The Ale List: Kriekfest postponed; Gorge Gulp and pFriem’s sixth are up next

Chris Carpenter and the Collective perform for a large crowd at the Waterfront Park July 26 in the fourth and final pFriem Family Brewing Thursday concert. Cool tunes, a steady breeze, and six different pFriem ales led to a comfortable night on the lawn.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Chris Carpenter and the Collective perform for a large crowd at the Waterfront Park July 26 in the fourth and final pFriem Family Brewing Thursday concert. Cool tunes, a steady breeze, and six different pFriem ales led to a comfortable night on the lawn.

Citing the expected triple-digit heat and competition with other events, organizer Brian Yeager announced postponement of the third annual Kriekfest planned for this weekend at Hood River Waterfront Park, to a date to be determined in September. Those sour cherry beers are worth the wait, but it adds to an already-crowded September festival list, which includes two that month in Hood River: Hops Fest and the Elks Beer Festival.

Meanwhile, two local beer festivities are on the horizon — the same weekend, in fact.

Pfriem Family Brewing celebrates its sixth anniversary with a party at Waterfront Park on Aug. 4 from 4-9 p.m. This is a free, all-ages event that annually overflows the Waterfront Amphitheater, between the beer tent, live music, lawn games, kid’s entertainment and food.

The Quick & Easy Boys and Object Heavy will perform, and food vendors include Pok Pok, Pastrami Zombie, Local Grind and more.

The brewery notes on its Facebook page, “We encourage our guests to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets as we won’t have seating available. August is typically very warm and sunny in Hood River, so please remember to bring sun protection!”

The post also says, “Parking is available along Portway Avenue,” which to be frank is a simultaneous understatement AND overstatement. It is true that parking is available, but the stretch of Portway around pFriem is one nominee for highest-demand parking area in the city.

So, if you plan to go, here’s a tip:

We’ve written numerous times about the Pink Trolley that this summer circuits from the Heights through downtown and on to Portway Avenue on the waterfront. Plan to take it to pFriem and back that day. Parking is at a premium, and the trolley is just plain a lot of fun.

Gorge Gulp returns

On Aug. 3, the third annual Gorge Gulp Beer and Cider Fest goes from 5-9 p.m., outdoors at Third and State streets and will feature live music from The Hazelnuts, plus all 13 beer breweries in the Gorge and two local cider makers providing tastes of their beverages. Proceeds from the event will support the Hood River County Education Foundation (HRCEF) scholarships.

The event is planned for local folks to get a chance to taste local brews, and will not be advertised outside of the Gorge, according to HRCEF Board President Pat Evenson-Brady.

“It’s amazing to have all the Gorge breweries from Cascade Locks to Parkdale, and from both side of the river, in the same location at the same time, to taste and compare,” reports Mike Schend, chair of the HRCEF Fundraising Committee.

“And, the chance to support the scholarships that help our young people in post-secondary education makes the event even more compelling,” adds Evenson-Brady.

Breweries bringing their brews include: Backwoods Brewing, (Carson), Dwinell County Ales (Goldendale), Walking Man (Stevenson) and Everybody’s (White Salmon): All from Washington. Hood River brewers pouring at the Gulp include Big Horse, Double Mountain, Full Sail, Ferment Brewing, and pFriem. Other Oregon brewers include Thunder Island (Cascade Locks), Solera (Parkdale), Freebridge and Sedition (The Dalles). Ciders will be provided by Fox Tail Cider (Odell) and Slopeswell (Hood River).

Tickets are $20 per person and include five tastes and a souvenir glass. Gustavo’s Tacos will offer food (not included in the ticket).

The Hood River County Education Foundation provides more than $85,000 each year in college scholarships to Hood River County students. Scholarships are funded by local donors and HRCEF fundraising events. Anyone interested in contributing to scholarships or creating a scholarship of their choice, call 541-387-5713.

Honors and samples

Full Sail Brewery’s Session EZ IPA won silver at the 2018 Can Can Awards, the premier beer competition focused solely on canned craft beer. In the Can Can Awards’ second year, more than 400 beers were entered from across the globe, including entries from both big and small breweries alike.

The Can Can Awards invites beer industry professionals to blindly sample canned beers submitted from breweries and brewpubs around the world. The judges panel sips submitted beers in order to award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the three beers that best represent each individual category. Beers are assigned to judges with specific and applicable experience with the particular category in question.

Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom releases a new seasonal favorite, Hood River Helles (4.9 percent ABV, 30BU). This is currently available on draft and in bottles at the downtown Hood River Taproom and southeast Portland Taproom in the Woodstock neighborhood. Hood River Helles can be found throughout the Northwest and British Columbia in early August.

“Lagers are a sense of wonder for me and on the right day, my favorite beers,” said brewmaster/owner Matt Swihart.

“When in beer school in Chicago, my professor, Dr. Joe Power, famously said of ales and lagers, that in ales, you taste the brewer’s art and the delights of fermentation flavors in lagers you taste the ingredients, the malt, the water, the hops, the bread-like yeasts. The difficulty is they are the hardest to brew and hide nothing. The lighter they are, the more they show their imperfections. Cold, slow fermentation, long aging, greatest attention to every detail bring about the best lagers. Helles is the current Bavarian standard. All German malts, our Hood River water supply, being the some of the softest on earth, and fresh, bright, subtle hops bring you this delightful beer.”

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