A Base Camp for Brewing Operations
With Portland, Oregon recently voted the number one U.S. craft beer city in a CNN poll, we thought we’d re-visit a show we recorded over the winter with the guys from one of Portland’s newest craft breweries, Base Camp Brewing Co., located at 930 SE Oak St. in Southeast Portland, dangerously close to the High Octane Growler World Headquarters.
Brewmaster and Owner Justin Fay and Marketing Manager Joseph Dallas made the all-too quick ride to the lair of High Octane Growler host Tommy Hough for a tasting session built around one of Portland’s newest and greatest stouts: the S’More Stout.
With a taproom only open since the fall, Base Camp has already staked out a claim in Portland’s crowded craft beer scene by setting up shop in the thick of thirsty beer environs of Southeast Portland.
Putting a loving focus back on classic lagers, the Ripstop Rye Pilsner, Bavarian-style Northwest Fest and In-Tents Imperial Pale Lager are all popular choices at the Base Camp taproom, which has been busily applying adventurous West Coast-style craft beer cross-breeding to malty, European-style formulas.
A smooth sipping stout with plenty of chocolate, coffee, and a bit of fig, the S’More Stout also features caramel and a fruity hint of smoke, making this a candidate for Ultimate Campfire Beer. Perfection will only be enhanced by the S’More Stout’s proximity to any bag of marshmallows.
Base Camp initially came to Tommy’s attention through his day job at Oregon Wild, with the environmental organization (and beer fanatics) noting the campfire icon in the brewery’s logo, Green Trail-style map click outlines on the Base Camp Brewing Co. website, use of carabiners in the taproom, and names like “in tents” for their IPL.
Base Camp’s website banner even features what appears to be either the summit approach for Broken Top, or the near-summit of Mt. Hood. Either way, the imagery and positive vibes ensured a visit from the curious, and thirsty, Oregon Wild staff.
With Justin having lived for years in Klamath Falls, and Joseph living within near-shouting distance of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Pendleton, coupled with their location in outdoor-driven Portland, Base Camp Brewing’s commitment to outdoor culture shouldn’t be a surprise. The Base Camp taproom itself is even intended to be a good place for a post-outing, post-bike, post-hike beer.
Lest we forget, the brewery’s instruction-laden motto for how to best enjoy Base Camp beers:
Soak in a mountain river.
Chill In the Snow.
Cool off in a lake.
Refreigerate if you have to.
With Tommy’s Treehuggers International also in mind, we approve.
Base Camp Brewing Company S’More Stout
ABV: 7.7 percent; IBU: 70
In the spirit of opening every High Octane Growler episode with a potboiler, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” from Van Halen sets the table for the session with Justin and Joseph.
Still an absolute fresh-sounding classic, the perfected post-divorce Matthew Sweet 90s Byrdsian power-pop outing of “Girlfriend” arrives for the midsection, featuring killer fret work from both Television’s Richard Lloyd and the late Robert Quine.
And with Base Camp’s shout-out to Portland’s listener-supported jazz station 89.1 KMHD in mind, we close out the show with the late, great Dave Brubeck and the Dave Brubeck Quartet, with saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello on the landmark “Take Five.” Featuring the complex, blocky chords which Brubeck became famous for, Brubeck’s piano drives the song’s rhythm with a simple but compelling riff, leaving the drums and bass to wander the room and strike up a conversation.
Thanks to broadcast brother Mike Hansen for the killer High Octane Growler imaging.
Big thanks to Ken Wright for the ongoing support for the show, in California and in Oregon
Header photo courtesy of Base Camp Brewing.