Kegs & Legs Beers of the Week: PCT Porter and Crux Pilz by Crux Fermentation Project

I love beer. After now having visited over 350 different breweries, it’s fair to say I have sampled a lot of beer (follow me on Untappd). From post-race pints and run club meeting locations, to beer miles and relays, running and the kegged nectar seem to go hand-in-hand in Oregon. Our Kegs and Legs feature is where beer drinking runners like me can go to find some new favorite beverages.

Check out previous posts here!

A month or so ago, we completed our first Kegs & Legs feature on some delicious IPA’s from Crux, based out of Bend. Here is a paragraph pulled from that post about Crux:

Obviously, it’s no surprise how awesome the Bend beer scene is. I have completed the Bend Ale Trail (probably numerous times by now) and it seems that new ones keep popping up as the Central Oregon region continues to grow. The Crux Fermentation Project is in an odd area, housed in a former AAMCO Transmission Plant that is tucked alongside Highway 97 at the end of a dead-end street. To be honest, this area has massively grown in just the past few years, with Atlas Cider and Immersion Brewing a stumble away, the Craft Kitchen and Brewery a little beyond that, and a brand new hotel that makes this spot – above the Old Mill Shopping Center – a little less obscure than it used to be.

While IPA’s may be sweet spot, over the past 18 months or so, I have delved much more heavily into the non-bitter varieties. My first stops on this experimentation train were pilsners and porters, both of which are opposite in appearance and flavor, but ones that I found pretty easy to start with in expanding my horizons. Now, I drink porters and pilsners with regularity.Crux sent along one of each of these stylings – their PCT Porter and Crux Pilz.

The Crux Pilz doesn’t seem to have the same taste as most pilsners on the market. I found it pretty mild with more of a citrus/lemony taste than I anticipated. The uniqueness of this beer is planned – with a brewing process incorporating “Pilsner malts, imported Czech Saaz and local Oregon Sterling hops”. It pours a hazy golden hue with a solid head as well. I really didn’t expect to like this as much as I ended up doing. I found it easy drinking and clean on the tongue with enough citrus and spice tasting notes to keep things interesting. I foresee this being a nice summer drink, though can obviously be utilized year round.

On the other end of the scale is the PCT Porter – it’s namesake an homage to Pacific Crest Trail hikers who may be taking a day off from 2,600-mile trek to refuel with some beverages. Though there are about 40 miles between Bend and the Central Oregon PCT, it’s essentially the last stop to load up on beers before hitting Mt. Hood Brewing Company at Government Camp and then Thunder Island in Cascade Locks. It launched about a year ago and supports the  Pacific Crest Trail Association.

The can artwork is pretty awesome too. Here’s some background:

We wanted to celebrate the Pacific Crest Trail in a very real, authentic and human way. We wanted the imagery to convey the human experience of the trail so that those who would eventually enjoy this beer could gain a little bit of a deeper appreciation for the trail itself. We conducted online research for PCT hiker blogs and journal entries looking for examples that went beyond words to include illustrations that captured their experience. It didn’t take long to discover and our very own local PCT enthusiast, Kolby Kirk. We immediately fell in love with the stories (both verbal and visual) that the pages of his journal shared. It turns out that Kolby was a fan of Crux and loved the idea of celebrating the trail experience in a collaborative way with us.

I have generally drank porters in the colder, darker, winter months – as a thick comfort drink. But the PCT seems to have enough complex and refreshing notes (thanks to roasted and chocolate malt), that it can be a year round offering.

If you haven’t been to Crux yet, fill up on these canned options in stores and bottleshops and then plan a trip to Beer Mecca.


Brewery: Crux Fermentation Project (Facebook & Instagram)

  • 50 SW Division Street, Bend, OR 97702
About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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