This segment can be found in Episode 82 Of The 40cast released on Jan. 29, 2012.
This week I want to spotlight a brewer from the Pacific Northwest that may not be known to many people, and that brewery is Full Sail Brewing out of Hood River, Oregon. I first came across this brewery in 1998 when I purchased a 6-pack of their 10th Anniversary Very Special Pale Ale. This beer rocked my socks off and I drank cases of this stuff because I was worried it would not be around for very long. Luckily they continued brewing this beer for a few more years, so I didn’t have to start hoarding it.
Full Sail Brewing opened in 1987 and became one of Oregon’s first commercially successfully micro-brewery to bottle their beer for retail sales. Their first beers produced were a Golden Ale, an Imperial Porter, an Amber Ale and their Wassail Winter Ale. In 2007 they produced 130,000 barrels of beer, which made them the 2nd largest craft brewer in Oregon and the 9th largest in the United States. During their first year of production, four employees were able to produce 287 barrels, followed by 2,200 barrels in 1988. In 1999 the 47 employees decided to become a completely employee owned independent company, which is still the case today.
Full Sail Brewing produces a wide range of brews and have won numerous awards. They have won 12 Gold Medals for their Amber Ale, 5 Gold Medals for their India Pale Ale, 4 Gold Medals for their Pale Ale and 3 Gold Medals for their LTD01 at the World Beer Championships. Needless to say, they make good beer. In 2005 they started producing Session Premium Lager, a pre-prohibition tribute beer, bottled in an 11-oz stubby bottle. The success of this lager motivated the production of a additional “premium” limited release lagers with the label LTD stating in 2007. So far they have released an LTD01, LTD02, LTD03, LTD04 and LTD05, all having different characteristics. In 2009 Full Sail started selling their Session Black Premium Lager in the signature stubby bottles.
My favorite Full Sail beer of all time is the 10th Anniversary Very Special Pale Ale with the Wassail Winter Ale coming in at a close second. Most of my friends claim the Amber Ale is their best, but that’s their opinion. I will comment quickly on the LTD04 which is the latest one I have tried . As you all know, I am NOT a pale lager fan. In fact it is my least desired beer of all styles. So I will say this…the LTD04 American Pale Lager (single malt, single hop) is a good tasting pale lager. Reminds me very much of the domestic pale lager found at NASCAR events around the country, but with a smoother flavor and higher kick (7.0%). Still not a beer I want to drink often, but a pleasant surprise that not all American Pale Lagers will make me puke in me mouth.
Listen to the audio segment of the Brew Buzz below: