Base Camp India Pale Lager
Base Camp's In-Tents IPL was one of the easier beers to identify in the Braul

While the rest of you were potentially loading up on cheap pints at Hopworks on the Tuesday of Portland Beer Week, I was enjoying the relative calm at the Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse for their PDX BEER BRÄUL at half price. The official write-up from the Hophouse can be found below, but I hope everyone was able hit either location (the original Hophouse is on Hawthorne) for the opening round that concluded on Sunday June 16th. Not only did you get to taste beers from 12 different Portland breweries, but you also got a chance to test your beer knowledge by identifying the beers with the chance to win great prizes. Five dollars was a steal when I participated, but ten bucks for twelve tastes was also a darn good deal. Unfortunately my palette was not refined enough to make the top 20, but you can go watch these superstars tonight from 6-8 PM at the Hawthorne Hophouse battle it out for some really cool engraved Bräuler Growlers, in addition to some other good prizes. I am officially jealous!

Get ready, beer lovers! Hawthorne Hophouse and Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse are teaming up with the also-locally-owned The Zythos Project (creator and manufacturer of the stainless steel growler Bräuler) for the first large-scale beer tasting contest in Portland: PDX BEER BRÄUL. For PDX beer week, June 6-16th, you’ll have the chance to show off your beer knowledge prowess in a blind tasting competition, featuring beers from the following Portland breweries: Migration, HUB, Occidental, Laurelwood, Base Camp, Lompoc, Commons, Upright, Gigantic, Burnside, Natian, and Amnesia.

For ten bucks, you can sign up for this competition, by yourself or with a cohort, and see how well you know your Portland beers. Here’s how it works: participants will get two flights of six beers (one from each of the aforementioned breweries), unmarked; the first flight will be paler beers, the second darker beers. Each six-flight will have a corresponding list, and you’ll have to match each of the six beers to a particular brewery/beer. Participants will have one flight at a time in order to maintain cool temperature of the beer, and to increase accuracy. We tried a version of this at our employee Christmas party, and believe me: it’s not as easy as you’d think!

In order to maintain a level playing field, both pubs will have the same line-up for the duration of PDX Beer Week. Sign up at either one! At both Hophouses, on Tuesday, June 11th, the price for entry will be half-off, $5. And remember, teams can consist of yourself or you and one other person. We will collect the ballots/flight sheets during the ten days, and then tabulate them the week after. We will announce the results on Monday, June 24th, and host a final taste-off competition on July 1st for the top twenty or so individuals/teams at the Hawthorne Hophouse, 6-8pm. Participation for this top-tier event will be free, and finalists will get to participate in a deciding 12-flight round. In the event that there are more than twenty perfect scores, all of these beer connoisseurs will be allowed to compete at the final level.

The Grand Prize winner will not only receive bragging rights, but also a Hophouse Lifetime Mug Club Membership, a Hophouse hoodie, and a “2013 Beer Bräul Champion” engraved Bräuler. The next top five finishers will also receive Bräulers, t-shirts, and gift certificates for growler fills.

Come see if you have what it takes to be a Portland beer champ!