Review: Drinking Horse Brewing Company, Clackamas, OR The third brewery we stopped at on our Sunday, Nov. 20th 2016 expedition was Drinking Horse Brewing Company located in Clackamas OR. Clackamas is a suburb to the South East of Portland. You will find this brewery behind the Wichita Pub in an industrial complex/building just off of HW212. Parking isn’t an issue, there’s plenty of that around. Their signage has a little to be desired, so you need to keep an eye out for them when you’re driving through.
Like most breweries just starting out, the easiest way to have a taproom is at the production facility. They have a small bar set up and a few random tables and chairs to hang out at while you sample or have a pint. They do have a ping-pong table by the front entrance and some couches to hang out on if you so desire. The brewing production kettles are towards the back, and they do have some barrels that they are doing some aging in along one wall as well.
The large chalkboard above the seating area has their lineup, which the day we visited had nine beers listed and a few ‘comming soon’. They don’t really have good control over the temp, so if you don’t like sitting in a large warehouse space without much heat, than you might want to pass this brewery up. They do have some swag available for purchase, and some stickers and stuff for free if you ask them. The TV behind the bar usually plays sports like Timbers matches.
Overall this wasn’t a waste of time, they did a pretty decent job on their beers. The styles represented were well thought out and their recipes aren’t all bad. There are a few that they definately need to work on or never make again, but you can’t always be on your game when you’re just figuring it out. We did speak to the bartender a bit and the guys did start out doing home brewing before they moved to the professional side, which is always appreciated and respected. So if you’re in Clackamas and wanted to get a local brew, by all means give them a try. I’d hope that their year rounds have improved a bit and their seasonals continue to explore what beer an be. Reviews go left to right as pictured and my favorite out of the bunch was the Ochococo Chocolate Stout and the Telly Portation Plum Porter.
Drinking Horse Brewing Company
11517 SE Hwy 212
Clackamas, OR 97015
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • American IPA • IBU: 110 • ABV: 6.2% • SRM: 14
Appearance: Orange/amberish draft with a large bubbly head that dropped off quickly to a sheen, some minor lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is dried leafs, some citrus and pine hints, wet breads and cereals.
Taste: The front mouth is a bit alcohol forward with a bite, the hops are expressed with dry leafy hop resins and vegital notes. Malts are really secondary to the hops, don’t hold up to them. Dries a little bit on the back.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to chewy, has some tongue coating and good carbonation.
Overall: This is an over-hopped IPA without enough malts to balance it out, but some people like bitter beer face more than others.
|Silk Road Saison
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Saison • IBU: 34 • ABV: 5% • SRM: 18
Appearance: Dark orange to reddish hue, clear with white foamy head that dropped off but left some lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: The nose is soapy, yeasty and has some dried citrus hops around the back.
Taste: The front to mid mouth has a bit of yeast funk that is settled between the citrus/lemon zest and dried pith notes. The malts are subtle but there, backing it up as needed. Mild estringent citrus aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Solid bodied, almost chewy, lower carbonation than it should have, rounds on the back.
Overall: This is a solid saison, funk is there, citrus and spice from the ginger show up on the mid/back carrying it with the mild caramel malt bill.
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Kölsch-style Ale • IBU: 26 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 6
Appearance: Slight hazy straw draft with a large bubbly white head that had some retention but dropped to a sheen, left tons of lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is lemongrass and dried grains, hints of yeasty wet-breads.
Taste: The front to mid is bright and dry with hits of bitterness from the dried grass and lemon zest notes. The mid to back is slighty yeasty with some spice and thin cracker malts showing up.
Mouthfeel: Thinner bodied, bright carbonation, zesty and effervescent on the tongue.
Overall: This is a decent German Kölsch with some traditional notes that it should have, but it does fall a bit flat after the swallow.
|Ochococo Chocolate Stout
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • American Stout • IBU: 40 • ABV: 5.8% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Completely opaic, solid black/brown with a great frothy 1-finger tan head with lots of retention and tons of lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is dried cocoa powder and sweet molasses.
Taste: This is a sweet and dry chocolate explosion in the mouth. The bitters are helped with the subtle dried fruit and leathery malt build.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, solid, does have a little bit of watery hints on the back as you swallow.
Overall: I really liked this stout, it has tons of bitters without going into the burned coffee grounds that most do when they push the grain build that way.
|Kiwi Berry Kölsch
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Kölsch • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.6% • SRM: 6
Appearance: Cloudy orange/yellow draft with no head, larger bubbles on the rim with some lacing.
Smell/Aroma: This has a soapy to mellon juicy and sticky sugar nose.
Taste: Old vegital mellons and some citrus pith, mild malts are drowned out by the sweet and mellon flavors, has old vegital funk on the back.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, watery on the tongue, does leave a bit of coating in the mouth.
Overall: Really interesting use of mellon hull hops, the yeast competes with the mellon vibe and gets lost in the wash. The malts are non-existant and the vegital funk overpowers the flavors.
|NE x NW IPA
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 73 • ABV: 6.9% • SRM: 12
Appearance: Cloudy orange and slight pink draft with some minor head that dropped, leaving some large bubbles on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is a little bit buttery and has some lemongrass and vegital notes.
Taste: The dried leafy hops are forward with some floral/vegital notes, sugary white breads show up on the mid and some hints of butter (Diacetyl) show up at the back.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation, some tongue coating with powdery sugars and hop resins.
Overall: They need to redo this beer with more emphasis on the malts to balance out the hop profile, there are hints of spoilage with the Diacetyl (buttery hints) on the nose and back.
|Telly Portation Plum Porter
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Porter – English • IBU: 34 • ABV: 6.6% • SRM: 30
Appearance: Dark brown/black draft with some red hues when shown up to the light, slight off-white foamy head with great retention and lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: The nose is dark chocolates, slight bitter/burned wood/cardboard, and some dried fruit.
Taste: The front mouth is lighter on the plum that one might expect, it shows up on the mid to back along with the dried fruit/sugary malts that hold the softer hop resins in place.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, solid bodied, decent carbonation, rounded on the back after the swallow.
Overall: This is an interesting take on a fruit infused porter. They did a good job not letting it get too sweet, but it doesn’t quite have enough of the fruit on the front of the mouth.
|Ale Be Quirky
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Hefeweizen • IBU: 15 • ABV: 4.7% • SRM: 20
Appearance: Dark ruby and slight hazy draft, large bubbly bright white foamy head with tons of retention and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Roasted buttery breads and some clove/yeast notes and some citrus.
Taste: Dunkel Weisse style wheat beer with some interesting malt backing that almost overpowers the lighter clove and spice and citrus infusions. The yeast isn’t as strong with this as it should be, but it does have an interesting appeal with the lime acidic and sweet mangos showing up at the back.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with some chew on the back. It’s got great carbonation and ends a bit dry.
Overall: This is an interesting experiement with wheat/hefeweizen style beer with the darker/roasted grain bill and citrus infusions.
|Feeling Shellfish (Nitro)
Drinking Horse Brewing Co. • Oyster Stout • IBU: 41 • ABV: 6% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Dark black/brown opaic draft with a ton of brown/tan frothy head, quality retention and lots of lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Has a bit of peat and vegital on top of the roasted coffee hints.
Taste: Front mouth is sweet, dry, and has a bit of vegital wet-hop profile that includes some peaty and smoked qualities. The mid to back don’t really have a lot of the oyster on it, but one can imagine it’s there.
Mouthfeel: Chewy and solid with nitro bubbly goodness.
Overall: This is a ‘not as strong’ oyster stout with the nitro covering up some of the sharper bitterness and earthy/peaty funk.