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Hopped Up Eugene

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There are many important advocates that have worked to help advance craft beer here in Eugene and the Pacific Northwest, but none have had the same lasting impact as Glen Hay Falconer.  He started home brewing with the Cascade Brewers Society before joining the team at Steelhead Brewery and then Rogue.  In 1996 he became the head brewer of Wild Duck Brewery in Eugene. Although I never had the chance to meet the man before his untimely death in 2002, his presence and love of craft beer continues to be one of the driving forces of the Eugene Beer Scene.

Glen Hay Falconer. Photo courtesy of glenfalconerfoundation.org
Glen Hay Falconer. Photo courtesy of glenfalconerfoundation.org

His legacy is carried on through The Glen Hay Falconer Foundation and Sasquatch Brewfest that occurs every spring here in Eugene. The foundation awards a scholarship that seeks to help educate up and coming craft brewers with the practical knowledge of production brewing with the intense science and calculations that go along with brewing.

This year the scholarship winners included Jeremiah Boone of Anchorage Brewing Company; Anthony Stone of Boundary Bay Brewery; and Scott Caul, a Corvallis area home-brewer. They received full-tuition scholarships to the Siebel Institute’s World Brewing Academy (WBA) brewing courses.  They traveld to Eugene last Friday, March 22nd, for a day with Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi brewing the annual Sasquatch Legacy Project beer.  

The scholarship winners with Jamie at Ninkasi Brewing.
The scholarship winners with Jamie at Ninkasi Brewing.

Together the brewers decided on a Baltic Porter. Baltic porters are usually stronger and more robust than normal porters. The beer they brewed on Friday used a Czech pils yeast that helps achieve the higher alcohol (around 8%) and as Jamie described, an “overall clear profile.”  The malts are pilsner, munich, chocolate, carafa and barley. The hop blend in the beer includes Falconers Flight along with Chinook and Galena.  Falconers Flight created by HopUnion is an exclusive proprietary hop blend created to honor and support Glen Falconer’s legacy, and proceeds are contributed to the Foundation. The hop is a blend of some of the Northwest’s most popular hop varieties, and from what I’m told, a profile that Glen would have loved.

For the brewers that won the scholarship, brewing with Ninkasi was invaluable experience. Jeremiah from Anchorage explained that brewing at a production facility like Ninkasi wasn’t simliar to anything he’s experienced before in terms of size, either at Midnight Sun where he brewed previously, or at Anchorage Brewing Company. The Baltic Porter will yield about 55 barrels, that’s over 2,300 gallons of beer. That may sound like a lot, but expect this beer to go fast.  Keg and pint sales will help to benefit the Foundation, and will be available at select bars and pubs in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

Jamie, from Ninkasi, holds the hop blend Falconers Flight.
Jamie, from Ninkasi, holds the hop blend Falconers Flight.

If the scholarship winners of the past are any indication for how well this beer will turn out, we’re in good hands. There have been 20 recipients that have benefitted from the scholarship.  You may recognize one of last year’s winners who help brew the Wheat Wine, Jason Carriere, from Falling Sky. Some have stayed small and local, while others such as Jacob Leonard, who received the scholarship in 2007, former brewer at Widmer Brothers, now the head brewer at Breakside Brewing , Chad Kennedy, a scholarship winner from 2006, brewed for many years at Laurelwood until leaving in 2011 to become the founding brewmaster at Worthy Brewing Co. If you haven’t heard of Worthy Brewing Company in Bend, their official opening is April 5th but they’ve already made quite the impact.

The Sasquatch Brewfest is at Saturday, May 4th at the Eugene Hilton.  Proceeds from the event (usually about a $10 entry fee) go a new local charity each year and the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation. There will be live bands, food and a guaranteed good time.  Hope to see you there and share a pint of the Baltic Porter with you!

Cheers,
Lana

EDN's Beer Writer, Lana O'Brien, loves talking about beer as much as she loves drinking it. From bartending to home-brewing and now writing for EDN, she's on a mission to discover the best local craft beers. Follow along in her weekly column, Hopped Up, every Wednesday. Connect @lanaobrien.

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