Friday, February 21, 2014

Bridgeport produces first volume of new Trilogy

Image credit:  Bridgeport Brewing Company

Considering the day-to-day challenge of keeping up with all that's new in craft beer, it's easy to forget about those breweries that have been around since...well, before some of you were born.  It's generally accepted that the start of the revolution we're all enjoying actually happened almost forty years ago. Granted, there aren't a lot of breweries still in existence from those early days, but those that are have unquestionably stood the test of time.

Image credit:
Bridgeport Brewing Company
One such brewery is Portland's Bridgeport Brewing Company, makers of Hop Czar, Stumptown Tart and Old Knucklehead. They're also Oregon's oldest, and in 2014 they'll be celebrating their thirtieth year in the business with a line of anniversary brews called Trilogy.

First out of the kettle is Trilogy 1, a Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale paying homage to the role hops have played in defining the craft beer culture of the Pacific Northwest. If that description has images of hop cones dancing in your head, understand that this beer focuses more on the flavor and aroma contributions of that ingredient than it does on bitterness. There's some nice complexity with notes of fresh citrus, resiny pine, florals and dried grass, but you shouldn't drink this beer expecting your tongue to curl up and go hide in a corner somewhere after every sip.

Naturally, this lends itself to a more balanced brew, with Munich and rye malts contributing a bready and spicy element to the backbone of the beer. Trilogy 1 is still hop-forward, as advertised, but it accomplishes that characterization by way of a smooth, clean pale ale that is nothing if not sessionable with an ABV of only 5.2%.

Future beers in the Trilogy series will include an IPA brewed in collaboration with Phil Sexton, a past company brewmaster who created Bridgeport's flagship beer of the same style, and a yet to-be-determined creation that "looks to the future of craft brewing."  The introduction of Trilogy 3 later this year will coincide with the re-release of the first two beers, with fans of the brewery being asked to vote on their favorite. The winner will return as a year-long offering in 2015.

Look for Trilogy 1 in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles at a better beer store near you.

* Samples provided courtesy of R/West and the Bridgeport Brewing Company.

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