Capping a 7 year experiment in fermentation, farming, cellaring, bottling and engineering- we are bringing you the Devil’s and Tahoma (The beer formerly known as Rainier) Kriek in bottles. We have a very limited supply, as we squirrelled away some of the draft beer that was released in 2013, aged in another 6 months, then blended a tiny portion of young fermenting beer, then bottle conditioned for an additional fermentation in the champagne style inside the bottle. About 160 cases of Tahoma exist and 260 cases of The Devil’s. Some cases will deliver to the great bottle shops in Oregon, California, and Washington, but most will be sold here in Hood River. Opening day is February 8, 11:30am. There is a limit of one case per customer.
The krieks have been a long standing project for me for years. I have always felt the Hood River Valley was especially poised to bring a Lambic-influenced cherry beer to the market. Hood River is a cornucopia of fresh tree fruit, and I took over an orchard here in 1999 with the thought of starting a winery. Better heads prevailed (my knowledge base of wine vs. beer is a large chasm) and I kept the orchard in fruit production and started a brewery instead. Praise the alcohol gods, I think that was the right call. I have also planted cider apples at the orchard, but that is a future discussion.
We have made this beer for 6 straight years, always in June, cherries from my orchard added in July, fermented on a wild Brettanomyces yeast for a year and then released the following summer, draft only, at our pub in Hood River. The first year, I was very nervous about the Brett fermentation and pulled the beer off the cherries in March as the cellar started to warm up and the Brett started to assert itself. That particular wild yeast throws a distinctive earthy funk and a light acidity and tartness to the beer that dries the beer out quite nicely. It can take months to develop and is the scourge of the wine industry and the praise of the brewers in Belgium. Subsequent years, as my tolerance for tartness increased, I gave the Brett additional time to develop on the fruit. As the spring temps come up, so does our cellar, and the fermentation moves forward with new vigor.
The timing of the Brett addition has varied almost every year. We have been continually tweaking the fermentation to find the optimum flavor development of this beer, using the Brett to add the sourness that is traditionally added from a Belgian sour cherry. Each producer approaches this beer differently, some add sweetness back into the beer with artificial sugar, we don’t do that.
This particular beer was brewed in 2012 (hence the 2012 vintage on the label) with the cherries from that harvest. The first pour of that beer was last summer and as I mentioned we held some beer for this bottling experiment. The bottle was a full research experiment on its own. Since I wanted to undergo a champagne style secondary fermentation (actually its third fermentation) and wanted to get some nice carbonation in the bottle, I wanted a heavier glass bottle that could withstand those higher pressures. I also felt a champagne stopper cork wasn’t the best closure and wanted a traditional beer crown. I searched far and low for that bottle it simply didn’t exist, so we had a bottle made to our specifications. We could also choose our own glass so employed a very deep dark antiqued glass giving supreme UV protection. I had the bottle checked with a brewery friend of mind and we compared the light pass-through for our bottle, our standard 500 ml bottle, and a standard brown Amber bottle (non-returnable crushed glass). The new kriek bottle had the least light pass through and offers the best protection against UV. (our standard bottle was also excellent, but not quite as excellent as the 375ml champagne split bottle)
I truly believe the krieks were destined to be best in the bottle. I have always pronounced draft beer as the best way to appreciate a beer, but I may disagree on these two beers. There will be some of you that age this beer. I want to be perfectly clear on this point. My goal is to age a beer to its perfection at the brewery and when it leaves the brewery, it is ready to drink. Having said that, this beer may improve with additional aging, it may not. There are live active yeasts (about a zillion of them) from the wild microflora on the cherry skins, and our house yeast, and Brettanomyces that will continue to work their magic. Should you choose to age the beer, please age properly, in the dark, at a constant temperature. I would recommend 40-50F as perfect.
We were able to secure some more tanks for the 2013 vintage, I expect there will be more of the Devil’s Kriek in late summer, early winter depending on how the beer is doing in our aging cellars. Please enjoy, share it with your friends, I wish I had more, believe me I do.
Here are my brewer tasting notes I gave our staff for the beer-
This year we celebrate the return of the Devil’s and Tahoma Kriek. This Belgian-style sour ales combine the tart Brettanomyces wild yeast with fresh fruit picked from Matt’s orchard up in Duke’s Valley, just 7 miles south of Hood River. The Devil’s Kriek combines 200 lbs of Bing cherries with a Flanders Red style Belgian ale, while the lighter colored Tahoma Kriek combines the delicate Rainier cherry with a strong Belgian blond ale (Tahoma is the Native American word from Mt. Rainier). 2012 was a challenging cherry year for growers with a very cool spring and delayed maturation of the fruit. The season was good for flavor lovers but a challenge for the growers. Since the cherries hung on the tree longer, the sugars developed more slowly with more intensity, and then we delayed picking to bring on a more intense color. The cherries came in with high sugars of 25 – 26 Brix on the wine scale of things. This is all great news for the beer. The Devil’s Kriek has big red intensity and a sweat tart character of the sour Brett beer. I think this may be its best year yet. The Tahoma Kriek also threw more flavor from the cherries but also more intensity from the wild fermentation. Since these beers are aged at cellar temperatures for over a year, the multiple fermentations have added deep tart complexity with overtones of Sauterne wines with big earthy backbones.
2012 DEVIL’S KRIEK
8.8% alcohol by vol, 14 bitterness units, 16.5 Plato
brewed June- 2012; released July 2013, bottle release 2-1-14
2012 Tahoma (Rainier) KRIEK
9.4% alcohol by vol, 13 bitterness units, 17.3 Plato
brewed June 2012; released July 2013, bottle release 2-1-14
A note from our Brewmaster Matt Swihart-
One of my favorite things about growing our brewery is the constant improvement on delivering the highest quality and freshest beer to beer drinkers. This January, we installed a laser jet coder that shoots the “bottled on” date on every label of beer we put in bottles. Beer drinkers can now know the exact age of every beer we make by reading the “bottled on” date. There are no weird formulas or codes to decipher, the “bottled on” date will simply be the month, day, and year the beer was run through the bottler.
The brewery recommends that almost every beer we produce is best when drank as close to the bottle date as possible. We work with our distributors to help make sure the beer spends the shortest time possible in the stores. In general, I recommend our bottle beer is purchased within 100 days of its “bottled on” date. There will be exceptions as some of our future offerings of specialty beers will have a much longer shelf life. We bottle condition our ‘Devil’s’ and ‘Tahoma’ Krieks for instance to insure they continue to mature in the bottle in the Champagne style of secondary fermentation in the bottle. We will continue to label those beers with the package date, however, so drinkers always have the most information at hand.
The first beer to run through the new coder was our seasonal offering of ‘Sacre Bleu – Belgian Dubbel Abbave’. The laser coder worked great on the first try and we will now experiment with the best placement of the date on each brand label for best legibility. In the next month(s) drinkers will start seeing all our beers with these codes so look for them in your favorite beer shoppe.
The brewers are overfilled with joy and exuberance this week as we are bottling and kegging the fresh hop Killer Green and Killer Red. These beers are amped up versions of our Hop Lava and IRA with the added delight of using freshly picked hops from Doug Weathers, Sodbuster Farms in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Fresh hops are the bomb as normal hops are dried immediately after they come off the field. The drying process protects the hops from literally composting and catching on fire, but unfortunately drive off some of the aromatic loveliness of the hop goodness. If you can get the wet hops direct from the field into a brew in the making, you can catch that fresh hop signature before the hops start to go a little cheesy from the oil breaking down. It is something that can only happen if either your brewery is so close to the hop fields (thank you Oregon) or you have a refrigerated private jet to move your hops around the country. At last check, the Double Mountain jet was down for repairs, it appears the pilot had too much Killer Red from last year and forgot to top off the oil.
Also very cool this year is the first ever release of bottles to the Pacific Northwest (and a little here and there… California… BC….). Bottles will hit specialty beer shoppes and grocery stores in the next week or so, please keep an eye out. As an aside brewmaster note, these are fresh hop beers, they should be kept cold and drank fresh. I know some folks lay them down for aging, but I think that is a disservice to the plants in the field dying for a fresh taste.
Look for both Green and Red draft and bottles for sale.
Here is a list of release parties for the Killers and our brief descriptions of each beer.
Wednesday September 24th - APEX – Killer Red and Green release party.
Thursday September 25th - Concordia Ale House
Friday September 26th - Roscoes - Killer Beer Week starts they will be pouring Killer Red and Green
Thursday October 10th - The Yard (Seattle) – Killer Red and Green Fresh Hop Party
Saturday October 12th - Noble Fir (Seattle) – Fresh Hop Fest pouring Killer Red and Green
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Killer Green – Fresh Hop Strong IPA
This time of year is magical. The light gets long on the vines and the brewery starts working round the clock, keeping up with the fresh hops coming through the door. This year’s Killer Green again uses Brewer’s Gold from Sodbuster Farms, and we packed over one hundred and fifty pounds of these babies per batch in various parts of the brewing process. Spicy pine, kind herb, and crisp fruit dominate the nose, and its evened with a rounded, brioche malt body that compliments the profuse amount of hops used in this brew. ABV 7.5% 97 BU
Killer Red- Fresh Hop Strong IRA
It’s harvest time again! The first cones off the vine were Perle. We wasted no time sending a team out to Sodbuster Farms in the Willamette Valley at the wee small hours of the morning to pick them up and get em back to the brewery. We then used copious amount of these pretty Perles in the kettle, hop back, and more in a dry hop. This years Killer Red is kicking off wonderful ripe apple, pine, and orange aromas. It takes on the same biscuit and caramel malt profile as the IRA, but a higher gravity that’s worth respecting. 7.2% 88 BU
The wait is over! It is with great pleasure that we announce the debut of our half-liter bottles at retailers throughout Western and Southwestern Washington. Our core brands – Kölsch, Vaporizer Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, India Red Ale (IRA) and Hop Lava Northwest IPA – will be on shelves and available for purchase immediately, with seasonals and other specialties to follow. Distribution will be handled by Alpha Distributing of Kent, WA, our wholesaler of record in the market since 2011.
Here’s a list of places to find the bottles today:
Beer @ a Time
By The Bottle
Chuck’s 85th St. Market
Gravity Beer Market
Ken’s Market Queen Anne
Last Drop Bottleshop
Met Market Sandpoint
Met Market Uptown
NW Liquid Gold
Whole Foods Westlake
Stay tuned for more as they come online in the next couple of weeks.
As for returns, it’s different from Oregon due to the lack of a deposit. We will be soliciting finer retailers to serve as drop-off stations for the empties, on a volunteer basis. Our good friends at Bottleworks in Wallingford are on board as our first partner. Thanks guys! Looking forward to adding more soon.
DOUBLE MOUNTAIN 6th ANNIVERSARY PARTY
with headliner HELL’S BELLES
Saturday, March 16 at the Brewery
11:30am – 11pm
It’s that time of year again when we toss up the big tent, fill the taps with all we’ve got and throw a shindig to thank all our friends for another great year. Our Anniversary Party has become a Northwest institution, and this year’s 6th Anniversary gig will carry the fun even higher.
The all-day party will culminate with the awesome musical stylings of Hell’s Belles, the all-girl AC/DC cover band that has torched stages across the nation. HB will be supported by a strong roster of local acts including the rockin’ country of Brewer’s Grade (formerly known as Unwound); surf rockers Audio Amigos; and local acoustic acts Shed Shakers and Sid & Al.
On the beer front, three bars will be dispensing a total of two dozen different Double Mountain ales and lagers, many of them from the brewers’ reserve stash. We will be doing half- as well as full-pours into a souvenir glass mug this year, to enable our fans to sample a wider variety. Pizza by-the-slice (new this year) and sandwiches will also be available.
$5 admission for adults includes the souvenir mug; kids are welcome with parent/guardian until 5pm. Hope you can make it our way!
Just in time for the holidays… more stores! Bottles have been shipping all week to “specialty grocery” stores in the Portland region, including New Seasons, Zupans, Market of Choice, Food Front and more. (Whole Foods is still a couple of weeks out.)
Here’s our current retailer list: (pdf here)
Barrel, 7401 N Burlington
Bridgetown Beer House, 915 N Shaver
Hop And Vine, 1914 N Killingsworth
Hop Haven, 2130 Ne Broadway
New Seasons Arbor Lodge, 6400 N Interstate
Saraveza, 1004 N Killingsworth
Williams St. Market, 3508 N. Williams
1856, 1465 Ne Prescott
Alberta Co-Op, 1500 Ne Alberta
Beaumont Village Market, 4130 Ne Fremont
Bi-Mart Halsey, 12321 Ne Halsey
Bottles 5015, Ne Fremont
Cork Wine Shop 2901, Ne Alberta
New Seasons Concordia , 5320 Ne 33rd Ave
Yong’s Market, 2626 Ne Dekum
Caps and Corks, 1000 Nw 17th Ave
City Market, 735 Nw 21St Ave
Elephants Deli, 115 Nw 22nd Ave
Food Front #1, 2375 Nw Thurman
Pearl Speciality, 900 Nw Lovejoy
Thurman Market, 2576 Nw Thurman
39th Mini Mart, 935 Se 39th Ave
Beer Bunker, 7918 Se Stark
Beer Monger, 1125 Se Division
Belmont Station, 4500 Se Stark
Cheese Bar, 6031 Se Belmont
Clinton Market, 3400 SE Clinton
Garrison’s Fine Wines, 1401 Se Morrison
New Seasons Division, 1954 Se Division
New Seasons Hawthorne, 4034 Se Hawthorne
New Seasons Sellwood, 1214 Se Tacoma
NW IPA , 6350 Se Foster
Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, 4138 Se Woodstock
Portland Bottle Shop, 7960 Se 13th Ave
Sheridan Fruit Co., 408 Se 3rd Ave
Zupans – Belmont, 3301 Se Belmont
Barbur Foods, 9845 SW Barbur Blvd.
Food Front #2, 6344 Sw Capitol Hwy.
Johns Market, 3535 Sw Multnomah Blvd.
Pc Market Of Choice #12, 8502 Sw Terwilliger Blvd.
Ross Island Grocery, 3502 Sw Corbett
Zupans – Burnside, 2340 W Burnside
Zupans – Macadam, 7221 Sw Macadam
Beaverton / Hillsboro
Hank’s Thriftway, 661 S Baseline, Hillsboro
Main Brew, 23596 Nw Clara Lane, Hillsboro
New Seasons Cedar Hills, 3495 Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton
New Seasons Orenco Station, 1453 Ne 61St Ave., Hillsboro
New Seasons Progress Ridge, 14805 SW Barrows Rd., Beaverton
New Seasons Raleigh Hills, 7300 Sw Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
Uptown Market , 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., Beaverton
Lake Oswego / West Linn / Tualatin
Palisades Market, 1377 SW McVey Ave. Lake Oswego
Zupan’s Lake Grove, 16380 SW Boones Ferry Road Lake Oswego
Birradeli, 18749 Martinazzi Blvd Tualatin
New Seasons Mountain Park, 3 Sw Monroe Pkwy Lake Oswego
Pc Market Of Choice #5, 5639 Ne Hood St. West Linn
Eastside / Gresham / Mt. Hood
Brewligans, 275 E Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale
Hoppy Brewer, 328 N Main St., Gresham
New Seasons Happy Valley, 15861 Se Town Center Dr. Clackamas
The Beer Den, 38905 Proctor Blvd. Sandy
Thriftway Hoodland, 68280 E. Hwy 26 Welches
Columbia River Gorge
A & J Market, 265 2nd Street, Stevenson WA
Feast, 320 East Jewett Blvd, White Salmon WA
McIsaac’s Market, 4990 Baseline Drive, Parkdale
Volcanic Bottle Shop, 1410 12th Street, Hood River
Whistle Stop Espresso, 50341 SR 14, Carson WA
Astoria Cooperative, 1355 Exchange St Suite 1 & 2
Hondo’s Brew & Cork, 2703 Marine Drive
We’d like to thank all of our new retail partners for the shelf space and the warm welcome. We’ll be doing demos at a bunch of these stores over the coming weeks; check us out on Facebook to see when we’re coming to a store near you.
And don’t forget: our half-liter bottles are refillable! So please don’t crush them, take them back to a participating DM retailer and they’ll make sure it gets back to us. (and give you your deposit back.) More info on our returnable bottle program at www.DMReturns.com.
Bailey’s Tap Room
Bridgetown Beer House
Caps and Corks
Hop And Vine
Portland Bottle Shop
The Beer Den
More to come very soon; we’ll keep updating this list going forward.
Well folks, the wait is over… After more than five years in the works, we’re shipping our first truckloads of bottles to the Portland market. Our core brands – Kölsch, Vaporizer, India Red Ale (IRA) and Hop Lava – will be on shelves and available for purchase on October 15 at fine bottleshops in the Portland metro area!
Our unique half-liter bottles will retail single-serve for approximately $3.99 per bottle. The bottles are made of thick-walled glass, allowing them to be cleaned and reused many times. Retailers who sell Double Mountain bottles will be segregating returned bottles for a return trip to the brewery. Visit www.DMReturns.com to learn more about this green program and to find participating retailers.
We will be all over Portland for a few weeks, pouring samples and meeting our glorious fans at various bottleshops. The fun starts at Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark, Portland, on October 15th from 5-8pm. In addition to bottle samplings and keychain giveaways, the Café side of the Station will be pouring some tasty DM draft selections including Killer Green Fresh Hop IPA, Killer Red Fresh Hop IRA, and Ferocious Five Bourbon-Barrel Brown Ale.
In addition to Belmont Station, the Double Mountain crew will be pouring samples and having fun at the following accounts in October (all gigs start at 5pm):
Wed. Oct 17th – Hop and Vine, 1914 N. Killingsworth
Thurs. Oct 18th – Bridgetown Beerhouse, 915 N.Shaver
Fri. Oct 19th – Saraveza, 1004 N. Killingsworth
Mon. Oct 22nd – The BeerMongers, 1125 SE Division
Thurs. Oct 25th – Main Brew, 23956 NW Clara Lane, Hillsboro
Fri. Oct 26th – John’s Market, 3535 SW Multnomah Blvd.
Tues. Oct 30th – Uptown Market, 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Rd.
Fri. Nov 2nd – Bottles NW, 5015 NE Fremont
Please note that the initial release is limited to Portland-area bottleshops, with grocery stores and other markets to follow sometime in the near future. Cheers!
It’s the question on everybody’s lips…the frantic word-of-mouth… the 2am phone calls to the brewery. “Where can I get the Killer beers?!” Have no fear, we’re here to help.
So here is the list of the first wave of accounts who’ve taken delivery of either Killer Green or Killer Red, or in some special cases, both. Please remember to call your fave establishment to verify if it’s currently on tap, waiting to go on tap, or formerly on tap, a.k.a. gone.
We will update this list once more at the end of next week, when all 200 kegs tagged for wholesale should be out in the bars.
Bridgetown Beer House
Fire On The Mountain – Interstate
Hop And Vine
Mississippi Pizza Restaurant
Alleyway Cafe And Bar
Concordia Ale House
Mc Peets Portland Pub
Moon And Sixpence
Rose & Thistle Pub
Spirit Of 77
Life of Riley
NW Public House
Dig a Pony
Fire On The Mountain – Burnside
Kay’s Bar & Grill
Match Box Lounge
Produce Row Cafe
Goose Hollow Inn
Hot Mama’s Wing’s
River Tap -The Dalles
Brother John’s Ale House
Brother John’s Public House
Riverside Market Bend
Columbia Gorge Hotel
The Beer Den
Well it’s finally happening. After 5+ years, more than a thousand brews, and a seemingly endless number of requests, our fair Double Mountain brew is finding its way into some spiffy brown glass containers of the bottle variety. This is a milestone for us on par with our first live concert, first kiss, first… beer. Anyway, it’s a big deal for us and we’re glad that so many people feel the same.
There is a lot of ground to cover here so we’ll try to keep it brief. We’ve always planned on bottling, and we’ve always wanted to do it a little differently than most of our comrades. One of our first equipment purchases was a 1975 Krones 16-valve, long tube filler, affectionately known as “the boat anchor”, which we imported from Germany. It was set up to fill returnable German half-liter bottles – the same bottles we’re using today (see photos and below). It sat in the corner of the brewery for a year while we tried to figure out where we could set it up, due to lack of adequate floor space. We eventually threw in the towel and sold it to a start-up brewery in Green Bay, where it is apparently getting along just fine.
This time around, we are fortunate to have the budget to buy some really nice new equipment – namely, a GAI 12-valve monoblock rinser/filler/capper, imported from Italy. It features double-pre-evacuation of the air in the bottle, resulting in the lowest possible contact with oxygen. This translates directly into good shelf life. Our labeler is a reconditioned Krones Rotina model that a major workhorse, too. It is very comforting to know that we will be treating our product in a consistently gentle and high-quality manner.
First up on the filler was IRA, which seems fitting since it was our first year-round beer. Matt, Greg, Kyle, and a cast of other employees and friends teamed together to knock out 150 cases Thursday afternoon. (A special shout-out to our man Ted Webber, who showed us both the ropes back in the day as our co-worker at Full Sail and is now a big kahuna at Hood River Distillers. Ted took the afternoon off from work to sweat it out with us and show us how it’s done in the big leagues.) We packaged some Kölsch this morning.
We’ll be selling the bottles immediately out of the Taproom for $3.50 per bottle, $50 for a case of 16. Supply may be a bit limited for a while, meaning that not every one of our four bottled varieties (Kölsch, Vaporizer, IRA and Hop Lava) will be on our shelf at all times. (We are firmly in what we’re calling “evaluation phase”… also known as “working out the kinks”.) Our plan is to slow-roll our bottle production until we’re ready to supply retail stores. Once that faucet goes on, it pretty much stays on. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we build our program. Feel free to call ahead and see what’s in stock.
About our bottles: in addition to being a great size and shape, our unique half-liter (16.9 oz) bottles are uniquely strong. Extra glass in the mold makes the bottles more durable and thus perfectly suited for reusing, unlike nearly all American glass on the market today. (But it’s otherwise common in Canada, Europe and pretty much every other part of the globe.) It is much, much more energy-efficient to clean and refill a returnable bottle a dozen times than it is to make (and then destroy) a dozen “one-way” bottles. We’re doing it this way because we can.
We encourage you to bring your bottles back to us so that we can put them back into service again. We’ll even pay you an extra five cents on your deposit, just for being good. Our plan is to have retailers in local markets return empties to us to keep them out of the evil glass crushers. Check out www.dmreturns.com for more info, which will eventually include a search function for finding a participating location nearest you.
Big shout-outs to Hale Construction, Columbia State Bank and our investors for making this all possible; to our fabulous staff, who have worked without complaint through many months of on-the-fly construction; and most importantly, to you, our fans, for your ongoing support.
Oh and check out our Facebook page for photos, videos and info. Cheers