There are a great many things that define Culmination Brewing as beloved within the Portland beer community. The given? You’ll always find a great assortment of delicious beers on draft that are consistently unique in approach and appealing to anyone who sets foot in their brewpub. But there’s also no pretension here – the passion for brewing shown by Conrad, Sonny, and Ryan is all about enjoying what they do, trying new things, all the while embracing the science behind what they do, to a T.
So it’s no surprise that in celebrating their 4th Anniversary, starting this Sunday, Culmination will spend the entire week showcasing what they do best – working in tandem with others in the community to create an anniversary that’ls sure to be different from the rest.
The following is a breakdown of how they’ve scheduled the week to play out, highlighted by five collaboration beers and can releases, spread out over the entirety of 7 days. Additionally, I’ve been lucky enough to sample a few of these collabs during conditioning, all of which I’m very much looking forward to trying once completed.
To start the week, they’re making sure to feature the great pop-up chefs they’ve worked with, explaining why things are kicking off on Sunday…
Sunday, 5/19 – Jackfruit Kitchen Pop-Up: Culmination’s weekly Sunday pop-up with Jackfruit Kitchen always features an exclusively vegan menu of rotating items, who’ll be featuring an All-Star menu of favorites from the past. I’m not a vegan, though I’ve always enjoyed their brunch offerings and fruit laden delights, as seen below. (11:30am – 9:30pm)
Monday, 5/20 – Bhuna Kitchen Pop-Up: Bhuna Kitchen ran a weekly pop-up at Culmination for a year before moving into their new brick and mortar location in NW. For the anniversary week they’ll be coming back for a one time only pop-up featuring their brand of delicious Kashmiri Soul Food – menu below. Their complex and at moments spicy rice bowls (watch out for that pickle…) pair nicely with the Kashmiri Kölsch, made specifically for Bhuna. (4:00pm – 9:30pm)
Tuesday, 5/21 – Culmination/Ruse Can Release: it’s clear that Ruse and Culmination maintain a special bond. They’ve collaborated on a number of beers, both while Ruse was operating at Culmination and since they’ve moved into their new location. For the anniversary they’re releasing Creative Conundrum in 16oz Cans: a Hazy IPA with Denali in the whirlpool, then Dry Hopped with Mosaic and El Dorado.
First Impressions: I had this beer a few times when it was originally released in early March, though this the first time it’s been canned. It’s a pillowy, fruity, and nicely balanced Hazy IPA. The photo below was captured in February, just after they’d finished brewing the original batch of this beer at Ruse. (11:30am – 9:30pm)
Wednesday, 5/22 – Culmination/Great Notion Can Release: A collaboration long in the making, they teamed up with Great Notion to brew Love in Shadows: a Pastry Stout fermented with raspberry and cherry, then conditioned on vanilla beans and cocoa from Woodblock Chocolate. This beer will be available in 16oz Cans, plus additional Great Notion beer will also be available on draft. (11:30am – 9:30pm)
First Impressions: This was the most “WOW” tasting of the three currently conditioning. It’s lusciously dark, but not overly sweet for a Pastry Stout. Each element of the recipe comes through – rich chocolate and vanilla, plus a moderate fruit presence with more raspberry than cherry flavor. The photo below was taken 9 days ago, though when I sampled it yesterday it was far more developed and about ready to go.
Thursday, 5/23 – Culmination/Moksa Can Release: Back in November, Corey Meyer of Moksa Brewing came to Portland and brewed a beer with Culmination, and in return, Head Brewer Conrad Andrus flew down to Rocklin, CA and brewed a special beer with them. Moksa Mule is a Kettle Sour with lime zest added in the boil, then fermented with lime purée & fresh ginger (inspired by the classic Moscow Mule cocktail) and available in 16oz Cans. Additional beer from Moksa will also be available on draft. This is the only release I’ve yet to try, so you can imagine my anticipation for this one… (11:30am – 930pm)
Friday, 5/24 – Culmination/Baerlic Can Release: Old friends and first time collaborators, the team from Baerlic visited Culmination to create a Piña Colada inspired beer. “Sunday Night In Florida” is a Kettle Soured beer fermented with Pineapple and conditioned on Coconut. It’s definitely a vacation beer, intending to put you on island time. Available in 16oz cans. (11:30am – 10:30pm)
First Impressions: Conrad and I tried this one a few times as the coconut infusion started. So at first it was all pineapple, which was fine, though the coconut shown through when we drew from a different zwickle. We tried it again yesterday and it’s quite lovely – plenty of pineapple (7 lbs per barrel in a 15 barrel batch) and an equally potent amount of toasted coconut flavor (3lbs per barrel).
Saturday, 5/25 – Culmination/Modern Times Beer Release and Blowout Party: To close out the week, they’re having a blowout! All remaining cans and draft from earlier in the week will be available. And the cherry on top? A beer they brewed with Modern Times PDX called Quantum Entanglement. This West Coast Double IPA was dry hopped with Nelson, Galaxy, New Zealand Cascade, and New Zealand Waimea. They’ll have BBQ specials all day as well as an outdoor Can Garden. (11:30am – 10:30pm)
First Impressions: This was the newest of the three we tried and had just undergone a healthy dry hop the day before, so it was tasting really “green” and not very far along in the conditioning process. We tasted it yesterday, now fully-carbed, and very well-attenuated. The Nelson Sauvin hop is evident, offering a near Brut IPA experience, but so much more complexity. It’s wonderful. The before and after below…
That pretty much sums up everything coming up next week. I hope you’re able to make it out, as I’m sure there will be more than a few surprises. And you can count on a wide assortment of other excellent taps being available including some vintage drafts from Culmination, special one-off guest taps each day, and maybe even some random bottle pours as well. Happy Anniversary Culmination!