Concordia beer brawls!

One of my favorite pastimes is tasting/drinking beer. I live in the best place, other than Belgium, for beer. I guess that could be debatable. I don’t think it is.
I find myself at Concordia Alehouse again for another Beer Brawl. Whoever invented this was genius. For $12, you get a tray of 10-12 samples of beer to taste and rank or determine your favorite. My all time favorite contest they had was 12 beers that you had to taste and decide what style it was and from which brewery it was produced. When you fill out your ballot there is a place to leave your email address in order to get the results.
This brawl is Washington IPAs. I was quite excited about this since IPA is a favorite style of mine, but either Washington’s IPAs are just too balanced for me or they chose the wrong breweries to represent Washington. Either way, this is a very fun event for anyone interested in beer. In the evenings, this place is generally crowded with people and taster trays. Not only do they have beer but decent food and a full bar. You can get on an email list that lets you know when a brawl us coming up.
Concordia Alehouse is on the corner of NE 33rd and Killingsworth.

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More than a farmers market

Every Saturday from March through December, vendors from all over the area show up to sell locally grown produce. Well, that’s what the idea is. It’s much more than that.

Yes. You can get delicious and fresh produce, but you can also find potted plants, bouquets of dried or fresh flowers, bread, fresh seafood or lamb.

It can also be a gastronomic experience. There are many vendors selling breakfast and lunch foods, coffee, baked goods and artisan cheeses and salami.

It would not be right not to point out the plethora of entertainment. Not only is it a treat to just sit and people watch, but there are street performers to fill the air with a variety of music.

The entertaining trumpeter.

The didgeridoo.

The market is located in the South park blocks of downtown Portland between Market and Harrison. It is easily reachable via streetcar within the fareless square.

Even if you are from out of town and cannot purchase any produce, this market is worth a stop for coffee, breakfast or lunch. Or, just for pure pleasure. You could always take home some honey or a few photos.

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Location:Portland Farmers Market, PSU

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Astoria, Oregon. Beer coffee and history.

After a weekend spent in Astoria, we stopped on the way out of town to grab coffee. Yelp helped us decide on the #1 ranked coffee stop. Although we thought the coffee was not quite as good as downtown’s Astoria Coffeehouse, we did find an amazing old building that was the spot from which Bumble Bee Seafoods arose.

It looks like a newly restored building with a very small museum dedicated to fishing and canning.

The building was also occupied by another location for Rogue Ales.

The view from here was spectacular. We found it to be worth a stop and glad we stumbled…..or should I say….Yelped upon it.

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Spring Beer and Wine Fest

I always love attending this beer festival. I like to think it’s a great representation of all things alcoholic made in our area. There are plenty of breweries but also wineries, distilleries and local food bits. The distilleries will mix you a cocktail. The Sake makers will pour you a flight. There are even booths to buy scarves, sunglasses, dips and nuts. It’s truly a festival for everyone.
Most of all, this beer festival is the kick off for a summer full of great beer festivals.

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Portland goes sour!

Portland goes sour….or at least the beer does. One trip to Cascade Barrel Room and you will see what I mean. A sour beer is created when the addition of Lactobacillus is put into the mix. These beers can charm a lover of wine, a lover of fruit or even a lover of vinegar. I am a lover of all of the above. My first time with a sour was love at first sip. The complexity and rarity of the style makes me more intrigued. They are labor intensive and ever changing. Thus each batch is unique and, at Cascade, you may never get another chance at that beer again. Sour beers are not for everyone but are at least worth a taste. If you can’t appreciate the taste, you could at least appreciate the unique qualities it possesses.

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A sunny day in the Northwest!

When you wake up on a Saturday in January in Portland, Oregon and it is sunny, what do you do? Go to the coast, of course! We put in our road trip CD in the CR-V and hit the road. Cannon Beach was our destination. It is one of the closest beach towns and has amazing Rum Punch and food at Castaways ‘Tiny Tiki Hut. I have never really thought of the coast as a food destination. In my opinion, there are very few decent places to eat there. This Tiki bar has cocktails made with fresh pressed fruit. The Rum Punch is only $4. The food always tastes very fresh and the chef usually comes out to ask how everything tasted. Now, if there was just a good coffee house that could make a proper cappuccino….

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Sweet surprises

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new country is go to the local grocery store and wander the aisles. In the Netherlands, I was intrigued by hot dogs in a can, peas & carrots together in a jar, and the breakfast cereals I’m used to at home with different names and packaging.

A coworker came back today from a trip to South Africa. We always bring some little souvenir back for the group when we travel somewhere interesting. She chose to bring a huge bag full of candy and chocolates she found at a grocery store in Cape Town. We all loved the names…TEX, Chomp, P.S., Milo. We never knew what we would get until we opened the package and took the first bite. It’s been a fun day comparing our finds and overindulging in treats from a country half the world away.

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