This Week in the Mercury

Malt Ball

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Listen to the Malt Ball Bands on KPSU

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Mar 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

The Malt Ball is right around the corner—Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at the Wonder Ballroom. We've got a bunch of great local bands playing this year, which we carefully selected as some of the very best live bands currently playing in town. Take a look:
Red Fang
The Woolen Men
Summer Cannibals
Your Rival
Hot Victory
St. Even
Night Mechanic
Yesterday evening, I was a guest on Blake Hickman's show Blake on Wax on KPSU, and we spent an hour talking about this year's Malt Ball and listening to music from 10 of the 12 bands. The program is now archived and you should check it out for a quick primer on all these bands. Grab the MP3 here (the Malt Ball stuff starts about nine minutes in).

I knew we had a great lineup this year, but playing these songs with Blake really demonstrated what a great bunch of bands we've got playing. If you need an hour of good music to listen to this weekend, it's just the ticket.

Blake on Wax airs weekly on KPSU at 8 pm. This year's Malt Ball takes place on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at the Wonder Ballroom; get your tickets here.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Announcing the 2014 Malt Ball!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Once again, your drunk and deaf beer- and music-loving friends at the Portland Mercury have paired with the Oregon Brewers Guild to put together the only and best combination beer-and-music festival around. It's the third annual Malt Ball, and 2014 is going to be the best year yet.

We'll have lots more details about this year's beer selections in the coming weeks, but for now take a look at the participating bands, all of whom are truly among the best musical acts in Portland.

Red Fang
The Woolen Men
Summer Cannibals
Your Rival
Hot Victory
St. Even
Night Mechanic
Participating brewers include Ecliptic, the Commons, Base Camp, Fort George, Breakside, Gigantic, Lompoc, Alameda, Uptown, and Claim 52, with many more to come.

Once again, the Malt Ball will be at the Wonder Ballroom, and will take place during three different tasting/rocking-out sessions over two days: Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8. There'll be an evening session both Friday and Saturday nights, and an afternoon session on Saturday. Or you can do what I'm going to do and buckle down for the whole damn thing—and it may be wise to spread out your enjoyment of all those delicious Malt Ball beers over a couple days.

There's lots of more information at—check out the link to find out more about the individual sessions, and to get your Malt Ball tickets!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beer + Music = L.U.V. (or, a Charming Ad for Caleb's Country Kolsch)

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

We paired 12 brewers with 12 Portland bands for this year's Malt Ball. (For more about Saturday's blowout, check out our cover story this week.) And one of the pairings was so fruitful, we didn't just get a beer out of it, we got a song and a video about the beer as well.

So come on back to a simpler time, when TVs had dials and hardworking folks could work up powerful thirsts. That's the setting for this hokey yet charming clip for Caleb's Country Kolsch 2-Step Beer, the delicious-looking concoction that resulted when we threw the Caleb Klauder Country Band and Hopworks Urban Brewery into a mash tun together. It was aged with real mandolin parts! And there's even a song to go with it.

See the Caleb Klauder Country band (along with 11 more of Portland's finest live acts) and drink Caleb's Country Kolsch (along with beers from over two dozen other breweries, many of them exclusive to Malt Ball) this Saturday at the second annual, and best ever, Malt Ball! Tickets are here—and they are going fast.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BEHOLD: The Malt Ball Video (starring Sons of Huns, Gigantic Brewing, and FIRE)

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Good lord, this is going to be AWESOME.

The Malt Ball happens Saturday, February 2 (hey, that's Groundhog Day!) at the Wonder Ballroom. Get your tickets.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Since You're Going to the Malt Ball...

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM


Have you got your tickets to the Malt Ball yet? Well, here is your handy reminder: Get your tickets to the Malt Ball!

It all goes down on Saturday, February 2 at the Wonder Ballroom, and the bands we've got this year are really great: Radiation City. Caleb Klauder Country Band. And And And. Old Light. Sons of Huns. Gaytheist. Hausu. Street Nights. Wooden Indian Burial Ground. Marty Marquis. Street Nights. Divers. Minden.

I firmly believe these are 12 of the best bands in Portland, and to have them all in one place is pretty goddamn exciting. Oh, and there will be a ton of beer, too! This year, a whopping 28 breweries are participating (check out the full list), and there will be unique, one-of-a-kind beers that you won't be able to find anywhere else. A dozen of the brewers have paired up with a particular band on the bill, to create a special beer specifically for that band, and for the Malt Ball.

Here's why you should get your advance tickets now, though: Only advance tickets comes with tasting tokens. If you buy your ticket at the door, you'll have to purchase the tasting tokens separately (this thing may sell out, too). The advance tickets are a pretty great deal: $15 for either the first or second showcase, your choice—six bands each, plus a Malt Ball mug and four tasting tokens. Or you can pay $25 for both sessions (all 12 bands!) and get eight tokens. That's a bargain—a damn sight cheaper than a lot of beer fests, and very high bang-for-your-buck in terms of music.

We try to keep the sales-pitchy stuff off the blog for the most part, but this is going to be a LOT of fun. It's beer and music, and you like both of those things. Buy your tickets! And I'll see you at the Malt Ball.

Okay, one last time: Tickets!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Malt Ball!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM


I'm very pleased to announce this year's Malt Ball—the music and beer festival that enters its second year with another stacked bill! The Portland Mercury paired with Oregon Brewers Guild last year (they're now known as Oregon Craft Beer) to bring you the very first all-day fest of bands and beers, and it was so much fun, we're doing it again this year!

The 12 bands we've hand-selected this year are top notch (more on that in a sec), and the list of participating breweries is longer than ever, which means this year's Malt Ball is gonna be bigger and better. So naturally, we're putting it on at a bigger venue—the Wonder Ballroom—and we're also offering day and night sessions for those with limited budgets, or those who just don't consider themselves ambitious enough for 10 solid hours of music and drinking beer. (This is probably wise.)

It all happens on Saturday, February 2, from 2 pm-midnight. The first session costs $15 and lasts from 2-7 pm; the second is also $15 and goes from 7:30 pm-midnight. Or you can come all day for $25. (Presale tickets also includes a beer mug and drink tickets.) Tickets are on sale here.

But enough of the details; let me tell you who's playing this thing. The lineup is AWESOME. See for yourself:

Radiation City
Caleb Klauder Country Band
And And And
Sons of Huns
Old Light
Wooden Indian Burial Ground
Marty Marquis
Blood Beach
Street Nights
Yeah, you'll want to go to this thing. I'll let you know lots more about the Malt Ball in the coming weeks, but for now, mark February 2 on that shiny new 2013 calendar of yours, and get your tickets!

(Click the jump to see the full poster.)

Continue reading »

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Malt Ball Wrap Up!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Old Growth

If you were at the Malt Ball on Saturday, you know that it was a total blast. The event—the first of its kind—brought brewers and bands together for one sloppy, raucous, ear-blasting day of beery good times. The Bossanova Ballroom filled up over the course of the afternoon, and by the time the sun went down, a full fledged party was in effect. I don't think I tasted a single bad beer in the bunch, and all of the bands delivered, as I knew they would.

In other words, it was awesome. Thanks everyone who made it out, and thanks to all the bands and breweries and volunteers who participated. This will become an annual event, so it's time to start looking forward to next year's Malt Ball! I'll see you there.

Lost Lander on the Bossanova stage

More pics from Jesse Champlin after the jump!

Continue reading »

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! Part III

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM


Tomorrow's the Malt Ball! Yes, indeed, and since you are coming (you are coming, get your tickets here) we're continuing with the final installment in our gripping and suspenseful weeklong series, Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! (Don't miss a single installment: Part I is here, and Part II is here.)

We've got four more bands to tell you about in this stirring conclusion, but don't forget to check out our own handy beer-and-band guide, PLUS the Oregon Brewers Guild has even more info about the beers that'll be pouring tomorrow. They've also got a list of the sandwiches that the People's Sandwich of Portland will have available—each one is named after a band!

Click the jump for profiles on Weinland, Denver, Stay Calm, and Archers.

Continue reading »

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! Part II

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM


The Malt Ball is coming! The Malt Ball is coming!

It's coming Saturday, March 24 to the Bossanova Ballroom, and there will be a dozen amazing Portland bands PLUS 17 great Oregon craft brewers. You'll be able to read plenty about the beers in this week's new Mercury, but I want to tell you—and show you, because the internet is magic—more about the bands, because they're all fantastic. I started on Monday with a batch of four of the Malt Ball bands, so let's continue with four more: Mission Spotlight, Lord Dying, the Golden Bears, and Wow and Flutter.

(Don't forget your tickets!)

Continue reading »


Monday, March 19, 2012

Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! Part I

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM


We've been hectoring you about the upcoming Malt Ball (this Saturday, March 24! Bossanova Ballroom! Get tickets here!) but that's because we're sincerely excited about it. It's the first event in Portland that puts craft beer and bands on equal footing, bringing together the best of both worlds. Personally, I'm well beyond stoked about the great lineup of Portland bands that have agreed to play the event; they're some of my absolute favorites, and I'm sure they'll be yours, too.

So let's take a look at four of the bands that will be playing this Saturday: The Builders and the Butchers, Lost Lander, Quiet Life, and Old Junior. There will be eight other bands at the show, and there's not a dud in the bunch, so you're going to want to be at the Malt Ball from start to finish. With that many beers to try, just remember to pace yourself.

[Again: Tickets!]

Continue reading »

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yes! You Can Win Tickets to the Malt Ball!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Feeling anxious and parched? That's because you simply cannot wait for the MALT BALL: Portland's best bands and best craft brewers together at last in one super fun all-day event! It's all going down on SATURDAY, MARCH 24, and you can get the full schedule of bands and beer here along with tickets—because you can bet your sweet heinie it's gonna sell out!

HOWEVER! If you're feeling particularly stingy with your meager wad of cash (or just want to drink suds and listen to music for free) I'm giving away TWO tickets to the Malt Ball! (A $40 value!) All you have to do is email me here with "I WANT THOSE MALT BALL TIX!" in the subject line (include your real name), and give a half-assed reason why you need them so badly. I will not accept full-assed answers. Take that however you like. The deadline is MONDAY at NOON, and I'll email back the winners!

See you guys at the MALT BALL: The best beers... the best bands... the best time EVER!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Win Tickets to the Malt Ball!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM


So you've heard about the upcoming Malt Ball at the Bossanova Ballroom on Saturday, March 24. There will be beer. There will be bands. There will be beer and bands. Lots of both. It's going to be the stuff of future legend.

And now here's your chance to win free tickets! We're giving away a pair of tickets (a $20 presale value; they're $25 at the door) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is shoot an email to this address with "Malt Ball" in the subject line. Please include your first and last name. We'll select a winner at random and hook you up with two Malt Ball tickets. The tickets get you a commemorative Malt Ball mug, four tasting tickets, and show entry to see all 12 bands.

Hate contests? Feeling unlucky? Buy your tickets here.

And if you need more info on the Malt Ball, including the 12 amazing bands that are playing, and the many excellent local brewers who are brewing specific beers for the event, get informed here.

We'll close this contest on Tuesday, March 13 at 9 am. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The First Annual Malt Ball!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM


Q. What happens when you mix beer and music?

A: Watered down versions of both
B: Beermusic
C: The Portland Mercury and the Oregon Brewers Guild's First Annual Malt Ball!

If you answered A or B, you are wrong (and if you answered B, that is not even a word, brainiac). But if you answered C, not only are you 100 percent correct, but you might have seen our earlier announcement for the Malt Ball, which takes a dozen great Portland bands, more than a dozen of great Oregon brewers, and throws 'em in a room together for a day-long fest of beer and music. It's going to be not just the greatest time of your life, but the pinnacle of all human history*.

*This is a vaguely defined and subjective superlative at best and therefore such a statement is not legally binding

It all takes place from 2 pm to midnight on Saturday, March 24 at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 E Burnside). There's a hand-picked lineup of excellent Portland bands—we worked really hard on putting this lineup together, and I think it shows—plus all the finest brewers. Not only is each brewery offering a special beer for the event, many of them have been paired with a particular band to brew a collaborative beer specifically for that band’s music. Therefore, it will be possible to spend the full day tasting the beer specifically brewed for each band while that band is playing. The full lineup of bands and breweries appears after the jump.

The only left is to buy your tickets! Which you can do right here. Presale tickets are $20 and include a commemorative Malt Ball mug, four tasting tickets, and show entry to see all 12 bands. Wow!

Continue reading »

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