This photo pretty much speaks for itself.

You know what’s wrong with this beer? Of course you do, since I talked about it just a week ago.

Here’s the drag; the beer is actually pretty good aside from lacking the mouthfeel and nose it ought to have from proper carbonation.  It tastes good, drinks well, I ought to be proud.

I am not. This is satisfactory insofar as it is a beer I can drink. That’s about it though. I’m not sure what the hell they did before they could get an airtight seal on a container, but drinking flat beer is really not that awesome.

52 Weeks 11: Lucky Lab Triple Threat IPA

This post is late-as are the posts for the next few weeks- because I had a class from 6-9. I didn’t want to try and manage my Flash class on a pint and little-to-no food, you understand.

It was about halfway through class that I realized that I hadn’t paid the parking meter. That resulted in a wince and a ‘d’oh!’ but there was nothing I could do at that point. The decisions had been made.

Which, I philosophized as I walked to the pub, is kind of the lesson right now. I’ve decided to leave my job. I can’t unmake that decision. It’s done and even though I’m feeling some real anxiety about that, I have to accept the decision, and look for the options that come with that decision.

My other decision for today is to have the Triple Threat IPA. As this beer has warmed up, the hops have become more prevalent in the flavors and the nose. It’s all grapefruit and finishes really bitterly, the way LL IPAs tend to do. Or NW IPAs really. I’m not displeased about that, but I was hoping for something a little more balanced. I guess with Triple Threat in the name, I should’ve changed my expectations.

Bailey’s is a different animal at 9p.m. boisterous and loud, the lively kind of space you’d expect from a good joint like this. I wonder how that will affect my writing. Maybe not at all. However, when I made the decision to come to Bailey’s I had to accept the conditions of the place–whenever I would get here.

And I won’t deny it; sometimes people are inconsiderate assholes with enough alcohol in them. Newsflash that ain’t, but when this fool is keeping the door open to shout at his friends and letting in the 33 degree air, I think I’m going to complain. I may have to accept that man’s decision to be an idiot, but I still get to vocalize my displeasure at his decision.

It’s still good

Fuz eagle-eyed via the Horsebrass’s web site that they had the Dutchess on tap. Now, we aren’t men who need an excuse to get a glass, but certainly having one provided for us is never a bad thing. Let’s take a look:

That’s some tasty Flanders Red ale there, I tell you what. Fuz says that it’s not as good as it is in the bottle, but I haven’t had a chance to do a side by side comparison. All I can tell you is; I enjoyed it.

The Horse Brass hasn’t changed much since the smoking ban. The air is breathable, but it still carries the taint of thirty years of smokers. It probably seems from the very walls and won’t ever go away, but I honestly don’t want it to. The world, and Portland especially, needs dive bars, where people can go and hide out when the feel the compulsion to do so. Where less-than-savory people occasionally sit at the bar and they do not want to be disturbed. And where I can hang out with them, and not be disturbed either. Privacy might be dwindling in the electronic age, but at least the appearance of solitude can be gotten in the dives.

The small things.

This is not what you think it is:

Unfortunately, it isn’t what I thought it was either. When I got a chance to snag some Budweiser bottle caps I just couldn’t resist. It felt pleasantly subversive to cap my own beer with Bud caps. I even thought it would be a fun blog post: ‘This is not what you think it is’.

The joke is on me as it turns out. These bottle caps don’t give me a really good seal on the bottle. Part of the reason I was having such issues with the last batch of beer is, I think, because of my inability to get an airtight fit over the bottle. So well over half the beer didn’t carbonate! Now in the case of the porter, that’s not a bad quality.

But under those Bud caps is an ale. I haven’t opened it up yet, and I’m already feeling a bit dubious about doing so. Ales are supposed to have the snap of carbonation, and without that I’m afraid I’ll have made something that falls short.

Maybe I can call it ‘cask conditioned’ and get away with it!

52 Weeks 10: Ninkasi Vanilla Bean Oatis Stout


I obviously like this
I obviously like this

I won’t apologize for liking this beer.  It’s velvety and chocolate with a hint of vanilla that starts at the nose and chases you through the entire sip. It’s good. Really good.

It’s the last day of Bush’s Presidency, and it is in that spirit that I enjoy this beer. A very strange and unexpectedly difficult time has been ushered into my country because of this man and the people he was backed by and looked to for support, and just like the rest of his life, he won’t have to deal with the consequences of his actions. 

I have never seen a man so hated in my lifetime, and it is almost enough to make me feel sorry for him. But he bought into a particular machine in order to gain power, and so all I can say is this: He earned the ire of my country. 

I ponder Bush’s ending as one of my own comes up. I have put in my two weeks at my job and the weekend, instead of being filled with a kind of joyous liberation was plagued by a sense of humiliation. This arrived on multiple planes, courier’d to me via those strange human pathways that life keeps hidden from you, but you know are out there nonetheless. Especially when they arrive with your name and the weight is awful but you have to sign for the packages; they are yours and that’s the way it rolls, man. Good luck, says the dude with the inventory sheet, your name and date scrawled on it in blue ink, tucked neatly beneath his arm as he walks away. 

However, this too will pass. Just as this stout changes as I drink it, the coffee elements starting to make themselves felt a little more than the chocolate, so will other little notes make themselves seen as I go on.

It’s going to be a new day in America, tomorrow. It always is though; and so it is with life. But you know what? The good healthy now of a vanilla bean stout is a fine reminder to exist in the moment, and not let things get away from me.

A fine line

Way back when, I made a stout. That beer has finally made itself drinkable, as you can see here:

Its the stout. The stout that I drink.So now that I can drink this beer, what can I tell you about it?

I can tell you that it isn’t a friggin’ stout. Or is it?

What is a stout, anyway? Well, according to the BJCP guidelines there are six kinds of stout, but they all have some pretty similar characteristics; deep brown to black color, roasted coffee flavors, occasionally with chocolate, low-to-no hop flavors.

Porters, on the other hand, only have three distinct styles. Given the specifications of the Brown Porter, I seem to match those stylings better.

It’s the color that I really missed the mark on. This beer is lighter, and that’s especially noticeable around the edges of the glass. I also have trouble making this beer a consistent one, as you can see here:

Not quite
Not quite

Stouts just shouldn’t have that kind of head. Hell, I don’t think any beer should look like that. So, there’s still a little refining to the process to be done.

This image aside, most of the time the beer pours just like it ought to, and it tastes really good. The oatmeal flavors aren’t present, and once again I think I just tried to rush my brewing process more than I should have.

I’ve also discovered there is another slight problem, but I’ll save that for the next post.