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What is the quintessential NW beer?

Discussion in 'US - Northwest' started by aaronCS, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. aaronCS

    aaronCS Aficionado (100) Oregon Feb 20, 2012

    My wife and I were putting together a hypothetical Oregon gift basket for her family, but I couldn't figure out what beer I would add. There's just so many!
    What style screams NW? If you were to pick a single northwest beer to represent our region, what would it be?
  2. Workhorse IPA.

    1. It's organic.
    2. It's an IPA with NW hops.
    ellswrth likes this.
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    It would certainly be IPA. I'm not sure if a single brew could be chosen as "THE" PNW IPA, but you'll have fun trying them out to decide. Perhaps fresh Blue Dot?
    BrewBoone and John_M like this.
  4. aaronCS

    aaronCS Aficionado (100) Oregon Feb 20, 2012

    I was thinking an IPA, but the ones I like the best have big citrus notes -- like Blue Dot. Citrus doesn't seem particularly Northwestern.
    checktherhyme likes this.
  5. Shmeal

    Shmeal Advocate (540) Oregon Nov 9, 2009

    Black butte porter would be my choice. It's a benchmark porter that's been around since the beginning.
    kemoarps, libbey, leedorham and 7 others like this.
  6. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    I think that's a great call. I just think that IPA's are our deal up here, and would be more representative of PNW overall. But, I was wrong once before, so, it could theoretically happen again.
    NWer likes this.
  7. Reidrover

    Reidrover Advocate (695) Oregon Jan 14, 2003

    Rogue Imperial IPA
    JKAllen and beertunes like this.
  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    Now that's comedy gold right there!;)
  9. Bridgeport IPA. I drink more Workhorse by far but think this the the one for your basket.
    Bitterbill and djbreezy like this.
  10. Reidrover

    Reidrover Advocate (695) Oregon Jan 14, 2003

    Is Workhorse still available ? all i see is Gear-head in Salem
  11. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,075) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    For me, it has to be Mirror Ponda true NW-style IPA.
  12. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    draheim likes this.
  13. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,075) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    You're right of course. I'll just say that Mirror Pond is the quintessential NW beer.
  14. honkduh

    honkduh Savant (315) Oregon Jun 2, 2011

  15. Mirror Pond for sure then Bridgeport IPA
  16. Then Full Sail Amber?
  17. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,075) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    You're being a bit cheeky I think, but the reason I picked Mirror Pond is because it's ubiquitous and, as much as any other beer, best characterizes a typical Northwest beer. Are better beers brewed here? Of course. But just as a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke are (I'd argue) the quintessential American meal, I think Mirror Pond exemplifies the traditional NW approach to beer. And come to think of it, it tastes pretty damn good with a cheeseburger and fries—or just about anything else you pair it with.
    beertunes likes this.
  18. kscaldef

    kscaldef Champion (810) Oregon Jun 11, 2010

    I think it's hard to answer this without a little more context about OP's family. Are they craft drinkers normally? Are they going to appreciate a screamingly hopped IPA or make a yuck face? Mirror Pond and Black Butte are very good and widely appreciated beers. (Although also widely distributed, so maybe the family can already buy them?)
  19. I really wasn't being cheeky. When I first moved to the PNW and started drinking craft, the big boys on the block I recall were: Bridgeport IPA, Full Sail Amber, Redhook ESB, Widmer Hefeweizen, Pyramid Hefeweizen, and Henry Weinhard. I don't remember Deschutes from those days at all.

    I know the OP is looking for the quintessential NW beer but I was thinking more along the lines of first entries.
  20. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,075) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    OK, gotcha. Need to recalibrate my sarcastometer.
  21. aaronCS

    aaronCS Aficionado (100) Oregon Feb 20, 2012

    They'll try anything once.
  22. Gobigvt7

    Gobigvt7 Savant (345) Oregon Mar 15, 2008

    Workhorse is a good one (but is it organic? I feel like I scoured that bottle for the info on that last week and came up empty). I'd put a vote in for Gigantic IPA. New, imminently awesome, great local artwork labels.
  23. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Savant (360) Oregon Oct 23, 2009

    Everyday: RPM IPA
    Big: Abyss
    Sour: Vlad
    libbey, Lordkrystic and guajolote like this.
  24. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (645) Germany Jan 19, 2010

    What about something from HUB?
    Eco brewhouse, organic beer and its vegan, maybe thats just really Portland:)
    mporter13 likes this.
  25. DimensionX

    DimensionX Savant (335) Oregon Oct 1, 2010

  26. Churchkey is in Seattle. ;)
  27. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Savant (340) Oregon Jun 3, 2005

    I like Lucky Lab Super Dog for this distinction. Big bold hoppy IPA, limited to this area with a touch of dirty hippy and/or grunge. Will have to get a hand bottle at the brewery.
  28. Texwild

    Texwild Savant (290) Washington May 1, 2008

    If its "NWWEST" it has to include Washington...just saying. No disrespect to our OR brothers and sisters.
  29. Hi, Vasili, Brewmaster at Laurelwood here. Workhorse is not one of our Organic beers. With the new regulations for organic hops, untill the aroma varieties are available in organic form, we can't consider it. Thanks,
    Gobigvt7, beertunes and libbey like this.
  30. Yeah, but the OP is in Oregon, and you guys don't distribute there yet.
  31. aaronCS

    aaronCS Aficionado (100) Oregon Feb 20, 2012

    Let's not fight guys. Oregon and Washington aren't so different. They both have great breweries; Oregon's breweries are just a little bit greater.
  32. beertunes

    beertunes Poobah (1,255) Washington Sep 24, 2007

    Yeah, but WA has more rareness:cool:.
    bifrost17 likes this.
  33. kemoarps

    kemoarps Advocate (675) Washington Apr 30, 2008

    I dunno about quintessential, but I particularly liked Hop in the Dark.

    Also, Quilters Irish Death, but that's kind of neither here nor there
  34. I'd put Ninkasi (Eugene) double red and H U B (Portland) double Red as very fine NW beers.
  35. djbreezy

    djbreezy Advocate (520) Washington Dec 16, 2008

    It's a toss up between Bridgeport IPA and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. It's hard to argue that other beers have had more impact on the NW industry than these.
  36. Historically, I don't think that's always been the case. IPA's have seemed to become trendy all over. Hop it up apparently. Even Duvel has made a triple hopped beer. I guess people finally figured out that Hops attribute an exra type of alcohol to beer, which has a different type of euphoric effect?
  37. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Huh. What?
    beertunes likes this.
  38. "Hops are also used in herbal medicine in a way similar to valerian, as a treatment for anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.[30] A pillow filled with hops is a popular folk remedy for sleeplessness, and animal research has shown a sedative effect.[31] The relaxing effect of hops may be due, in part, to the specific chemical component dimethylvinyl carbinol.[32][33] Hops tend to be unstable when exposed to light or air and lose their potency after a few months' storage.(
    1. ^ Plants for a Future: Humulus lupulus Plants for a Future. Retrieved September 4, 2012.)
  39. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,320) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Bridgeport IPA, check. Mirror Pond, check. How about Red Chair NWPA?
  40. Gobigvt7

    Gobigvt7 Savant (345) Oregon Mar 15, 2008

    Ha! Didn't expect that. I was just as confused as leedorham. It seemed from the wording that you were implying hops aided in increased abv. I'm not sure if people are into IPAs because of the euphoric effect as much as the aromatic and bitter deliciousness. I would, however, disagree that Pales and IPAs are just a recent trend in PNW craft beer. Although other styles have always existed, I think it'd be hard to argue against a hop-forward beer representing the PNW craft beer movement.