Oakshire Brewing’s Hellshire Day 2015 – Recap W/ Photos
Our longtime friend and newly transplanted Portlander Diana recaps Oakshire Brewing’s Hellshire Day. If you are interested in covering an event for The Full Pint, please follow this link.
Oakshire Brewing released the fifth rendition of their Hellshire series on March 14th, and what better way to celebrate than by hosting their second annual Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Beer Festival at their Public House in Eugene, OR. Attendees refused to be deterred by the dreary Oregon weather and packed the house, even lining up outside of the tents for some of the rarest brews. A $25 ticket would get you entry to the festival, a commemorative Hellshire V tasting glass, and 5 sampling tokens. For those who were interested in sampling more beers, additional tokens were available for purchase. Wax dipped 22oz bottles of Hellshire V were available for purchase at the festival for $15. This year’s Hellshire is an export stout aged in Knob Creek barrels for 9 months.
The large area around their tap house offered live music by local bands, local food carts, and covered pavilions pouring over 60 beers including some rare stock from Oakshire’s own barrel-aging cellar as well as dozens of other samples from breweries around the country, including Fremont Brewing (WA), Surly Brewing Co (MT), Cigar City Brewing (FL), Pizza Port Brewing Co. (CA), and Goose Island Beer Co. (IL) as well as local breweries Ninkasi and Hop Valley from right down the street. I was very excited to try some of the special release beers from breweries that I know and love from back home in Southern California.
While the large selection of beers (and the high ABV on most of them) made it hard for me to decide what to taste, here’s some of the highlights of the beers that I tried.
- Skull ‘Ole—Three Floyds Brewing Co. – Talk about sour! This was an exceptionally tart beer that featured a huge cherry flavor up front but managed to not come off as cough syrupy. This was definitely one of my favorites of the day.
- Bourbon County Barleywine—Goose Island Brewery – You can go on and on about the ownership of Goose Island, but one thing that you can’t dispute is the quality of the Bourbon County line. This was my first time trying their Barleywine and I was blown away on almost every level, a huge bourbon presence while still being very drinkable.
- Coalsack CDA Bourbon Aged—Ecliptic Brewing – Ecliptic’s CDA was a refreshing change from the Stouts, Porters, and Sours that dominated the event. There was a very tasty hop profile backed by a robust malt bill and just enough bourbon that you knew it was there without it coming off as overly boozy.
- Fafnir Imperial Oak-aged Sour—Viking Braggot Company – Fafnir was a very unique offering from a braggot company that I had never even heard off. For those that have not had the pleasure of experiencing a braggot, it is a style of mead brewed with barley. Fafnir had a very pleasing tartness but was not overly sour, probably due to the sweetness imparted by the honey. If I lived near Viking I would likely bankrupt myself on growler fills.
- Hellshire V—Oakshire Brewing Co. – It would be doing Oakshire a disservice to not talk about the main event, Hellshire V. My favorite part of this year’s offering was that the stout base of this beer was actually able to hold up to the often overpowering Bourbon aging. It didn’t come off too harsh, but you knew you were drinking something that would age gracefully in the coming years. I took home several bottles and am looking forward to opening them over the next few years.
Some of the rarest beers were reserved for their “Buzz Beer” station, 6 5-gallon kegs that would only be tapped sequentially when the one before it kicked. I unfortunately missed the offering from Cigar City, their Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, by only a few people, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to miss out on one of these super rare beers.
The only thing that was kind of a disappointment for me, something that I’ve noticed as a trend in Oregon beer festivals, was that there was a definite shortage of people working for the actual breweries. The beers are served in a large bank with volunteers slinging whatever is closest to them and other than the random rep from the company, you’re unlikely to encounter anyone that has a deeper understanding of the brewing of that particular beer. As stated though, this seems to be very common in Oregon, so perhaps that’s just what the people like here. Regardless, there were still plenty of people having a great time despite nature’s attempts to dampen our mood.
About Oakshire Brewing: Craftsmanship Defined
Oakshire Brewing of Eugene, OR, was founded in October 2006 with the goals of brewing the highest quality craft beer while providing exceptional customer service. Oakshire has become regionally and nationally recognized for consistently brewing fresh, unique and delicious beers in Oregon’s lower Willamette Valley. The name Oakshire represents our core values: Strength, like the enduring oak; Independence, which fuels our innovation; and Community, remembering our place within the whole. The Oakshire Brewery is located at 1055 Madera Street and Oakshire’s Public House is located at 207 Madison Street, both in Eugene, OR.