March 13, 2015

PGC Brewery Visit: Baerlic Brewing Company

 Living and working in Portland (aka Beervana) there are no shortage of incredible craft breweries here to discover and visit over and over again. We'll be visiting as many of our local craft brewers as we can and sharing our experiences with you here. 

Last Tuesday PGC co-owner Paul and I met up at newish Baerlic Brewing Company in SE Portland to check out their tap room and taste their fine brews. Lucky for us it was an unusually quiet night, and Nikki was working behind the bar and more than ready and willing to talk shop with us.

Baerlic- what does that mean exactly? Or as it's posed on their website: what the hell is a Baerlic?

Well it's pronounced  bear-lick… like a bear licking the foam off a frosty mug. Etymologically, it’s an old-english adjective meaning “of barley.” As in there’s beer and then there’s Baerlic beer! 

Who is behind Baerlic Brewing?

Ben Parsons and Richard Hall are both owners and brewers here at Baerlic. They've known each other since their high school days back in Idaho and have been perfecting their home brew skills for nearly a decade. They started on a small scale in a basement, and won several home brewers awards in ameteur competitions all over the region before deciding to take their brewing to the next level by opening Baerlic late in 2014. Their Cavalier Classic Cream Ale and Primeval NW Brown Ale have been around since they got started. 

The point of view at Baerlic is  "Our beer here is near and dear." It comes from a belief that we are all in this together and that our actions shape our world – by being honest, we are approachable; by being consistent, we are trusted; by being considerate, we can sleep at night; and by choosing to keep it simple, we are able to do this really well.

Tell us a little about your setup.

We brew on a ten barrel system, which yields about 20 kegs at a time. 

What's on tap?

We try to have about 10 beers on tap at all times, but sometimes the beer gets the best of us. Right now we have our five year round brews and five seasonal brews that we rotate. We like to experiment with new flavors and serve up our favorites. You can get a flight of year round brews or a flight of the seasonal beers, or even better yet, you can mix and match a flight. After much deliberation Paul went for the Seasonal Flight: Arctos NW Winter Red, Hanged Man Session CDA, Trickster American Farmhouse, Hop-Lic Kellerweizen and Wildcat Farmhouse with Meyer Lemon. 

What was his favorite? The Hanged Man Session CDA. If you're not in Portland to try it first hand, here's the description from the menu, plus we thought it smelled a little bit like weed, in only the best sort of way.

It's clear to see these guys are serious about beer, right down to the interior of their taproom. Ben comes from a design background and laid out all the plans for the beautiful interior, largely crafted from American Beechwood. He even designed and made the tasting trays, inscribed with "It's all downhill from here --->" to indicate the transition from dark to light brews. We had a great time learning more about Baerlic, and couldn't have asked for a better host than Nikki. 

 Have suggestions on where we should visit next? Send me an email at nicole (at) portlandgrowlercompany (dot) com. Until next time, drink easy friends.