Brewing Protector Pale Ale
Oregon Brew Crew brewing Protector Pale Ale © Ben Caldwell

Once upon a time there was a young lad, Pete, who lived in the shadows of a large city. His occupation was to be on call, springing into action when the city required that its pipes be flushed. Working long and hard Pete performs alone laboring effortlessly so that the city can continue to produce. Tucked away and out of sight the solitary Pete seldom accepted company and grew to be quite a lonely fellow. In his more honest moments Pete might tell you how he wouldn't mind the occasional guest. Tolerating such company could keep him performing well for many years to come and the city would benefit greatly as a result. On the other hand ignoring this need of Pete's could result in the devastation of the city as a whole causing pain and loss along the way.

Pete is your prostate. Defined by the Greeks as "the one who stands before" the prostate is a lonely guardian and needs to be checked on. Beer can help.

Lucky for us local fellows there is plenty of beer in Portland. If you want to stand at the center of this truth you can attend the upcoming 25th annual Oregon Brewers Festival on the Tom McCall Waterfront July 26th-29th. Why mention your Pete? Because this year will also mark the inaugural Pints for Prostates fest within a fest, featuring two dozen breweries showcasing pale ales in an effort to raise money and awareness for men's health and screening. Using beer as an entry point Pints for Prostates aims to reach the male demographic delivering a message of screening through suds. Tickets to get into the event will cost $30 (Pints for Prostates Pale Ale Invitational, Wednesday July 25th, 5:30pm) with all proceeds flowing towards Pints for Prostates, an organization founded by beer writer and prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke. Half of the brewers will be representing the home team while the other twelve are comprised of breweries from around the country and abroad.

Standing out in the carbonation crowd will be the Oregon Brew Crew, Portland's oldest and most involved organization of home brewers. They will be taking their talents to southeast partnering with the newer and thriving Portland U-Brew triple threat—brew supply store, pub and brewery—to create the aptly named Protector Pale Ale under the watchful eye and bearded face of master brewer Jason Webb. The notion that the local home brewing scene is so solid that it finds its way into this festival has a grassroots feel and speaks to the community culture behind the craft. Protector Pale Ale takes on five hop varieties including Warrior and Amarillo Gold bringing the IBU's to 46. The London ESB yeast offers a nice balance and with an ABV of 4.7% you can really taste the crisp caramel malt. Be sure to seek this one out at the festival.

The Oregon Brewers Fest is providing a great opportunity to get out and show some love and support for the prostates of Portland while sipping some pale ale. You may even find yourself feeling compelled under a hoppy haze to contact your physician and schedule and appointment to check on your little guardian. I'll try not to sound preachy but from this digital pulpit I'll take my chances and prove my passion for prostate awareness by revealing my practice. Before slowly sitting down to write this article I had my prostate examined. I'm happy to report that my little factory worker is well and I can now look forward to raising a pint, along with awareness, to the importance of the process. May your city function well for years to come. To Pete!

Participating Beers and Breweries

Dark Rain Black Pale Ale from BridgePort Brewing, Portland, Ore. Caldera IPA from Caldera Brewing, Ashland, Ore. Portland Ale from Cascade Brewing, Portland, Ore. Armory XPA from Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore. Barley Legal Pale Ale from Southern Oregon Brewing, Medford, Ore. Bogart NW IPA from Fire Mountain Brew House, Carlton, Ore Full Sail IPA from Full Sail Brewing, Hood River, Ore Kick Axe Dry Hopped Pale Ale from Lompoc Brewing, Portland, Ore. MacTarnahan's Amber Ale from MacTarnahan's Brewing, Portland, Ore. Protector Pale Ale for Oregon Brew Crew (homebrewers) from Portland, Ore. Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene, Ore. Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Ale from Rogue Ales, Newport, Ore. Moa Pale Ale from Moa Brewing, Marlborough, New Zealand White Hatter, Black Hatter, Oaked Hatter, Farmhouse Hatter & Rye Hatter from New Holland Brewing, Holland, Mich Ghost Hop White IPA from NoDa Brewing, Charlotte, N.C. Wooden Elephant Barrel Aged IPA from Odell Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo. Flipside Double IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, Calif. Clear Creek Pale Ale from Silver City Brewery, Bremerton, Wash. Snake River Pale Ale and Pako's IPA from Snake River Brewery, Jackson Hole, Wyo. Stone Ruination IPA from Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif. Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing, Paso Robles, Calif. Hophead Double IPA from Tree Brewing, Kelowna, British Columbia 5-South Pale Ale from 21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, Calif. Wells Bombardier Ale from Wells & Young's, Bedford, United Kingdom.