Tonight at the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House is the official kick-off of Oregon Craft Beer Month and a celebration of 25 Years of craft-brewing culture. This brewing culture is a vibrant and ever-evolving phenomenon, one which McMenamins is both proud and honored to be a part of. No matter which brewery you call home -- to everyone who has been a part, we raise a glass. You've looked for the magic, and then proceeded to capture it. Donning the brewer’s boots, swinging the mash paddle, and putting a piece of your heart out there on the line with every batch you brew is a noble calling. Much respect goes out to all the men and women who built, and continue to build upon this culture, from the littlest outposts to the mighty craft brewing giants. While it is true that brewing is tough work, when the day is done with the fruits of your labor staring back at you, you realize that it is indeed good work.
It’s been a great 25 years. Here's to 25 more!
There will be many fine brews from many fine breweries present to commemorate this kick-off event. Here is the story of ours:
Liquidator Porter (1985 version)
In October of 1985, the Hillsdale Brewery produced McMenamins first batch of micro-brewed beer. Shortly after, the Hillsdale brewers began formulating recipes to fill the many categories of beer styles that the newly founded brewery could produce and offer on tap. One of these beers was Terminator Stout®. This beer was love at first swallow, and many of the early Hillsdale customers made it known that this beer needed to be kept on tap at all times.
Now, when a brewery is just starting out, mistakes can occur, which often times can affect the outcome of the beer. Sometimes these mistakes are devastating and a beer has to be tossed. Sometimes these errors lead to the creation of something flavorful and mighty. Liquidator is the product of one of these mighty type errors occurring while producing Terminator Stout®.
Back in the 1980’s McMenamins used malt extract to make their beers. This extract was slowly dribbled into 5 gallon buckets, which in the cool winter months took a great deal of time (heard the expression “slow as molasses in January”?). Once in the bucket, the extract had to be carefully weighed and then dissolved into boiling hot water. Since several buckets of the extract needed to be added to a hefty brew such as Terminator Stout®, brewer Conrad Santos [pictured above right] had to maintain an accurate count of how many buckets were added to produce the proper brew. This is where he went astray. Thinking that enough malt had been put into the water the brewer stopped adding malt and proceeded to make the beer. Monitoring and analysis in those days were not a high priority and it wasn’t until the process had been well under way that Conrad found his mistake and it was too late to correct at that point. But, since it tasted good, of course not as robust as Terminator Stout®, the brew continued and the beer was fermented and placed in kegs. The name Liquidator was given to the black roasty brew that resembled Terminator Stout® but without the rich full-bodied character of its proper cousin.
Liquidator Porter (2010 version)
To honor 25 years of Oregon craft brewing, McMenamins decided to reanimate one of the Hillsdale Brewery’s original favorites, first produced 25 years ago. Under the careful watch of current Hillsdale Brewer Matt Carter, seven different malts, flaked oats and seven pounds of malt extract were used in the construction of the 21st century Liquidator. The malts give this porter an amazing mocha-like quality. The oatmeal provides a distinct creaminess and mouth-feel. The small amount of malt extract was added to honor Liquidator's humble origins. Chinook and US Golding hops were used sparingly to accentuate, but not overpower, the malts. Its re-birth is the perfect way to celebrate not only the history of the Hillsdale Brewery but Oregon's craft-brewing history as well!
Malts: GWM 2-row, GWM Organic Munich, GWM 75L Crystal, Baird Chocolate, Baird Brown, Baird Roast, Franco-Belges Kiln Coffee
Other Ingredients: Flaked Oats, Light Malt Extract
Hops: Chinook, US Golding