Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
BATCH 001: Ashlee Bridgewater of Double Mountain and Ron Dodge of Hood River Distillers celebrate at the release party June 1 at Hood River Distillers Tasting Room, 304 Oak St., Hood River.
As of Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Kriekfest, the summer’s first big beer event in the Gorge, returns to Parkdale for its second annual celebration of cherry-based sour ales — local, regional, national and international — on June 24 starting at noon at Clear Creek Station. KriekFest is presented by Brian Yeager and Solera Brewery and is an all-ages event; tasting is $25 and includes a souvenir goblet (kriekfest.com, and Merctickets.com/go/Kriekfest).
Cantillon of Belgium will be back, along with Hanssens, Drie Fontenens, and Lindemans of Belgium, Alesong of Eugene with something intriguingly titled “Cherry Parliament,” and Firestone Walker of California with “Krieky Bones.” National standouts including Lost Abbey, Jester King, New Belgium Bruery Terreux, and Modern Times.
Also look for krieks from Double Mountain, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Solera, and pFriem Family Brewing, as well as “Hood Creek Cherry” from Slopewell Cider Company and Denmark’s Frederiksal with an offering of cherry wine.
Hopped Whiskey introduced
A smooth new collaboration between Double Mountain Brewery and Hood River Distillers poured June 1: HR Distillers’ hopped whiskey, one of the first of the newly-popular hybrid of spirits to emerge in the Pacific Northwest, produced under direction of Double Mountain founder Matt Swihart. On hand at the June 1 release party were Ron Dodge, CEO of HR Distillers, and brewery marketing director Ashlee Bridgewater. The 82-proof whiskey employs Apollo and Cascade hops.
“It’s the blending of both worlds,” Bridgewater said. “The diversity in palates has really changed and people really appreciate the fact that the products go together,” he said, noting that “there have been several beer industry companies that have done it.” These include 3 Howls Distillery in Seattle and Cooper Run in Missouri.
Dodge said, “We approached Matt, after some of our younger team members thought a hopped whiskey would be a great idea. Instead of us creating our own brand, we thought it would be great to do a local partnership. We had partnered with (Double Mountain) on some other project in the past, including making the wash for the McCarthy’s whiskey (another HRD brand with Hood River roots). We’re working with them on two projects now and we’re excited about both.”
Swihart said, “Smooth citrus and floral flavors complement the sweetness found in 100 percent corn whiskey.”
Brian Wavernek, HRD quality control manager, said making hopped whiskey starts with a split batch of corn whiskey, one part infused with whole leaf Cascade Hops, and in the other portion infused in Oregon oak barrels. “We put them together and then we add Apollo hop oil and Cascade hop oil and they slowly infused into the batch, and it gets filtered and bottled and off we go,” Wavernek said.
Bridgewater recommended pairing Batch 001 with Double Vaporizer, as the beer is “smooth and not as hoppy but it’s got that flavor.
"We found it paired really well together.” HR Distillers mixes the whiskey into a variety of cocktails, including the luminescent “Double Summer”: equal parts Hopped Whiskey, Yazi Vodka, lemon juice and Raft Citrus Rosemary, shaken on ice, with a dash of cardamom bitters and lemon wheel.