I drove down to Portland to taste the three beers from Cascade mainly because the cost per bottle of each beer tends to be quite expensive, $20-$30 each. The Cuvee De Jongleur was also discontinued so I figured I would take this chance to find out if it was going to be brewed again or if there is something similar to it that I could taste.
I wish I would have gotten some more pictures of this place! I only took pictures of my beers but the place was pretty sweet. You can probably find images online but it would be way better to get over here! So, they brew a whole array of "normal" beers but the reason to come here, at least in my and many other opinions is their line up of sour/Northwest Style Sour Ales.
Beer Number 89: The Vine
The Vine is the result of Gansberg's interest in the concept of marrying a beer with the juice of an American white wine grape varietal through the process of fermentation. It took the brewery two years to develop a spiced Belgian blond ale that became the base for The Vine.
This was one amazing beer. On Untappd I said, "Very nice, but I have a feeling this isn't their best!", and nothing against it, but it was not! Their beer list has them in an order to drink. I can't remember what was the deciding factor, but The Vine was at the top of the list, i.e. drink first. You got an initial sourness, more vinegar like, but sweet and oaky. Then I guess the grape juice that they use opens up and finishes slightly dry. Worth a try, multiple times.
Beer Number 90: Kriek
The Pacific Northwest is noted for producing outstanding cherries, and Cascade blends blood-red Bing cherries and sour pie cherries to get the right taste profile for the beer. The goal is to make a kriek unique to Cascade and not attemp to simply copy Belgian krieks.
Beer Number 91: Cuvee du Jongleur Substitute
This beer is one that was discontinued and I, as well as others on this hunt, had no idea what to do other than trying to track it down. When I was talking to the server, she told me that it was around when the sour program first started but after that... nope! I was told to pick up a bottle of 2011 Manhattan or to try a blend that of Vlad The Imp Aler and Noyeux. Separately both of these were fantastic but together, I hope they were great. I hope this is similar to the beer I was trying to get!
Cascade Brewing's Cuvee du Jongleur is a beer that is hard to pin down. For a start, there's the issue of the name. "Cuvee' is a French term used on wine labels to denote wine of a specific blend or batch. The word originates from the French word cuve, meaning 'vat,'" explains Cascade's brewmaster Ron Gansberg. "'Jongleur' refers to an entertainer or juggler in medieval England and France," he adds, revealing the name "Cuvee du Jongleur" made perfect sense to him as he juggled barrels from nine different lots of beer to create the finished product. The beer is the result of a careful blending of select barrels of sour red ales, aged in excess of a year; soured Belgian tripels aged in oak for up to eighteen months; and fresh blond quadrupels. After bottling, the beer is laid on its side in racks, like champagne, for eight months of further conditioning.
To me, that sounds like why it is not around anymore. A ton of work for what sounds likes an amazing beer. I just wish I were able to get my hands on it. This blend, while tasty I feel does not compare to that haha! Then again, she said that would be the closest I get. Oh how I wish, I were around for that one. Maybe I will just have to move close to Portland and ride my bike in every so often... I did not get a growler on this trip but I did get a glass. And I love it! I am sure you will be seeing it around.
910 Bottles Of Beer To Go!