You know, there’s something to be said…

for a simple can.

Let’s appreciate the fact that, in the face of cans reminiscent of 70s rock art or 80s neon fevers, we can have cans like this one, which looks almost painfully simple.  However, it captures the shape of the sun (the black dot), the colour of sunlight (“33 Acres of Sunshine”), and the (approximate) colour of the beer.

The best way to draw attention to yourself in this market might be to simplify. Perhaps this is the little yellow dress of beer cans?

Amber Ale 2020

Nose has a little bit of honey to it-sweet but also a little floral.
The flavors go along with that. It’s got a very strong malt backbone, which I like. The finishing bitterness isn’t very strong but it is just enough to keep any malt-sugar sourness pop up.
The Amber ale 2020effervescence isn’t very strong and I’m not sure if that’s a flaw or not. On the downside: the olfactory elements don’t get very far but on the upside, it does just enough work on the finish to make this a quaffable ale, and no more. There isn’t a sparkle on the tongue as with some lagers, for example.

All in all, though I like this beer and I think I did well with it.

Brew date: 5.16.20

Steeping grains
.5 lb 50L Caramalt

.5 lb biscuit
3 lb munich
3 lb 2 row

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLMe

1.5 oz East Kent Goldings @60
.25 oz Cascade @ 60
.25 oz East Kent, .75 oz Cascade @5

Yeast: Imperial House (2nd use)

OG: 1.064

FG: 1.01

Bottled 5.23.20

ABV: 7.3%

Front Porch Chats #20\Second Pint BLHF

Baerlic Hexa IIPAThe nose on Baerlic’s Hexa IPA is spicy and has a bit of pine. I’m already thrilled; there were times I would’ve punched a baby to get away from milkshake IPAs. Now I can just buy this.

Not to say the Hexa isn’t sweet at all; solid malt backbone here, almost fighting it out against the hop profile to make sure it can be tasted. But this is still an IPA and that means that the bitterness wins out.

The police in Portland are now the ones beating the citizens. So we’ve got that going for us, which isn’t nice.

It was a pretty brazen act of cowardly theater for our mayor to come out and get tear gassed by the feds, but now that they’re gone, be silent about our own teargassing us, slashing tires, threatening press, and so on.

I guess the mayor likes his police brutality the way I like my beers: local.

It’s discouraging. I know it. You know it. We’re feeling it. The future is coming, and very few of us like what it’s bringing.

I’d rather help. Being discouraged sucks ass.

“Oregonians don’t like to be told what to do,” I read recently, “they like to be asked to help.”

This was in regards to getting a flu shot for this coming flu season-which hey, would y’all please get a flu shot? Our medics are overworked and could really use any little thing you can do to help.

And any little thing to help…well, that’s important.

‘Cause people don’t like to be told what to do. But we do like to help. Most of us. Maybe even enough of us.

Enough that the police will be defunded. Enough that we’ll wear masks and get flu shots. Enough that we’ll wrest the power from the hands of fascists.

You don’t have to do all the things. None of us can. Very few of us can do big things.

But little things to help. Well, how bout it? Would you please do them?

Today’s second pint goes to the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.

Common Ales: Boneyard RPM

I forgot to get a picture of this beer! Which is unfortunate…but we’ll all make it through.

The nose is earthy and sweet; has a dank quality to it, without getting stinky. It lasts, too; like a good IPA, the gift keeps on giving, even 2/3rds through the beer.

The finish really threatens to overwhelm the RPM; it’s very sharp and intense, and those first few sips threaten to derail the beer into one of those mouth scouring ales. Drinking in sips helps, because I can roll it around and get some of the malt sweetness that my nose detected. It isn’t much, and not long after the finishing bitterness hulks out and takes over.

It’s just enough though to keep the beer from being a hop bomb and exclusively for IPA zealots. Don’t get me wrong-it’s still a beer that has a third rail of hops running through it-it isn’t balanced and if you don’t wanna touch that third rail of bitterness ever, then this is not for you.

But it’s balanced juuuuust enough to keep it drinkable and, I think, can even be paired with some food to help provide some contrast to a good meal.

Front Porch Chats #19\Second Pint DSP

Block 15 Dab Lab IPAThe bars are open, but I’m still getting my beer to go. A Dab Lab Lil Dab IPA from Block 15, delivered via the fine people at Proper Pint is what I’ve got today.

I suppose that’s a bit of a vibe for the week: X is ‘normal’ but I’m still living like nothing is.

I pick out some lime, but also some dankness in the nose. The bitterness starts to push pithy elements rather fast, through the mouthfeel on the finish is dry. That’s unusual. The Dab is hazy enough I can’t easily see through it, but I can make out shapes.

The ABV here is 4.5% which suggests to me that this wants to be a beer you can put down post work out. It’s supposed to be refreshing. I don’t feel the Lil Dab is crisp enough for that, and the bitterness is a wee bit strong.

The feds are gone (in the loosest sense of the phrase), but I’m still wandering down to the Justice Center, still taking photos around Portland to try and demonstrate the city isn’t a lawless wasteland.

The election is still on for November, but I’m starting to think like events are going to go south in a way we haven’t seen in America in a hundred years. Wondering how to plan for a winter of contentment, if you will.

The tear gas has cleared but the health consequences are unknown. Walking downtown the other day, I saw one of the brass bubbler water fountains near the Justice Center, the metal covered with black spots, like inky rain had fallen on it and stained the metal.

Portland protesters were tear gassed more than anyone we know of in decades and nobody knows what’s going to happen to those people. Hell, the lower floors of the Justice Center became uninhabitable due to the volume of glass being thrown around. People stopped coming into work if they worked on those floors.

The pandemic is on, but now I know there was a movement at the highest levels of government to let my state and others who didn’t fall in line die. We know they’re OK with us dying…so I wonder what they really think the next move is?

The amount of homeless people is about to skyrocket, but I’m still paying my rent, trying to support where I can.

It would be nice if the path ahead were made a bit easier.

Some days, the path just doesn’t give you much.

Today’s second pint goes to Don’t Shoot PDX

Cream Ale From May #2

Cream Ale 2020Here we go:
Head is steady and very white. It’s not thick, but it keeps the layer of foam on the beer throughout.
It’s got nice malt nose, too; not strong enough to be called grainy or bready but notable.
The flavors are excellent, to me; the malt is there and the bitterness on the finish isn’t intense at all. The carbonation really picks up the slack when it comes to clearing the palate.
It’s nice to know I can get beers like this made; no, it isn’t perfectly clear but it’s still bright and, as the kids might say ‘crushable’. I think one could easily put away a few of these at a time easily.
Brew date: 5.25.20

Steeping grains
7 lb 2 row
1 lb 15L Cara malt

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME
1.5 oz Fuggle .5 oz Cluster @60
.5 cluster, .5 Fuggle @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.018

Bottled 5.31

ABV: 5.7%

The Convert

This enjoyable story about a heavy metal drummer finding a second career in craft brewing is both a lot of fun and, I think, a great example of how the enthusiasm for something can bring someone around.

If it wasn’t for the passion of US beer drinkers, this guy wouldn’t’ve ever found himself in this position. That’s a cool thing, in days when America is, to put it kindly, shooting itself in the foot.

Front Porch Chats #18\Second Pint FRRC

Breonna Taylor’s killers are still unaccountable.

But, that is the last time I am going to mention that casually.

It isn’t that I don’t care, it obviously isn’t that justice has been done.

IPelican brewing Bronze God martzent is because I don’t want to use her memory like a cudgel to get people to pay attention. The whole damn country is focused on Portland right now, and who knows who has stumbled upon this blog.

But she was a person who had an injustice done to her and I don’t want to be someone who tries to turn that injustice into my crusade.

It isn’t fair to her, nor the people who loved her, nor anyone working to push for this wrong to be made right.

She deserves better, just like the rest of us.

Today, I’m on the porch with a Bronze God martzen style ale from Pelican brewing.

It’s a decent enough beer; I love the copper color. The flavors are pretty mild; this isn’t overly sweet and as a matter of fact, I hardly get anything from this beer but a subtle toasty quality.

To tell the truth, I wish this beer was colder. Seems like it should be, you know? Not American light lager cold, but not much warmer than that, either. Also, the effervescence on this beer is surprisingly flimsy. I was expecting the mouthfeel to be a bit crisper. Maybe that’s just what I’m actually in the mood for and this beer isn’t doing it? Or maybe this beer should just have a little more pop.

Still, nice beer to share on a nice day. Maybe I’ll have another.

Today’s second pint goes to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

Good & Bad

NPR did a story about what beer sales are telling us about the impact the pandemic/recession is having on the beer industry.
One element that stood out to me, though was this:

“You know, we didn’t really see craft or imports or super premium lose share in the last recession,” he says. That’s because, he says, the recession didn’t inflict as much pain on the class of people who tend to drink Session IPAs, artisanal Porters, Belgian Lambics and Saison pale ales. Likewise, in this pandemic and recession, craft beer drinkers are more likely to have the luxury of working remotely, keeping their jobs and spending a few extra bucks on beverages with flavor.

Now, on the one hand I’m thrilled that craft beer has been doing well. All things considered, well, anyway.

On the other hand, I cannot help but notice how the group of people who are able to support the industry are people who do not have to risk their lives. Unlike the people in the industry who make the thing they love.


A beer and homebrewing blog