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Friday, July 29, 2011

Drink(s) of the Week: 6 Not-to-Miss Beers from the Oregon Brewers Festival

The sun is finally shining in the Pacific Northwest, and with the Oregon Brewers Festival in full swing, the timing couldn’t be better. From now through Sunday, craft breweries from Oregon—like Ninkasi, Coalition and Double Mountain—and across the country—like Dogfish Head, Mad River and Great Divide—are pouring upwards of 80 different brews, and for today’s Drink of the Week we’ve put together a mixed six-pack of not-to-miss beers from the fest.

Dogfish Head Black & Red
Milton, Delaware 10% ABV
A raspberry mint imperial stout? Leave it to Dogfish Head to come up with this combo. “Dry-minted” with 100 pounds of organic peppermint and spearmint during a secondary fermentation, this big brew balances all that minty freshness with rich, chocolaty malts and a hefty dose of tart, tangy raspberries.

Great Divide Rumble
Denver, CO 7.1% ABV
Great Divide is known for its boundary-pushing brews, and this wood-aged IPA lives up to the hype with a heavy dose of Pacific Northwest hops mellowed by subtle aging in French and American oak. The results offer a sophisticated mix of fresh citrus, bitter pine and vanilla.

Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild
Petaluma, CA 8.7%
The assertive big brother to Lagunitas’ popular Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ ale, this Belgian-inspired strong ale boasts a mouthful of bold malts, bitter hops and a huge—albeit well-integrated—ABV.

New Belgium Somersault
Fort Collins, CO 5.2% ABV
You’ll love this crisp summer ale fresh with flavors of ginger, apricot and a touch of spice. Plus it’s currently available on shelves across the country.

Ninkasi Helles Belles
Eugene, OR 5% ABV
Oregon microbrewer Ninkasi slakes thirsty palates with its low-alcohol German-style helles beer, bright and lively with notes of lemon, crispy malts and a touch of salt on the finish.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler
Chico, CA 5.5% ABV
A brown ale primed to usher in autumn, this beer balances pale, chocolate and smoked malts with two hop varieties. Look for it on store shelves starting in the next few weeks.