Get to Know: Cucumber Tom & Tonic

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Get to Know: Cucumber Tom & Tonic

Alesong is influenced by the broad range of brewing techniques discovered over millennia: from using wild yeasts like the earliest brewers in Belgium were fermenting with — to modern brewing practices that help us fine tune each of our ales with the rigor of 21st century technology. Our choices for flavor and ingredient sourcing in this summer’s release of the Cucumber Tom & Tonic were made by collapsing about a century-long space in U.S. drinking history.

We aged the Cucumber Tom & Tonic in Old Tom Gin barrels, again sourced from our friends at Ransom Spirits in Portland. Old Tom Gin is a pre-prohibition spirit that, although was broadly defined in its character, was often lighter on the palate and sweeter — almost a whisky augmented by classic gin botanicals. Ransom spirits endeavored to recreate this historic spirit, and then aged it in a barrel, as would have been done in the mid-1800s. Because of their decision to barrel age, we’re given the opportunity to take their recently emptied barrels and fill them with our golden sour base beer to infuse botanical notes of juniper, orange and pepper alongside the French Oak we've grown to love.

We then chose to add fresh Oregon-grown cucumbers from Sward Family Farms and Organic Redneck Farms, for that cucumber kiss. As a bartender go-to on this side of the 21st century, cucumber in a gin and tonic adds a subtle, refreshing character to the classic cocktail, which complements the sweetness of Old Tom gin and our crisp and dry sour base.

Cucumber Tom & Tonic pours a clean golden blonde, with an aroma that evokes a cooling cucumber splash. The spritz of gin botanicals sits delicately next to the tart, sour and refreshing notes of the base beer, and will undoubtedly be your go to for these last few weeks of summer heat. Hope you enjoy!

Cheers!


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Get to know your beer - Terroir: Pinot Noir Blanc

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Get to know your beer - Terroir: Pinot Noir Blanc

Pinot Noir Blanc is a wine made with Pinot Noir grapes, but without the skin and seed contact that creates that red tint you'd normally picture when you think of Pinot Noir. Without those tannins from the skins and seeds, the subtle unclothed expression of the grape is showcased —and this is actually how a lot of Champagne is made. With the Firestone Walker Terroir Project in the future, the whole team here has really been getting excited about the progression of this series, and can’t wait to hear what the public has to say about it. 

With the whole Alesong crew in tow, we hand picked about a ton of grapes at Benton-Lane Winery and then brought it back to our tasting room where our neighbors over at King Estate kindly let us borrow their basket press. The basket press allows you to do a super gentle extraction on the fruit to pull just juice and none of the tannin structure from seeds or skin that you would otherwise get out of a hard press. That juice was then added to our saison base that had already been sitting in French oak and after another 8 months of co-fermentation in the barrel, we were left with a beautiful tannin-less expression of the Pinot Noir.

This subtly nuanced beer/wine hybrid expresses rich berry notes with hints of pear, lemon, and baked apples. Notes of minerality and a calm saison foundation give this beer an ideal base to highlight that crisp Pinot Noir Blanc flavor. This wine grape-matured farmhouse ales is for sure one of the best evolutions of our wine hybrid Terroir beers! See you at the release!

Cheers!

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AlesongMatt bikes for Beer.

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AlesongMatt bikes for Beer.

Bikes and Beer! What could be more European than that. From July 25th through July 31st I get the pleasure of joining Beercycling.com on a bucket list bike ride across the Belgium and France border visiting several farmhouse breweries. Since we opened Alesong Brewing and Blending three years ago, we've spent a lot of time creating Belgian inspired beers, many with a nod to the traditional farmhouse styles. In fact, our original Saison, Saison Lorane, was made with Brasserie Duponts famed yeast strain. Dupont will be one of the many breweries we get to tour. I am excited to leave town this summer to dig deeper into the many styles that inspired Brian, Doug and I to open this oak barrel focused brewery out in the country.


How did this co-sponsored trip come about? I met Evan Cohan a year or two ago, as he resides in Portland. His Business partner, Henk is based in Europe. Together, they lead trips in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and even Portland to Hood River here in the states. Each trip is a multi day bike ride touring a regions breweries. Everyone I have come into contact with here in the states that has ridden with Beercycling has told me how great it is. I'm guessing my first (and hopefully not last) pedal with them will be life changing, at least for a brewer of these rustic beers.

When I told Evan that I would LOVE to go with them on a ride, he told me they had partnered with a brewery in the past and would love to again. We blasted it to our fans, club members, and newsletter list (have you joined that communication channel? Our newsletter sign up is at the bottom of our membership page)

Am I ready? I think so. Our longest ride day is 45 miles with the shortest being only 22. Since I dropped a few pounds this winter to get into bike shape and have spent quite a bit of time on my old mountain bike, I think I can make it without fail. Plus, I've purchased all the crazy cycling gear that I thought I would never own. I just received my 'tie-less' shoelaces from amazon. I can't get all caught up in the chain! For further training this past weekend, I did 40 miles with several beer stops in between. I have to be game ready, and I think I am.


If you'd like to 'ride along' on my beer-fueled journey in Belgium and France, follow @Beercycling & @alesongmatt on Instagram and facebook. I will capture as much of the trip so long as the wifis cooperate. Regardless I'll be sure to recap the ride when I'm back in the states in August.

Cheers!

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Summer Release 2019!

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Summer Release 2019!

The weekend of August 17th-18th, we will be releasing five new summer beers and hosting a two day release event for our membership at the tasting room! This release we’ll be introducing two new additions to our terroir series, another crisp take on a classic gin cocktail, a reminiscent cookie inspired sour red ale, and a mix-culture ale with some very delicious fruit sourced from our neighbors at King Estate. Here’s what’s on the lineup for August:  

  • Terroir: Pinot Noir Blanc – Continuing our series of wine grape-matured farmhouse ales, this honey-colored beer underwent a second fermentation on fresh pressed Pinot Noir juice from Benton Lane winery. This subtly nuanced beer/wine hybrid expresses rich berry notes with hints of pear, lemon, and baked apples.

  • Terroir: Cabernet Sauvignon– Continuing our series of wine grape-matured farmhouse ales, this deep garnet-colored beer underwent a second fermentation on 2018 Cabernet grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Rich, jammy, wine grape flavors are balanced by firm tannins from the grape skin ferment and the French oak barrels in this luscious beer/wine hybrid.

  • Cucumber Tom & Tonic – Inspired by a classic G&T garnished with cucumber slices, this beer started as our golden sour base and was aged in Old Tom Gin barrels from Ransom Spirits imparting elements of spicy and earthy gin botanicals. Finished on Oregon grown cucumbers, the resulting beer is complex, refreshing, and perfect for a warm summer evening!

  • Ginger Snap – Spicy ginger, warm cinnamon, and smooth vanilla beans make up Grandma’s favorite cookies, and also our newest sour beer. After aging our Flanders Red inspired sour base in neutral oak barrels for nearly 18 months, we added ginger snap spices to our final blend, resulting in a beer that is unique and complex, yet somehow so familiar.

  • The BeerMonger’s Biscotti — A blend of rich imperial stouts matured in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels and finished on orange peel, cocoa nibs, coffee, Jacobsen sea salt and hazelnuts. Crafted in celebration of 10 successful years of mongering at The BeerMongers and as a nod towards the next 10! Cheers!

With the summer release, we are hosting our third Blender’s Circle release dinner for our members at the tasting room the evening of August 16th. The dinner will feature five paired courses, and acts as an opportunity for our club members to pick up their Summer shipment early. More details on the menu coming soon!

After good feedback from last release, we have extended our release to a two day event again! From 1-6pm on August 17th and 18th, we will have tastings of each of the new beers paired with delicious small bites and live music. Beers will also be released online to our mailing list a few weeks prior to the event, and the only way to get into the party without being a member is to order at least 6 bottles from the presale. Remaining inventory will be released in our tasting room and to our accounts the following week.  

Stay tuned for our release email coming the week of July 28th, and keep checking back here for more info on each of these new beers!

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Eugene Beer Week: In review

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Eugene Beer Week: In review

Holy cow did this week go by fast! It was an absolute treat to be able to participate again this year and really see how much the Eugene beer scene has grown in the past year. Every year the organization gets better and better and we just wanted to take a second to throw a shoutout to everyone involved, and review some of Alesong’s highlights.

Bier Stein hosted yet another stellar invitational and gave us an opportunity to showcase two of our five new spring release beers - Common Nectar and Touch of Brett Galaxy. Matt even got a chance to support the Cascade Raptor Center with some time in the dunk tank (check social media for those pics… seriously). It was an awesome sunny day packed with wholesome industry chats and flavors from all over. It was a great way to start of the week.

Just the next morning we had quite the day here at the tasting room with our 3rd anniversary party and Canniversary IPA release. We couldn’t have asked for better birthday weather, and clocked in one of the busiest days in Alesong history. Matt and his family were offering free ice cream for a big chunk of the day and cans flew fast. Big thanks to everyone who came out and made it easily our best anniversary yet, can’t wait for next year.

To continue the collaboration with Sunriver, Monday night we showcased beers from each of our archives alongside their top notch kitchen skills for the first beer pairing dinner at their new Oakway pub location. Placed quietly upstairs from open pub, this was one of the most well put together dinners we’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. It was quite the feat to see their kitchen pull off and we can’t wait for the next one. Thanks to Sunriver for working with us and to everyone that came out!

And finally, we capped the week with the largest ever tap takeover of Alesong beers at Beergarden with 12 beers on tap and revealed our collab with ColdFire to be released next year. Check the video below for more details and we’ll see you next year! Cheers!

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