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August 21st, 2013 12:01 am MARTIN CIZMAR | Drank

Drank: Grand Cru (Mazama Brewing Co.)


Roundabout 2290 B.C., when Europeans were first using bronze and Native Americans were first growing corn, a giant volcano in Southern Oregon blew its top, leaving a crater now filled with a lake. Portland’s Mazamas climbing club took an outing to Crater Lake and named the remaining nub after themselves. A new Corvallis brewery has now named itself after the nub. The first Mazama beer I’ve encountered, a 10 percent ABV grand cru on tap at Belmont Station, will leave you feeling something like that decapitated volcano. It smells like dessert and looks like a benign saison, but there’s a lot of octane inside this sweet and lemony hybrid, which falls somewhere between a Belgian golden and a Trippel. The recipe includes coriander and orange peel plus a little wheat, which the brewery tells me was included only to keep the head fluffy but also lends a palpable graininess. Mazama kegs are popping up all over town, with cans, perfect for a lake paddle or nub climb, soon to follow. Recommended.

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