I (sorta) bought this VI

What we have here is the Stratofortress by Wingman Brewers and a brownie.

In many ways, this should tell you all you need to know about this beer: drink it with a brownie. The earthy elements of the cedar and rum give this beer enough bitterness that a brownie is really the best compliment. If you can convince a loved one to make that brownie with dark chocolate chips so you get the sweet with the bitter, then all the better.

Because that’s what I was lucky enough to do and let me tell you: it’s pretty high on the awesome.

Also, if you can convince a friend to go to (or come from) Tacoma with a growler of the Stratofortress? Do that too. (See the previous paragraph for why.)

It’s pretty much a tiny slice of heaven and you probably won’t even realize this ale is 11%. Which it is, so drink carefully, my friends. But drink it. I eagerly await my next trip to Tacoma to try more of Wingman’s stock, because this beer is a damn fine one and poured from a keg? I can hardly wait.

Added bonus: interview with a co-owner of Wingman.

7pm The Forest and the Trees

This beer is adequate. The nose is citrus-y with a slight touch of sourness? The afterbite isn’t too harsh for an IPA; definitely NW influenced but not nearly as crazy as some IPAs I’ve had. The bite hits on the sides of my tongue, in the back and less at the hinge of my tongue.

So it’s drinkable and I wouldn’t refuse it. Which, for a new-ish place, is a good start. I’ve been told-and I agree-that nobody should judge a brewery based on the beers they produce in the first year. With that as the standard, if this IPA-endearingly entitled, ‘Rusty Truck’-is where the baseline is, then that’s a pretty solid start.

A little over a week ago, I had the honor of meeting a regular reader of the blog who liked my stuff. As a writer, I can’t tell you how cool that was, especially since it happened on my birthday. I toil (well…sorta) on this by myself with inspiration from wherever I can get it. It’s not always easy and talking, however briefly, to a reader is very rewarding. My regret is that I was so astounded by my good fortune that I forgot to do a proper introduction and so did not get his name. Wherever you are sir, thank you.

I do remember that he said to me, “I wish you talked a little more about beer,” and I get that. Hell, I wish I talked a little more about beer, sometimes. There’s so much to learn however that I, even after eight, or is it nine?, years of brewing, feel like I barely have the right to talk on styles, much less be an authority. On top of that I still have a regular life I’m trying to have, too. Then again, if I cannot take confidence in my own work, why bother? So this is a reminder to stride boldly into the world, faithful in my own abilities, eager to learn more where they may fall short.

At the same time, I’m not really here just to talk about beer, am I? And this is not to critique my readership in any manner: I’m happy that someone else is along for the ride, you know?

I am here, especially on Mondays, to talk about the world, to interpret the world and to dream about the world in a better way. And I want you to come with me.

Look; this Rusty Truck might be amazing and I’m just missing it. However, without someone to see the little touches I’m missing, I’ll likely always miss the qualities that make it special.

Well, shit. Where’s the fun in that? Kurt Vonnegut said, “we’re here on Earth to fart around.” And while I don’t like the idea of wasting time very much-I never have, even as a small child and had, one might consider, a great deal of time to waste, I do think that it’s best not to take things too seriously. The best way to do that is to have a people around you bringing the new to light, chiding the dark with a smile and suggesting that not only can we be better -and drink better- but we can have a pretty good time doing it.

Which is why I’ll be here, next week, 7pm…give or take a few minutes. Because I want you to come with me and I want you to tell me something cool.