Tasting beer with Tyler Staples is like watching a movie with a film buff, or going to a museum with an art major. He can give you a prolific string of descriptors that might characterize the IPA you're sipping, including but not limited to: grapefruit-forward, soapy, dank, resin-y, sour, funky, astringent, citrusy, lemongrass and stone fruit.
The wide-ranging adjectives used by Staples, who is the head brewer at Uptown Market in Beaverton, all originate from the same source: hops, those nugget-sized, flowery green plants that flavor beer. American hops have their origins in the Pacific Northwest — Oregon and Washington grew about 90 percent of the country's hop yield in 2016, according to the USDA — and that helped spark an independent brewer culture that dates back decades.
Tiah Edmunson-Morton, who curates the hops and brewing archives at Oregon State University, will give a talk at the Tigard Public Library at 2 p.m. this Saturday titled "Brewing in Oregon: How Science, Farming and People Shaped Beervana." She credits the pioneering spirit of Oregonians when talking about this "Beervana."
"There is a certain characteristic of West Coasters," she said. "Whether it's a stubbornness of wanting to do it ourselves, or this community that has allowed craft breweries to thrive. There is something magical about this whole combination. And the brewers, farmers and scientists are all a really important part of that."
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