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Kegs & Legs Beers of the Week: Seasonal ales from McMenamins

I love beer. After now having visited over 465 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 & cider drinking runners like me can go to find some new favorite beverages. 

Check out previous posts here!

From Everett to Roseburg and Bend to Gearhart, McMenamins is clearly synonymous with the PNW. Anyone who is on the quest to become a Cosmic Tripster with the McMenamins Passport clearly can offer up an anecdote or description of some of their favorite places. Some McMenamins are accompanied with great hotels and world class concert venues, while others have soaking pools, golf, and movie theatres. They even have wineries and distilleries serving up some great options. With all these in place (and more!) it’s easy to think of beer as the secondary feature. That may be true in some aspects, but let’s not forget that McMenamins started as a beer-first movement:

McMenamins currently operates 26 breweries, with our newest at Kalama Harbor Lodge in Kalama, Washington.

Since our first brew at the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in 1985, McMenamins has produced more than 75,000 batches. In 2016, our breweries collectively crafted more than 3,900 batches of beer (including more than 250 new house-specific recipes), which equaled more than 46,922 kegs of beer or an astounding 5.8 million pints!

In keeping with McMenamins’ company philosophy, our breweries believe that brewing “green” is brewing responsibly. Waste products are given to local farmers, where they can be used; materials used are recycled or reused whenever possible; and second-hand equipment is largely used. Have a look at our earth-friendly brewing practices.

Many beer lovers are familiar with our ales: Terminator Stout, Hammerhead, Ruby, Black Rabbit Porter, Sunflower IPA and others. Read more about these “standards” and dozens of other beers, including our beloved seasonal selections. All of the McMenamins beers you know and love are made at our Washington and Oregon locations, with many coming from our Portland Breweries.

Due to the nature of handcrafting, it’s safe to say that no two McMenamins batches are identical. Science and technology provide the backbone for our craft, but it is the unique qualities of each brew house, and the individual brewer’s ale-crafting style, that ensure you will enjoy liquid refreshments that are truly special and made with every care for the environment. Whether you’re in Seattle, Salem, Roseburg or Portland, breweries with the iconic McMenamins name are near. Come in and sip some creativity!”

While there is definitely some classic options at McMenamins (see the few mentioned above), they aren’t afraid to move and mold with the trajectory of the beer scene and have a variety of new seasonal options available. Following the Oregon Brewery Running Series 5k at Kennedy School this fall, we sampled a few of these options (in addition to their cider as well).

Egyptian Cotton Hazy IPA in cans

The Egyptian Cotton Hazy IPA was released on August 9 here in Oregon and holds its own in the ever increasing Hazy IPA category. Four styles of hops are used to create a beer that aims to be as soft as the name of the beer. It’s really drinkable with a mild hoppiness but without the bitterness. It’s hazy but not “juicy” and the citrus is a little tempered in favor of a more general fruity mouthfeel. I really liked this and will absolutely be seeking out again soon.

Thundercone Fresh Hop IPA in cans

The Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale was released just a few months ago (September 14) to coincide with Fresh Hop season. The Simcoe hops are grown at Oregon’s Sodbuster Farms (actually less than 3 miles from my house) and are put into brew within hours of being harvested. Fresh Hop beers haven’t grown on me as much as would like them to, but each year leads me closer to that sweet spot. This fresh hop beer is super drinkable – probably one of the favorite in this style I have EVER had. It’s super smooth with just a bit of malt and the hop isn’t overpoweringly fresh. Super good. Thundercone comes and goes quite quickly (it is a fresh hop beer after all), so make sure you pick some up when you see them and make sure you stop in next fall with it is at it’s freshest.

Beers:

  • Egyptian Cotton Hazy IPA
    • ABV: 6.5%
    • IBU: 35
  • Thundercone Fresh Hop Pale Ale
    • ABV: 6.2%
    • IBU: 31

Brewery: McMenamins (Facebook)

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About Matt Rasmussen (1250 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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