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This is a small story about how the oncoming climate crisis may impact beer.

I say “may” but I should use “will“. While nobody can know the future, the knowledge we have now about how things will likely go is important to utilize to stave off the worst impacts of it.

And if realizing that beer is something you won’t get anymore gets people involved, then I’m all for it.

I’ll be out this Friday, but regular posts start back up Monday.

Front Porch Chats #76/Second Pint PP

Block 15's Sticky Fingers IPA in glass, outside

Having Block 15’s Sticky Hands IPA-it’s a local IPA staple and for good reason. If you live around here, you probably know this beer but if you don’t: well it is a pleasant, apricot-y IPA that doesn’t go too far on the bitterness.

It’s familiar, and I could use some familiar because I’ve been trying to resist despair, lately.

I could get into the whys of it but I don’t think I’d be telling anyone something they don’t already know, but: Let us say that both the 9/11 anniversary and our current government and pandemic predicaments are powerful reminders that a small group of zealous people can well and truly fuck a country.

The worst thing is, after 9/11, we did it to ourselves. Time and time again. We decided-or approved of deciding-to justify our bullying ways because of the fears instilled in us by people who in the end, wanted money, not our trust. Money, not to provide guidance or kinship. Money.

And that small, greedy group of bastards are ballooning a security state without oversight, stripping away our protected rights, and glorifying a disinformation campaign to literally keep us sick.

Where are the consequences for these itchy buttholes? Why aren’t these people accountable? Because they have money, sarcastic question mark.

There have been a lot of fuckups in America but one of the biggest, has to be when Ford pardoned Nixon.

Because without that, when Nixon goes to trial if he is found guilty, a very clear message is sent: your power will not protect you if you break the law.

Instead, the opposite message was sent, and everyone who needed to get that message heard it as clear as this beer in my hand.

When you live in a lawless country, that insists that “all people are created equal”…the chasm in my brain between these two concepts pulls me towards despair.

I doubt I’m the only one.

But there’s work to be done to fix this shit. And the work doesn’t care if I despair.

Let’s keep at it.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Common Ales: Three Creek’s Tres Arroyos

This Mexican lager has a corn nose which extends into the flavor, too. Not quite creamed corn sweet but lilting in that direction.

Effervescence is tiny but steady, so there isn’t a lot of head on this beer, but the finish always sparkles a bit.

It’s a pretty clean beer; both visually and flavorwise, and I have a feeling I should’ve chilled the Tres Arroyos a little further than I did to really get the most out of it. It’s a solid beverage that wants to be drank in the shade of an umbrella, with light snacks nearby.

Or, with a full plate of chicken strips, bleu cheese and a joyous riot of people nearby. That would work. But I have to say, I’d recommend this for the style. It’s not going to replace my preference of pilsners as my light beer of choice, but I won’t turn my nose up at this.

Front porch Chats #75/Second Pint/Second Pint CNR

‘When one is entitled to the pursuit of happiness, and happiness is tied to money, safety protocols get conflated with “enslavement” ‘-Andre Gee.

“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy” -Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The nice thing about Grains of Wrath’s Overkill IPA is that it wonderfully illustrates how you can have grapefruit flavors in a beer without having that beer be hazy, nor sweet.

Grains of Wrath's Overkill IPA in glass outside on table.

The nose gives me a pink grapefruit quality, and that follows through to the finish. There is a bit of sweetness in the middle, but not much. The bitterness is far from zealous, which is nice but it does almost have that grapefruit tart quality.

Here’s the big drawback: I don’t particularly like grapefruit. So this beer falls squarely into the ‘excellent, but not for me’ category.

I read Mr. Gee’s article a couple weeks ago and not long after that, I recalled the wry comment Mr. Adams had on money. Ever since, those statements have been two ghosts in my head.

I don’t hate money. It’s a convenient tool to use-I would much rather give someone money for a beer, than work in the bar for the approximate time it would take to earn said beer.

A tool cannot make you happy. Hell, nothing can permanently make you happy, so let’s just throw that out now. Content, though. That’s a thing that we can sustain. Happiness can come and go.

The tool can make a lot of things easier and it can certainly qualify for making things better. Those ends can be a part of happiness. It absolutely can be key to creating contentment. But it still can’t be either of those things.

One quality about being content is that you don’t need more. At some point, more is useless. More is something that should be given to someone else, who wants or needs it.

The thing about being happy is that I want to share it-with as many people as I can. Being happy because someone else is happy is a real thing-but again, I’m not out to make more. I’m out to share it. Because once I’m happy I don’t get more happy-I have a state of happiness! Sharing that doesn’t lessen it but it does extend my happiness.

Maybe, amongst the other things the founders got wrong, they also fucked up with that phrase ‘pursuit of happiness’. Getting us to run down a dream that is more like chasing a dragon than building a community.

And the dragon…well, the dragon will just keep you in the cave, part of its horde. The community might just save your life.

Just something to ponder, while I finish off my beer.

Today’s second pint goes to Cajun Navy Relief.

Past Becomes Present

I have been hoping something like this would happen. I’ve been posting stories for years about beer or wine that’s been salvaged from shipwrecks, and about scientists looking at those beverages.

Taking data from those drinks can illuminate how human beings have impacted our environment.

BUT. There’s this Very Cool Thing where we get to play with yeasts from decades ago, and see how those yeasts impacted the food and drink of the day, and I’m psyched to try them.

Front Porch Chats #74/Second Pint HIAS

German pilsner by Ferment brewing

Ferment Brewing’s German style Pilsner is out on the poarch with me today and…wait. Aren’t all pilsners German by default?

The style is credited as a Germanic style. An online search of the phrase ‘German style pilsner’ brings up…pilsners. Like; this is possibly one of the most famous styles of beer in the world. It is the ‘yellow beer’ that people who are less versed in the subject think of when they think of the two types of beer: yellow and black.

And it’s a fine yellow beer. The kind you could be easily forgiven for drinking from a can while munching on burgers. It is faint in all its impressions: hops, malt sweetness, and bitterness, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. An additive to many meals, subtractive of little and only present long enough to clear the palate between bites.

It’s the kind of beer that the guy who threatened to bomb the Capitol a couple weeks ago probably would’ve liked-if handed it to him in a glass.

I acquired it like I do most of my beer: I paid for it. Coincidentally, that’s also how we had the cooperation between the various factions in Afghanistan for the past 20+ years. America paid for it.

Once we quit paying…well, we all know what happened. The only surprise to most Americans was the swiftness that it spread, much like the Delta variant.

But think about it: if the people paying you to do something stopped, how long would it take you to quit doing that thing? Consider the Taliban’s actions their “one week notice” instead and it makes a lot more sense.

Meanwhile, I’m still on the porch, hoping that people will get vaccinated, and wear masks and basically be the kind of people Americans think they are, to other Americans.

Instead, we get Americans being the kind of people other countries think we are.

And it’s not as if we aren’t paying for it. A third of this country is taking medicine for horses, or trying to stock up on it. Half of the man’s rant about bombing the Capitol was that the medical procedures that were needed for himself and his wife couldn’t be afforded. Sure, the other half was MAGA nonsense (you know the sins; racism, privilege, etc.) but I guarantee you, the lever that was used to pry open his brain and funnel all of that nonsense into his life was the fact that he and his loved one needed medical care and was denied it.

He needed help, and the power structures in this country told him to fuck off. And unfortunately, he had no community to rely on-so he got violent and awful. Americans being the kind of people to ourselves that other countries think we are.

I’d really like to get to being the kind of people we think we are, instead.

Today’s second pint goes to HIAS.

Common Ales: New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger

Voodoo Ranger IPA by New Belgium in glass, next to can, on countertop

This beer kicks things off with a frothy head and a piney nose that is present but not too strong.

For an imperial, the nose seems restrained. It’s reasonably persistent, though, lasting for more than a few sips.

The other thing I’m noting is that for an imperial IPA, the Ranger is fairly well balanced. The malt sweetness is where I’d expect, the bitterness on the finish wraps things up but isn’t a contest to see how intense it can be. It’s like a regular IPA.

I’m a little surprised by this beer’s balance, I’ll admit. On the other hand, it’s almost what I’d hope for from an Imperial style ale: everything taken up a notch, but nothing out of whack. Something even a non-hophead could enjoy.

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