You know Brewvana Tours if you hang out in or on the fringe of the Portland beer scene. The little magic buses (Angel and Rose) can be seen carting beer fans between breweries and events in Beervana and beyond. These guys are your ticket to discovering the local and state beer scene.
Sunday's tour kicked off at Buckman Botanical Brewery, located inside the Green Dragon. Head (and only brewer) Brewer Danny Connors showed us the ropes of his little brewery and explained what he's up to. He essentially uses minimal hops in the creation of his beers...and mostly in the boil for mild bitterness. To achieve flavor and aroma, he uses a variety of things other than hops at the end of the boil...orange peel, ginger, apple juice, etc.
|Inside the botanical brewery|
Our next stop was Amnesia Brewing on Mississippi. There wasn't quite enough sun for the outdoor area to be packed the way it will be once the warm weather returns, but it was busy enough. We worked our way through several pitchers...Dusty Trail Pale Ale, ESB, Porter and Desolation IPA. All good beers I've had a time or two before.
|Our guide Nikki talks Amnesia|
Next up was Rogue Hall, in the heart of Portland State University. I'd never been to this place before. It's pleasantly warm and friendly. Lunch was served here and it was really good. Beer tasters were already on the table when we walked in and included Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Dead Guy Ale, Hazelnut Brown Ale and PSU IPA.
|Tasting the plank|
Our final stop was Hair of the Dog Brewing. The Dog's old world big ales may not have been exactly what we needed on our last stop, but this place is always fun to visit. We were served tasters of Greg, Fred, Adam and Blue Dot IPA. Each of these beers is terrific in its own way, although I'm not sure they go together very well as a tasting flight. But never mind.
|Dog day Oscar afternoon|
Full disclosure: From time to time, Brewvana offers complimentary rides to members of the beer media. That was the case on this tour. Thanks for the ride, kids!