We got the word via the beer newswire that Bridgeport Brewing in Portland was getting ready to bottle its first fruit infused ale - Stumptown Tart. We, of course, had to swing by yesterday to take it for a test drink, err sip, and speak with brewmaster Karl Ockert about this lovely brew lady.
Stumptown Tart, we learned from Ockert and also the Bridgeport press release, is a Belgian-style ale infused with Oregon marionberries, that's right, marionberries. It's lightly hopped and aged in French oak pinot noir barrels. You get some Northwest Cascade Hops in the mix as well as some Northwest Pale Barley Malt - all combining for a surprisingly refreshing beer with a bit of a 8.3% ABV punch.
Ockert said Bridgeport brewed around 1,800 cases of this beer, using about a pound-and-a-half of frozen marionberries for each gallon of beer. He said they went "live from the first batch" - which is to say it was carefully thrown together without any prior experimentation. Not to worry though as Ockert is an amateur fruit wine maker so he has plenty of experience blending. Trust us - this was clearly evident to Megan and I as we both sipped mid-day while chatting with him about Stumptown Tart.
A couple of footnotes on this beer - its release party will be Thursday, April 24 from 5 to 8pm at the Bridgeport location in the Pearl (1313 NW Marshall) - free samples while supplies last. On hand at the release party will be Bernie Dexter, pin-up model and cover girl for Stumptown Tart. She'll be signing bottles. Besides being for sale at Bridgeport, you'll also find this brew for sale at local outlets in 22-ounce bottles only. You can also expect that the Bridgeport cooking and baking folks will be trying their hand at mixing Stumptown Tart into special dishes, perhaps as a syrup or baked into a cake.