Logsdon Bretta wins No. 1 rank from Beer Magazine

DAVE LOGSDON, left, with partner Judith Bam and brewer Charles Porter in the brewery. Farmhouse Ales are available locally on tap and in bottles.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
DAVE LOGSDON, left, with partner Judith Bam and brewer Charles Porter in the brewery. Farmhouse Ales are available locally on tap and in bottles.

The nationally distributed Beer Magazine has ranked a Hood River valley ale its best U.S. beer of 2012.

The honored ale is the Seizoen Bretta, the flagship ale of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, near Odell.

The magazine gave the Bretta a score of 99 out of 100, and a rave review.

“We’re in love with this beer,” it stated.

Logsdon, long one of Oregon’s premier beers and makers of yeast, and brewer Charles Porter create Belgian farmhouse ales in the style known as Saison — or seizoen (“sez-yoon” in Flemish, one of the two official languages of Belgium).

Bretta refers to the special brettanomyces yeast, varied strains of which are used in the ales.

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales released its first product in February 2011 and held the first event at its facility, on Neal Creek Road, in February 2012. The ales are distributed primarily in Oregon and Washington, with territory expanding in the past year to California, Idaho and Arizona.

Among other ales, Logsdon makes a tart cherry beer known as Cerasus and a tart peach ale titled “Peche n Brett” which won the American Style Brett Ale category in the Brewers Association World Beer Cup in May 2012.

Logsdon uses fruit from the Hood River valley for its peach and cherry ales, but is waiting for trees on its own property to mature in order to create an “estate” Cerasus, perhaps as early as this fall.

The Seizoen Bretta also uses a portion of pear juice from Hood River valley, along with the local water. Logsdon said he is not aware of another brewery anywhere that uses pear juice to make beer.

Kili Wit, a dry thirst-quencher that pays tribute to the tallest peak in Africa, also uses pear juice. Proceeds from Kili Wit sales go to the K2 Foundation, which makes expeditions to Kilimanjaro and other parts of the world possible for handicapped children, wounded soldiers and people with disabilities.

Beer Magazine had this to say about the beer in granting its top ranking:

“The beeswax cap might let you know it’s something special, but it isn’t until you pour the beer into a glass that you’ll find out how really special it is. It pours out a serious pillowy head and fills the glass with a glowing cloudy orange. The aroma is amazing. You get some earthy notes from the Brett, but after that quick note, it’s full of apricot, peaches, marmalade and cherry.

“The taste is equally amazing. It’s dry from the brett but packed with citrus, orange, peach and stone fruit, spice and a little bit of yeasty fruitiness. The finish is wonderfully dry, and this beer screams summer afternoon. This beer is so that you might not want to share it with friends.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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