First stop was Fort George Brewery + Public House. Not too crowded on a weekday afternoon. Bar seating for 12 and tables and booths for maybe 50. There is also an upstairs area, which has a wood-fired pizza oven. 14 taps were on: 12 from Fort George and two guest taps.
February is stout month here, and they offered a blind tasting set of eight stouts. I had been hoping to select my own tasters, but what the heck. The eight small glasses came with a judging sheet (answers on the back).
With frequent reference to descriptions on the beer menu, I was able to identify only three correctly – but later I learned that even the lead brewer could identify only four, himself!
The taster set of eight 2.5oz. glasses cost $12; half pints go for $3.50; snifters for $4.25; pints for $4.75; and pitchers for $16. A bit expensive, overall.
A friendly vibe to the place. I had a chance to talk to a night shift brewer out near the smoking area, and he gave me a lot of interesting information about the place and the beers.
Here are the eight stouts I sampled:
Fort George Accasbel’s Dry Stout (4.75%) 3.1 out of 5.0
Coffee nose, with some mild dark fruitiness. Near black, translucent, thin head. Coffee, chocolate, and very thin strain of raisins and plums. Thin body, a bit watery. Light thin coffee and dark fruit (again) are the main features.
Fort George Squashed Stout (6.7%) 3.2
Mild chocolate nose, translucent dark brown, sticky lace. Dark roast (mild), light fruit, and some nutty notes. Thin-medium body, very smooth mouthfeel. Pleasant. The squash lightens it up, but doesn’t add much else.
Fort George Viva La Stout (7.6%) 3.4
Dark roast nose, light coffee, some vanilla and spice (also a weird kind of room air fragrance spray note). Black, moderate tan head, thick slippery lace. Chocolate initial, light spice, cinnamon. Medium body, lightly warming. Pleasant, smooth, and creamy. The air sanitizer/fragrance thing detracts.
Fort George North the Eighth (VIII) (9.9%) 3.6
Barrel-like nose, but apparently it is not barreled. Chocolate nose, mild and pleasant. Black, thin head. Again a bourbon-like initial, overripe dates, a light phenolic note. Hopped with Cascade. Lightly warming stuff.
Fort George Cavatica Stout (8.5%) 3.6
Thin chocolate nose, some dark fruit. Black, creamy tan head. Chocolate, berries, and long hop tracks. Medium-thin body. Creamy, smooth, with deep bittering. This is one of Fort George’s most popular beers.
Fort George Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout (9.1%) 3.7
Big bourbon nose. Medium dark brown color, thick lace clinging to the glass. Bourbon, smooth fruitiness, with dates, prunes, raisins. Medium body, a bit thin for the style. Good blend of the barrel and fruit. Hides the alcohol very well.
Fort George Shot in the Dark Breakfast Stout (9.8%) 3.8
Heavy, thick coffee nose. Dark brown, thin tan head. Coffee flavors, big dark fruitiness, and some barrel notes. Medium-heavy, very creamy body. Very tasty stuff. Good blending of the coffee and bourbon (the coffee is just a touch over steeped).
Fort George Voluptas Stout (8.1%) 3.9
Nutty nose, with cookies, and light spice. Translucent dark brown color. Wonderful sweet dark fruit, cake dough, berries, and a long sweet chocolaty finish. Medium body. Very nice. Less bitterness and more fruitiness than most stouts. Almost a blend of a dark fruit beer and a stout. Love it.
1483 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon, USA 97103
Fri-Sat: 11AM-MidnightSun: Noon-Midnight