Heater Allen hand crafter lager beer, McMinville, OR

Heater Allen Brewery owner, Rick Allen, daughter & assistant brewer, Lisa Allen and sales/delivery person, Patrick keep the beer flowing.
Heater Allen Brewery owner, Rick Allen, daughter & assistant brewer, Lisa Allen and sales/delivery person, Patrick keep the beer flowing.

Right next door to Remy’s is a taproom called Heater Allen – the same brewery that supplied the Isarweizen at the Bitter Monk Taproom the night before.  We decided to stop in to visit them personally.  Patrick poured us a flight and provided a copy of the tasting notes they share with visitors.  The brewery has been around since 2007 when owner Rick Allen left the world of banking to take his home brewing public; Lisa, his daughter, joined him in 2009.  Both father and daughter dabbled in the wine industry before focusing on traditional German and Czech lagers.  This niche in the craft beer market is due to Rick’s travels and passion for good, fresh beer that has not been ravaged by light, heat and shelving.  (Prost!)

hops and malt samples at Heater Allen Brewery in McMinville, OR.
hops and malt samples at Heater Allen Brewery in McMinville, OR.

As I researched further for this blog I realized that Heater Allen’s Taproom is now only open for appointments and special events.  I have been on beer advocate and rate beer just to see what others thought of the beer; not surprisingly, the ratings are high across the board.  Distribution has been primarily in Western Oregon with some recent developments in Northern California and plans to distribute in Washington on the horizon.  I am saddened to see that development and realize how fortunate we were to have walked in on a whim for this fun experience and terrific beers.  Knowing our space limitations we were only able to come home with a few bottles, but we have been enjoying those bottles in the 100+ temperatures of the last few weeks.  It would be fantastic to walk into a store and discover these beers on the shelf – hopefully the distributors will have cared for them well on their journey!

A flight of bottled and tap brews at Heater Allen Brewery in McMinville, OR.
A flight of bottled and tap brews at Heater Allen Brewery in McMinville, OR.

The beers:

  • Pils, 4.9% ABV, 36.6 IBU: good malt and clove flavor but no banana, nice all around beer
  • Isarweizen (Bavarian Wheat), 4.75%, 14 IBU: here is a clove-spiced banana bread in a glass with a nice touch of citrus to keep it from being heavy – really liked this beer!
  • Lenzbock, 6.6% ABVm 35 IBU: slightly spicy, light but full of malts and a smidgen of bitter hops.
  • Rauch Dunkel, 5.25% ABV, 24 IBU:bread on the nose, smoke and bread on the palate with a smooth floral hop finish
  • Dopplebach called “Mediator”, 7% ABV, 36.5 IBU: floral and fruity nose this reddish/amber beer has malt up front and a subtle spice in the lingering finish
  • Schwarz (Dark or Black), 5% ABV, 28 IBU: chocolate and coffee on the nose, similar on the palate with a bit of smoke as it finishes – lighter than you would think with a good balance.
  • 2013 Sandy Paws, 7% ABV, 41 IBU: a Baltic Porter with a pumpernickel and fruit nose, plums came to mind, a malty palate with a subtle hops structure that keeps things balanced.

This was a great stop for us, a bit a diversion from our quest to come to terms with Pinot Noir wines and well worth the time.

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