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Icicle Creek Winter Ale, a Silver Medal winner at the World Beer Championships, is brewed to satisfy the taste buds and keep ya warm. It's brewed with serious quantities of malts and attenuates out with a fairly high alcohol content. Known for its nut-like caramel aroma, the ale is balanced nicely with a big dose of hops. To make the ale, the Portland brewers use two-row malt with three roasted malts. This combination produces a full-bodied ale, malty sweet, with a palpably nutty flavor. Three different hops are used for their bittering and aromatic qualities during the boil and Styrian Golding hops are used to dry hop this unique brew. An authentic English ale yeast is used which is a descendant of a strain that was used in England in the 1930s. Also, the water in Portland has a low mineral salt content, unlike the water normally used to brew ales. The brewers add gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to harden the water, so that it is similar to the waters in England. The gypsum gives the ale a slightly drier taste, while also giving it a fuller body.
The Portland Brewing Co., which opened in 1986, makes five year-round beers and three seasonal ales, including the Icicle Ale, which is available November through January. The brewery started off small, producing just one beer, Portland Ale. But in 1993, the two founders, Fred Bowman and Art Larrance, expanded, bringing in classic copper brewing vessels and equipment from the Sixenbrau Brewery in Germany, effectively doubling their initial capacity. They also opened the BrewHouse Taproom and Grill, a 3,000-square-foot restaurant and tasting room. Now, the brewery has a capacity of 135,000 barrels a year. Its beers have consistently won gold, silver and bronze medals at contests both here and abroad.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (503) 226-7623 or check out their web site at www.macsbeer.com.Ici
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