Kegging Golden Oak: Willamette Week Pro AM Beer Lange Winery Rogue Brewery

My wife’s beer, “Golden Oak” nears completion.  Inspired by Lange Estate Winery’s iconic, barrel-fermented Pinot Gris, Jesse Lange lent her a barrel to ferment her Belgian Golden Strong (read about the journey here).  After two months it has absorbed all that magic Pinot Gris from the barrel.  It looks clear and golden, smells sunny, fruity, yet tastes lightly grassy and mildly grainy, like a clean Belgian beer.  The problem: it is flat.

Well, Willamette Week’s Fourth Annual Beer Pro/Am competition is this Saturday, October 15th in Portland, Oregon (tickets: here).  So a few weeks ago, time called to keg and carbonate it. To avoid oxidation and awkward barrel-tipping, Tracy gets a pump:

tracy-barrel-pump-golden-oak

With barrel hooked up to keg, she fills it with ease.

tracy-kegging-barrel-golden-oak

Belgian Golden Strong ales show best with a high level of carbonation.  Her Golden Oak would seem too wine-like without fizz.  So getting the CO2 level right will make or break this beer.  Worried, she kept sampling it over the last few weeks.

Will it be good enough for the Pro/Am?

Then, by chance, John Maier, founding head brewer of Rogue Brewery came to town.  Tracy has his wife try it, who then drags John over.  Quietly, he smells it, tastes it, then drinks it.

john-maier-tracy-beer-golden-oak

He looks at her, serious, and asks when is Rogue bottling it.  She explains it was a one off small batch just for the Pro/Am.  John looks confused at why this isn’t one of Rogue’s production beers, finishes it, and smiles. It is very well balanced he says.

Whether Tracy wins at Willamette Week’s Pro/Am or not, getting the blessing from the father of Oregon craft beer is enough.

So go, taste, and vote for Tracy’s “Golden Oak” at Willamette Week’s Fourth Annual Beer Pro/Am competition is this Saturday, October 15th in Portland, Oregon (tickets: here).

tracy-john-maier-golden-oak-rogue

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6 Responses to Kegging Golden Oak: Willamette Week Pro AM Beer Lange Winery Rogue Brewery

  1. Fantastic post! I spent a week in Oregon at the end of September and met some incredible wine makers and beer people. I hate to say it, but you may get at least one more Californian moving up your way soon. Check out our experience hanging out with a wine maker in Salem: https://topochinesvino.com/2016/10/09/a-lot-of-sass-in-willamette-valley/

  2. Poor Robert says:

    I’m not much of a beer drinker, preferring the nectar of the grape, but this one actually sounds worth a try. The character of the Pinot Noir saturated oak should make it wonderful. Good luck!

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