Today brings the chance to hear about beer from one of Oregon’s true experts, Dave Logsdon: Full Sail founding brewer, co-founder of Wyeast Labs and, for the past eight years, the man whose name is on a long list of award-winning Belgian-style ales.
Logsdon will speak Feb. 3 at Columbia Center for the Arts. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a sampling of local beer by Brewers in the Gorge (BIG), and the lecture begins at 7 p.m. Gorge Owned’s (GO!) Sense of Place is an annual lecture series that seeks to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to the landscape and to one another. There is a $5-$10 suggested donation at the door.
Logsdon brews his Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, including rich peach and cherry ones, from his family farmhouse east of Odell. It’s a real case of truth in advertising.
Logsdon and his brewers are handcrafting their ales, and now selling them at their downtown Hood River barrelhouse and tap room in addition to restaurants, pubs and bottle rooms around the Northwest.
Just 30 years ago, American beer drinkers didn’t have many options, let alone the artisanal examples such as Logsdon and all the other brewers in the Columbia River Gorge — an area that has quickly grown to deserve a brewing appellation. How many other rural regions can claim 12 breweries in a 40-mile area, as the Gorge now can? Freebridge Brewery opened in The Dalles in January and Sedition Brewery, also in The Dalles and coming in March, will make it a brewer’s dozen.
Around 1980, the U.S. only had about five breweries, and most were brewing light lager-style beers.
But a handful of people started thinking that beer should have a bit more flavor and character. As part of the craft beer revolution, they began brewing beers akin to European and British ales, as noted in a press release from Gorge Owned. Logsdon was part of that transformation. He moved to the Columbia River Gorge to pursue his dream of brewing and opened Wyeast Laboratories.
“As people around the country grew thirsty for craft beer, the Pacific Northwest turned out to have all the ingredients needed to make it — an optimal supply of hops, malted barley and pristine water. Logsdon’s lab brought a fourth key element — superior yeast strains,” said the press release.
The beers brewed in the Columbia River Gorge have developed a passionate following. While some dismissed the industry as a passing fad, the craft beer trade in this region has grown to produce the highest concentration of breweries per capita in the nation. In his talk, Logsdon will discuss the history of brewing in the region and introduce the entrepreneurs who made the Gorge the brewing capitol it is today.
Logsdon has worked in all aspects of the brewing and beverage industry, from brewery start up, product formulation, laboratory manager, packaging development and marketing. He lives in Oregon, where he graduated with a science degree in food science and technology, and is a course instructor at the American Brewers Guild.
Double Mountain, Everybody’s brew for Chef’s Week
Feb. 3-7 is Chef’s Week PDX in Portland, and two Gorge breweries are pairing new ales with food created by Portland chefs.
Jess Caudill and the crew at Everybody’s came up with “Biscuit Shooter” Sourdough RyePA, in collaboration with pastry chef Eve Küttemann, owner of Trifecta Tavern and Bakery.
Double Mountain brewmaster Matt Swihart created Come Together Pale Ale with Portland based chefs Adam Sappington (The Country Cat), Doug Adams (Imperial) and Rick Gencarelli (Lardo).
Swihart said, “This is a beer that is complimentary, polite, provides witty anecdotes, and even helps with the dishes.”
Swihart quoted Lennon and McCartney in describing Come Together this way: “Citrus and pine grove aromas compliment the lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures provide a crisp balance, keeping it ‘grooving up slowly’ so you can do as you please.”
This limited run beer will be available on tap and featured at all of the Chefs Week PDX after parties, a hearth dinner at Renata on Feb. 6, and a Country Cat special beer dinner on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. The beer will also be available here at the Hood River taproom in bottle and draft.
New release round-up:
Big Horse West Coast Rye IPA (6.5 percent ABV, 65 IBUs) — Brewer Darrek Smith describes it this way: “Bright lemon, orange and pine hop aromatics dominate the aroma of this hop forward IPA.
“Mild toast/nutty rye malt character in the taste along with fruity citrus from the Centennial and Amarillo hops; finishes dry.”
Double Mountain Stardust IPA (6.4 ABV, 60 IBUs) — Introduced Jan. 27 at the EdStravaganza for Ed Wilder at Butler Bank Social Club, this is a malt-forward concoction that barman Joe Sheehan notes starts like a low-intensity IPA but feels more like a pale ale. Rich flavor, with a slight hoppy spike countered by notes of caramel and a rounded mouthfeel with a hint of vanilla.
Ed SupPorter — The balanced porter from Full Sail, proceeds going to Ed Wilder’s fund, will remain on tap at the brewery for another month or so.
Double Mountain Come Together — Details above: look for Abbey Road album-cover-inspired label, akin to last year’s “Yacht Rock” release with Swihart and friends sitting in for ‘70s rockers Loggins and Messina.