Back to the Future IPA

by Breakside Brewery & Fremont Brewing

Portland’s variant of this cooperative ale features distinct hops:

This IPA is a cross-border collaboration with Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, planned collaboratively and brewed by each brewery for our cities’ respective beer weeks. It’s named for the futuristic hops used…Azacca and Ella in ours [Breakside’s].

The brew looks very similar to Fremont’s version of the IPA, but its flavor diverges. Grassy, earthy hop notes give way to a mildly fruity sweetness. A citrus-y and spicy zing steals away the end. Overall, it’s balanced and unique.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Sagittarious B2N

by Ecliptic Brewing & Dogfish Head Brewery

This curious brew, a “saison ale brewed with grapefruit, lemon and hibiscus,” has a story behind it:

The genesis of this collaboration was sparked when friend, and Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione sold our John Harris the brewhouse that Ecliptic uses today. We offer this special beer in celebration.

Deep in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 26,000 light years away, lies a massive ethanol cloud designated Sagittarious B2N. While it is often imagined that alcohol is a creation of our earthy fermentation pursuits, Sagittarious B2N and other interstellar clouds like it prove that alcohol has existed long before we humans.

The beer tastes of tartness and fruit; clove-like spices linger. The hop profile is pungent and herbal with some lemon-y citrus. It’s difficult to categorize, but the beer remains interesting throughout.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Simcoe IPX

by Hopworks Urban Brewery

HUB’s experimental single hop series continues with this ale featuring Simcoe hops (image), playfully named “Sim-Pati-Coe.” The beer comes with a little history lesson:

Developed by the Yakima Chief Ranch in Washington, the Simcoe is a well-known and popular hop for both bittering and aroma additions since its release in 2000.

The label notes “Pine and Citrus” notes, and mentions the use of dry-hopping. The beer’s all about the hop, apparent in its flavor: a sturdy but unglamorous malt body allows the beer to reflect crisp pine with earthiness and the mentioned citrus. The beer remains interesting throughout.

Rating:

4 out of 5

Lawnmower Lager

by Caldera Brewing Co.

Caldera keeps this beer simple:

For all you people who are afraid of beer you can’t see through, this one’s for you. Light and easy.

The beer emerges from the can as a clear yellow-golden liquid. A mix of sweet malt and earthy, bitter hops compose its flavor. The brew tastes fairly basic and straightforward, as it set out to be. It’s still an enjoyable easy-drinker.

Rating:

3 out of 5

Wünderbier

by Ninkasi Brewing Company

This seasonal brew from Ninkasi presents the perfect companion to these extreme temperatures:

Fermented at ale temperatures and conditioned at colder lager temperatures, this golden-colored beer has a subtle, crisp sweetness with a light flavor. With a light body and a dry yet crisp finish, this beer is a balanced and sessionable, perfect for summertime enjoyment!

Wünderbier pours as a clean and yellow. Lemon and grassy hops balance with mild malt sweetness to make a crisp, refreshing beverage. It’s smooth, tasty, invigorating, and reasonably priced – perfect for a summer afternoon.

Rating:

3 out of 5