Save the date: in addition to Kriekfest on July 9, another beer festival is on the schedule this summer. It’s the third annual Solog festival, on Aug. 20 at the railway park in Parkdale. Solera Brewery and Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (hence So and Log) runs noon to 7 p.m. with music, food and ales from both breweries pouring in the park. The event is all ages; for those 21 and over, $20 gets you a glass goblet and five drink tickets. There’ll be music and food available but the venue is small and it’s limited to the two breweries, and thus it stays low-key.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it,” said Jason Kahler of Solera. “It’s a mellow day in the park, not your typical beer festival with a lot of standing in lines. It’s a nice green place and we expect to keep it small. There’s a quality of life angle rather than money on this one.”
Solog is a showcase for the two upper valley breweries only. The beer list won’t be known until about two weeks before the event. The two breweries set special ales aside throughout the year, ones that will age well, and bring them out for Solog. “It’s almost like a best-of beer event,” Kahler said.
But there is one ale that can be revealed.
Logsdon and Solog put four wheels under a unique collaboration: “a pale ale of sorts,” Kahler said, one fermented entirely with brettanamyces.
“The flavor it brings is akin to the profile Logsdon is made known for, with its house brett strains,” he said.
But rather than merely deciding on a recipe that is brewed jointly at one location, the two breweries transported it from one brewhouse to the other: Kahler started it in early June at Solera, and about a week later Logsdon brought in its box truck, parked it outside with a fermenter in the back and Kahler and Logsdon’s John Polchuk pumped the beer out of the Solera tanks and drove it eight miles to the Logsdon. “Most collabs are two brewers sitting down and hammering out and brewing it at one of the places,” Kahler said.
It’s far from the first collaboration by the breweries, and there may be others on hand at Solog, according to Kahler. “When we worked with Logsdon in past, we tried to do different things, blend some beers together. We’ll probably do that as well, dig into our cellars and find some older things to find to blend.”
New, and old, releases at Full Sail, Double Mtn.
Full Sail’s new Brewmaster Reserve Capsize Imperial Pilsner is hitting the shores, or at least the shelves, for the summer. Capsize has intense aromas of pine and citrus balanced by a full malty body and a long, clean, hoppy bitterness.
Full Sail Brewmaster Jim Kelter describes Capsize (7 percent ABV, 60 IBUs) this way: “With an extra load of Cascade hops from start to finish, we have upended our Pilsner. Big hop flavors of citrus and pine abound, but with a smooth malt character, this one is remarkably easy to drink.” He said its “clean malt profile, well balanced with moderate bitterness, sets the stage for a blend of Cascade, Crystal and Citra hops to provide a spicy Northwest backbone to the full-bodied golden lager.”
Capsize Imperial Pilsner is similar in style to the Full Sail brew with the same name from the early 2000s, but is brewed with a completely new recipe. Full Sail recommends pairing it with burgers, steaks, barbecue, or spicy desserts such as gingerbread and carrot cake or with Roquefort, Stilton, Camembert, Taleggio and aromatic and pungent aged cheeses.
Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series allows the brewmasters to put their creativity, innovation and passion into small, limited-release beers. Over the years, Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series has earned 18 gold medals. Brewmaster Reserve Capsize Imperial Pilsner is available June through October in 22-ounce bottles and draft.
Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom releases seasonal favorite, the Cluster Single-Hop (7.3 percent ABV, 85 BU) in bottles for the fourth year. This IPA is currently available on draft and by bottle at the Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom.
Brewer Matt Coughlin said the oft forgotten Cluster hop was the dominant hop in the U.S. brewing industry for centuries. “With this single hop IPA, we’re putting it in the spotlight.”
Clusters were added at every stage of the brewing process, allowing a good taste of the complexity and versatility of this hop. A more delicate floral note at the top leads you deeper in to a grove of pineapple and orange, and a dewy herbal character follows closely behind, noted Coughlin.
New releases available, in bottles, include a couple of house favorites: The Irreverent (Belgian quad) in 375 ml and the pilsner, in 500 ml.
Double Mountain also introduces a vertical pack of Kriek ales: the 2015, along with the harder-to-find 2013 and 2014 versions, with a goblet.