Crescent City’s own Port O’ Pints took home a bronze medal in the Denver International Beer Competition’s Irish Red Ale category.
Rick White, owner of the brewpub on Northcrest Drive, said he entered two beers in the competition, the Del Norter Porter, which he’s been making since 2002, and his Dean O’Dell’s Irish Red Ale, which he’s only been making for two years. Although he’s been hoping to win a competition with Del Norter Porter, he said he was pleasantly excited to find that the judges liked his Irish red ale.
“I named it after Dean who was my father-in-law and who was a really good friend of mine,” White said of his red ale. “And then the last name, O’Dell, is my mother’s maiden name and so it’s named after Bill O’Dell my grandpa. My father-in-law and my grandpa are who I named it after.”
White, who was head of production at the Great Basin Brew Company in Reno before opening Port O’ Pints in Crescent City, said Irish red ales have a malty taste and are very low in hops. In crafting Dean O’Dell’s, White said he followed guidelines laid out by the Beer Judge Certification Program to get the appearance, aroma, mouthfeel and alcohol percentage right.
According to the guidelines, an Irish red ale should have low to moderate maltiness with strong caramel notes and no hop aromas. It should have a caramel taste with notes of toffee, buttered toast and roasted grains. An Irish red ale pairs well with lamb chops, reuben sandwiches, shepherds pie, mutton, French onion soup and creme brulee, according to the guidelines.
White described an Irish red ale as a session beer.
“(It’s) a beer where you can have fellowship conversation and drink a good number of them and still be fine,” White said. “I put it out there, cause basically I wanted to have a beer that was kind of a family recipe namesake beer, but I’m really hoping that I can win a competition with Del Norter Porter. I think it would be fun to have the namesake out there for that beer.”
White, who once won 50 medals as a home brewer, said he has to pick and choose which competitions to enter because of the expense. He said both Port O’ Pints and SeaQuake, Crescent City’s other brewpub, competes in the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.
White said he has also submitted entries for the California State Fair commercial brewers’ competition. He said he won’t know the results until July. White said he’s also hoping to enter a beer festival for veterans in Texas in the fall.
Asked how he feels about winning bronze in the Denver International Beer Competition, White said he was excited.
“Kevin Hartwick shook my hand,” White said of the owner of SeaQuake. “I think these medals are going to help build our beer culture in our area and get us recognized and hopefully get more people to our town.”