Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Winter Beers at Roots

If the Portland winter weather is getting you down, what better to pick you back up than a Portland winter beer? And why not go for something that's so over-the-top, so je-ne-sais-quoi, so what-the-hell-were-they-thinking that you can only get it at your friendly neighborhood brewpub?

By now you realize I'm talking about Roots' Epic Ale. The malt for this beer is smoked over cherrywood soaked in Glenlivet (in Craig's backyard, if I recall correctly), presumably while the brewers smoke cigars they lit with hundred-dollar bills. Dark, smoky, with tons of malt, tons of hops, tons of alcohol (14%), it still manages to be smooth and drinkable. Aged a little in oak.... Truly one-of-a-kind.

Of course, you're not going to drink more than one Epic at a time, so there are a couple more cold-weather seasonals available. Festivus has the characteristic Roots flavor: if you like Roots Island Red, Festivus is like a bigger, darker version of that. They're also pouring a Milk Stout which doesn't really float my boat, but the Imperial Stout is always a winner.

Rumor has it that the brewers burned out last year on the "Six beers of Christmas" quest, and they won't be repeating it this year. Too bad, the Wee Heavy last year was one of the best beers I've ever had. It wasn't as insane and unique as Epic, but it was a beautiful, well-rounded beer. If I remember correctly, a Belgian Trippel was the 6th beer last year; it was good, but not outstanding (maybe a little out of character for Roots).


  1. "The closer something is to the Hawthorne Bridge, the more likely it is to be mentioned. I like to stay close to home."

    Living under the bridge now? As long as the beer is fresh....