The Perseid Meteor Shower is right around the corner hitting its peak on August 11th and 12th. Astronomers are predicting up to 200 “shooting stars” can be seen per hour in areas of low light pollution in the northern hemisphere. With this amazing light show happening in our backyard…what on earth are you going to drink to soak it all in? We’ve chosen our favorite “out of this world” Oregon beers to pair with the dazzling array of lights in the sky.
First up is one of our favorite “go-to” IPA’s in Portland, Ecliptic Brewing’s Orbiter IPA. The name couldn’t be more perfect for this list. Owner and brewmaster John Harris has a passion for the stars and decided to theme his brewery entirely with astronomy in mind. From the lighting in the tasting room designed to mimic earth’s passing through the seasons to beer names like Phobos and Starburst IPA, Eclptic Brewing is all about looking up.
The Orbiter IPA is is brewed with copious amounts of Columbus, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops that give it a bright and citrus-forward character balanced out by caramel malt with a pleasant medium body. This beer is then dry-hopped intensifying the hop flavor and creating an inviting aroma that can be enjoyed while pondering one’s place in the universe
This next one is a doozie. Bourbon Barrel Aged Ground Control by Ninkasi is an imperial stout fermented from yeast that survived a trip to space and back! The guys at Ninkasi actually launched 6 vials of brewer’s yeast into space with the help from UP Aerospace Inc. and successfully recovered the yeast to brew this one-of-a-kind beverage. This beer is literally out of this world.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Ground Control is an Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs then aged in bourbon barrels for a thrust of robust, oak aged flavor.
Our third pick for great Oregon beer to enjoy watching the stars is Lights Out, Worthy Brewing’s Vanilla Cream Extra Stout. The folks in Bend know a thing or two about stargazing as Bend has a high desert climate that supports around 300 days of clear skies a year! That coupled with none of the “big city” light equates to some great views of the Milky Way and beyond.
Lights Out Stout is full of roasted chocolate and coffee flavors rounded out by the addition of milk sugar and Madagascar vanilla beans to give it a creamy mouthfeel and mellow vanilla overtones. Turn the lights out, sit back and share this one with friends.
We just couldn’t resist rounding out our Perseid meteor pairing without including another great beer from everyone’s favorite space-themed brewery, Ecliptic! Carina Peach Sour Ale is the newest addition to Ecliptic’s year-round beer lineup and is named after the constellation Carina, the keel of the ship Argo in the southern sky. As your wide-eyed pupils fully dilate watching the night sky, Carina will pucker your lips up leaving your face muscles in perfect harmony to take in cosmic event unfolding before you.
Carina Peach Sour is loaded with peach flavor that perfectly compliments the addition of lactobacillus giving this brew a tart and electrifying finish that is sure to WOW any taste bud. The use of pale malts allows this beer to be very drinkable so expect to grab a couple of bombers for the late night cosmic show.
Grab these beers, grab some friends, and escape the city light to enjoy a wondrous event provided to you FOR FREE by the universe itself. As you sit back and come to terms with how small you are in the vast cosmic landscape before you, think about this: We are all made of stardust; the plants, the animals, and even the cold delicious craft beer in your hand. Take in the moment and enjoy the hell out of that beer. Cheers.