citrusy, golden Session Wheat, easy-drinking Session IPA and smooth and sweet Session Cream.

“The Mashup is a variety of Sessions for your next Session,” said Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter.

‘Pale Death’ rides back to town

Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom welcomes spring with the return of its popular Belgian Style Imperial IPA, Pale Death. This aromatic IPA (8.5 percent ABV, 88 BU) is available in the bottle and on draft.

“This year we used 100 percent Mosaic hops in the Pale Death. The Belgian Ardennes yeast and Mosaic hops go together beautifully in this drinkable imperial IPA,” noted head brewer Kyle Larsen.

‘Beer and Brassicas’ starts at Volcanic

Central Gorge Master Gardener Association presents Brassicas and Beer at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe.

The association is offering a series of one-hour seminars on topics chosen to enrich the home gardener and presented by local experts.

Beer you know, but what about “brassicas”?

It refers to a genus of healthful plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustard plants. Crops from this genus are sometimes called cole crops — derived from the Latin caulis, denoting the stem or stalk of a plant.

Seminars will be offered monthly on the second Wednesday of the month from April through September, 6 to 7 p.m.

Starting the series on April 13: Luke Callahan on year-round fresh salads with microgreens.

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