The brutally honest Brewers Union 180 22-ounce pint glass got filled up with Gigantic IPA. Perhaps it's not the style of beer the glass was intended for, but I liked the idea of putting a Gigantic beer in a gigantic glass. The IPA is an instant Portland classic: big, full-bodied, with orangey hops. I fancy that it tastes better on tap, but in a pinch the bombers are available wherever fine beers are sold.
Widmer Marionberry Hibiscus Gose. At the 2011 Fruit Beer Festival I declared Widmer's Raspberry Hibiscus Gose my biggest disappointment, despite being easily the prettiest beer served that day. On the other hand, I really like the 2012 marionberry version, which is probably still out there on the shelves in 12-ounce bottles. It's not as visually stunning, but it seems maltier and a touch saltier than I remember the raspberry one being. I didn't get much hibiscus flavor from either of them, which is probably a good thing. Hibiscus strikes me as a very strong, distinctive flavor which is interesting on its own but doesn't play well with others, though I'm sure it contributes to the gose's beautiful color.
Oddly, one of my complaints about the 2011 was that it wasn't as tart as Cascade's Goses -- which is a surprising thing for me to complain about in the first place -- but one thing I like about the 2012 is that it is less tart than the 2011. Go figure. Meanwhile Widmer brewer Ben Dobler told me he liked the tarter raspberry version better. Isn't beer wonderful? (Thanks to Widmer for the free bottle.)
Migration's Luscious Lupulin IPA. Even though Migration is not more than a mile from my house, I rarely seem to make it over there. Luckily, they're doing a booming business without me, and a couple years in they seem to be hitting their stride with the beers. Luscious Lupulin is cloudy, dank, and delicious. It's bitter for sure, but really it's the floral qualities of the hops that shine through, balanced with enough malt. I know I've had it in the past, but it seems better to me than it used to, a very well done NW IPA. I'll be filling my chalice with it as often as I can.