Thursday, May 18, 2017

SOUR FLOWER FEST

April showers bring May flowers, or in the case of Cascade Brewing, sour ales made with flowers. Cascade Brewing will present its inaugural Sour Flower Fest May 18 through May 21 at its two Portland pubs, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House and the Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub. The event is free to attend, beer sampling costs additional.

The Sour Flower Fest will showcase more than half a dozen new small batch blends made with floral ingredients. (Please note, all beers will be pouring at the Barrel House throughout the event; the Raccoon Lodge may rotate taps, so call ahead if you really want to try something specific, 503-296-0110.) Here's what you can try:

Lavender Lemon, a blend of sour blond and triple ales aged in oak barrels for up to 16 months with late infusions of lavender and Meyer lemon peel. Soft floral and perfume notes from the lavender are matched with a fresh, vibrant lemon character in this celebratory blend.

Desert Bloom, featuring sour blond ales aged in oak barrels for up to 16 months with a late infusion of sage, yarrow flowers and High Desert honey from our friends at Bee Local. Inspired by the Oregon High Desert country, this new blend captures the essence of the native plants found in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Bees Knees, a blend of blond ales aged in oak wine barrels for up to 15 months, then infused with dried honeysuckle flowers and wildflower honey. Floral and grassy flavors from the honeysuckle are complemented by a soft honeycomb sweetness in this sour beer representation of a spring meadow.

Cherry Blossom, our take on one of Spring’s most idyllic blooms, is a sour blond ale aged in oak barrels with sour pie cherries, then infused with pink rose petals and black Assam tea leaves. Cherry Blossom is both fruity and floral with a brilliant pink hue and a light tannic finish.

Pistil Whipped, a blend of sour strong blond ales infused with saffron and chamomile flowers. Pouring a rich golden-yellow from the saffron’s distinct color infusion, this Sour Flower Fest creation captures saffron’s earthy, hay-like spice character with a gentle chamomile tea background.

Hop Flower Sour, a sour blond ale dry-hopped with Motueka hops, celebrates the brewing world’s most beloved flower: the hop! Fresh citrus, tropical and grass notes are the hallmark of this rare dry-hopped sour beer offering from Cascade Brewing.

Bouquet of Flowers, our interpretation of a floral bouquet in a sour beer! This rare project features a sour wheat ale aged for 12 months then infused with chamomile flowers, meadowsweet flowers, rose petals and a dash of honey. This unique blend offers flavors of chamomile tea and lemon citrus, finishing with a hint of rose and a light honeycomb sweetness.

Rose City Sour, our tribute to Portland's reputation as the "City of Roses." This is a blend of barrel-aged wheat and blond ales infused with rose petals, rose hips and hibiscus tea.

Strawberry 2012, a blend of wheat and blond ales aged in oak wine barrels with strawberries and vanilla beans for up to 12 months. Bright and crisp, the 2012 Strawberry captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla and fruit preserves.

Hips & Tips (non-sour), a saison aged in Chardonnay barrels with additions of rose hips and petals (tips) added during the aging process. Bright notes of white grape, rose and grapefruit are present in the aroma. A mild, fruity sweetness is accompanied by citrus and a touch of tannins within the complex flavor of this floral saison.

For our sour fans out of the area, these beers are all small batch, draft only, and will not be bottled or distributed in the near future.

As a guest tap, the Barrel House will also pour Bes from Little Beast Brewing; Bes is a tart wheat ale brewed with Belgian malts, Noble hops and chamomile flower.