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Front Portch Chats #55/SEcond Pint MFF

On an April day that feels chillier than March, I’ve got an All Ways Down IPA from 10 Barrel. Which is basically them saying; what if NEIPA, but translucent? Real groundbreaking stuff, guys. Clear beer!

10 Barrel All Ways Down IPA, in glass outside

Now on the one hand, I approve. I’ve seen enough hazy beers that had chunks in them and if there is one quality that I think everyone should agree on regarding beer, it is that it should never be chunky.

On the other hand, it’s just a grapefruit beer. Grapefruit nose, grapefruit middle, and the common failing finish of the All Ways Down’s hazier cousins is there too. I could have Squirt with gin in it and I’d probably be happier, especially since the icky pith flavor on the finish wouldn’t be involved.

But, you know what? I don’t have to finish this beer. I don’t have to do anything with it anymore, now that I’ve tried it. I can move on and do something else.

Which, as messages go is pretty obvious, I will confess. Then again, it is also a metaphor I wish I’d figured out a few years sooner than I did.

Don’t get me wrong: I want to like this. I want to like any beer that is poured for me, even if I’m pouring it myself. However, I don’t believe in forcing myself to finish a beer just ‘cause.

Life’s too short, right? Which, again, pretty obvious. I suppose some weeks are just like that: you get the obvious signs because the subtle ones haven’t been making a dent.

Today’s second pint goes to the Minneapolis Freedom Fund.

Less Than Awesome

Pale ale in glass on countertop

So, this didn’t come out so great. I was trying a new yeast-it was  on sale and it described itself as adding Brut champagne characteristics. I figured, why not?

But it took 36 hours to get active and I think that contributed to a beer that just…missed the mark. It was overcarbonated, and tasted uneven; sometimes a little floral, sometimes a little dirty.

Brew date: 1.9.21

Steeping grains
3 lb Weyermann Vienna malt
3 lb Great Western 2 row
.75 lb Mecca Grade Opal 22

Fermentables: 3 lb dry pils malt extract

Hops
.5 oz Summit, 1.5 oz Centennial @60
@ 5 .5oz Summit, .5 oz Centennial

Yeast: Omega Gulo

OG: 1.059

FG: 1.012

Notes:
Added 1/2 tsp Irish moss @ 5 min for clarity

Bottled 1/18 to let the yeast finish up

ABV: 6.4%

Front porch Chats #54/Second Pint OSPRIG

Flattening the Nerves IPA from Hop Capitol in glass outside

“Have you gotten the vaccine yet?”

Some variation on this question has been all up in my business this week .

So it’s time for some Flattening the Nerves IPA from Hop Capitol brewing. What started off as a perfume-y, orange nose quickly left the scene and I’m left with something a little more dank. The bitterness is a tongue scraper too; a little like shedding pine needles. With a bit more malt character in the middle I’d probably enjoy this one more. As it stands, I’d recommend it for hopheads but caution anyone else.

“Have you gotten your shot?”

~sigh~

No, I haven’t. But it isn’t because I don’t want one. I very much do! However, I have certain luxuries: a job that isn’t front facing and allows me to hang out in my office, good health, and am relatively young. I’m ineligible, for now.

And while there might be vaccines available in other counties, the Oregon Health Authority has asked people not to travel to other counties, as the vaccine is distributed by population count, quite sensibly. People going to another county to get vaccinated throws the numbers off. Or worse, denies someone the vaccine in that county who should have one.

What I’m getting at here is that it’s my responsibility to keep distancing from people, to use the nice days as a great excuse to see people outside, to wear a mask and practice good hygiene, so that other people who have a higher risk than myself can go first.

Nurses. Grocery store employees. Farm laborers. Transporters. People with health conditions. Older folks. There is, when I give it a bit of thought, quite the list of people who are in line ahead of me.

And that’s is OK. That’s how it ought to be. I have the luxuries, I have the responsibilities.

When I’m eligible, give me an appointment. I’ll show up, I promise.

Today’s second pint goes to OSPRIG.

Yeah, that’s a no from us…

bottlebybottle: *forwards picture of a coconut crème sour to apint*
bottlebybottle: “Yeah…no.”

apint: “Also no.”

/fin

This did get us to thinking about rejecting a beer before we’ve even given it a chance. I know that I like sours, but coconut is a flavour I find distasteful, and sour + crème reminds me of a time…when I drank something sour with something creamy. It was a terrible idea, one I regret to this day. (Ed. note; I also remember this massive error in judgment). I also know that apint isn’t very sour tolerant.

But: this is one of the many, many, many problems with 2020-2021. There’s no sampling. In 2019? I’d have gone to the brewery/thebrewpub/my local bar–wherever I saw that beer–and I’d ask for a tiny sample. Now? I have to commit to a tallboy. And it’s asking a great deal to commit to 16 oz. when you’re not sure you want more than, say, 2.

*sigh*

Common Ales: 2 Towns: Cosmic Crisp

Cider in mug on table, next to can of cider.

A friend recently pinged me, saying this was the best cider they’d had in some time.

And when someone takes time out of their day to tell you how good something is, well I feel I need to give it a try. So, although cider is a little out of my area of expertise, I picked some up.

There’s something in the nose-fresh cut apple, maybe apple blossomy? I’d say it’s just shy of perfume-y while still inviting.

The apples come through in the body, and this is a dry-ish, mildly tart drink. Enough sweetness that they might’ve back sweetened the beer, but tart and dry enough on the finish that it has balance.

It’s also quite bubbly: I wonder if they used yeast for sparkling wine, because that’s actually the nearest analog I can draw to the Cosmic Crisp. Except I find this beverage far more palatable than sparkling wine, in part, possibly, because it has such a clean finish. Or maybe I’m just not a big sparkling wine fan.

This has been a wonderful surprise and I’m pleased to recommend it to cider drinking friends.

Front Porch Chats #53

It’s too blustery to be outside drinking today-March’s lion hasn’t given up on the month yet, and this helles ale from The Bruery is ill suited to the weather.

The Bruery-Helles in glass on table outside.

It’s a damn fine helles though; little sourdough in the nose, a nice bready quality near the finish and it’s a crisp ale that probably deserves a sandwich compliment, instead of southern winds and rain.

Still, we work with what we got.

I’m still drinking on my porch, because it’s still necessary. The pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere…so I guess I don’t, either? We’re almost there, though. ALMOST. We just need to keep doing the work of keeping each other safe.

Which I suppose we always have to do, but for this moment let’s just keep on the pandemic work.

Days like this though, remind me why I like drinking in a pub; despite how gloomy this spring day may look, a pub can be lively and a good counterweight. Plus, you can meet people there: strangers, friends, and I miss that too.

Still, warmer days are coming. Healthier ones, too I hope, as more people get vaccinated. There’s a lot to complain about, and still a lot to do but I’m going to have this bright beer on a gray day and just be alright with it. Patience is not easy but things take as long as they take, and sometimes there’s no rushing it.

The Last Cream Ale (of 2020)

The nose is more bready than yeasty, but there’s some overlap. A sourdough influence is present, I would say but not disruptive. An accent scent.

Cream ale in glass on countertop

The head on the beer is a bit thin, but the effervescence is constant, so that’s good.

Buuut. The flavor has a hit of that tea-cinnamon flavor, left over from the yeast I used on the winter warmer. This is a disruptive element, in a beer that I was really hoping would be bready and clean. It doesn’t make the beer undrinkable by any means, but I have to acknowledge that it’s a fly in the ointment.

So I’ll take that as a lesson to do keep my yeast as clean as I can-until its last use. Then, adjunct away!

Brew Date: 12/26/20

Steeping grains
4lb Pilsner malt
3 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 3 lb dry extra light

Hops
1.5 oz N Brewer @ 60
.5 oz N Brewer @5

Yeast: Imperial House yeast, 3rd use

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.01

Bottled 1/2/21

ABV: 6.8%

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