Cascade Brewing, located in Portland, Oregon, is not a typical brewery. The first detail to clue you in is a look at their line-up of beers: not one IPA. Heck, not even an amber ale, stout or lager in sight. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find a single beer that neatly falls into one of the Brewer’s Association style guidelines!
What do they brew? Inspired by Oregon’s wine country and local fruit farms, Cascade Brewing nearly exclusively brews barrel aged ales and sours. Curious about the unconventional roster, I jumped at the chance to try their latest creation: a bourbon-barrel aged sour quad with orange peel and seasoned with aromatic bitters from Portland Bitters Project dubbed Contemporary Fashion.
This sour ale, taking cues from the Old Fashioned cocktail, is profound on the nose, an intoxicating fusion of Sour Patch Kids candy, clover honey, greek yogurt and tart raspberry. The orange is there, however with such layered complexity it takes some searching to find it. Things are no less impressive on the palate, which reminds me of orange vanilla creamsicle and fresh fruit with honey. The texture is strikingly plush and creamy. Best of all, it’s the flavor that stands out more than anything else, lingering well after the initial bite of acidity and warmth of alcohol fade.
It was a pleasure to taste a sour that is as expertly crafted as it is innovative. Wonderful job, Cascade Brewing.
A+ / $6 (250ml) / cascadebrewing.com