The Organic Problem

I don’t know what it is, but organic beers always have the same problem for me; the dirt aftertaste. I don’t mean dirty, like there’s some kind of grit or errant nodule that’s made its way into the beer, I mean that when the beer leaves my mouth, my throat and tongue taste like I’ve put them in dirt. It doesn’t seem to matter who makes the beer, or what style of beer it is, I’d say 85% of the time I still feel like I’ve tasted dirt.

Which is why I tend to avoid organic beers. And you know how it is when you don’t like something; you tell 10 people and they tell 10 people and so on–so you end up having a whole group of people who avoid organic beers, for better or worse.

deschutes green lakesIt had been suggested by my girlfriend that we go and get a hot dog at Zack’s Shack for dinner. A blond, curly haired stoner dude with a pleasant attitude right out of the Spicoli playbook told us that the cash register was down for a moment so he’d charge us later, and in the meantime took our orders for hot dogs (a NY dog for her, garlic and cheese for me) and poured us two Green Lake ales. My expectations were low, but Deschutes is still Deschutes; they’ve earned my respect.

And the Green Lake Ale is very, very smooth. Munching hot dogs in a tiny place with Band of Horses and Radiohead posters on the side and a Ms Pac Man tabletop machine, this beer works great. I don’t know how Deschutes did it, but they made a fine pale ale that has a gentle bitterness at the end, but no dirt aftertaste. Then again, I don’t know why organic ales had to taste like dirt to begin with, so the secret to getting this one right eludes me.

I didn’t mind; the fries were hot and something has to wash down my garlic dog, so the Green Lake worked great.

This post may become utterly meaningless after this Friday, when I attend the Organic Brewer’s Festival. But I can look forward to eating those words, I think.

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