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.