I have recently been loving the hook-ups I’ve been getting from my very few connections I have on the West Coast. My brother brought me some Ninkasi, I did a beer trade with Megan VS Beer, and now my brother brought me a sweet set of five tall boy cans from Fort George brewery. When my brother last visited me, he brought me a bottle from Ninkasi, one from Rogue, and one from Pyramid. While they are all good breweries, he was emphasizing that he loves this little brewery that is around the corner from him in Astoria, Oregon. According to him, Astoria is known for only really one thing. It’s the location where they filmed The Goonies. While that is a pretty high feat, I suppose, I can assure you that Fort George Brewery is helping give Astoria something else to be known for.
Looking up details on Fort George, it sounds like they have actually only been in existence since 2010. They only distribute their beers in the Northwest, so I’m glad to have had a brother who can make sure I’m hooked up. If you ever visit Astoria, you’ll find they house a 30 barrel brewhouse, canning line, and taproom. Sounds like one of the best spots to check out in the little town. I will point out that they have a beer featured on their site that I really want to try. They had their customers pick the wild hops that are growing in their yards and on their own property and bring them into the brewery. Fort George took those hops and produced a beer called Co-hoperative. Ultimately it sounds like they have some fun ideas working over there.
There were five different beers I could choose from to do this first review. I’m not sure I’ll do another one because I don’t want to bore my readers, but I knew I needed to start with this one for a review. As far as I’m aware, this is the first ever OPA I’ve consumed. The O in the OPA stands for oatmeal. Therefore, this is an oatmeal pale ale. I’ve certainly had oatmeal in beers before. I really enjoy oatmeal stouts, but I was really interested to see what the oatmeal did to a very different style of beer. I was highly doubtful it would do much to the taste of the brew, but I was sure it would have some affect on the appearance and the mouth. I was really hoping the effect would be something surprisingly delightful.
This one pours out a nice yellow color with a slight orange tint. There is a really big bubbly white head that develops on top of the beer. The head has a super sudsy and soapy look to it. As the bubbles subside you see a ton of really sticky lacing left on the side of the glass. I think the super sticky nature is certainly due to the inclusion of the oatmeal. Swirling the glass gives you some more sticky lacing and residue. The beer is super hazy and it only gets more hazy as you pour out more of the beer. There is lots of visible carbonation in the glass as well.
The aroma is dominated by really big bold hops. There is some apparent tang to this beer as well. The bold orangey citrus smell blends with some nice tropical fruit. The tropical fruit aroma is dominated by big pineapple and light mango scents. There is certainly a slight herbal smell to this one, and you get a slightly wild yeasty smell as well.
There are some really interesting aspects to the taste of this beer. The hops are certainly at the forefront of this beer; however, it is also packed with lots of citrus and tropical fruits. The beer starts out with some light sweet malts that only get a momentary chance to shine. There is some very light pine notes that kick up to squash the sweetness right away; however, there is some light pineapple notes that lead the hops from light pine to big bold hop flavors. The second stage of the hops have lots of big tangy pine flavor. The big pine and tang linger slightly as the beer leads into a more dominant citrus flavor. The beer ends with some slight citrus and lingering pine flavor.
The oatmeal component really plays huge into the mouthfeel of this beer. The beer is by no means syrupy, but it has quite a heavy feel due to the use of the oatmeal. There is a lightness in the flavor profile to counteract the thickness. There is also an ample amount of carbonation to help fight the heavy nature of the beer. The overall flavors all work great together.
The first sip made me question whether I really liked this beer; however, I realized it was a really nice fall OPA. Fall tends to bring the thicker and heavier beers, and this is simply following suit. It is a bit of a meatier hoppy beer. I’m glad I have four other cans to check out from this brewery. If you happen to find yourself looking at an OPA in future, I would certainly suggest giving it a shot. This one is a little thick, but they did a great job still keeping it well-balanced.
Teacher Grade: B