Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet Hillsboro's Vertigo Brewing

Tuesday's meet-the-brewer at the Green Dragon featured Mike Haines and Mike Kinion, the brewer-owners of Vertigo Brewing, which opened in Hillsboro last year. Rather than subject them to my poor digital photography skills, I just left the shutter open and twisted the camera to get a vertiginous portrait of them under the Dragon's harsh new neon.

They brought three beers with them: Friar Mike's IPA, High Altitude Amber, and an untitled Cream Ale. I only had a tiny taste of the Cream Ale -- a very mild starter beer -- but I was pleased with the pints of IPA and Amber I had. The IPA is well-balanced: hoppy and dense, but not an extreme-hop freakout. The amber was also very well done, malty but with a nice bitter finish. Now that I think of it, that amber seemed more like an Alt to me than the Vertigo Schwindel Alt that I had a couple weeks ago at East Burn. I panned the Schwindel at the time, so I was happy to see that the Friar Mike's and High Altitude were much tastier.

Vertigo is one of a growing number of small Oregon breweries that have decided to just brew and not have a pub attached. The Mikes said that they may eventually bottle some of their beers, but that right now they just want to brew, and the details of bottling would be a distraction. Their strategy involves sticking close to home. Instead of trying to muscle into the Portland market, they will focus on getting more tap handles in and around Hillsboro. Even so, they're happy that some of the finer establishments hereabouts are occasionally serving their brews. Definitely check them out if you see them around town.

For further reading, check out these posts by Matt and Angelo.

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