I was on a quest to rent disc 4 of The Wire. One long, muggy walk and two movie rental places later it was time to say “The hell with this” and get a pint. Fortunately for me, it’s Oregon Craft Beer Month, and the Horse Brass has a lot of beers to choose from.
I went first with a glass of the Terminal Gravity Tripel, partly because I wanted to see if it was as good as I remember, and it was. Not too sweet with enough bitterness to keep me drinking.
My next choice was Widmer’s Dopplebock. I’ve liked dopplebocks since I traveled to Germany and had them in Nuremburg 15 years ago, and though they never seem to rise up to that first one, I keep hunting them down. This beer was quite malty and delicious, then gave way to a dryness, almost a bitterness that encouraged drinking more of it. A little dastardly in that respect: a drink that refuses to quench your thirst.
Now, while I was drinking this, my girlfriend was drinking Vortex IPA from Ft George brewery. I tried some and it had an orange blossom nose and finish, but sweet faint caramel in the middle, and was about as well balanced of a West Coast style IPA as I could’ve asked for. I was thining about ordering it next, but decided to get Rogue’s Imperial Younger’s Special Bitter. However, at this point we were interrupted by a large man with a shaven headed and a goatee, drinking a Hogshead Stout and asking about the IPA. We told him about it, and it was more than enough to convince him to try a pint.
I found out he was a homebrewer, and we launched into a discussion about brewing; he told me of a beer he’d made using heather and dry hopping. I told him about the beer I’d helped make that had been sold at the Horse Brass. He ordered a pint, but it arrived just as we were done with ours. I told him about the Oregon Brew Crew, so perhaps I will see him again. I don’t think I’ve got a ‘we met in a bar’ friendship story. Time to start collecting those.
Addendum: Like any intrepid reporter, I went back to the Horse Brass the next day to have a glass of the Vortex IPA so I could more accurately describe it. I do this for you, the audience. You deserve to have me tell you from my own personal experience that a beer is a good one. Plus I got off work early and the bus drops me off right next to the bar. How can I pass that up?