Low Temps, High Gravity | Beer & Drink | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Food & Drink » Beer & Drink

Low Temps, High Gravity

Bold beer in the air at McMenamins

by

comment

It's only natural, once temperatures dip below freezing and the sidewalks all ice over for three months, that a person's mind turns toward darker, maltier, more robust beer. (For those people of drinking age, that is.)

McMenamins Old St. Francis School, just outside downtown, is ready to oblige. The third annual High Gravity Extravaganza, a rare winter-season beer festival in Bend, is taking place this Saturday, offering a couple dozen beers (and a few ciders, too) meant to offer you cold comfort. It's a great chance not just to try a lot of complex, flavorful ales for cheap ($15 for ten taster-glass fills), but to see what the staffs at McMenamins' other breweries in Oregon and Washington are cooking up without having to travel over the pass. Show up between 1 and 4 p.m., and you'll also get to chat with some of the brewers as you try their stuff. Music begins at 3 pm and the event runs until 10 pm.

Some of the highlights:

Magnuson Strong Ale: Probably the best beer from the pub chain's Thompson Brewery in Salem, Magnuson is a traditional strong pale ale that keeps the hops on the down-low and its powerful caramel-ish flavor front and center. Whoever created the term "winter warmer" was picturing something like this.

The Descendant: Deschutes Brewery's contribution to the fest is a sour ale they're calling a "younger sibling" of The Dissident, their Flanders-style brown ale last released in November. It uses the same recipe as The Dissident—oak casks, Oregon blackberries, the whole bit—but is fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, making this Deschutes' first entirely Brett beer.

Edgefield Extra One Year: A barleywine hailing from the McMenamins Edgefield complex outside Portland, Extra is the sole barleywine of the show, a 10.7 percent alcohol by volume (ABV)- ale that overloads your taste buds with toffee, grain, and booze. This four-barrel batch has also been aged in whiskey barrels since 2014, intended to give it an even more complex flavor package.

Notorious Triple IPA (Boneyard): No explanation necessary.

MM: Homebrewers who take a kitchen-sink approach to their recipes will appreciate this beer, the 2,000th batch brewed at the Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery. Brewer Tom Johnson has crammed 20 different malts and 20 different hops into this reddish-brown ale, and Johnson reports that it's got a full-bodied base of malt flavors and a heavy citrus/tropical kick from the hops. It's like having every beer from Roseburg Station in one glass—whether that's a good thing or not is a question we can only answer this weekend.

About The Author

Speaking of...

Add a comment

More by Kevin Gifford

Latest in Beer & Drink