Lompoc Brewing Holiday Releases Media Preview
Holiday Beer Release Party Lompoc Sidebar Tuesday, Nov. 29th 4pm-9pm 3901 N Williams Ave.

One of the perks of covering the Portland beer scene—as you might expect—are the media previews that we get to attend: beer, food, stories, history, beer stats, media handouts, and a lot of great people. One Tuesday night, we all gathered at Lompoc's Sidebar to sample Lompoc Brewing's ten seasonal releases. Uh, yep, ten. In fact, when these are released to the public, it'll take you several trips to the Lompoc locations to try them all. Too much of a good thing? Never.

From a spiced golden and a Belgian style red ale to a barrel aged Imperial IPA and the mammoth Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat Barleywine.  While it's no small feat to get all of these beer ready for simultaneous release, it's important to consider that parts of these beers are actually several years old. For example, one component of Cheer Christmas is a Brown Ale that has been aging in Merlot barrels for four years!  That makes the two year old Geuze that was blended in seem young. Nine of these beers will be released simultaneously at the Lompoc Sidebar on November 29th.

So, that's 9 holiday beers being released on the same day. What about the 10th? Well, 8 Malty Nights is getting it's own release party at the Sidebar on December 14th, from 4pm to 9pm. While the release ofthe tenth beer in this series is spectacle enough, three days later at the Green Dragon, there is a Battle Royale between Lompoc Brewing and Schmaltz Brewing: Chanukah vs. Christmas. Now, if an "Extreme Dreidel Tournament" isn't enough to lure you to this event, just imagine the best of Lompoc Brewing (including 2010 Franc'ly Brewdolph) versus the great, big, chewy beers and blends from Shmaltz Brewing: Jewbelation 15, Genesis 15:15, Hop Manna, Vertical Jewbelation and Geektoberfest. If you know anything about Schmaltz Brewing, you're already excited. If you don't, it's time to do some liquid research and get prepared for the battle on Saturday December 17th.

Cheers to everyone at Lompoc Brewing for putting in the hard work it takes to pull something like this off. Since most of these beers will never leave the city, they are brewing for Portland. It's great to be able to share in these local creations every year and we're a better beer community because of it. Thanks Lompoc!

Lompoc Brewing Holiday Releases Media Preview

The official descriptions:

  • Blitzen: This spiced golden ale is infused with cinnamon, clove, lemon zest and fresh ginger. It is bright gold in color with a strong cinnamon aroma. The flavor mixes bready wheat malt character with underlying ginger notes and a hint of citrus. 4.6% ABV (Author's Note: This beer has a big spice bill and is brewed with with cinnamon bark, fresh ginger, lemon zest, and cloves both in the fermenter and the bright tanks.  While a lot of spices were used)
  • Cherry Christmas: Cherry Christmas is a blend of four different beers: Golden Ale fermented in stainless steel with sour cherries; Golden Ale fermented in Port barrels with sour cherries; Brown Ale inoculated with a lambic blend yeast ale aged in Merlot barrels for four years; and a two-year-old Gueze. 5.6% ABV
  • Brewdolph: This Belgian style red ale features a malty and creamy body. Brewed with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, Brewdolph boasts a mild fruitiness and a spicy clove character. 7.7% ABV
  • 8 Malty Nights: This beer was not finished yet, so we sampled this one from the fermentation tank. The current gravity was 1.025, with 8 more points to go until the yeast finishes it's job. Still young, but a nice chocolate rye body comes through.  This will be ready for the official release party at the Sidebar in December.  From last year's description: "8 Malty Nights is a Chocolate Rye that features a roasted chocolate flavor and a sweet finish. It is dark brown in color and lightly hopped with English style hops." 6.5% ABV
  • Holiday Cheer: This robust vanilla porter combines big chocolate flavor and a full body with mellow vanilla notes compliments of whole vanilla beans in the conditioning tank. 6.8% ABV
  • Jolly Bock: This lager was brewed with a generous amount of Munich malt to develop the deep amber color and rich malt flavor. The malty profile is balanced with a spicy hop bitterness. 7.3% ABV
  • C-Son's Greetings: C-sons Greetings is a higher alcohol version of our popular C-Note Imperial Pale Ale, brewed and dry-hopped with even more of the seven "C" hops - Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger. It features a deep copper color with a piney, citrusy, floral and resinous aroma. The full hop flavor and endless developing hop presence are balanced by a rich caramel malt finish. 8% ABV (Author's Note: The seven hops used in the beer were not only used in the boil, but all of the varieties were thrown in the the fermenter as well)
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged C-Sons Greetings: Brewed in February 2011, this was aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for seven months and cellared for an additional month. It has a deep copper color and strong oak aroma with caramel and resinous hop notes. 8% ABV (Author's Note: This version is also set to be bottled next week and available in your favorite bottleshop around the beginning of December.  While this beer has been aged for several months in barrels, a few un-barreled  kegs were added back to brighten up the beer, and bring some hop presence.  Brewer Dave Flemming said that while the barrel aging added great bourbon and wood tones, the wood did deaden the beer a bit.  Hops are the firsth things that disappear during aging, so this beer is probably best consumed relatively fresh.)
  • Old Tavern Rat: This dark, amber colored barley wine was aged for almost a year prior to its release. It has a strong bitterness that is balanced with the sweetness of caramel and toffee flavors. 9.4% ABV
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat: Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat Barley Wine was originally brewed in December 2009, then aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for 10 months and cellared for another 13. The dark amber-colored barley wine features a soft oak character with notes of raisins and figs. 9.7% ABV

Check out the rest of the photos here.