7pm: Holidays

Coming to Bailey’s on a holiday feels a little like coming in on a Sunday. Being there when I shouldn’t be there; they ought not to be open but what the hell; it’s a good life right? Let’s serve some beer today.

And truthfully, it was a pretty good day. Sure, I had to do some housework and beer work (super special thanks to Hopworks for giving me some yeast for my next batch of beer!) but mostly I listened to a lot of heavy metal. Plus I got to play Magic and hang out with friends.

It’s good to be reminded that when things are good, they are good. Good times also pass, so relishing that moment is just as critical to my well being as dipping into the despair that life provides. Let other people vacation on these weekends, I’m going to sit back and relax. Enjoy what I have and do those little chores before officially saying: To hell with this, I’m going to screw around the rest of the day.

silver city iredI’m having Silver City‘s Ridgetop Red and it’s weird enough that I have to get some water. The food and drink I’ve had earlier may be mucking with things so I just need to clean the palate off.

But no, the beer isn’t as malty as expected for a red; as as matter of fact, it’s very, very dry. There’s a touch of fruitiness, cherry but not candy cherry yet not sour either in this beer, that just doesn’t quite belong. I dip my tongue into the crevices of my mouth to scoop the dryness out; the bubbly quality of this ale just wiping out my saliva. I like it but this beer isn’t what I expected by a long shot. There’s a biscuit nose here that is also misleading; the whole beer wants to go in three different directions and none of them are bad but how do I recommend this to someone else?

There are a lot of sampler trays going out tonight, I notice. Visitors and travelers in the bar; I overhear their conversations with the bartender and I consider adding my own voice but decide against it. Let these people have their vacations, their sweet moments where they take in for themselves their experience.

The selection tonight, though interesting (as always) reminds me that Bailey’s has a bottle selection that I oft overlook. Yet, when the other choices appear to be unappealing, why not get a bottle? Yeesh. I think next week I’ll have to give it a shot. Bottles!

Wait; I can have a sampler tray now. That changes everything!

Seattle wrapup

While spending much of the last weekend at PAX, I made sure to take some time taking in what the locals drink and here’s what I recall:

Fremont Brewing had a lovely summer pale ale that made a very positive impression on me. It had an easy drinking quality and I would compare it to Deschutes’ Mirror Pond. I’d like to go back and get some more of their wares, because it really was a tasty beverage that I’d like more of and I’d like to see what else they do.

Brouwer’s pub is a great place to catch a pint or two. Go during happy hour though; it’s a little pricey. I can’t remember what brews I had exactly but I can tell you they were tasty and served properly. I was distracted by getting tiny plates of fries and sliders for dinner, which were super good. The staff was also tremendously helpful, returning a map for me that I very much needed to navigate the rough paths of Seattle. To the staff: thanks so much!

black raven ipaFinally, I had some of Black Raven‘s Trickster ale at the Parkway in Tacoma. As readers probably know by now, I have a thing for any beer named after mythological creatures and the Trickster is one of my favorite ones. It was an IPA that tasted like raspberries up front, drop of malt, then hoppy goodness at the end. Wonderful beer and if you have the opportunity, try it.

The beer was almost good enough for me to overlook the surliness of my server. Fortunately for us, she was soon supplanted by a much more pleasant one.