EDITOR'S NOTE: This is Elii Walsh's inaugural post with our blog. She will be drinking her way through Portland and writing about her adventures. Please join me in welcoming her to her new home at portlandbeer.org!

In the bottle shop of the Hop and Vine, a carefully chosen selection of smoke and chili beers, mainly from Oregon, (with guest stars from Alaska, California, Colorado, Utah, and even the Netherlands) were set up Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th for Fire and Brimstone: A Celebration of Smoke and Chili Beers. Only a handful of these beers are made consistently, a couple were single batches, and quite a few you might find in a bottle but will never see on tap again.

If you're a smoke or chili beer fan you'll want to keep tabs on the Hop and Vine in case they have any leftovers to pour at the bar in the next couple weeks.  For this event, Breakside and Upright teamed up to make a Smoked Porter with malt smoked at the Hop and Vine,  deemed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".   This collaboration was made in honor of Bill Hicks, a comedian, lover of smoke, and a man who never backed off a chance to turn up the heat. It is a smoked porter with bold smoke and caramel flavors, and a strong smoky aftertaste.  As another special event highlight, The Hop and Vine got some of a single batch of Lucky Lab Trigo Picante Stout, this amazing Stout was smoked with Guajillo Chilies. The light chocolate flavors in the stout were complimented greatly by the robust chili spice and left you with a sweet and sugary burn. Remember, this was a single batch, so you'll want to keep checking in at the Hop and Vine over the next couple weeks to make sure you catch it if they tap the last of it.  If you're looking for the spiciest brew, reach for Burnside Lord of the Sting, an apricot wheat ale dry peppered with Scotch Bonnet Peppers. It smells of apricot, but don't let that fool you, this brew is hot!  More of a super sweet dark smoke fan? Go for the Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter, it smells and tastes just like a burnt marshmallow.

Even with this amazing lineup of rare beers, there was hardly anyone there all weekend. It was a relaxing atmosphere for those going to taste the beers, but for the hosts of Fire & Brimstone, I hope to see more in attendance next year. Walking through the Hop and Vine, I found quite a few bottles I had not seen elsewhere, and their food menu looks promising; gourmet snacks made with local ingredients at a good price. So next time you are looking for a brew you just can't seem to find, or need a hearty snack before hitting the town, stop in at the Hop and Vine!