In 1987, Full Sail Brewing founders Irene Firmat and Jamie Emmerson set up shop in an old Diamond Fruit cannery in scenic Hood River, Oregon. Just two years later they won gold for their flagship Full Sail Amber at the Great American Beer Fest in 1989.
Nearly 20 years and many delicious beers later, the Brewer’s Share series began in 2008. This series gives the individual brewers at Full Sail a chance to shine. Originally only available on tap at the brew pub, bottles of the Brewer's Share series are now released seasonally. Each brewer also selects a charity and proceeds from the sale of their beer goes to the charity of their choice. For this tasting we were able to get our hands on two Brewer's Share beers and two from Full Sail's regular line up.
Pouring the color of light apple juice with super fine carbonation and a small head, this Berliner Weiss crafted by brewer Chris Haveman smells tartly of apple and sweet vinegar. There is also a nice bready note that reminded us of a stoned wheat cracker. The taste follows the nose and is apple-like and tart with a very dry finish.
This imperial IPA is tabby cat orange and clear with small carbonation. Smelling surprisingly sweet for an IPA, like chocolate and caramel, this beer also had woody and fruity notes. Tasting well balanced with a pleasant hop bitterness, this is a great example of an imperial IPA that doesn’t taste too heavy.
Part of the Brewer’s Share series, brewer Jason Muñoz paid homage to everyone’s favorite brown bag bodega treat – malt liquor. We were a little hesitant to try this one, thinking back to college days of Edward 40-Hands, but we were pleasantly surprised. This beer was a grown up version of what we remembered. From its golden orange appearance, reminding us of a wheat field at dusk, to its gentle malt aroma and toasty flavor, this beer was quite enjoyable and well balanced. Proceeds from this beer go to benefit Helping Hands Against Violence, so now you can drink craft malt liquor for a great cause!
This bourbon barrel aged imperial porter poured a deep dark brown with a lovely tan, quickly dissipating head. One sniff and there’s not doubt that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels. Strong, sweet scents of alcohol hit the nose. The taste is rich and sweet, like a dark chocolate covered bourbon-soaked cherry. You’ll find us skipping dessert and reaching for this Imperial Porter instead.