Portland Beer Adventures Part 5 – Cascade Brewing Barrel House

Little did I know before visiting Portland but there is a growing sours scene. The best place to experience sours is to stop by Cascade. The tasters were a little bit more expensive than I was used to but I could see why once I realized that many of the sours were barrel aged for a time. Sours are like IPAs in that most people hate them when they first try them. I’m still growing to like sours but I appreciated the chance to explore the style further here. I ended up tasting their IPA, Red IPA, Apricot, Blueberry, White Stout, and Cantaloupe sour.
View from behind the bar. Some beers served direct from the barrels.
View from behind the bar. Some beers served direct from the barrels.
I wasn’t all too impressed with the IPA but mostly because I don’t really like cascade hops that much on their own. The IPA was fairly light and primarily focused on the pine from the cascade. The Red IPA was primarily thick and resiny from the heavy malts, with a lot of the plum flavors. The beer seemed to be a little too heavy on the malts for my tastes though there was some nice light hop flavor at the back end.
Apricot Sour (left) Blueberry Sour (right)
Apricot Sour (left) Blueberry Sour (right)
The apricot sour was quite tart and had a nice blend of flavors. I preferred the blueberry sour because it wasn’t as tart. The blueberry blended very nicely with the sour flavors from the wine barrels for a good overall beer. The white stout was closer to a coffee-infused session IPA. Flavors were very similar to an iced coffee.

I ended my sour tasting with the Cantaloupe. This one was poured fresh while aging. The cantaloupe gave it a good sweetness that I really enjoyed. I expect that with aging the sweetness would fade and be replaced with more sour flavors. The flavors of the cantaloupe really came through quite nicely. Overall, I am glad that I stopped by Cascade so that I can start to explore the varieties of flavors of sours. This is a place to come visit if you are also intrigued by the idea of sours because that was where they shined.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

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