Meet the 45 Series

The 45 Series is all about collaboration. Each release features Fort George and a different independent northwest record label and brewery. Cascade Record Pressing, the Northwest’s first large production automated record pressing plant, presses a limited run of 45 rpm vinyl records that accompany each beer release and features songs from different independent musicians.

Named after the collaborating record label and focusing on small-batch, less-common, classic beer styles, Fort George is collaborating with respected Pacific Northwest brewers who share our love for the history of our craft. Every record has two sides, and so does this beer. This allows our brewers to explore a style from two different angles – in 2023: A modern twist on a traditional Kölsch-style ale and its Rhineland equivalent, Altbier.

Original recordings of songs made for independent record labels that we admire. Through our partnership with Cascade Record Pressing, we are able to put out very limited batches of 45 rpm vinyl records supporting musicians, artists and the host of independent labels that produce them.


Fort George Brewery Light in the Attic 4-packs - Beer in Astoria Oregon

Light in the Attic Records & Reuben’s Brews

We’ve got two questions: What happened to musician Jim Sullivan in the spring of 1975? And where are all those old top-fermented German-style ales at these days? We’ll never know the answer to the former, though there are some strong contextual indications (See Side A: U.F.O.). As for the latter – it’s pretty clear what style was responsible for the German Ale’s decline in popularity. We’re not pointing fingers but the name starts with “LAGER.”

2023’s 45 Series Release is a celebration of our totally earnest love of the obscure and recondite. A love shared by independent northwest record label Light in the Attic. Through a focus on quality and disdain for convention, Light in the Attic has built up an unparalleled catalog of high quality re-issues and completely new voices. They’ve released over 200 instant classics. Highlights include Wheedle’s Groove, an exuberant affirmation of Seattle’s soul heritage; the reintroduction of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit-born artist and star of the Oscar-winning film, Searching For Sugar Man; and the critically acclaimed Native North American Archival Series. Along with reissues of funk goddess Betty Davis, larger-than-life crooners Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, folk great Karen Dalton, private press classics from the ultra-enigmatic “Lewis,” and teenage farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson.

Light in the Attic’s 2010 re-release of Jim Sullivan’s 1969 album U.F.O. brought this unique and deeply influential artist back into the spotlight for another generation. Maybe Altbier and Kölsch, like Jim Sullivan, never reached the heights of fame in the US that they truly deserved, but we’re taking a stab at an honest and loving tribute to both in this two-sided special edition collaboration with Light in the Attic Records, Reuben’s Brews and Cascade Record Pressing.


Fort George Brewery - Jim Sullivan U.F.O. - Light in the Attic



SIDE A – Jim Sullivan 1969 “U.F.O.” – Kölsch Style Ale

What happened to the Kölsch? We found its wallet, keys, guitar and a wreath of empty 10oz glasses on the table with a coaster over the top. Was it an intentional disappearance? If so, why leave 3 major brewhouses producing traditional Kölsch Beer in the city of Cologne like everything is normal? Was it an abduction? Has Kölsch been trying to tell us it was leaving since the 1986 Kölsch Convention? Was Kölsch taken out by the mafia…er… popularity of the Lager? The similarities between a Kölsch Ale and a Lager are well-known. Was it revenge for the perceived slight of impersonation? We might never know. All we can do is appreciate what we have left of this unique and beloved style.

Kölsch Ale is brewed exclusively within a 31 mile radius of Cologne, Germany and must be produced according to certain stringent standards. We’re not in Cologne. And we adhere to very few stringent standards, as a rule. But oh boy! Do we ever love a crisp, clear, gloriously clean ale with a little smidge of wine region terroir (thanks, Phantasm powder).


Fort George Brewery - Jim Sullivan Jerome - Light in the Attic



SIDE B –  Jim Sullivan 1969 “Jerome” – Altbier

If you’re looking for a pound of magic, look no further than an Altbier, Dusseldorf’s answer to the Kölsch. Altbier is a darker, copper-colored ale that also pre-dates the lager. Brewed cool with traditional ale yeast, an Altbier is defined by its unique subtle fruit flavor and malt sweetness. Crisp and refreshing enough to be easily mistaken for actual magic.

Side B, the Altbier, features Jim Sullivan’s “Jerome,” from the same 2010 release as Side A: U.F.O. the brewers at Reuben’s know a lot about Altbier – one of the first beers they brewed was an Altbier and it’s still one of their favorite styles. When we suggested a Kolsch, our friends at Reuben’s said: but what about the Altbier? And we’re glad they did. We worked together to revive this original beer, keeping our Altbier true to its heritage and uniquely new – for those looking for a little extra.