“Sour beers certainly broaden the flavor spectrum,” Ron Gansberg of Cascade Brewing says, “and they should interest adventurous wine drinkers and beer drinkers both, because the beers are a sort of middle ground.”

And he is right. After facing the long lines at Portland’s first annual Fruit Beer Festival, we opted to head over to Cascade Barrel House on SE 10th and Belmont instead. It was our maiden voyage to the newly opened and much praised brewery, and after sitting on their sun-drenched patio drinking Sour Ales, we now understand what the excitement is about.

Check out these two part-beer, part-wine descriptions:

The Vine
8.3% ABV / $5.50 Glass
This NW style sour blends soured tripel, blonde and golden ales that were then fermented with the juice of white wine grapes. It’s a delicious offering that appeals to both beer and wine drinkers.

Sang Noir
9.5% ABV / 8 IBU / $6 Glass
This deep, dark double red was aged over a year in Pinot and Whiskey barrels, then blended with a barrel of Bing cherries. This deep and rich NW double red is one of our most complex winter offerings.

Both beers were surprising to our palates, complex and delicious.

“This is a journey,” Gansberg says of the Cascade ethos. “But we want everyone to be a part of it.”

Brady Whalen of The Daily Pull likes the place too. “From the location and the food menu, to the decor and the staff, Cascade Brewing Barrel House has managed to create an extremely accessible and unpretentious environment that works for sour beer enthusiasts and novices alike.”

I know I’m looking forward to my next Barrel House visit.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.

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Food & beverage, Oregon