Science On Tap at Fort George!

November 30th, some of the raddest local tattoo artists will be hanging out in the Fort George Lovell Building to explain the science of their trade.  This is part of a series curated by the Columbia River Maritime Museum that will continue throughout the year.  Let's kick it off right- 


Cavatica Stout Cans Now Available!

Our big, bold stout finally has a portable home!  The Cavatica Stout cans are in and have been filled!  Available for immediate drink-ability at Fort George and beyond.  Looking to party Cavatica Stout style?  We are going to be kicking off Stout Season with some awesome events this weekend. 

Cavatica Stout PDX Can Release Party!
Thursday, November 17th 6pm at The BeerMongers

Come out and sample Cavatica right out of the can.  Special Fort George taps include: Cavatica (of course), North V, and Roscoe IPA.  The Fort George crew and Powered by Yeast's Tim Ensign will be on hand to answer any of your Stout questions and "breward" lucky attendants with a slap-wrap. 

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside!
Friday, November 18th 8pm at The Wonder Ballroom


If you missed them at the brewery last week, this band is amazing.  These tickets are going fast.  It WILL sell out.  You can buy tickets here. 

Fort George will be there in numbers... with Cavatica Stout as well as: Vortex IPA, 1811 Lager, Sunrise OPA, Working Girl Porter, and Quick Wit.  We hope to see you rocking out on Friday! 


2011 Seafood and Belgian Ales Brewer’s Dinner Menu

Wednesday December 21, 2011

First Course

Mussels and Frittes

Paired With:  Fort George Quick Wit

Second Course

Cream of Watercress Soup with Alaskan Spot Prawns

Paired With: Bockor Cuvee Des Jocobins

Third Course

Smoked Salmon Belly on a Bed of Sprouts and Spicy Pecan Vinaigrette

Paired With: Fort George XVI Chapel
Fourth Course

Whole Dungeness Crab with Ginger and Lemongrass-infused Butter

Paired With: Omer Blonde Ale Brouwerig Bockor N.V.

Fifth Course

A Napoleon of Hazelnut Wafers and Chocolate Mousse with Caramel

Paired With: La Trappe Isid ‘Or 125th Anniversary

All of this, plus a special "intro beer" for $65 or 2 for $120
Get your tickets on the Fort George Online Store, or by calling the pub at 503.325.7468


Fort George Beer & Surfboards: Cannon Beach Merchant Offers One-Stop Shopping

Interview with Mark Mekenas, Owner of Cannon Beach Surf and CB Beach Store

Q: Describe your business including what you sell, and how long you've been up and running.

A: The CB Beach Store was set up in December 2008 after we had leased the Family Market for 10 years we decided that since we own the building with the surf shop, it didn't make sense to lease space in another building.  The CB Beach Store sells beer, wine, some groceries, snack items, sodas, lottery, cigars and cigarettes, beach toys, fishing and some hunting tackle, and fishing licenses.

Q: How are the surf shop and market related? What's it like juggling two different businesses?

A: Both businesses share the same building, and are accessible with a doorway between them.  A customer can pay for the products in either store, except for beer and wine, those can only be purchased in the CB Beach Store.  It is fairly easy, as they both play off each other very nicely.  A customer can hit the surf shop, pick up the equipment for the day, then hit the beach store, and get all the snacks, etc. for a day at the beach.

Q: What made you decide to become a small business owner, and what are the biggest challenges and rewards?

A: After 30 years in the corporate world (alcoholic beverages), and constant travel, the idea of being in one place and working for ourselves seemed like the right thing to do at our time in life.  Challenges are the daily biz.  Rewards are when everything works right.  Both of these are a daily occurrence.

Q: Why did you decide to start carrying Fort George beer and what would you like to tell customers about your selection of craft beers and the experience of shopping for them at your place?

A: Fort George fits perfectly in our business plan, as we were just getting ready to start pairing down our selection of big named corporate brands, and focusing on smaller local beer brands.  So, when the rep. walked in the door, we were ready for him, as I was just about to call you guys.  Our focus is on higher quality products in all the stores; Fort George fits that requirement perfectly.

Q: What's business like this time of year in Cannon Beach and what's it like riding the peaks and troughs of slower and busier months in a place with seasonal tourism?

A: This time of the year, every day is different, some are slow, and then some are surprisingly busy.  The weather plays a big part in day-to-day business, but then we do find that certain products that we carry still have draws year round.  The toughest part of the seasonal business is staffing and inventory, always a crapshoot.

Q: What are your future hopes and dreams?

A: Keep growing, keep remodeling, and adding new products to our stores.

Q: Finally, enough about your business, tell us a little about your background including where you're from, family-life, education, hobbies, etc.

A: We are originally from San Diego, left in ‘80, moved to Idaho, then to Seattle, took an early retirement package in ‘98 and moved to Cannon Beach.  Married to Maria (today is our 38th anniversary), 2 kids, Jennifer, prior Army, now mom and  works at Bank of Astoria in CB , 2 granddaughters, 8 and 4, they all live in Gearhart.  Our son is in Seattle is still a reserve Captain in the Air Force, did 10 years active, and now working for Olive Garden.   I surf and shoot, while Maria mostly enjoys her gardening.  My background was Division Manager in the whiskey business, covering 11 Northwest states, Alaska, and Hawaii.


No Shave November!

This November, Fort George will be holding a contest, again.  Who can grow the best facial hair in exactly 30 days?  This is a celebration of manliness and all the glory that is the male beard.  Let the best man win… although women are encouraged to participate.


  • 1 complete month of absolutely NO SHAVING....PERIOD. 
  • Exceptions:  NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Contestants must have a picture of themselves, clean-shaven, next to a November 1st 2011 or later newspaper.  There will be a photo party at Fort George on Nov. 1.  Any other pictures are to be submitted via facebook.com/fortgeorgebrewery or noshavenovember@fortgeorgebrewery.com by Nov. 25
  • Judging will take place on December 1st at the Fort George Brewery + Public House @ 6pm.  All are welcome to judge!
  • Grand Prize will be chosen by unanimous crowd decision.
  • Grand Prize?  A special bearded Mug Club membership, and beard bragging rights for the year of 2012.  A value of $85, but absolutely priceless...
  • Consolation prizes will be awarded to the less beardly, un-stachely, and pre-pubescent. 

Mug club members who renew their membership on December 1st will recieve $2 mugs of Fort George Beer.  Proceeds to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. 

***All hair to be donated to beardless children.  After all... it’s all about the kids. 


3rd Annual Halloween Hellorium 10/31


Come out for our 3rd Annual Halloween party with Ma Barley and the Knowitalls, and party like it's Halloween... because it will be.  The party will take place from 7pm until 11pm in the Fort George Lovell Building Brewery, which will be transformed in front of your eyes into the most hellish brewery you have ever gotten your reggae boogie down in!  If you have not been to a Fort George Hellorium party, it is a blast.  Costumes are a must, and the best costume will be brewarded!  See you out there-


Foraging at the George 10/20

The Fort George Lovell Taproom will be hosting "Foraging at the George," an informative cooking demonstration using locally foraged foods.  The Taproom will open at 6:00pm for refreshments, with the event starting at 7:00pm.   

Locally grown food is all the rage these days, and you can’t get much more local than wild foods that are foraged and hunted for in our North Coast landscape, from the upland forests to the estuaries.

On Thursday, Oct. 20th at 7 p.m, the Fort George Brewery + Public House, 1483 Duane St., Astoria, is the place to go if you want to learn more about what’s in season this autumn. 

Teresa Retzlaff and Kristin Albrecht, co-hosts of Coast Community Radio’s Food Talk program join in conversation with local foragers and hunters Carla Cole, natural resource project manager for Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and Doug Ray, wetlands consultant and North Coast Land Conservancy board member.

Cole and Ray are both long-time wild food enthusiasts with a passion for cooking and eating from the natural landscape.  The evening’s culinary conversation centers around a native food feast prepared as an example of what can be done with seasonal foraged foods and other locally grown ingredients.  The presenters will work their way through the menu, talking about each recipe–where the ingredients are found, and how to safely harvest them, and store them if needed. This is a great way to get inspired about incorporating more wild foraged foods into your home cooking

The program takes place in the Fort George’s Lovell Building next to their Tap Room.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. for those wanting to purchase seasonal beers on tap and other beverages at the George before the program begins. Recipes and resources will be available for those wishing to learn more about foraging and hunting on the North Coast. 

The program is free and open to the public.



Beer Journalist Trades Pen for Paint Brush in Art Show
John Foyston with one of our first cans off the canning line.
When the Fort George Brewery has been in the Oregonian, the writer has been John Foyston.  Best known for being one of the top beer journalists in the Northwest—John has been writing about Oregon craft beer for 20 years—he’ll be at Fort George this month, not reporting, but showing off one of his more obscure talents, oil painting.  John’s art will be on display in the brewery’s tap room during the 2nd Saturday Art Walk October 8th 5-9 p.m. and he will be present during an artist’s reception on October 15th 4-7 p.m. (immediately following the Hoppy Holidays event).
    John was a staff writer for The Oregonian for 25 years and as a freelancer still writes and blogs his weekly column "The Beer Here" for the paper. Before he wrote professionally, he was a computer assembler, a monkey handler, a professional musician, motorcycle mechanic and shop owner. 

     John started oil painting about six years ago. Early paintings were done from reference photos, but thanks to a workshop with Oregon plein air painter, Thomas Kitts, John has been painting outside and onsite for most of the last year.  Plein air painting is a tradition going back to the French impressionists and beyond, and requires the artist to establish color and value quickly and accurately, to simplify shapes and work quickly in changing light. 
     This show includes earlier paintings and recent plein air landscapes and still life, including the series of paintings that John has been doing in the Brooklyn Rail Yard Roundhouse, home of the famous Daylight steam locomotive 4449.



Hoppy Holidays: Women's Beer & Food Pairing Event

Beer Goddess Lisa Morrison

Saturday October 15th 2-4:00
Fort George Brewery Tap Room

For the perfect beer and food pairing, look no farther than your child's Halloween candy.  Hoppy Holidays is the theme of this year's beer appreciation for women class at Fort George Brewery, an official Barley's Angels event. Your guide, Lisa Morrison, is known around the globe as, The Beer Goddess.  Lisa will share her knowledge, and several specialty beers from a variety of breweries plus elegant holiday appetizer pairings on Saturday October 15th 2-4 p.m. in our Lovell Building production brewery, adjacent to the Tap Room.  The cost is $30 and we encourage you to register now as the event fills quickly, either in person at Fort George or at our online store

By the way, the Tap Room will be open during the event (a great place for the men to hang out) and John Foyston's art show immediately follows.

Lisa is host and producer of “Beer O’Clock!,” the Pacific Northwest’s only weekly, hour-long on-air radio show devoted to craft beer -- heard Saturdays 3-4 p.m. on 101 FM in Portland as well as about 10 other stations throughout Oregon. It is also livestreamed at the same time and available in podcasts 24/7 on KXL.com and in podcast on iTunes.

Lisa recently released her first book, Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer-Lover's Guide to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, to high critical acclaim. She also was one of 40 contributing writers for an internationally published book, “1001 Beers to Taste Before You Die,” which was released in the United States in 2010.

Lisa is a regular columnist for the nationally distributed publications Beer Advocate  and Celebrator Beer News and is the first and only female contributor to “Beer Talk” in the national magazine, All About Beer. She writes the “Beers to Your Health” column and contributes other articles for the regional publication Northwest Brewing News. She also frequently contributes to other publications, including Beer Northwest, Nightclub and Bar Magazine, The New Brewer, Zymurgy and Brew Your Own.

Lisa was chosen as one of the three original recipients -- and the first female recipient -- of the national Beer Journalism Awards, presented by the Brewers Association, for a column she wrote about the benefits and traditions of serving beer instead of wine at the Thanksgiving table. 

Lisa loves to share her passion for beer with others. She conducts numerous classes about beer in hopes of reaching out to more potential craft beer fans. For example, she presented a seminar on pairing beer with food for the national convention of the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Association, and she held a similar demonstration at the Mondial de la Biere festival in Montreal, Canada. Additionally, she has been teaching Beer 101 classes for women (traditionally not beer drinkers) in and around Portland for more than a decade. 

As a way to give back to the beer community and raise awareness about craft beer within the general public, Lisa organizes a number of nonprofit beer-related events, including the annual FredFest, a beer tasting for the octogenarian Portland-based beer writer, Fred Eckhard. In the past six years, the event has raised more than $50,000 for local charities.  

When she is not writing or talking about beer, Lisa and her husband, Mark, enjoy traveling with their Samoyed dog, Yeti -- if for no other reason than to be reminded that there's "no better beer than here."

Portland beer journalist, John Foyston, will have his oil paintings on display in our tap room during Hoppy Holidays and will be having an artist's reception following the event.



By Deanna Hogan

Way back in February, a few of us decided to organize our own “Cycle Oregon Kickoff Party” here in Astoria (the official party was held at the Nike campus in Beaverton). So we gathered around the kitchen table with our laptops, anxiously awaiting the announcement of the 2011 Cycle Oregon route and the opportunity to register for September’s week-long ride. Naturally, we had an assortment of Fort George growlers on hand to embolden the potential riders.

Left to Right: Kyle Medlin, Chris Hogan, Deanna Hogan, Mike Mitchell, Paul Gascoigne, Janet Graul, Steve Meyer, Allison Mattila Missing: Teresa Hogan, who got an early start
Cycle Oregon, known as the Best Bike Ride in America, is an amazing experience that began in 1988. Over 2000 cyclists travel back roads from one small town to another, enjoying gorgeous Oregon scenery, significant physical challenge, community, hospitality and philanthropy. Proceeds from the ride go to the Cycle Oregon Fund, which helps preserve and protect the special places of Oregon. The ride also provides financial benefits to the host towns as well as cycling-related causes throughout Oregon. The route is different every year.

End of 1st Day in Cottage Grove

This year’s southwest Oregon route encompassed fertile valleys, deep forests, rugged coastline and rolling wine country. 90 percent of the 2011 route traveled on roads Cycle Oregon had never pedaled – which may be why the ride was sold out within 36 hours! Host towns were Sutherlin, Cottage Grove, Reedsport, Bandon, Powers and Riddle. The week’s mileage was 410-499 miles, depending on options on a couple days. Nine of us registered for the ride, and five were first-time Cycle Oregon participants. This was my fifth.

Camp in Bandon
There’s no question we spend a lot of time at the Fort George, so it was a no-brainer we chose to call ourselves “Team Vortex.” Someone had the brilliant idea of having Fort George cycling jerseys made. We passed on the suggestion to the Powers That Be, and by May had our red, black and white jerseys.

The summer was spent riding at every opportunity, though when the event finally arrived I would have liked another month of preparation. I repeatedly (and neurotically) reviewed the ride’s daily maps and elevation grids with a sense of panic. Day 6 had me particularly worried, but I should have taken a closer look at a couple of the other days as well. By August I was bargaining with myself, allowing one beer for every 20 miles ridden, but no more than two beers at a sitting (I cheated once or twice). Contrary to popular belief, beer is not a recovery drink – though it tastes awfully good after a long ride.

To make the most impact, the team decided to wear Fort George jerseys on days 1, 5 and 7. We received lots of questions and comments on the ride, like “hey, that’s in Astoria, right?” and “Fort George – where’s that?” and “Whoo Hoo, Vortex!” We invited a few folks to sample the 1811 and Vortex at camp. We were surprised to meet three other locals sporting Fort George jerseys.
I preloaded each day’s map on my blog and added a few brief posts during the week so that family and friends could keep track of where we were.
Crossing the Finish Line in Sutherlin
The ride was fantastic, and the fact that we did it with friends and family make it even more memorable. A few of us have even started talking about next year – with a few more friends who want to join us. We’ll have to hold out for February, for the next kickoff party.

Thank you, Deanna Hogan, for writing this first-hand account of Cycle Oregon and for your support in sporting the Fort George jerseys on the ride.  Deanna is an RN at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, with a variety of interests, including a craft beer enthusiast, a member of the Barley's Angles



You can't judge a book by its cover, and this is especially true for home brewers.  The immaculately groomed , smooth-talking "banker", dressed in a suit and tie, may not be who you would picture when you think of a home brewer.  Our friend, Walt Postlewait of Enterprise Cascadia, who was instrumental in financing our brewery expansion, is evidence that those with a passion for making beer can be considered very sophisticated.

Q: What inspired you to home brew and how did you get started?

A: I started home brewing back in 1991.  I was just out of college and a little bored.  I had always enjoyed good beer and in Eugene there was a market that carried beers from all over the globe.  My roommate and I started collecting the empty bottles and arranged them on a large bookcase in geographic order.  Once out of college and back in the Portland area, I couldn’t find a regular supply of good beer.  So I started making my own.  I really don’t remember how I got started.  I think it was a trip to F H Steinbart’s.  After a few years I converted to Cornelius kegs and invested in a CO2 set up. The bottling was my least favorite part of the operation. 

Q: What has or hasn't kept you interested in doing it?

A: The mid/late 90’s was the hay day of my brewing.  I created a four tap fridge with three devoted to beer and one to an all natural ginger-ale that I created that used no refined sugars.  We entertained a lot back then and I was brewing a new batch about every other week.  I had a great IPA, stout, and amber which were the staples.  I would also play around with more interesting batches like a very light, heavy on honey, ale, and various pale ales ad stouts.  Most were named with Indian names and my “operation” was called Tecumseh Brewing. As life added kids and a career, time for brewing began to wane.  The four tap fridge was replaced with a fridge that was used more for food, with room for two Cornelius kegs shoved in the corner.  As really good beer began to be more readily available, the need to make my own waned. 

Q: Are you brewing right now, and what are your plans for beer in the future?

A: I think it has been two or three years since I brewed.  I find that a keg from Fort George fits in the spare fridge just fine so I no longer need to make my own.  My sister wants to start brewing with some of her friends and I will help her get started. 

Q: Describe your all-time best brew:

A: My best beer was a heavily hopped Indian pale ale called Anasazi Pale Ale.  I used a bunch of Cascade hops thrown in late, last two minutes, of the boil.  It was very tasty.  I do miss it from the creating side.  I really liked enjoying something I created along with knowing beer is alive.  The whole process was very interesting, satisfying, and created great memories.  All-in-all, I only made one batch that wasn’t drinkable.



A new addition to this year's Pacific Northwest Brew Cup is a home brew competition, Hondo's Brew Cup 2011.  It happens on Monday, September 26th, following the festival.

Many of our patrons are also home brewers, and if you've ever thought about getting involved in the craft, the college is also offering some courses starting this fall.  Jim Huber will be teaching these classes, and judging at the home brew competition.  He sheds light on his 25-year passion as well as how others can get involved.

 Q: How long have you been home brewing and what made you decide to get started?

 A: I have been home brewing for about 25 years, and all -grain brewing for the last 20 of those years.

I think a couple of things led me to start.  I had made some trips to Europe, and had tasted the wonderful cask conditioned ales they serve in the British pubs.  The flavor was unlike anything I had experienced before, and in coming back to the States, I was dismayed to learn that even the same brands weren't close to being as good.  These beers needed to be fresh, and the voyage over here didn't do them any good.  About that time, a former teacher of mine was talking about the home brewing he had done in his younger days, and I thought, "I can do that too!" 

Q: What have been the most challenging and rewarding aspects of it?

A: For me, the biggest challenge is also the biggest reward.  I think that as home brewers, we tend to look for inspiration in our favorite commercial and craft brews.  We use the same basic process that they do, but our equipment, for the most part, could best be described as medieval.  So, how do we respond to that situation?  For me, the challenge is to look for the places where we could possibly have the advantage over the pros, and ask the question, “could this allow me to make better beer?” 

One example is in our ingredients.  As home brewers, we don’t have to turn a profit, and ingredients are not that expensive anyway, so we can use the very best that the world has to offer in terms of yeast, malt, and hops.  We can even use a different type of yeast in every style of beer that we make, if we feel that it will enhance that batch of beer.  This would be very difficult for a commercial brewery to manage.

For another example, in adding hops after the boil, we can chill our entire batch quickly enough that these aroma hops don’t sit in the high heat for more than a few minutes.  That can give a really nice smooth freshness to the hop aroma and flavor that you will rarely find in a bigger, commercial batch that takes longer to cool.

The challenge and reward, then, is to look past what we might have in our glass today, to envision what it might be possible to create, and then figure out a way to make that happen in our next brew. 

Q: Have your family, friends, and work colleagues been supportive of your hobby?

A: The reactions have been always been very supportive and encouraging.  My wife, Mary, has made many trips with me to various “beer stores” to pick up ingredients, is a good sounding board for new ideas, and is also my best taste tester, especially for the hoppier ales and IPAs.    My brew partner, Dennis Hale, has been brewing almost as long as I have, and he is always ready to brew up something new and different.

I think the best show of support, though, is when you bring some bottles or a keg of fresh ale to a party and the “This is the best beer I’ve ever had” comments come up.  For me, a good glass of beer is its own reward, but this kind of feedback is nice, too.

Q: Describe your best brew.  What are you working on currently/ or what was the last beer you made?

A: I don’t mean to avoid directly answering your question, but I think my best brew will always be the one that has just reached its peak and surprises me in some way.  We brewed an English style Bitter this spring that was very close to what I remember tasting in those British pubs years ago, and that was very exciting.  That beer was balanced, clear, and ready to drink in about three weeks. 

On the other hand, in home brewing you can produce some very long-lived beers; and the flavor will continue to develop.  A month or so ago Dennis and I shared a bottle of our first all-grain barley wine, and it was delicious, rich, and complex.  That beer was almost 20 years old.   

Currently, I’m working on an APA, or American Pale Ale, that I want to brew with the body and fresh burst of hops of an IPA, but that will come in at about 4.5% alcohol.  I’ve also been really enjoying trying different Belgian Saisons this summer, and we’re planning on brewing one to have ready for next summer.  Another beer that I have been in the mood for is a really thick, malty Scotch Ale.  I can’t find one that I like in the stores, so we’re going to brew one.

Q: What's kept you brewing for so long?

A: For me there will always be different styles to try, and I notice that my taste is evolving; so even with the old standards that I’ve been brewing for years, I have new ideas about how I would like to make them better.

Q: What advice would you give to someone either interested in home brewing or just starting out?

A: Get involved with a group of friends, a brew partner, or with an informal club.  Half the fun is sharing ideas, recipes, and of course, beer! Another good way to learn more is to go over to Hondo’s Brew and Cork and sign up for a brew session. My first all-grain session will be in November; and we will be brewing an APA, which is a good type of beer to start with.

Q: I hear you're going to be a judge in Hondo's competition, as well as teaching some college classes starting this fall.  Can you tell us a little about the program?

A: RJ Kiepke, who owns Hondo’s, wanted to put together a series of college classes that would be good to introduce beginners to home brewing; and he asked me if I would teach the all-grain segment, which will be the third class in the series.  He is going to teach the fall and winter extract classes, and my class will be in the spring.  He has set up a good facility at his place to do the brewing; and in fact, if you are already a brewer and just want to come down and brew a batch with his equipment, he can accommodate that as well.

In addition, we will be doing a different all-grain brew session every two months or so.  This will be great for even experienced home brewers who want to break out of a rut and learn different styles, or who just want to learn how to take their IPA or stout to the next level and make a better beer.

As this series develops, we will do some really interesting brews; and I’m pretty excited about it.  With each different style of beer, we will learn new techniques, experience different ingredients, and work with different types of yeast.  We will cover the American styles, British styles, Belgians, wheat beers, and also some lagers.

Q: Anything else you'd like to add about home brewing?

A: If you like beer, you should try home brewing at least once.  You will definitely have fun, and might have found a great, lifetime hobby.

Q: Finally, besides home brewing, what's your career and family background and how long have you lived around here?

I have done many types of work, and for the last 10 years I’ve worked in the office of the Employment Department.

I grew up in Astoria, and Mary and I live here in town with our pets and a basement full of hobbies. But just like the lasting head on a well-crafted pint, the hobby of brewing always seems to rise to the top.


Pacific Northwest Brew Cup Site: Astoria Waterfront Park in the Making

If you’ve ever heard Astoria described as a balance between the pretty and gritty, the site of this year's Pacific Northwest Brew Cup nails it.  Set on the backdrop of the waterfront just east of the Maritime Museum, you could create postcards of the views of the ships on the Columbia, the trolley passing by, and people and their dogs strolling along the riverwalk.  Just to the south, City Lumber’s turn of the century buildings that used to be part of the old rail yard, show off a patina that could only be achieved by authentic weather and age.
To the west, the dormant train depot sleeps; a beautiful brick building with boarded up windows and big dreams for the future.  The Maritime Museum hopes to convert it to a workshop for boat builders as well as historic preservation college students. The museum will let you see the inside of the building during an open house on Saturday of the festival, in an effort to gain more exposure for future fundraising.

When the housing market was hot, some feared potential rampant condo development could wall-off views of the Columbia.  So the city embarked on a plan for the riverfront.  The Riverfront Vision Plan includes a conceptual design for this city-owned parcel to be developed into a waterfront park.  The idea seems fairly obscure outside city hall, but the community hasn’t really had a chance to experience it until now. 

“This festival has been one of the first activities which has created a draw to the area, to start having the public think of it as a community gathering space.  That’s why I’m really excited they’re wanting to have it there again,” said Community Development Director Brett Estes, a fellow beer-lover and home brewer, himself.

The Brew Cup moved from downtown last year, from the now collapsed concrete slab near the American Legion.  The city had started discovering some structural deficiencies there and offered the waterfront site as an alternative. 

Estes points out there will be more elbowroom at the festival this year, as the Darigold building that had been on the property since the 1930’s was demolished. The former farm supply store wasn’t in good shape, which flew in the face of the city’s own newly adopted derelict building ordinance, plus the city council wanted to open up a larger area for a potential waterfront park.  So city officials worked with Clatsop Community College’s historic preservation program to begin taking the building down last spring.  Students learned how to conduct salvage materials including historic shop lights and flooring, which may eventually be used in the train depot redevelopment. 
The Fort George incidentally is storing some other recycled timbers from the Darigold building, which could become a staircase to the second story above the pub.   

The city urban renewal district had purchased the prominent waterfront site in order for the public to have a chance to guide its future.  It could be awhile until we see a waterfront park developed, as there’s currently a lot of time and money being spent on the Legion block downtown, but Estes says now’s the time to vision.  With the Darigold building down, you’ll be able to see at the Brew Cup this year, a clear view of how much room their would be for a park.  The next step, Estes says, is a more detailed design, including public input of what amenities you’d like to see there.

 “We’d like to start putting some more meat on the bones and develop a design concept we could get the community excited about and then its looking at long term how do we fund that,” Estes said.

He says he’d ultimately like to see places for people to picnic, and possibly a dock structure to take you onto the river.  But for now we’ll look forward to drinking some of the best beer the Northwest has to offer, while dreaming up this prime piece of real estates’ future.

Brew Cup Details September 23rd-25th
For the latest information, go to the Pacific Northwest Brew Cup Facebook Page.

Sponsored By: Fort George Brewery
                          Baked Alaska Restaurant & Lounge

Profits Go To: Clatsop County Food Bank

Music & Events Calendar:
Friday, September 23rd 4:00-5:30 p.m. North Coast Blues Band 
                                     6:00-7:30 p.m. Bruce Smith and the Boda Boyz
                                     8:00-10:00 p.m. Minty Rosa

Saturday, September 24th 11:00 a.m. Troll Radio Review (Broadcast Live on KMUN)
                                          1:00-4:00 p.m. Maritime Museum Train Depot Open House
      4:00-5:30 p.m. Big Fish Blues Band
                                          6:00-7:30 p.m. The Distractions
                                          8:00-10:00 p.m. Broken Soviet
Sunday, September 25th Barney Perrine will play most of the day
                                       Growler Sunday: Take your favorite beers home

Monday, September 26th Hondo’s Home Brew Cup

Important Information:
· Mugs are $7 and tastes are $1
· Family-friendly featuring music, food, and games for kids
· Awards: "Thar She Blows" (first beer to run out) and the "Peoples Choice"

Local Hop Farming

Co-Hoperative Ale Available Starting Friday September 16th

'Tis the season for fresh hop beers.  You may be familiar with seeing the plant growing around our breweries' coastal region, but while there's been a few people around here who have talked about commercial hop farming, nothing has materialized.  Our Co-Hoperative Ale is done piecemeal from hops grown in local yards and gardens.

Teresa Retzlaff of 46 North Farm in Olney, has grown hops to weave into wreathes, which she has sold at the Astoria Sunday Market.  Teresa is not only an exceptionally nice person, but she knows a lot first-hand about the challenges and opportunities of hop farming in the Columbia-Pacific region.

Q: How do hops grow in our area and how could one get started?
 A: Hops (Humulus Lupulus) are an amazingly vigorous vine that grows very well in the Pacific Northwest.  Oregon produces about 17% of the US market share for hops, which accounts for about 5% of the hops grown in the world.  Most Oregon hops are grown in Marion County. Oregon is the second largest producer of hops in the US after Washington State.

The main growing requirements for hops are full sun, rich, well-drained soil that is somewhere near to neutral on the pH scale, and a support system that can handle the rapidly growing vines.  They can grow up to 30' tall in one season.  This is the vine to plant if you want to hide a building; however, they die back completely to the ground in winter, so it will only be hidden for half the year.

Q: What has your experience been like growing hops including challenges and successes?

A: Hops grew quite well for us on our old farm in Seaside, but in years where the summers were foggier and cooler, they didn't thrive as well, and late summer rain can cause the flowers to mold or rot.  We're looking forward to getting hops vines established on our farm in Olney, which is much warmer and sunnier.

One of the biggest challenges is supporting the vines.  We had several early trellis designs collapse under the weight of the vines, and have now learned a lot about how to trellis and prune the vines properly.  Another challenge is in harvesting hops, as the vines are quite scratchy and many people find that their skin is irritated by exposure to hops vines.  Wearing gloves and long sleeve shirts can help.

In September, we used to decorate our market booth with hops bundles, and we always attracted a number of older people who would stop by to reminisce about working as hops pickers when they were young.  From the stories we heard, it was hard, scratchy work harvesting hops commercially and no one regretted that they were no longer doing it!  But maybe on a smaller scale it won't be so bad.

Q: Why have you grown hops and what do you use them for?

A: I'm embarrassed to say this to a business so renowned for brewing such great beer, but I first planted hops vines because I had read that the vines were excellent for making dried wreath forms, which they are!  They generously give lots of material to work with, and the flowers were initially a by-product that I tried to figure out a use for. I would harvest huge bunches of hops and make hop wreaths, and gather dried bundles of hops to sell for fall decorations. I also dried the hops to make herbal sleep pillows, which you can tuck into your pillowcase at night to help you sleep.  But mainly, I wove the stripped vines into wreath forms that we used for our fall herb and flower wreaths.

I did plant one variety called Nugget, which I had read was good for making English-style ales, and which I thought my husband, Packy, might enjoy using if he got around to making any home-brewed beer. Sadly, I've kept him so busy with work on the farm that it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe next year!

Q: Have you ever thought about growing hops commercially for breweries?  Why aren't there any local farms currently doing this?

A: We are both beer-drinkers, and would love to grow hops commercially for local breweries on our farm.  I love watching the vines shoot up out of the ground each year.  I swear you can see them grow each day. The chartreuse green flowers are odd-looking but beautiful to me, I enjoy seeing them dangling all over the vines in early September like tiny Japanese lanterns.  We've been figuring out the best spot to plant the vines on our new farm, because once you plant them it's best to let them establish there and not keep moving them around.  

The north coast isn't the ideal place for growing hops, our summers can be cool and wet, which hops don't like.  A heavy rain just as you're about to harvest your hops can be a disaster, and you just never know what kind of summer we'll have here.  But there are good micro-climates here on the coast, and I'm hoping our new farm is in one that will lend itself to hop growing.

If they have the room to devote to growing the vines, I think local farms could do well offering fresh hops in the late summer-fall for fresh hop beers both to our great local breweries and to the growing number of home brewing enthusiasts here.  A local farm can offer hops that will be fresher than anything a brewer might get from a farm that’s hours away.  Something else to consider is that in Oregon, hops that are dried and bundled for sale are required to go through a USDA inspection process with a mandatory assessment per pound that growers must pay, so that might also be a deterrent to a small farm considering setting up a dried hops business. Right now there is no required inspection or assessment for fresh hops, although with the growing market for fresh hops in Oregon that will probably change.

Q: Anything else you'd like to add about hops, farming, beer (it's fresh hop beer time), and/or community?

A: For people who are interested in growing hops themselves, it should be noted that Oregon has a quarantine that prevents you from bringing in roots from any other state except Washington and Idaho.  Fortunately there are many great sources for hop plants in Oregon, so it's not hard to find a good selection of varieties. 

Packy and I are looking forward to tasting the 2011 Co-Hoperative beer that the Fort George brews, it's always tasty, and I love knowing that locally grown hops have gone into it.  Hopefully 46 North Farm will have fresh hops to contribute for the 2012 batch!  If there are particular hop varieties that people are interested in having a fresh local source for, they should get in touch with us.  We want to grow varieties that people want to use!  I'll still use the vines for dried wreath forms, but the Fort George has helped me develop a greater appreciation for the potential of those funny looking green flowers.


Taproom Art Show Saturday, September 17 with Brandy Coulthard.

Come check out the work of local artist, Brandy Coulthard, for a meet and greet Saturday September 17th from 7:00-9:00 in the Fort George Lovell Taproom. "Animal idioms and other such monkey business" is the theme for this show, and it fits in well with the Fort George crew.  Though Brandy creates with many formats, this show features watercolor and acrylic.

You may have seen Brandy's art throughout town, as Brandy is Co-Owner of Hold Fast Tattoo Co. & Art Gallery in Seaside.  No stranger to the Fort George, Brandy has left the Vortex IPA mark on our chef, Dana McCauly.

Come hang out with Brandy and Co. this Saturday, enjoy some special brews and a game of shuffleboard.  See you Saturday-


Vortex IPA Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken

                                                                                                                   By Zetty McKay/Brewery Wife

With school back in session and fall in the air, quick and comforting meals are a must. So, I thought I would share a favorite family recipe for Vortex IPA Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken.  It has the same flavorful, juicy, fall-off-the-bone characteristics as traditional beer can chicken; however, this is a simple weeknight supper.  With very little prep work, which may include drinking some beer the night before, set your slow cooker on low and come home to a succulent dinner that’s great for family, and impressive and intriguing enough for entertaining.

Whole Chicken (4 pounds)
Potatoes (12 small red/yellow or equivalent)
Onions (1 large or several small)
1 Cup Vortex IPA This equals 8 ounces, which is half of a pint-sized can. You may want to drink half of a can the night before making the chicken, reserving enough for your recipe in the morning.

Tablespoon Salt
Teaspoon Black Pepper
Tablespoon Paprika
Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Remove giblets, rinse chicken, and pat dry. Mix dry rub in a small dish and then rub it all over the chicken.

Chop onions, into large chunks and cover the bottom of your slow cooker with them.

Lay the chicken on top of the onions, breast down, and back facing up. Arrange as many potatoes as the cooker can hold, with the lid still fitting securely.  I left mine whole as they were smaller, but you may want to cut larger ones in half.

Finally pour your Vortex into the cooker alongside the chicken, as to not wash away the dry rub. Cover, set heat to low, and let cook. Mine cooked for 6 ½ hours; however, I've had good results at 8 hours as well.

Remove potatoes, chicken, and onions from slow cooker and arrange on a platter. The meat should be falling off the bone, and therefore is very easy to “carve”, just using your hands.

If you’ve had an especially demanding day, or company coming over, you may want to make some Vortex gravy. Just mix a few Tablespoons of corn starch with a little cold water in a small dish until smooth, and whisk it into the juices in the slow cooker. Turn the heat up to high, cover, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Then, pour over your platter, or let individuals serve their own.
I served this feast with a fresh loaf of Pan Rustique from our brewery neighbor, the Blue Scorcher Bakery, fresh green beans, and cans of Fort George Vortex IPA--a perfect pairing with this meal.

By the way, we really enjoy our Vortex out of  big red wine goblets; the vessel is good for channeling aromatics, allows for enhanced hop flavors to come out as it warms in your hand, and it makes an elegant presentation.

A good friend, Susie, came over for dinner, and we couldn’t stop eating, the food was so good. We were super full, but she happens to be one of the best pie-makers in the world, so we forced ourselves to top off our meal with some blackberry pie, that was still warm from the oven.  It was totally worth relatively little effort for such a great meal.  I can't wait for you to try it too!


9/10 Fort George Taproom Takeover with Brandy Coulthard

Animal idioms and other such monkey business will be appearing at Fort George's Tap Room on Saturday, September 10th and remaining for the entire month.
You may have seen some of Brandy's work walking all over the Northwest Coast.  Brandy Coulthard is currently co-owner of Hold Fast Tattoo Co. & Art Gallery in Seaside, and has been an artist of various mediums her entire life.  This new exhibit from Brandy will display multiple watercolor and acrylic pieces throughout the Fort George Tap Room.

Come hang out with Brandy and check out the less painful side of her art for Astoria's 2nd Saturday Artwalk taking place Saturday, September 10th from 5pm-9pm.   


September Music Schedule

1st Local Craft Beer and BBQ Dinner At Portland Prime with Fort George Brewery

Wednesday September 14th 6:30pm

We are honored to be part of the 1st Local Craft Beer and BBQ Dinner at the Portland Prime Restaurant in Downtown Portland.  Come be part of dining history with Fort George and the Portland Prime for an end of summer BBQ.  Fort George brewers will be on hand to hang out and talk beer, food, and beer.  See you there! 
Appetizer Course
Grilled Langostino with grilled mango bruschetta, and smoked finishing salt.
Served with Fort George Divinty 

2nd Course 
Chop salad with raspberry wheat ale dressing.
Served with Fort George Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale 

3rd Course 
BBQ Beef Brisket served with grilled corn on the cob, Jalapeno corn muffins w/ honey butter, and a hopped macaroni and cheese.
Served with Fort George Vortex IPA

Dessert Course
Raspberry stuffed Stout lava cake served with a Working Girl double chocolate ice cream.
Served with Fort George Working Girl Coffee Porter 

Reservations to be made via Portland Prime
121 Southwest 3rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
(503 223 6200) $45 per person

Menus will be printed with a brief description of entrée and beer selection for guests to take with them and help guide them through the experience!


Ms. Collins Serves Good Grades & Pints

When our wonderful and longest-standing server, Sarah Collins isn’t working at the Fort George Public House, she’s creating lesson plans and grading papers.  Sarah is heading back to school as she does every year at this time.  She’s a 5th grade teacher at Gearhart Elementary.  We talked to her about how she manages to juggle both careers. 

Sarah admits it’s tough, but what she loves about working at the Fort George, is how much she’s been able to learn about Astoria and the people.  Many patrons have become her friends, which has been great, as she didn’t know very many people when she first moved to town.  Sarah says her shifts at the Fort free her mind from the constant whirring thoughts of teaching including planning, grading, and how individual students are performing.  She continues to juggle both because she bought a house last year and along with a master’s degree come daunting student loans.

While the demands of the jobs differ, there are also similarities.

“In both jobs you are trying to keep people happy and keep them excited about being there.  And sometimes adults who have been drinking act a little like ten-year olds, so I feel right at home,” Sarah said with a grin.

Sarah says it's her Midwestern work ethic that keeps her going (go Buckeyes).  Her past career, as touring manager for Pink Martini, took her to places including Beirut, Istanbul, and Monaco.  She says they were all caring, talented musicians, who she feels privileged to have worked for.  She changed careers when the band was between albums, aiming for a more stable lifestyle.
Sarah is a very busy lady, but she does allow herself one day off a week.

“I try to sleep in, read the Oregonian, do the crossword and pause to be thankful,” Sarah said.