Waffle Window: Savory and Sweet Wonderfulness

A couple years back we read about this place on SE Hawthorne called the Waffle Window. There was no seating, just a window on a side street serving all sorts of sweet and savory liege waffles. We went, we tried many things, and we loved them all.

Last year they opened a second location on NE Alberta, this time with actual indoor seating and with the additions of housemade ice creams and a coffee bar to the menu. We went during the week for an early lunch/snack and didn't have to wait at all. In fact, we parked on the street right in front of the door.

Unlike the Hawthorne location you order inside at the counter and wait for your food. The Alberta location has outdoor seating, which was nice on a warmer fall day, so we took advantage of that.

We had a friend with us from out of town so the first waffle had to be what is, in our opinion, the best: the Three Bs. What are they? Bacon, brie and basil. 

The waffle had a crunchy outside, fluffy inside, and you can see they didn't skimp on the bacon at all. 

Our second was the blueberry cheesecake: blueberry compote, cream cheese, whip cream, and a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs.


These two waffles were plenty for the three of us to share, not to mention being pretty to look at and just damn tasty. Next time we go back we'll try out their ice creams, which are reportedly also very good.

Dog-friendly? We didn't ask specifically, but it seems like the seating outside, just off the Alberta St. sidewalk, should be fine for a well-mannered dog. The tables aren't too close together and (at least when we were there) foot traffic wasn't heavy. Misaki wasn't with us that day, but she will be next time.


Epic 2012 Pumpkin Beer Review

This year I went a little crazy for the pumpkin beer. After getting my first exposure last year with a couple different choices that surprised the heck out of me, this year - as you can see - my entire fall beer drinking plans seemed to rotate around pumpkin beers of all kinds.

Below is my impression of what I tried. This is in no way an exhaustive list of even what is available in Portland let alone all over. I included my initial notes from my Untappd check-ins, as well as a few follow-ups.

Rogue Ales - Pumpkin Patch Ale
Newport, OR - 5.6% ABV

Very good flavors - Pumking-esque - with a little more hoppiness. Nice nose - banana along with pumpkin pie spices. Bonus points for a pumpkin-colored bottle.

4 Stars


Southern Tier Brewing - Pumking
Lakewood, NY - 8.6% ABV

Still the king - need to have side by side with Stingy Jack. Great nose, pleasant sweetness followed by great spice. Use part of one bottle to make a fantastic beef and squash stew.

5 Stars


Dogfish Head - Punkin Ale
Milton, DE - 7.0% ABV

Lightly pumpkin on the nose, lots of flavor. Pleasant bitterness follows. Solid pumpkin ale. Not sure if the recipe changed a bit from 2011, but I remember liking the '11 version much better.

3 Stars


Laurelwood Brewing - Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale
Portland, OR - 7.5% ABV

Not much nose, but fantastic flavor. All the pumpkin pie spices plus vanilla. A lot of depth. Had forgotten how good this was last year.

5 Stars


Elysian Brewing - Dark O' the Moon Pumpkin Stout
Seattle, WA - 6.5% ABV

Very nice pumpkin nose. As a stout this is great - lots of coffee with a tiny dash of pumpkin spice. The combination didn't produce something greater than the parts.

3 Stars


Uinta Brewing - Punk'n
Salt Lake City, UT - 4.0% ABV

Very nice nose. A little sweet, but otherwise not a ton of flavor. At least it was low in calories.

2 Stars


Elysian Brewing - Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
Seattle, WA - 5.9% ABV

Similar nose and spices to Pumking, but the flavor is...younger, if that makes sense. Will definitely drink again.

4 Stars


Elysian Brewing - Blight Pumpkin Ale (12 Beers of the Apocalypse series)
Seattle, WA - 7.4% ABV

Lots of cinnamon on the nose and in the glass. Cloves, vanilla, squash. Very tasty. This is one of those beers that at first shocks with the medley of flavors and you aren't sure if you like it, but the more you drink and even long after it's gone you keep thinking about it. Very unfortunate it was a one-time release.

5  Stars


Elysian Brewing - Great Pumpkin
Seattle, WA - 8.1% ABV

This was fine. Nothing special. It taste good enough, had a solid balance, a light nose and was generally acceptable. The most average of pumpkin beers.

3  Stars


Elysian Brewing - Hansel and Gretel Pumpkin Pilsner
Seattle, WA - 4.7% ABV

Overwhelming flavors of sharp, fresh ginger. Really needed some sweetness for balance.

3  Stars


Shipyard Brewing - Smashed Pumpkin
Portland, ME - 9.0% ABV

Very little nose and nothing on the tongue but burning hot cinnamon. There didn't seem to be much attempt to develop flavors. Didn't finish it, which for the price ($10) was disappointing.

1  Stars


Oakshire Brewing - Big Black Jack Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Eugene, OR - 9.0% ABV

Smells like choc/pumpkin bread. Yummy as a porter, but want stronger flavors of the advertised chocolate and pumpkin. If you promise chocolate, I want chocolate.

3 Stars



Besides the fact that it took me four months to get through all of these, it was a fun experiment with mostly highs. 

Two major disappointments:

1 - The most expensive beer on this list, the one from Shipyard, was the worst. I have to think that maybe I received a bad bottle because the cost and the reviews indicated it was a quality beer that had a lot of thought put into its development. 

2 - The Pumpkin Patch box from Elysian didn't meet my (admittedly high) expectations. I wanted to love them all, but instead my favorite of the $25 box was the Night Owl, which also comes in six-packs of 12 ounce bottles for less than ten bucks. 

Now the highs.

This fall I plan on buying just three (and multiples of them) from the 2012 list: Rogue's Pumpkin Patch (which in retrospect should have been a five as well), Southern Tier's Pumking and Laurelwood's Stingy Jack. I would absolutely include Elysian's Blight on that list, but since it was from the 12 Beers of Apocalypse series we may never see it again (unless we beg?). It would be fun to try those three side-by-side-by-side to see which I truly think is the best, but that would involve one serious night of drinking for which I am frankly too old. College me could have done it. Twice. 

I also have some plans for using pumpkin beer for something other than just drinking. A couple months back Wifey and I made ice cream with some Kona coffee beans and Deschutes' Abyss stout, which turned out amazing, and I'd like to find a good recipe for integrating a pumpkin beer into an ice cream recipe. I also think a beer float with French vanilla ice cream and Pumking would be amazing. 

Already looking forward to this fall!


Paulee: Wine Country Jewel

Located in Dundee, Oregon - the heart of Oregon's wine country - Paulee opened late last spring to quite a buzz. The idea was to become a gateway of sorts to eating in wine country (not that there aren't other excellent restaurants in the area, but this one brought in some big names and big ideas). They were going to grow much of their own vegetables in a farm on the other side of the parking lot and source everything else locally, but the farm hasn't taken off (reportedly because of a late start, so maybe 2013 will be different). Paulee was also going to build on the talents of chef Daniel Mondok (Sel Gris, Genoa) and become a true destination spot. 

It worked, for the most part. The Oregonian gave the restaurant an A- review in August and it was suddenly the place everyone was talking about despite a 45-60 minute drive from Portland. Being west-siders, of course we had to check it out. We went twice, both times for brunch rather than dinner, and found the menu is still quite enticing but cheaper and perhaps a little more accessible. 

Paulee resides underneath the Inn at Red Hills, just down the street from Red Hills Market (another solid destination for food and drink and shopping) and a short drive from many of the big name wineries (Sokol Blosser, for instance, is less than five minutes away by car).

The decor is casual and supposed to be comfortable, though the chairs are a little hard if you plan on staying longer than the typical time it takes to eat a meal. Since this is wine country and Paulee has an extensive wine list, grab an extra pillow, especially if you dine with friends.

We made  reservations for brunch - 10:30am on a Saturday - because we thought it was going to be busy. It was not. Only two other couples were seated the first time we went and about the same on our second visit, when we decided the reservations weren't necessary. For dinner I would recommend them, especially on the weekend.

Also, keep in mind there is really only one way to get to Dundee from the Portland area - Highway 99W. Just outside of Newberg this four-lane highway narrows down to two as it enters Dundee and after about 11am or noon on Saturday or Sunday that usually means snarled traffic for people heading out for wine tasting. Get into Dundee early or just plan on spending some time sitting in traffic. Your call.

Coffee comes from Portland's Heart Roasters. It's okay, not great, though with Heart's continuous rotation of bean sources it very likely could change from visit to visit. The fireplace is a nice touch in the dining room and on the opposite side is outdoor seating. We asked our server if the patio was dog-friendly and didn't really get a straight answer. He talked some about how people don't like sitting out there because it can be loud (Paulee is right on 99W) and then said people can tie up their dog and come and eat with no problems. That, sir, was not what I asked, but considering how long it took to come up with that answer I didn't press further. 

For our first visit we ordered non-breakfast type of food. My choice was the cacio e pepe (fettuccine, pepper and parm served with prosciutto and bread). I hadn't seen it on the menu of any Italian restaurants I'd been to in Portland and heard good things, so I had to get it.

Verdict? Damn good. Really, really good. I'd definitely recommend it.

Wifey ordered the Paulee burger with smoked bacon, egg, spicy tomato jam, lettuce, aioli, cacio di roma and onions on a potato bun, which came with fries.

Quite the spread. And check out how perfectly the egg was cooked.

Love the way the yolk exploded out of that. The fries were okay, but the burger...wow. Just wow. I mean, look at this thing!

Both of those dishes were a huge hit. In fact, the meal was so good we went back two weeks later, this time opting for breakfast fare. Remembering how good the smoked bacon was on the burger, I ordered a side of it for us to share.

It was bacon. I mean, it was good bacon, we enjoyed it, but it wasn't super special or anything. 

Wifey started us off with the Benedict, served with pancetta, egg, avocado and Hollandaise on toasted brioche with potatoes on the side. 

The Hollandaise and everything was good, but we didn't think the brioche was the best fit for a bread base. Also, the potatoes could use more time in the pan - they didn't see as if they were quite cooked through enough. Nice color, but still a tad undercooked inside.

I ordered the "Skillet" which is basically a hash. This one came with chorizo, potatoes, eggs and a very light spicy cream sauce.

It had potential, it really did, but it didn't measure up to the dishes we ordered for our previous lunch visit. We did decide to follow this meal with a dessert, the special bread pudding. That day's version was a chocolate peanut butter bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and came with drizzles of chocolate and caramel sauce.

It sounded amazing and looks very pretty, but the flavors really didn't do it for us. 

Overall we recommend Paulee. The lunch items seem better executed than the breakfast ones and much of the dinner menu looks outstanding. It is definitely not the place to go for a cheap meal - both brunches ended up being around $40 for the two of us, which no alcohol - though we did bring home leftovers each time. The service was pretty good, but maybe too chatty for my tastes. This is probably directly related to the fact the restaurant was so empty both times.

It will be interesting to see how things move forward with Paulee. It was recently announced Mondok has left the restaurant and the idealistic plans of building a farm still hasn't been proven. And there also remains a question in my mind about the viability of such a high-end restaurant in the area. Yes, there is Portland money that comes in, but only on the weekends - people aren't driving out there after work during the week. Is it sustainable for weekday breakfast and lunch

I hope that it is. It's an excellent weekend brunch option and someday we'd like to make it out for dinner.

Dog-Friendly? Well, again, still not sure. I wouldn't bet on it, but if they seem fine with leaving your dog outside while you it inside I find it hard to believe they wouldn't let your dog sit under your table while you dine al fresco.


Roe: Portland's Best Seafood Restaurant?

Last summer we started hearing a little buzz about a new place from the mind of Wafu chef Trent Pierce. It was to be a seafood place, which was notable because before Wafu he had what was widely regarded as the best seafood spot in the city, Fin. We never made it to Fin but had read many discussions online about how wonderful it was - apparently we missed out.

It's odd to me, but Portland really doesn't have much good seafood. The names that get thrown around are living off their legacies and generally can barely put out a plate as good as I can make at home with minimal work. For a city relatively close to the ocean - not to mention many rivers - the lack of quality fish is, to me, surprising.

Needless to say, because of all of that and Pierce's reputation - and the fact we have enjoyed multiple good meals at Wafu - we added it to the short list. As it turned out opening week in September came at a time when a friend from Chicago was coming to visit, so it worked out nicely.

There are a couple things to know about Roe. First, you must make a reservation. These can be done over the phone or via Open Table, but it's the only way to get in.

Second, Roe is in the back of Wafu on SE 33rd and Division. That doesn't mean behind the building; that means you enter Wafu, give your name to the maitre'd, and then you are led down the length of Wafu to a room in the back, hidden behind a curtain and a door. The maitre'd lets you in and hands you off to Roe people. It's all very cloak and dagger, like you are part of a super secret club. In a way you are, because Roe has only a few tables and a chef's counter, and is only open three nights a week.

The chef's table is the focal point, raised on one side of the room with six seats, but all of the tables in the high-ceilinged room look comfortable. The service is impeccable. If you clicked on their website you will notice the menu is not listed - it changes every week. Pierce picks out the fish each week himself on the Oregon coast. Below was the menu presented to us.

The menu from the day we went.

Our friend came to Portland with the sole purpose of experiencing the food scene and because of that we decided to go light on dinner. Between the three of us we ordered two dishes from the first section and two from the third, then a dessert. First came bread, fresh butter and a selection of flavored salts.

First up was a tuna dish, with tomato, watermelon gazpacho, yuba, lime and basil

Then silver snapper ceviche with corn, tomato caviar, smoked citrus nuoc mam, and edamame mousse.

Then the two main courses came out. This is the butter poached blue prawn with popcorn emulsion, piquillo pepper, grilled padron peppers, and shrimp chips. 

Followed by the salmon, olive oil poached with gin botanicals, confit fennel, edamame, tonic gelee and sudachi ponzu.

And finally, a light dessert of salted caramel gelato, dark chocolate ganache and dehydrated milk chocolate mousse.


Everything was fantastic. Exceptional, actually. The service, the presentation, the flavors - I feel comfortable saying this is the best seafood place in town and highly recommend it to anyone. Our friend from out of town counted it as one of her favorite meals of the trip. The total bill was $81, so it's definitely a special occasion dinner for most (us for sure) and I will admit it may not be what many consider a filling meal for that price. However, the crafting of these dishes make it worth it. We'd go back in a heartbeat.

We aren't the only ones who think this; The Oregonian handed out a relatively rare A- in their review of Roe.

Dog-friendly? No outdoor seating.


My 2012 in Books

I set a goal for myself each year to read a book a week. They say as a writer you need to keep reading as well, to help develop new ideas and learn how all types of writing are done and I've embraced that philosophy. I read mostly fiction, since that is what I want to write, but while I will tend towards writing novels considered noir/thrillers/suspense, that's not all I read. I read a lot of YA, some romance and the occasional fantasy or sci-fi in addition to plenty of violent thrillers. I think getting all those perspectives from quality writers in different genres will help me when I develop my own characters in new projects.

In 2011 I managed to read 63 books. I didn't get to quite that many in 2012 (54), but I still bested my goal. Below is the entire list, divided into three categories. The Fiction and Nonfiction categories are books I read in their entirety, while the Other section I would consider more the reference variety - predominantly cookbooks. Some of them have stories in them, but that's not the point of their existence.


5 Stars

I recommend any of these for any reader. Great characters, great world-building and fantastic plotting. Or, in the case of the murderous cat just plain hilarious.

Dark inside - Roberts, Jeyn
First in a series - love it.
Diaries of a Misspent Youth - Cameron, Bill
Short stories, very entertaining.
Divergent - Roth, Veronica
Another first in a YA series and I can't wait for more.
How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you - Inman, Matthew
The Oatmeal. Enough said.
Insurgent - Roth, Veronica
Follow up to Divergent.
Kill you twice - Cain, Chelsea
Might be her best yet.
Looking for Alaska - Green, John
Rage within - Roberts, Jeyn
Follow up to Dark Inside.
The fault in our stars - Green, John
Beautiful and heartbreaking.
The Missus - Cameron, Bill
Whispers in Autumn - Leigh, Trisha
First in a series and highly recommended.
Wild thing : a novel - Bazell, Josh
Gone Girl - Flynn, Gillian
You know how they say you must trust your narrators? What if your narrators are liars?

4 Stars

If you like the genre you will love the book. If you aren't sure about the genre these are decent ones to start with.

Believe it or not - Fenske, Tawna
Dare me : a novel - Abbott, Megan E
Deliciously evil.
Die trying - Child, Lee
Endlessly - White, Kiersten
Last in the Paranormalcy series.
Hollowland (1) - Hocking, Amanda
If I Stay - Forman, Gayle
Fantastic voice and great premise.
Lone wolf : a novel - Picoult, Jodi
Loved the wolf setting and characters.
Never tell : a novel of suspense - Burke, Alafair
Portland noir - Multiple
Send - Blount, Patty
Fantastic debut. Even more poignant post-Newtown.
The whole lie - Ulfelder, Steve
Where She Went - Forman, Gayle
Followup to If I Stay.
Winter Omens - Leigh, Trisha

3 Stars

If you like the author or the genre, check it out. Otherwise may not be the best place to start.

212 - Burke, Alafair
77 Shadow Street : a novel - Koontz, Dean
Chosen - Swank, Denise Grover
Florida roadkill - Dorsey, Tim
Guilty wives - Patterson, James
In a fix - Grimes, Linda
Kill Alex Cross - Patterson, James
Mary, Mary - Patterson, James
Shroud for a Painted Beauty - Kamen, A.C.
The confession - Grisham, John
The litigators - Grisham, John
The third gate : a novel - Child, Lincoln
The twelve : a novel - Cronin, Justin
Disappointed with the followup to The Passage.
The wind through the keyhole - King, Stephen
A retro Dark Tower story that didn't need to be done.
Tripwire - Child, Lee
Where we belong : a novel - Giffin, Emily
Zone One - Whitehead, Colson

2 Stars

These were disappointing, to the point I'm not sure I'd read the next book from that author.

Kill decision - Suarez, Daniel
It's been downhill since his debut, Daemon.
Odd apocalypse : an Odd Thomas novel - Koontz, Dean
Having Koontz on this list hurts - he used to be a favorite.

1 Star

Ugh. All I can say about this is I managed to finish it.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne imperative - Lustbader, Eric
Ludlum would not have allowed this to be published. 


Normally I read fiction because I like to escape a bit, but real stories can be entertaining too.

4 Stars

Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain - Sherrill, Martha
Story of an Akita breeder in Japan. Great stories, better than the writing.
I suck at girls - Halpern, Justin
Still funny.
Let's pretend this never happened : (a mostly true memoir) - Lawson, Jenny
Freakin' hilarious.
The sweet life in Paris : delicious adventures in the world's most glorious -- and perplexing -- city - Lebovitz, David
Quite entertaining and educational.

3 Stars

These were fine. Nothing new.

The skinny rules : the simple, nonnegotiable principles for getting to thin - Harper, Bob
Underbelly Hoops: Adventures in the CBA - Cunningham, Carson

No Stars

I may get crap for this, but I couldn't get past page 100. Way too much writer, not nearly enough story about Jobs. The author needed to get out of the way of the story, which is disappointing because I had high expectations.

Steve Jobs - Isaacson, Walter


Wifey and I use the library a lot to review books before we buy them. Usually flipping through them at a bookstore isn't really enough time, so we check them out and take our time deciding if it's a book we want to own, one we want to just review, or one we have no interest in. Typically we do this with cookbooks - a lot of cookbooks - trail guides, and items of that ilk.

These are the ones we skimmed in 2012 according to the library. The ones we decided to purchase are in bold.

5 Stars

Bouchon - Keller, Thomas
Beautiful pics and maybe someday we'll get it, but not right now.
Chocolate obsession : confections and treats to create and savor - Recchiuti, Michael
If we had interest in making confections this would be a home run. Love his chocolate.
Flour Water Salt Yeast - Forkish, Ken
Jeni's splendid ice creams at home - Bauer, Jeni Britton
Momofuku Milk Bar - Tosi, Christina
Portland, Oregon chef's table : extraordinary recipes from the City of Roses - Wolf, Laurie Goldrich
Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Satisfying Treats - Jensen, Kir
The Dahlia Bakery cookbook : sweetness in Seattle - Douglas, Tom
The Paley's Place cookbook : recipes and stories from the Pacific Northwest - Paley, Vitaly
Will buy this eventually.
Vintage Cakes - Richardson, Julie
Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes - Ruhlman, Michael
Baking Out Loud - Goldsmith, Hedy

4 Stars

Fire in my belly : real cooking - Gillespie, Kevin
Good to the grain : baking with whole-grain flours - Boyce, Kim
Owner of Portland's Bake Shop. Great treats we buy but won't necessarily make.
Make the bread, buy the butter : what you should and shouldn't cook from scratch -- over 120 recipes for the best homemade foods - Reese, Jennifer
Momofuku - Chang, David
Ready for dessert : my best recipes - Lebovitz, David
The thing with Lebovitz's recipes is just about all of them are available online. So why buy a book?
Ripe for dessert : 100 outstanding desserts with fruit--inside, outside, and alongside - Lebovitz, David
Room for dessert : 110 recipes for cakes, custards, souffles, tarts, pies, cobblers, sorbets, ice creams, cookies, candies, and cordials - Lebovitz, David
Rustic fruit desserts : crumbles, buckles, cobblers, pandowdies, and more - Schreiber, Cory
The craft of Stone Brewing Co. : liquid lore, epic recipes, and unabashed arrogance - Koch, Greg
If I were interested in making my own beer I'd buy this in a heartbeat. Maybe someday.
The great book of chocolate : the chocolate lover's guide, with recipes - Lebovitz, David
The Skillet cookbook : a street food manifesto - Henderson, Josh
Dishing Up Oregon
My Pizza - Lahey, Jim
Baking: From My Home to Yours - Greenspan, Dorie

3 Stars

Hubert Keller's Souvenirs : stories & recipes from my life - Keller, Hubert
Wanted to like this but it's beyond what I want to do. Would love to go to one of his restaurants.
Left Coast Roast : A Guide to the Best Coffee and Roasters from San Francisco to Seattle - Neuschwander, Hanna
Mike Isabella's crazy good Italian : big flavors, small plates - Isabella, Mike
Molly Moon's homemade ice cream : sweet seasonal recipes for ice creams, sorbets, and toppings made with local ingredients - Neitzel, Molly Moon
The book of burger - Ray, Rachael
The book of yogurt - Uvezian, Sonia
The cookie dough lover's cookbook - Landis, Lindsay
The truck food cookbook : 150 recipes and ramblings from America's best restaurants on wheels - Edge, John T
The yogurt bible - Crocker, Pat
The Essential James Beard Cookbook - Rodgers, Rick
Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal - Cosentino, Chris

Wild in the city : exploring the intertwine, the Portland-Vancouver region's network of parks, trails, and natural areas


My 2012 in Beer

If you have followed this blog much - which, admittedly, was incredibly inconsistent in 2012 - you know two things about me: I enjoy a good brew and I spent the majority of the year trying to get healthy.

Most "diets" and "experts" will tell you those two things are incompatible. Those people are wrong. You've seen the pictures of me in previous posts and I've mentioned a few times about how one of the main goals when starting that process (which ended with me down 57 pounds and dropping 14% body fat, which I have kept off for almost two months now) was not to cut things out of my diet because I feel that only sets you up for failure after the losing weight process is done. It's just that much more difficult to add items you denied yourself so long back into regular eating and still expect to stay healthy.

All I did was limit myself. I figured out the rough calories of whatever beer I wanted to drink (yes, you have to PLAN it and STICK TO THE PLAN) and work it into the daily allocation of food. Beer calories are based almost exclusively on the ABV (alcohol percentage), so the higher the percentage the higher the calories. There is a complicated math formula you could run, or you could do what I did and use this fantastic reference chart from Simply Beer:

It's not exact, but it's close, and for me it seemed to work. I generally drink one bottle a week (pretty normal for me - well, since college ended at least), so it admittedly wasn't a drastic change - I didn't have to adjust from a six-pack or more a week habit. That being said I have a tendency to go for beers in the high percentage range (8%+) and I like variety, so it was still a challenge.

All that said, this is what I drank in 2012, presented with minimal comments (all 2012 bottlings unless otherwise noted). You may notice a lot of pumpkin ales - that's a further blog post I will put up when I finish the last few of 2012 still to try. (And if there is anything you think I should try, by all means leave it in the comments and I'll add it to my list!)

Winterfest - Wasastch Brewing (Salt Lake City) - 12oz bottle/winter warmer/7.1%
Hoppy and malty, nothing special.

JosephsBrauWinterfest - Trader Joe's - 12oz bottledoppelbock/7.5%
Not special, but a solid brew for a buck a bottle.

Our Christmas Ale - Anchor Brewing (San Francisco) - 12oz bottle/winter warmer/5.5%
Notes of pine and cherries - everything worked really, really well.

Sandy Paws - Heater Allen Brewing (McMinnville, OR) - 22oz bottle/baltic porter/6.5%
Heater Allen auctions off the right to put your dog on the label every year, with proceeds going to charity. I thought about getting Misaki on there, but a couple grand was too rich for my blood.

Blight Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing (Seattle) - 22oz bottle/pumpkin ale/7.4%
From the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse series. Excellent! Too bad it's gone forever.

Bell's Pale Ale - Bell's Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI) - 12oz bottle/American pale ale/5.2%
All Bell's brews courtesy of a friend in Chicago; Bell's sadly doesn't distribute in Oregon.

Bourbon County Brand Stout (2010) - Goose Island Brewing (Chicago) - 12oz bottle/imperial stout/15.0%
Some of this went into a gingerbread Wifey made - so good.

Big Black Jack - Oakshire Brewing (Eugene) - 22oz bottle/chocolate pumpkin porter/9.0%
Won't get again in 2013.

Probably the most unique beer, for me, of 2012.

Sweet Heat - Burnside Brewing (Portland) - 22oz bottle/fruit beer/4.9%
Apricot and peppers? I was scared, but this works very well.

Chatoe Pumpkin Patch Ale - Rogue Brewing (Newport, OR) - 25.4oz bottle/pumpkin ale/5.6%
One of the year's best pumpkin ales.

Strawman - Angry Orchard (Cincinnati) - 750ml bottle/cider/10.0%
Ugh. Way too dry for our tastes.

CoCoNuT Porter - Maui Brewing (Hawaii) - 12oz can/American porter/6.0%

Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing (Lakewood, NY) - 22oz bottle/pumpkin ale/8.6%
Some of this went into a pumpkin chili. 

Punkin Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery (Milton, DE) - 12oz bottle/pumpkin ale/7.0%
Not as good as I remember.

My favorite pumpkin ale label.

Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale - Laurelwood Brewing (Portland) - 22oz bottle/pumpkin ale/7.5%
Will buy more of this in 2013 - perhaps my favorite.

Third Coast Beer - Bell's Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI) - 12oz bottle/barleywine/10.2%

He does look angry.

Iceman - Angry Orchard (Cincinnati) - 750ml bottle/cider/10.0%
Exact opposite of Strawman - almost like apple juice. 

Jubelale - Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR) - 12oz bottle/winter warmer/6.7%
Perhaps the best version in years. Might have to stock up.

Dark O' the Moon - Elysian Brewing (Seattle) - 22oz bottle/pumpkin stout/6.5%

Oberon Ale - Bell's Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI) - 12oz bottle/wheat ale/5.8%

Punk'n - Uinta Brewery (Salt Lake City) - 12oz bottle/pumpkin ale/4.0%
Very little flavor.

Small Beer - Anchor Brewing (San Francisco) - 16.9oz bottle/English bitter/3.3%

Pliny the Elder - Russian River Brewing (Santa Rosa, CA) - 16.9oz bottle/double IPA/8.0%
I avoided this for so long because I'm not a fan of IPAs. That was a mistake on my part. This brew is mind blowing.

Blackberry Pear Cider - Fox Barrel Brewing (Colfax, CA) - 12oz bottle/cider/5.0%

Smoked Porter - Breakside Brewing (Portland) - taster/porter/6.2%
Had a tiny taste of this at a pastry chef showcase. Need to get to Breakside Brewery at some point.

Black Cherry Stout - Walking Man Brewing (Stevenson, WA) - on tap at Horse Brass Pub/fruit beer/7.2%
A wonderful melding of cherry cola and beer. 

The Dissident - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/Flanders oud bruin/11.2%
My first sour beer. It was...sour. Very sour. Not sure it's my thing.

Black Butte XXIV - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/porter/11.0%
Needs some aging. Won't crack any of the bottles I bought yet.

Fresh Hop Black Ale - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/CDA/?
The next four were tap only at the Portland pub.

Rhineland Alt - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/lager/?

Deep Red Belgian Specialty - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/Belgian/?
My favorite of the four tap onlys.

Genevrier Wit - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/wheat beer/?

Chainbreaker White IPA - Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap at Deschutes Brewery/IPA/5.6%
A friend in Tucson said I need to try this, but I was put off by the IPA in the name. I shouldn't have been. It's excellent.

The Wu - Coalition Brewing (Portland) - on tap at Coalition Brewing/cream ale/4.9%
Great name, average beer.

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing (Seattle) - 12oz bottle/pumpkin ale/5.9%

Rooster's Cream Ale - Coalition Brewing (Portland) - 22oz bottle/cream ale/4.8%

TBA - Stone Brewing/Bear Republic/Fat Head's - (San Diego/Healdsburg, CA/Pittsburgh) - 12oz bottle/brown ale/7.1%

Longboard Lager - Kona Brewing (Hawaii) - 12oz bottle/lager/4.6%
Used most of this in an attempt to make nukazuke, which failed miserably. Can't blame the beer, though it's nothing special.

Kaz Premium Red Ale - Echigo Brewing (Japan) - 12oz bottle/red ale/6.0%
Had a pretty red label with a crane on it at Uwajimaya. Solid beer.

Hell or High Watermelon - 21st Amendment Brewing (San Francisco) - 12oz can/fruit beer/4.9%

Four-year Abyss vertical - 2009-2012. 

The Abyss (2010) - Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR) - 22oz bottle/imperial stout/11.0%
Abyss is never not awesome. Made some Kona coffee /stout ice cream and a cake with some of this.

Collage Conflux No. 1 - Deschutes Brewery/Hair of the Dog Brewing - (Bend, OR/Portland) - 12oz bottle/strong ale/11.6%
Really enjoyed this one. I distinctly remember banana and vanilla - tasty.

Hefeweissbier - Weihenstephan (Germany) - 16.9oz bottle/hefeweizen/5.4%
Is THIS what a hefeweizen is supposed to taste like?! Well damn...sorry Widmer.

Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean - Stone Brewing (San Diego) - 12oz bottle/porter/5.9%
Not nearly enough vanilla.

Black Butte Porter - Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR) - 12oz bottle/porter/5.2%
Still my favorite beer I can get just about anywhere.

Mango Weizen - Trade Route Brewing (Pacific, WA) - 22oz bottle/wheat beer/5.0%
No good. Not at all.

Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewing (San Francisco) - 12oz can/Belgian strong dark/8.3%
Buying a box of this when it comes back in 2013. Super good.

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewing (San Francisco) - 12oz can/CDA/6.8%

Stumptown Tart - Bridgeport Brewing (Portland) - 22oz bottle/fruit beer/7.8%
This is about as fruity as I want my beer. Very well balanced.

Orange Blossom Cream Ale - Buffalo Bill's Brewery (Hayward, CA) - 12oz bottle/fruit beer/5.2%
Almost tasteless.

Aprihop - Dogfish Head Brewing (Milton, DE) - 12oz bottle/IPA/7.0%

Bitter American - 21st Amendment Brewing (San Francisco) - 12oz can/American pale ale/4.4%
I have enjoyed everything I've tried from 21A.

Cassis - Brouwerij Lindemans (Vlezenbeek, Belgium) - 12oz bottle/lambic/4.0%
Not one I'd get again.

Framboise - Brouwerij Lindemans (Vlezenbeek, Belgium) - 12oz bottle/lambic/2.5%
Really like this.

Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) - 12oz bottle/oatmeal stout/5.5%
Very good - need to make a point of trying more Firestone Walker brews.

Monkey Face Porter - Cascade Lakes Brewing (Redmond, OR) - 12oz bottle/porter/5.0%
Disappointing. Bland.

Choklat - Southern Tier Brewing (Lakewood, NY) - 22oz bottle/imperial stout/10.0%
Yum! Would be even better if they used a top tier chocolate.

Oatmeal Pale Ale - Burnside Brewing (Portland) - 22oz bottle/American pale/5.6%

ReNEWAle - Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, OR) - 12oz bottle/porter/5.9%

Oatis Oatmeal Stout - Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, OR) - in ice cream at Salt & Straw/oatmeal stout/7.2%
I liked the oat stout flavors it added to the ice cream. Need to try it by itself, though I haven't enjoyed much from Ninkasi.

Trippel - New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) - 12oz bottle/tripel/7.8%

Stormwatcher's Winterfest - Pelican Pub & Brewery (Pacific City, OR) - 22oz bottle/barleywine/13.0%
This is what gets barrel aged and becomes the annual Mother of All Storms. You know what? It tastes exactly like it, just younger. Really enjoyed it.

Backbone Chocolate Espresso Stout - Boneyard Brewing (Bend, OR) - on tap/stout/6.0%

Feathertop Pumpkin Stout - Flat Tail Brewing (Corvallis, OR) - 22oz bottle/stout/8.0%
Was not impressed.

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic - Stone Brewing (San Diego) - 22oz bottle/Belgian pale/9.4%