August 7, 2016 by Cody
Apologies for the time lapse between posts. How can someone create an initial post with a clear path for follow up, and not get it done in a reasonable amount of time? Well unlike Firefly and Freaks and Geeks, I will not abandon my readers (all two of you), I will continue the good fight, no matter how long it takes!
Oh, and I forgot to post a photo in my Shipyard post. A smashed Natty Daddy, a hat and a juice bottle. It’s like an unfortunate crime scene photo taken right in front of the brewery.
Alright! Shipyard is done….for now. *wink wink*I have no idea what that means, anyway…
As a special plug, I gotta give props to my Dad for being the go to floor guy for Eric Michaud, owner of both Liquid Riot and Novare Res, two popular Portland destinations for beer connoisseurs, who was chosen to stain the bare concrete floors with rich colors for both establishments. I’ve worked with my Dad on both projects, and both turned out great. So the next time you hit up either of these locales, take a look at what is under your feet. Okay, plug over.
Liquid Riot has been open a few years now, and is already making a mark on the Portland landscape. Not only do they can and bottle their own brews, ranging from classic European styles, to the obligatory American IPA, but they have a whole assortment of delicious liquors. Today I will be focusing on their beer, but I will absolutely be covering their liquor and cocktails in another post.
strawberry cream ale w/ Japanese sake yeast on Nitro (6% abv)
First, it has to be stated that this brew is gorgeous (far right of my flight above). It was a light, hazy pink and gold accentuated by the nitrogen bubbles and head. Very pretty beer. Aroma was on point with a pure, creamy strawberry scent, though on the mild side. The flavor of Ichigo though, is not as dramatic. Upon hitting your tongue, it’s immediately apparent Nitro was not a good choice for this creamy ale. Nitro naturally creates far less carbonation, which for many styles is not a hindrance, but in this case, it is. Nitro generates a natural creaminess in every brew it’s a part of, but here it masks both the subtle sweetness of the sake yeast, and the boldness of the strawberries themselves. The Nitro becomes the centerpiece of the beer, and that is decidedly NOT what you want to happen in such an original, gentle concoction. I think that Ichigo would benefit from CO2, or a natural real ale technique. Higher carbonation would titillate the tongue, and emphasize both the sake and strawberry. A missed opportunity as is. NOT RECOMMENDED
Belgian table beer (4.3% abv)
Upon inspection, Primus is either filtered, or lightly cloudy. Normally witbiers are very much unfiltered and cloudy, but Primus is a Belgian Pale Ale, and less of an unfiltered wheat. Flavor wise though, it might be a little confusing to the palate, because many of the hallmark flavors found in witbiers, are prominent in this brew, including the typical coriander and clove. To put it more succinctly, Primus is a spicy beer without being cloying, which adds to it’s drinkability factor as a session ale. Furthermore, Primus is very refreshing when paired with many of Liquid Riot’s delicious appetizers, making it a great fit as a table beer. RECOMMENDED
sour aged ale w/ rose petals and orange zest (??? abv)
Let’s cut right to the chase on this one. From the first sip to the last, my experience with this brew was not good. Field Tripper has a mild medicinal, orange Dimetapp vibe that just ruins the experience. This ale tries to be refreshing with a light body and mild sourness, but the orange zest tastes too fake. NOT RECOMMENDED
De La Sour
sour Belgian wit (4% abv)z
Immediately I notice that that the souring for De La Sour seems similar to Field Tripper, but tastes superior. This could simply be because there is not a dramatic masking agent cutting through so much in this one. Clearly the focus of this beer is to put the sourness front and center, which works quite well, especially after the lacking Field Tripper. Also noteworthy is the dry finish of this sour! This may be a sour beer, but it wants to finish on the backend as a dry white wine. Very refreshing, and the best of the bunch!
Overall, a bit of a let down experience at Liquid Riot despite a couple of positive tastings. It is worth noting though, that this brewpub is very experimental, and are clearly willing to take chances and not be safe. I could walk into this establishment tomorrow, and have possibly 4 brand new beers and have a completely different experience. I am just some dude with a blog, and while a couple of beers may fall flat, I still love what Liquid Riot is doing for the city of Portland.
NEXT UP: Foulmouthed Brewing