This is cool.

Pictured is some IPA which I made that, thanks to people in the Oregon Brew Crew, I was able to get kegged and put into cans!

There were some complications, however. Because I don’t own a keg, I had to enlist the assistance of someone else and because I wasn’t going to be there that day, again, someone else had to bring it and have it canned. Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to convince people to help out and here we are.

However, I was expecting close to 40 cans. Savvy math users may note that there are only 24. In fact, I got 27 cans but that was all. I’m told that this is because the person operating the canning machine was having some trouble-the beer was coming out as foam-and couldn’t figure out why things weren’t going well. So he kept shaking the keg, spilling the beer everywhere. If my math is correct, that means that approximately 200 ounces of beer were lost…which is quite a bit.

That makes me sad. When I tried this beer as it was being kegged, it was very promising! To lose that much of it sucks.

Still, I have canned beer. It isn’t chilled yet, so I’ll have an update on that, along with a recipe, come Friday.

New To Me: Bar Maven

For the first, and perhaps only time in this series, I get to go someplace that isn’t just new to me but new to the area.

Bar Maven used to be Knuckleheads, a biker bar that lasted about two years and before that was…some other biker bar, I think. It’s been scrubbed clean and is now reformed, no trace of motor oil, bluesy bar rock, chrome or overt manliness that might have dominated previously.

I get a Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA and the lady has a Session ale. My beer is interesting but odd, with an aroma like smoked lavender in the nose. I like it but it’s not for everyone.

It’s nice here, in a way that most bars in this area aren’t. The advantage of starting over after gutting the biker pedigree out, I suppose. There’s art for sale on the walls, the music isn’t too loud; it could almost be a date place. Hell, for my purposes it actually IS a date place. As a result, I spend a little less time absorbing the atmosphere than I do socializing with my girlfriend but we both agree that we’ll come back.

It is, I will confess, the kind of space that I hoped would open up when I moved into this area. It suggests that this area is trending upwards and will provide more interesting things to do in the future. Which is awesome.

But. But. I think of those dive bars I’ve been to and honestly, while they weren’t for me, they weren’t Mos Eisley, you know? They give this area some character and make it an interesting place now. They provide a home to someone, someones who make the world an interesting place. I would hate to see all of them disappear.

There has to be a way for the nice and the grimy to reasonably coexist. I live in a city: I expect weird people, homeless teens, men in suits that cost more than I make in a month, women who look at me like the underling that I am and all the other weird shit that comes from being in an awesome place. If I wanted to live in a city that had walls to keep the plebes out, I’d go to Europe.

But there has to be a way to provide a little something for everyone. Maybe Foster will be a cool template for how to get that to work.

To Do List

Dad sent me this picture of a chalkboard at a hotel he had a beer at.

I really need to make something like that up for my basement. If nothing else, it would let me answer the ‘what beer is this?’ question I get weekly…

Finally, congratulations to Alabama, for finally legalizing homebrewing. Go to, Alabamians! (It is Alabamians? Whatever. Show ’em how it’s done!)

Don’t have much today

But I think this bit at Beervana is worth reading. I’ve always thought that one of the best things about travel was the opportunity to appreciate the local food and it’s cool to see how local brewing can contribute to that. It’s easy to forget that America is a big place, when so many things that are identified as part of our culture from a national perspective.

We have a lot of cool local things to see and do and try and if having a beer in a different city helps people realize that, then I’m all for it.

New To Me: NWIPA

Fuz is in town to visit. That’s his drink-the always good Hop Venom by Boneyard-in the background. Normally, when someone visits, I have a list of recommendations but since Fuz lived here, I was willing to go wherever he wanted to go. The caveat being that I was going to briefly take some time to write about it.

Luckily for me, he was amicable to heading to NWIPA for a drink. Yes, I’ve been here before but what good is a blog about going out to places if you don’t get to visit the ones you like now and again?

Fortunately, nothing has changed; there’s plenty of space, it’s well lit, good food is available…pretty much everything you’d want in a pub/bottleshop combo.

I had the Worthy IPA, which I found to be pretty enjoyable.

And then…well, we hung out at the pub, as old friends are wont to do. We had one more drink than we should have and walked home late in the evening. There was ice cream.

It was a pretty good day.

Amber Rye

I didn’t quite get what I wanted out of this one, but that’s OK.

Not that long ago at an OBC meeting, I overheard someone say: “If you really want to know if you like rye beer, then you need to just go all in and make a beer with nothing but rye.”

And I thought: I should do that. Of course, I didn’t quite do that because I didn’t want to go crazy. But I did try and build something that was pretty heavy on the rye while following an amber recipe, because I felt that ambers allow for a malt-forward style and if I want to know about rye malt, that’s the kind of style I ought to do.

And this is a pretty solid beer. It has a caramel tint to the head, a nice malt flavor, with a soft grapefruit nose and a dryness to the finish that tilts towards something a little odd, like white wine with a little earthliness to it. Dirt, maybe? But not in a -ptew- way. It’s quite distinct, however, in a way that rye malt would bring to a beer and is the point, of course. One odd thing: the ABV seems off. It just can’t be right but without more sophisticated equipment, I don’t think there’s anything I can say about it, except that I may have mis-recorded my data.

After this, I don’t know that I’m willing to gamble on going all in on rye malt. I might consider more than this, something that really forces the issue but as it stands I can taste the rye and while I like it, I get that it’s not for everyone.

Brew date: 2.24.13

Steeping malts:
1lb Rye
.5 lb 2rod
.25 C120

Fermentables:
7lb LME
1lb dry malt

Hops:
.25 Fuggles + .25 Mosaic @ 60
3/8th oz Fuggles @ 30 + .5oz Mosaic @30
7/8th oz mystery tea mixture @3 min

Yeast: Reuse WLP104 3rd time-done

OG: 1.079

FG: 1.012

ABV: 9.07%

Put int secondary 3.16
Bottle 3.3o

Glass Experiment: Brew Free or Die IPA

I was more excited for this experiment, because I really like the Brew Free or Die IPA from 21st Amendment.

First, the snifter and mug were up. The mug did offer nose for me, because head is here, something which dissipates by the time I get to drink it in snifter, even on a repour.

Despite the much reduced nose, the girlfriend picks up a green tea flavor, first noticed in mug, followed by a finishing bitterness but repeated in the snifter. There is a caramel in the middle to give it a sweet note, contributing to sweetness.

We both prefer the mug here. It just provides a better drinking experience overall. Which I know sounds pretentious as hell but I suppose it’s better to sound pretentious than be wrong.

The schooner was very attractive visually with a big head, helping bring up a pine nose in an immense way.  But while it had the better nose, I found I could get plenty on the pint and still enjoy the IPA just fine.

I agreed that visually, the schooner does look nicer. Aromatics seemed to last longer too, so in the end, the girlfriend preferred the schooner.

I found the continuing carbonation on the pint to provide a lighter mouthfeel later in the drink, but this was a very subtle shift. I probably would take the pint with a  mug-schooner tie and then the snifter.