Review: Fortside Brewing Co., Vancouver WA

The second brewery stop on Friday, May 29th was at Fortside Brewing Co., located off of NE Andresen (just south of Fourth Plain Blvd. a few blocks). We were super excited to learn about this brand spankin’ new brewery at the Thirsty Sasquatch bar and decided to make the drive down Fourth Plain to try it out. Fortside just opened in late April 2015, so it’s really new and they only have three of their own beer available, +1 root beer (non-alcoholic). The location is in an industrial mall complex, the signage on Andresen is limited to just a small thing on the side of the building, so you need to keep an eye out for it. The building has a large painted logo on it, and as you can see from the pics, it’s a long open space with lots of raw wood, metal, and windows. The bar seats just a few people, they have plenty of tables, and a few seats outside for the smokers.

The brewing facility is in the back of the business behind a large glass/windowed wall. We spent a few moment talking to the bartender about it and he was happy to share what he could about what they are doing and such. He was happy to hear that we came over from the downtown area, as there is really no brewing going on in this part of Vancouver to speak of. They are trying really hard to get up to capacity and produce some good quality beers. The bartender said that if we wanted to bring food in or have it delivered, they are totally cool with that. There’s a Japanese noodle house across the street (Andresen) from the location.

As you can see in the pictures below, they had three of their own beers and two guest taps that night. One from Heathen (Van. WA) and the other from Upright Brewing in Portland. The three beers from Fortside are quite good and we hung out for pints after the tasters disappeared (review below goes from front to back as seen in the picture below). I enjoyed the Pale Ale the most. I would like to thank Phil from Dirty Hands in Vancouver for stopping by and chatting at our table for about 1/2 an hour. He just happened to stop in to check them out like us about the same time, and one of our buddies dad’s plays in a band that performs at Dirty Hands from time to time. It’s great to see other local brewers supporting each other and such. Overall, I’d go back after a few months to see if they have expanded their lineup and give them a try again.

Fortside Brewing Co.
2200 NE Andresen, #B
Vancouver, WA

Fortside Brewing Co. • Pale Ale • IBU: 39 • ABV: 5.4% • 10 SRM
This mid-yellow hue, bright white head ale has a slight pine and citrus nose. The carbonation is a bit low, and the head dropped pretty quick on it. The body is somewhat thin and dry finishing. The sharper dry citrus, pine and hop ester notes from the hops are on the mid and back, lingering well past the sip.
Couve A’licious
Fortside Brewing Co. • American Brown Ale • IBU: 20 • ABV: 5.2% • 21 SRM
This brown ale has a darker orange/red hue and a slightly off-white head that left a decent clingy spider-web on the glass. The nose is a bit sweet, bread-like, and dry. The front mouth is a little malt forward with a balanced malt and secondary hop profile that includes some floral, forest floor funk, and a variety of dark spices to help round it out. This is a great session-able brown ale.
Bitch Session
Fortside Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 69 • ABV: 5.5% • 14 SRM
Orange hue, white foamy head that leaves little lacing in the glass. The nose is somewhat weak, but does speak of pine, citrus and spice. The front to mid mouth-feel is somewhat crisp/sharp with the citrus rind esters that linger into grapefruit bitters. The mid to back finishes dry and the malts are really secondary to this really hoppy IPA.
Red Wing Lager
Upright Brewing Co. • North American Adjunct Lager • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5.8% • 18 SRM
Amber lager with a solid head that didn’t settle. The lacing was really large bubbly and neat. The nose is solid biscuit and sweet breads/grains. The sugar is up front, the malt-dry solid body has a lot of rounded characters that end in a nice toasted after taste. The hops are really behind the malts on this one. Good red lager.
Promiscuous Blonde
Heathen Brewing Co. • Blone Ale • IBU: 19 • ABV: 5.5% • 6 SRM
This bright yellow ale has a thin head that settled quickly. The nose is sharp yeast, citrus, grass and lemony. The hops on the front end up being somewhat laid back and not as forward as the nose implies. The grassy feel to the hops and thin body help the yeasty characters sneak in and linger into the back and after taste. Really standard blonde ale without being too pretentious.
Root beer
Fortside Brewing Co. • Root beer (NA) • IBU: ?? • ABV: 0% • 40+ SRM
Non-Alcoholic Root beer is frothy, solid black/brown hue, slight tan head, solid nose of a sarsaparillas with tons of sweet sugars and a lingering spice on the back.

Review: Rail Side Brewing Co., Vancouver WA

Back on Friday, May 29th. I met up with a few friends at this newly relocated brewery in the Hazel Dell neighborhood of Vancouver Washington, Rail Side Brewing around 3:30pm. It’s located behind a large outdoor strip mall off of NE 76th st (behind the Natural Grocers and The Barbers). So if you don’t use your GPS you’ll have a tricky time finding it. The building is somewhat small, they take up 1/2 of it on the east side. The parking is on all sides so it was nice finding a close spot and not having to walk. They usually have the front garage door open, so you can easily see how busy it is. They also have outdoor seating for the smokers.

The original location that I had visited a few years ago was in Washougal WA (now occupied by Doomsday Brewing), and this spot isn’t much bigger in size. They do offer pizza and some snacks which are made on site. A few people at the table I was at ordered the nachos, and OMG they were HUGE and looked really good. The main room has a small bar you can sit at, with a few other small tables. If you are going to meet a large group, hope you get there early (open at 3pm daily) and grab one of the bigger ones. There tends to only be one server, Olga, and she’s the wife to the owner/brewer. She does her best to get to everyone, but it’s best to order at the bar where she’s usually pouring beer.

The production area is in a room with only a small window to look in on the back side of the main seating area. We didn’t really get to check out how many and what size tanks they have, but I’m sure it’s the same amount as their Washougal location if not more. They were out of a few beers when I got there which sort of sucked and when I was done w/ my sampler, they had just ran out of the porter. Their available beers were a bit one-dimensional in that it was a lot of IPA’s/Pales with similar hop qualities and profiles. The malt builds used did help differentiate the beers, but the strength of the hop flavors tended to be similar. While they were all good, nothing bad, I would hope that they tweek the recipes a bit to give a bit more variety among the IPA’s they have. Overall, I’d definitely go back and support this small operation if I was in the area. I have a few friends that live nearby, so I may be stopping in a few times a month. In the end, my favorite beers were the One-10 Wheat (heffeweizen) and the Tindberbox Porter.

Rail Side Brewing Co.
309 NE 76th st
Vancouver, WA 98665
P: (360) 907-8582

Trestle Northwest IPA
Rail Side Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 72 • ABV: 6.9% • OG: 13°P • 12 SRM
Hops: Summit, Cascade
This amber IPA had a nice head, solid lacing on the rim from the stark white foam, and a soft nose of sweet malts and citrus hops. The front and mid mouth are pretty solid with a malt backed, slightly sweet IPA bitter profile of citrus and earthy notes. The back is pretty smooth and clean.
Hopper Car
Rail Side Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 77 • ABV: 6.8% • OG: 13°P • 6 SRM
Hops: Chinook, Summit, Cascade
Bright yellow hue, white pillowy head, subtle lacing on the rim, slight floral and yeasty nose. The front and mid are pretty sharp citrus rind and earthy/grassy notes with a pretty solid body. The mid/back drops off pretty quickly, no real lingering bitters, just a hint of grassy yeast.
Last Car
Rail Side Brewing Co. • Imperial / Double Red IPA • IBU: 75 • ABV: 6.8% • OG: 18.9°P • 18 SRM
Hops: Summit
This amber/orange hued IPA has a nice white fluffy head and a slight sweet and citrus/hop nose. The front mouth is lots of floral and citrus (orange rind) and dry pith that lingers to the back mouth. This mid-bodied IPA has a pretty decent mix of bit profiles that end with a bit of oily/resin sharpness, but are backed with a nice malt build and rounded back.
Rail Side IPA
Rail Side Brewing Co. • English Style IPA • IBU: 55 • ABV: 6.2% • OG: 14.7°P • 24 SRM
Hops: Summit, Cascade
Nice red/orange to amber colored IPA with a low-volume head that dropps off. The nose is a little sweet with breads and grains and subtly yeastiness. The mouth feel is a bit thin and is lacking a little in carbonation. The malts do shine from front to back, with a nice floral and pine/resin hop profile. The back end was a bit shallow and didn’t have any lingering characteristics.
Rail Side Pale
Rail Side Brewing Co. • American Pale Ale • IBU: 39 • ABV: 5.7% • OG: 13.8°P • 26 SRM
Hops: Mt. Hood, Willamette
This somewhat amber/red hued draft had really no head, and low carbonation. It didn’t leave much lacing on the rim, and had a really sweet/yeasty nose that ran from citrus to earthy/leaves. The initial front mouth is a little bit off-putting to me. There is a chalky/resin quality to the malt build and hop profile that seemed challenging and didn’t sit right for a standard pale ale. There is a lot of citrus pith, acidic notes, and earthy qualities to the mid and back.
One 10 Wheat
Rail Side Brewing Co. • Hefeweizen • IBU: 26 • ABV: 5.6% • OG: 13.3°P • 4 SRM
Hops: Mt. Hood
Cloudy straw yellow colored draft with a bright and bubbly head. The nose is really strong in unfiltered yeast, clove and banana’s. This is a standard Bavarian Hef, but they served it with an orange slice instead of lemon. I chuckled a bit at that. The clove and yeast profile lingers from the front to back, leaving a nice solid after taste of banana’s and clove and a subtle hint of dry citrus hops.
Rail Side Brewing Co. • Porter • IBU: 27 • ABV: 6.3% • OG: 15.5°P • 35+ SRM
Hops: Mt. Hood
This porter pours with a slight off-white/tan head that dropped quickly. The body is a little bit transparent and not completely opaic. The nose has a bit of roasted grains and sweet malts. The front mouth is thin but a has a lot of effervescence and carbonation. The thin quality to this porter makes it more approachable than most. There is little/low coffee notes on the mid, the bitters come from the toasted grains that present on the back.
Old Railroad Tunnel
Rail Side Brewing Co. • Rye IPA • IBU: 56 • ABV: 6.2% • OG: 14.7°P • 16 SRM
Hops: Summit, Cascade
This is a cloudy slightly orange hued IPA. The head drops quickly leaving a little bit of spider web lacing on the rim. The nose is a bit of sweet grains, citrus/fruit, and dry grains. The front/mid mouth is full of a well balanced mix of malt body and hops that bring in citrus rinds/pith, dry grains, slight sweet sugary notes, subtle yeasty and chalk like coating of the mouth happens as well.

Review: Burnside Brewing, Portland OR

Memorial Day (Monday), May 25th we ended up at Burnside Brewing for a late lunch. The location is along the north side of east Burnside Blvd in Portland Oregon next to a lot of newly renovated buildings, shops, boutiques, strip bars, and restaurants. It has outdoor seating (as you can see from the pictures) that is open year round in their front parking lot. Which I must say, I have always been able to find a spot in every time we’ve gone, must be my awesome parking karma at work. Overall, this is a well established brewery with a full menu for lunch and dinner. The beer list includes a large variety of seasonal drafts and they do offer a bit of swag and 22oz. bottles for sale to go. You can do growler fills there as well.

The bar/restaurant is on the left side of the building, and the brewery to the right. I haven’t been into the brewery side, so I can’t speak to their production and size. I have been to the bar/restaurant a number of times, sitting both inside and outside, and can attest to the fact that they know what they are doing with their food menus and beers. This time around, we decided to do the full review and sampled all 14 available beers (see below). We sat at the bar and ordered some food and the samplers which came pretty quickly. We had our choice of tables as well, but picked to sit at the bar as it was slightly cooler there.

The best part about the visit this time around was that the bar/restaurant was that it was pretty empty, not loud, and the servers were super attentive to our needs and wanted to make sure that I got all the samples I needed. We did end up drinking a couple of beers after we ate and hung out for a little bit. Overall this is a great establishment that I can highly recommend if you’re on the East side of PDX looking for something to eat or drink. My favorite beers sampled were the Fifth Element, Silence of the Lambs, and the Too Sticky to Roll.

Burnside Brewing Co.
701 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214
Brewery: 503-208-3476
Pub: 503-946-8151

Burnside IPA
Burnside Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 85 • ABV: 6.5% • 9 SRM
Hops: Galena, Cascade, Meridian. Dry hopped with Amarillo.
The draft has orange/yellow hues and a softer white head that lingered on the rim, leaving a nice complex lacing. The nose is a lot of complex floral and pine hops that retain a bit of citrus and caramel malts. The front mouth is pretty mellow with softer grassy hops, lots of rounded malt/grains to hold it together. Mid to back end are solid, with a little bit of lingering pine esters.
Oatmeal Pale Ale
Burnside Brewing Co. • American Pale Ale (APA) • IBU: 44 • ABV: 5.5% • 8 SRM
Opaic yellow/golden orange with a one finger white head that dropped quickly. The nose has aromas mix of dry cracker grains, slight wet-hop pine esters, and lingering citrus. The front mouth is a little bit chewy from the malt build, with a lot of pine and citrus hops to balance it out with hints of spice (nutmeg?). Body is effervescent with plenty of carbonation. Ends with a little bit of hop bitters, really session-able.
Project Ale
Burnside Brewing Co. • Imperial IPA • IBU: 99 • ABV: 8.3% • 8 SRM
This draft has a orange/yellow hue and pillowy white head that lingers a film on the rim. The nose is lemon zest to grapefruit/citrus rind, slight sweet malts, and a dry character. The front mouth is a little bit dry with the sharper grapefruit hops, pine and dried hop oils are expressed. The mid and back mouth-feel are solid with a lot of malts and lingering hop esters. It hides the ABV well.
Too Sticky To Roll
Burnside Brewing Co. • India Red Ale • IBU: 78 • ABV: 6.2% • 20 SRM
Slight red/copper hue, softer off-white head that drops quickly and left little lacing on the rim. The nose has a bit of gritty grains, earthy pines and dried leaves. The front/mid mouth are pretty solid, lots of caramel malt and hop balanced, but a little muddled as it goes to the back mouth. The after taste has a bit of sharp hops with citrus, pine and grass.
Couch Select Lager
Burnside Brewing Co. • Dortmunder/Helles • IBU: 18.5 • ABV: 5% • 2 SRM
Hops: German Tettnang
Bright yellow clear hue with a solid white foamy head. The nose is grassy, thin hops, lemony and backed by yeasty esters. The front and mid mouth are bright citrus, sharper grassy/pine hops, a slight yeast back end. The mouth-feel is solid, the mid and back have a bit of chewy character to them, leaving a little bit of chalky haze. There is some medicinal qualities to the sharp notes.
Sweet Heat
Burnside Brewing Co. • Fruit/Vegetable Beer • IBU: 9 • ABV: 4.9% • 4 SRM
Note: Brewed with 200 pounds of Apricot puree, then dry hopped with imported Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers.
This draft is a hazy tangerine hue of orange/yellow, the head does linger a little bit then drops completely, leaving a bit of lacing on the rim. The nose is sweet, softer yeast like esters, subtle pepper oils. There is a sharp heat that presents on the front with the initial sip, but then drops to a nice rounded sweet fruit bodied draft. This is a medium bodied beer that has a decent amount of carbonation and malts to help the flavors dance on the tongue.
Burnside Brewing Co. • Winter Warmer • IBU: 77 • ABV: 8.3% • 16 SRM
Malts: Meridian, Amarillo
Hazy and slight amber/orange hue, head is slightly off-white and solid leaving a lot of lacing on the rim. The nose is really malt forward with a range of dark dried fruit expressing with a sweetness that is a bit fuzzy. Dried cherries and rasins are on the front with a little bit of dried bitter sweet chocolates. Mid and back are caramel malts, biscuts, dried nuts (oils), hops are pine and citrus rind. The mouth-feel is solid bodied, with a slight dry finish.
Hot Chocolate Stout
Burnside Brewing Co. • Chile Beer • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.4% • 40+ SRM
The dark brown beer has a thinner, slight off-white head that left a nice lacing on the rim. The nose shows a bit of bittersweet cocoa powder, slight coffee/bitters, chilies are secondary and on the back. The front mouth is pretty chocolate forward, tons of malts and caramel, slight vegital vibe from the chilies, and almost a ‘day old coffee’ like dry bitter as it goes to the mid/back. The heat shows up really as a secondary note, with the flavor of the chilies present all around. The mouth-feel is solid and flavorful, but a little thin on the carbonation for a stout for me.
2013 Whiteout Barley Wine
Burnside Brewing Co. • Barley wine • IBU: 55 • ABV: 10% • 25 SRM
Note: Port barrel aged
Dark amber/orange hue, solid white head that dropped and left some nice lacing. The nose is sweet, orange peel, citrus rinds, and soft bitters. The front mouth is pretty alcohol/boozey forward with sweet sugars, caramel. The port (grapes) and dried fruit shine on the mid/back. Few bitters if any. The body has a lot of malt characters to it, from toffee/cookies to bread.
Silence Of The Lambs Dry Irish Stout (Nitro)
Burnside Brewing Co. • Irish Stout • IBU: 20 • ABV: 5% • 40+ SRM
Note: Brewed with charred goat hearts!!!! that is no joke…
Super dark brown/black with a two finger tan head that lingers. The nose is dry and bitter from the roasted malts. The front is a little sharp, thin, creamy and has tons of roasted character. The hop/bitters do show on the mid/back, and are really secondary to the malt profile. I am not sure about the goat heart thing, this is a pretty decent example of a Irish Stout, clean finishing, not heavy, dry on the back.
Blueberry Mint Saison
Burnside Brewing Co. • Saison / Farmhouse Ale • IBU: 21 • ABV: 6.9% • (rose colored)?? SRM
This cloudy rose colored saison has a full white frothy head and a sweet, fruity nose. The yeast characters don’t really show up until the mid/back, and even then they are pretty secondary to the fruit forward characters of this saison. The mint flavors do show up on the mid/back as well, with a full mouth-feel and almost chewy finish. There are little to no bitters present at all. Gary says it tastes like bad lemon aid.
Skyline Extra Pale Ale
Burnside Brewing Co. • Pale Ale • IBU: 38 • ABV: 4.8% • 10 SRM
Hops: Horizon, Amarillo
Malts: Caramel, Honey
Slight orange/copper hue, bright white head, nice lacing on this session ale. The nose has a lot of grassy and orange rind present. The front and mid mouth are pretty sharp with the citrus and back end malts that help balance it out. The mid/back are pretty thin, with a leafy dry finish to the hop profile.
Highbury Strong Bitter
Burnside Brewing Co. • Extra Special / Strong Bitter • IBU: 37 • ABV: 5.8% • 18 SRM
This is a mid-orange, slight amber hue draft with a solid white head that dropped quickly, leaving little lacing. The nose has a mix of grassy hops (vegital), slight citrus pith and a stronger bread/malt end. The mouth-feel is full bodied, but the carbonation is a bit lacking for the style. The sugars are present on the front to the back, solid malt profile (biscuit to earthy like) but there are few hops present which is disappointing. The back is a little flat.

The Fifth Element
Burnside Brewing Co. • India Cream Ale • IBU: 45 • ABV: 90% • 12 SRM
The nose on this mid-orange hued beer has subtle sweetness with peaches (fruit) and some grain. The front mouth is a little grassy from the hops, fruit and grain’s expressed with a creamy mid/back approach. The vanilla comes in on the back.
Burnside Brewing Co. • Smoked Beer • IBU: 18 • ABV: 6% • 20 SRM
NOTE: Collaboration beer with Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters, Oregon.
This beer had a really shallow head that drops quickly, color profile is a darker orange/red hue. The nose has hints of caramel and dried fruit (cherries). The front and mid mouth are full of the malts with touches of smoke. The dried fruit and thin hop profile come in on the back.

Review: Doomsday Brewing, Washougal WA

On Saturday April 11th, Doomsday Brewing was the last of three breweries visited in SW Washington. I’ve only been to Doomsday brewing one time prior, and that was to their “Zombeer Halloween” costume party that happened last year (2014). It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of compliments on my ZombEaster Bunny costume. The location is in an industrial building with limited signage (as you can see in the picture, and that’s Ryan, my drinking buddy for the day)…you need to use your nav to get there if you don’t know where it is. The inside has a small bar to sit at and a few tables. The day we went, it wasn’t busy, so we were able to order and get our beers pretty quickly.

They do offer food on site, but we didn’t order anything so I can’t really speak to the menu or quality. They do have popcorn and other types of snacks if you are wanting something simple and cheap to nibble on while you drink. The bartender was super friendly and wanted to help us with our exploring of their beers. He explained them the best he could and we really appreciated. As this brewery is somewhat off the beaten path, it caters to mostly locals, and the other people there were obviously regulars and were happy to provide their opinions of the beers as the bartender explained them to us.

The beers came in a couple of rounds of four as shown below. We were lucky and the bartender provided us with a sample of the Cascadia Falls CDA which they had just tapped. So super lucky for us and the other patrons in the bar. Overall, the range of beers is pretty decent, there are a few misses, but that’s to be expected when you experiment and push the envelope with beer. The Cascadia Fault CDA and the Hop Lemon ISA were the most interesting beers we tried that day. So if you’re in Washougal and need to stop for a beer and friendly conversation, definately check them out.

Doomsday Brewing Co.
421 C St.
Unit 1B
Washougal, WA 98671
Ph: 360-335-9909

Nuclear IPA
Doomsday Brewing • NW IPA • IBU: 90 • ABV: 7% • 12 SRM
Hops: Cascade, Summit, and Chinook. Columbus dry hopped
More orange than yellow hue, white small bubbly head that drops quickly, nose is a bit sharp with grassy/herbal hop notes. The front mouth-feel shifts between the malt build that lends to a mild-soapy/chewy approach with the dry hopping being really present with grassy, herbal, and slightly dry-citrus hop notes. Really complex and slightly sweet IPA with a dry finish.
Agent Orange IPA
Doomsday Brewing • IPA • IBU: 60 • ABV: 5.6% • 10 SRM
Hops: Simcoe, Citra
Draft is bright orange hue with a small bubbly white head. The nose is dry and bitter from floral and citrus rind. The front mouth-feel is pretty sharp with the citrus bitters (dry-hopped approach), and slightly sweet with enough malts to balance it out. The overall appeal is the orange peel/rind hop citrus and steady full body vibe.
Come At Me Bro! IIPA
Doomsday Brewing • Imperial / Double IPA • IBU: 120 • ABV: 9% • 10 SRM
Hops: Summit, Cluster, and Simcoe
Slight orange/yellow clear hue on this draft. White foamy head that drops quickly. The nose is subtle citrus and floral hops. The front and mid mouth-feel is a little sharp with the floral and orange/citrus hops. Mid mouth-feel has a bit of ‘dry grain’ malts that come through that helps balance it out. The back and after taste has some lingering citrus rind bitters.
Redemption Red
Doomsday Brewing • American Amber / Red Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.5% • 20 SRM
This draft is a dark amber color with a solid white head that lingers on the rim. The nose is really malty/bready with a sweet grain profile. The front/mid mouth-feel is a bit thin but sweet with plenty of malts that are balanced with a slight dry hopped finish. The hops present with resins and a thinner-dry hopped presentation.
Undead Chihuahua Golden
Doomsday Brewing • Golden Ale • IBU: 30 • ABV: 4.5% • 8 SRM
A clear, slight orange/yellow hue with a nice white, foamy head. The nose is misleading with slight sweet sugary malt note with subtle yeasty funk. Grassy and floral hops are present on the front to back mouth-feel. The lager mouth-feel is slightly skunky and thin.
Ender Vanilla Porter
Doomsday Brewing • Porter • IBU: 35 • ABV: 6.5% • 40+ SRM
Note: Secondary fermented with vanilla beans
This is a solid opaic black/brown draft with an off-white head that drops and leaves little lacing. The nose is burned grains and slight bitters. The vanilla and cocoa present on the front and mid with this full bodied beer. It does have a slight dry/bitter finish on the back with the burned bread-like flavors.
Beatdown Beet Wheat
Doomsday Brewing • Wheat Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 5% • ?? SRM
Solid white head, 50% opacity solid red hue with a sweet, sugary nose. There is a harsh vegital-hop and flavor front mouth with subtle coriander and other sharp spices. The mid/back mouth is really sharp and almost ‘hot’ in it’s presence. This is an experimental beer, so you have been warned.
Hop Lemon ISA
Doomsday Brewing • IPA • IBU: 65 • ABV: 4.5% • 3 SRM
Straw yellow and hazy colored with a solid white head. There is a bit of yeast on the nose with some tart lemon present. The citrus and lemons are really present on the front and mid mouth-feel and the mid/back is a bit sharper and dry. The back is a bit ‘rotted fruit’ or ‘wet sock’ in approach, so you have been warned. “Like a shandy without the sweetness…”
Cascadia Fault CDA
Doomsday Brewing • Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale • IBU: 65 • ABV: 6.2% • 40+ SRM
The draft if solid black/brown and the head is not present. The nose has a bit of toasted grains and bread, the bitters are really secondary on the nose, and the front and mid mouth-feel do have a bit of hop resin and pine character. The chewy body holds it together.
Black Out Chocolate Imperial Stout (nitro)
Doomsday Brewing • Imperial Stout • IBU: ?? • ABV: 8% • 40+ SRM
Super dark brown/black hue draft. The off-white two finger head dropped pretty quickly and the nose was all coffee bitters. I’m not a coffee fan, so it was a bit challenging for me to enjoy this beer as it tasted more of bitter espresso than anything else. The mid and after taste have a lingering coffee profile that tastes like old coffee grounds.

Review: Anmesia Brewing, Washougal WA

Back on Saturday April 11th, I visited three breweries in SW Washington, Amnesia Brewing was the second stop. I have been a fan of Amnesia beers for a number of years and used to go to their North Portland (Mississippi Ave.) location prior to their moving to their current location in Washougal WA. I’ve heard a number of stories as to why they moved, primarily to be closer to their home and family seems to be the most frequently heard. Regardless of the reasons, they have refined their beers and have expanded their menu of food available since they opened in Washougal and it’s definitely making the trip out to visit them.

The brewery is located in downtown Washougal and has plenty of on-street parking. I really do appreciate the fact that it’s a ‘bar’, so no CRIpods are around when you go. They do have a couple of TV’s that typically show sports, so if you need a place to hang out and watch a game, this is definitely an option. We didn’t order any food, so we can’t really speak to that, but it looked like everyone that had ordered food was enjoying it. As you can see from the pictures inside, they have a bar you can sit at, as well as plenty of tables available.

They offer free samples of all of their beers as well as tasters of them. We ordered the full lineup and the bartender provided us the beers in a couple of sets. The reviews below go from left to right, back to front. They have about six standard beers that are usually available, and that day they had 6 seasonal beers available to try as well. The overall take away from this visit is that they have really refined their recipes and none of the beers we tried were bad. The best one’s we tried (for me) were the Crystal Red, Dusty Trail Pale, and Azacca Kahn Imperial Red (seasonal). It should be noted that they do offer a lot of swag at the bar (as you can see in the pic), as well as growler fills and canned beers available to take home.

Amnesia Brewing
1834 Main St.
Washougal, WA 98671
Ph: 360-335-1008

Cumulus Pale
Amnesia Brewing • Spring Seasonal Pale Ale • IBU: 30 • ABV: 5.4% • 6 SRM
This clear golden pale had a strong grassy nose with slight sweet notes. The yeast is subtle but present on the front and mid, the hop profiles (citrus rind to fruity) are layered and change as you sip and the beer warms up. The back end is rounded with enough grains to hold it’s own. No lingering bitters.
Dusty Trail Pale Ale
Amnesia Brewing • Single Malt/Hop Pale Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 5.2% • 5 SRM
Malts: Maris Otter
Hops: Cascade
This is a solid clear bright yellow hue draft with a bright white foamy head. The nose is grassy and piny forward. The front and mid mouth have a little bit of yeast, piny and grassy hops, and the mid/back hops express a bit of tropical/floral notes.
Amnesia Brewing • English style IPA • IBU: 55 • ABV: 6.2% • 20 SRM
This slightly hazy amber colored draft has a solid white, foamy head that leaves nice lacing and bubbles on the rim. The nose is definitely floral and grapefruit with the front expressing lots of citrus and floral hops. The malts do help this be a solid bodied beer and the hops grow on the mid/back, expressing somewhat hop resins and dry bitters on the back.
Amnesia Brewing • NW IPA • IBU: 70 • ABV: 6.7% • 18 SRM
Slightly orange/amber slightly hazy draft with a two finger foamy white head that dropped quickly. The nose is full of grapefruit/citrus rind and a touch of slight herbal notes. The front and mid mouth-feel has a little sweet caramel to balance out the strong grapefruit and tropical (orange?) hop profiles. This is a really full bodied and complex beer with many layers of flavors. The back end is slightly dry with grapefruit rind bitters that linger.
Crystal Red
Amnesia Brewing • Red Pale Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6% • 25 SRM
This amber/red colored draft has a nice white head that lingers and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The nose is sweet and malty with a little bit of citrus hops present. The front mouth is solid malt and slightly dried grains, fruit (berries), and caramel. The slight piny bitters do present on the mid/back in a really nice way, supporting the malt build.
Slow Train Porter
Amnesia Brewing • English Porter • IBU: 40 • ABV: 5.3% • 40+ SRM
Dark brown/red hues and a slight off-white small-bubbly head on this really solid porter. The nose has a lot of sweet and toasted grains with slight bitter-sweet chocolate and espresso. The front and mid mouth is solid, bready, full of roasted grain flavors and cocao/coffee bitters. The subtle bitter-sweet mid/back mouth is nice and this is a pretty standard English Porter in approach and style.
Frosty’s Revenge
Amnesia Brewing • Strong Winter Ale • IBU: 60 • ABV: 8% • 20 SRM
Red/amber slightly cloudy draft with an off-white small bubbly head. The nose is sweet, caramel and dried fruit and subtle spices. The front mouth has a little bit of sweet/yeasty character and lots and lots of malts that bring along the dried fruit and slight yeast. The back end has an alcohol warmth with the chewy body. You know you are drinking a strong beer with this one.
Azacca Kahn
Amnesia Brewing • Imperial Red Ale • IBU: ?? • ABV: 7.6% • 25 SRM
This is a hazy amber/red draft with a solid white head that leaves a lot of clingy foam on the rim. The nose is sweet caramel and grainy with a little yeast funk. The front mouth is really malt and grainy forward. The biscuit mid mouth-feel is really chewy and the sugary/citrus like sweetness lingers a bit on the back.
Amnesia Brewing • Barrel Aged Pale Ale• IBU: ?? • ABV: 7.2% • 35 SRM
Dark brown/amber red hazy hue. Slight off-white head that falls quickly. The nose is burned sugars and malts. There is a lot of dried fruit (raisins) and drier cacao bitters on the mid/back. The back and linger burned flavors are like a tootsie roll, sweet, burned sugar and a solid malt body.
10th Anniversary Barleywine (2014)
Amnesia Brewing • Barleywine• IBU: 8 • ABV: 10.2% • 28 SRM
Aged: Red Zin and Bourbon Barrels
Darker amber/hazy hues with a slight off-white head that drops quickly. The nose is super sweet with dried fruit and grapes (wine) and subtle tannin’s. The body is really alcohol forward with mashed cherries, port, hints of vanilla and bourbon. The grain build is secondary to the fruit and barrel qualities. The back is somewhat dry with a little bit of tannin’s and fortified wine like feel. The after has a bit of sweetness, no hops at all and the flavors do drop off quickly.

Review: Mill City Brew Werks, Camas WA

On Saturday April 11th, I visited three breweries in the Camas/Washougal area of SW Washington to do some tasting and reviewing that afternoon with my friend Ryan. We started at the Mill City Brew Werks in Camas for lunch and to try their beers as neither of us had been there before. Camas is small river-town that has a lot of history, and this brewery reflects this in attitude and feel. We were fortunate to sit at the bar and discuss some of the beers with the owner/brewer, Mark Zech, who was super friendly and wanted to hear our honest opinions (see below).

The restaurant is located on the corner of the downtown main street (quaint with lots of small shops). They have a dining room and bar area on one side, so there is no escaping kids if you want to drink in peace. You have been warned. The brewing production is in the basement of the building and they have a hole/square by the main entrance that you can look down onto one of their kettles. The menu is pretty standard brewery/restaurant fare, with a few daily specials.

I ordered tasters of everything and some food while I waited for Ryan to show up. The bartender was super friendly and explained the beers to me when she served the first taster tray of four beers. The food didn’t take long to come out, so I did eat a bit between the 1st and 2nd set of beers that we sampled. Overall, the food was decent and the variety of beers was decent. If I’m ever out and about on this end of Clark County, I certainly would consider going back and trying them again.

The tasters were served in sets of four as you can see. The first batch I had were the darker beers, which sort of was my own fault for not specifying what order I wanted them in. Usually you would wait to do these till the end, but oh well, it is what it is. Both Ryan and myself enjoyed the beers, but in all honesty, they seemed a bit one dimensional in approach. The darker beers were thinner with sharper burned notes, and the IPA’s had a similar hop profile. This isn’t necessarily bad, but with the variety in styles, I’d hope that they would stretch the flavors a bit more.

After we finished the samples, the owner did take us downstairs to show us the production facility. I’m sorry I didn’t get any pics of this. He seemed really nice and willing to talk about his beers and experiences learning from his family and relatives that brew beer in Germany. Our reviews of the beers go from left pic to right, and each has the labels visible of the samples as you can see. The best beer for me was the ‘split pea’, a blend of the Log Splitter and Pale Ale and the Zech Hefe had a lot of authentic Bavarian traits. Overall we would definitely go back if in the neighborhood.

Mill City Brew Werks
339 NE Cedar St.
Camas, WA 98607
Ph: (360) 210-4761

Fromudder (Nitro)
Mill City Brew Werks • Milk Stout • IBU: 26 • ABV: 5.1% • 40+ SRM
This stout has a 2 finger tan head that drops quickly. The nose is cocoa nibs and sharper bitters. The front mouth has a slight hop bitter balanced with a toasted malt finish. There is a bit of coffee flavors present on the mid and back. It has a full mouth feel and solid body typical of milk stouts.
Mill City Brew Werks • Russian Imperial Stout • IBU: 40 • ABV: 12.5% • 40+ SRM
This dark black stout has a thinner tan head that falls quickly, a slighter sweeter and roasted profile on the nose. The front/mid mouth is a lot of roasted caramel malts, slightly sharper edge of burnt grain notes and hop resins. Mouthfeel is solid with no linger after taste.
German Smoked Dark Ale
Mill City Brew Werks • Rauch • IBU: 24 • ABV: 5.4% • 32 SRM
Dark brown draft of Rauch “smoke” style beer, slight off-white/tan head that drops quickly. Nose is sweet and malty with hints of the smoke. The mouth-feel is thinner than what most dark beers in the US have, this is typical of a Schwarzbier from Germany more than a Rauch. Bready yeast on the mid/back mouth and the smoke is present throughout, but not overpowering to the draft. There is a slight off-note on the mid/back with the grains, perhaps acidic nature.
Red Beard
Mill City Brew Werks • IRA • IBU: 62 • ABV: 7% • 13 SRM
Hops: Simcoe, Amarillo
This is a clean IRA with a nice reddish hue on the draft and a slightly off-white head that falls quickly. The nose is sweet with a bit of caramel and subtle hops florals. The malts are really present from front to back and the hops balance these well. The body is full and this is one of their better beers overall. Nothing stands out good or bad, but it does hold it’s own for an IRA with the hop and malt balanced really well.
Zech Bavarian Hefe
Mill City Brew Werks • Hefeweizen • IBU: 11 • ABV: 5.5% • 5 SRM
This is a slightly cloudy draft with a solid frothy white head. The nose expresses the yeast, banana and clove with a solidy body. The front to back mouth has banana’s and clove with the yeast being somewhat secondary. This is a pretty authentic Bavarian style hefe that doesn’t disappoint.
P St. Pale Ale
Mill City Brew Werks • Pale Ale • IBU: 37 • ABV: 5.2% • 5 SRM
Hops: Citra
Nice orange hue and bright white foamy head with a subtle sharp floral hop nose. The front mouth has a bit of floral and sharper hop resin/esters. The mid is pretty solid bitterness and the back has lingering “danky cat pee” as the brewer stated. Either you love it or hate it. While the hops do overpower this beer, if they tried to use a slightly more solid grain build, the citra hop sharp profile would settle down.
Slacker Session Ale
Mill City Brew Werks • American IPA • IBU: 60 • ABV: 4.1% • 4 SRM
Nice orange hue and white head that lingers slightly on the rim. The nose is a little bit grassy and tropical/citrus hop. The front/mid mouth feel is a little thinner with a clean slight dry finish. The hop profile does linger on the back and after taste. There isn’t a lot of grains present to balance out this IPA.
Fresh Hop Pale Wheat Ale
Mill City Brew Werks • WPA • IBU: 55 • ABV: 5.2% • 4 SRM
Hops: Galina
This is a nice orange/yellow hue and clingy white foamy head. The nose has a bit of ‘green hop’ bitters present with slight wheat/yeast notes. The front and mid mouth are solid that leaves you with a slight dry finish. The fresh hop ‘green/grassy’ flavors do express themselves from front to back and this isn’t a bad thing for a fresh hopped wheat grain beer.
Alpha IPA
Mill City Brew Werks • IPA • IBU: 88 • ABV: 7.1% • 8 SRM
Hops: Simcoe (late edition)
Slightly off-white head on this reddish-orange hue draft. The nose has a bit of hop citrus/grapefruit bitterness and hints of acidity. The front to mid mouth has a lot of citrus/grapefruit bitters, slight grassy/funk on the mid/back. The after taste isn’t the most appealing and the over-powering hops do linger on the mouth.
Log Splitter
Mill City Brew Werks • Imperial IPA • IBU: 100+ • ABV: 10% • 18 SRM
This IPA is made with 7 different hops. The draft has a nice reddish hue with a slightly off-white foamy head that clings to the rim, leaving a nice lacing. The nose is a mix of different hops from tropical, citrus to earthy and slight acidic. There is a subtle sweetness from the higher ABV and balance of malts/grains that do provide enough body to help make this a good imperial IPA. The back and after taste have a bit of citrus hops with a little bit of yeast showing through.
Baby Face Nelson
Mill City Brew Werks • Session IPA • IBU: 77 • ABV: 3.9% • 6 SRM
This draft has a nice orange hue and white head that drops quickly, leaving only larger bubbles on the rim. The nose has a bit of floral and slight hop resin notes. The front mouth is a little thin with the hops really expressing a bright tropical to grapefruit citrus note. The grain build is pretty much absent from this beer, with the hops really overpowering everything.
Ace Honey Apple Cider
California Cider Company (guest tap) • Cider • ABV: 5% • 2 SRM
This was their rotating cider tap, with a clear bright yellow hue and sweet/fruit nose. The mouth-feel is sweeter with a lot of sugar/honey present.