Excellent

I don’t know that I’d buy this beer or drink it but it certainly gives me something entertaining to watch. Not bad for a Friday.

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So I went to Columbia River Brewing

It was a business thing and I thought; Perfect. This solves problems for me because I always want to get to new(er) spots and there’s just so many places to go that sometimes, new things can get lost in the shuffle.

irish red aleThe pluses: the Irish Red ale was 100% solid. A fine demonstration of what you can do with a workhorse level brew like that. Bright, a nice malty nose, very quaffable brew that encouraged multiple pints. The people with me agreed; it was a fine ale.

The minuses: apparently Columbia River’s computers went down and they had to start taking orders by hand. There were delays due to technological failure. Completely understandable if your customers know what’s going on.

But we didn’t and for far too long; members of our table went thirty minutes without being approached for an order and that really puts a negative spin on things. Later, members of my table had to petition staff on the status of their food. Again, this just makes people irate.

Communicate with your customers. They will (frequently) be pretty understanding. Nobody has to put up with anyone being a dick (see also: non-understanding assholes) but people who know the whole story are more likely to be forgiving of the occasional hiccups in the business.

The question mark: the IPA. It was cloudy, looking more like an hefe than an IPA. Hypothesises were raised in order to figure out this anomaly; pushing the beer too quickly through and the kind of yeast used were both given weight. I didn’t drink it but when it came time to order another beer, people ended up going for the Irish Red ale.

Whatever You Say #32

Part of me wants to just post this photo of the ’10 Abyss and call it good.

It’s been a long night. Tango 2 classes have begun and I am trying to learn how to step differently. Shoulders forward, signals with your bicep, clavicle, step here, cross there, wait, wait, don’t move too much otherwise the follow will be flailing in a comical gesture of cross steps and unfortunate weight distribution.

Still, the reward was coming into the Green Dragon and asking a very nice couple what they were having. She had an IPA and he had the Abyss.

How do I refuse the Abyss, especially when the 2010 version has been so good? Coffee and long lengths of stout flavors that linger like a friend you don’t want to see go. There’s a brief discussion about blogging software-I am fool enough not to ask what it is that they may blog about though I got the impression that, like so many blogs, it was started and then left to languish in the sun, like a forgotten Corona. (All Corona’s should be forgotten but that’s a different rant.)

Nonetheless, I want to remain interested. If I don’t want to get too bitter or high and mighty then it’s important to take advantage and ask questions. People want to tell their stories, they want to be understood. Giving them a chance to talk actually helps me listen as it may help them tell a story.

I want to keep striving for that.

Fred’s Maibock

Almost two months ago, I mentioned brewing a maibock at Hopworks. Yesterday, that brew got served to the public and I hustled my way from work in order to make it there to try some.

And it’s pretty damn good. The kick ass ‘assistant’ brewer (quotes because she’s a brewer, regardless of title)¬†Amelia was there to take pride in both her work and supervisory role and talk to me a little about the process of fermentation and shine a little light on how a smaller brewpub compares to homebrewing. Turns out, sanitation and temperature control during fermentation are two of the biggest keys when brewing on a larger scale; if those things are right, she says, your beer will probably be pretty good. Truly awesome of her to spend some time with me, which I appreciate and I respect her (and Hopworks‘) work all the more because the process is different by virtue of scale alone.

The maibock was a light, malty-ish beer that was tasty without having any one element overpower the beer. There was a nibble at the end-not a bite but definitely a shift in flavor. Some suggested that the hop value was a bit high and while I’m not inclined to agree with that assessment, after three maibocks I did note an oily, bitter note at the end indicative of hops. After three beers though, I don’t think this is a weird thing; hop flavors are cumulative so after several I’d just imagine they will be more prominent.

Unfortunately, I didn’t remember my camera so I don’t have pictures. You’ll just have to imagine.

As an added bonus though, I was able to try some of Hopworks’ Galactic Imperial Red before it goes on sale today at Ground Kontrol and debuts tomorrow at Hopworks. Thanks to Amelia, who was too kind!

Let’s check out the bottle:

Hopworks Galactic Red bottle

I don’t know about you but as a kid who grew up during the era of 16-bit videogames, this is a triumph. Triumph, I tell you!

And the beer itself?

Galactic brew

So that’s what it looks like. The taste; it’s a really, really smooth red ale. A touch of alcohol warmth at the end, which if you’re thinking about it might remind you that this is an imperial red. Otherwise, I can see people drinking a little more of this brew than they intend and paying for it.

But while you’re drinking it, it’s a hell of a nice red ale. Check it out.