Call it October Madness or maybe Oktoberfest Madness.
We're at it again, turning Oregon's diverse, collaborative craft-brewing community into an unfair, unscientific — yet fun and thrilling — popularity contest among the helter-skelter tastes of our online readers. We still think it's worth it, selecting another champion brewery from 64 strong contenders across the state.
Two years ago, we launched our first Oregon Beer Showdown, resulting in theCinderella-story near-win of Astoria's Buoy Beer, which ultimately lost to rapidly expanding Hop Valley Brewing in Springfield. Some breweries rallied their fans, especially through social media. Others kept their noses to their brew kettles. Ouch.
Vote now in Round 1. Be sure to click through each region to see all 64 brewers. Round 1 voting is open through Monday, Oct. 10 at 11:59 p.m.
As you'll notice, our "regions" represent the critical components, in order, for making beer. Of course, Oregon Brewers generally add a lot of extras, such as the 18-month oak barrel aging of pFriem's Flanders Blonde to the grapefruit, coriander and salt in Ecliptic's Zenith Gose to harvesting yeast from the head brewer's beard for Rogue's Beard Beer. Not to be outdone, Ninkasi likes to send its beer into space.
Our process for seeding the competition began with the 30 Oregon craft breweries, such as Deschutes, Full Sail and Rogue, that produced the most barrels of beer in 2015 according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. They report a total of 1.2 million barrels (or 35.7 million gallons) of craft beer produced in Oregon last year.
We then added 24 more breweries, including Lompoc, Wild Ride and Ex Novo, based on in-state sales only as reported to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Finally, we selected 10 more wild-card contenders, such as Hair of the Dog, Mt. Hood and Coin Toss.
Which breweries will explode into the next round like a batch of over-carbonated homebrew in my closet? Which will get all skunky and flat in the first round? We can't wait to find out.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.