Cascade Brewing Co
To the truly devoted beer geeks, tart, barrel-aged beers are the next IPAs, and Ron Gansberg—a veteran of the wine industry and stints with both Bridgeport Brewing Co and Portland Brewing Co—is Stumptown’s master sourpuss. His Belgian-style brews (aged in wine, whiskey, and port barrels) crackle with acidic notes and woody tannins that blur stylistic lines. After brewing out of the Raleigh Hills—based Raccoon Lodge since the late ’90s, Gansberg is set to open the Cascade Brewery Barrel House in Southeast Portland. The 6,000-square-foot facility, with barrel-aging rooms and 18 taps, all but screams, “Pucker up, Portland.”
Favorite brew: Cascade Kriek 2009, a sour red-style ale that’s been refermented with two kinds of Northwest cherries in French oak barrels and aged for up to 16 months.
HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery)
San Francisco native Christian Ettinger found his beer inspiration in Cologne, Germany, touring the city’s famed kölsch producers and hanging out in atmospheric bierstubes during college. Back in the States, he attended brewing school through the Vermont-based American Brewers Guild, and then honed his skills at Eugene City Brewery and the Old World Pub & Brewery, which later became the Laurelwood Public House. The experiences paid off: in 2008 Ettinger opened his own eco-chic brewpub in Southeast Portland, using local organic grains and innovative green-brewing practices (such as rainwater capture systems for cleaning and heat recycling). Now that HUB is filled to capacity every night, there’s another location on the way, and plans for extending distribution to Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Favorite brew: HUB Lager. “It’s so simple and stark,” says Ettinger. “There’s little body to hide behind; there’s no formidable hop character to hide behind. It has to be made perfect every time.”