I arrive with a friend in tow, who has been kind enough to pick me up after I dropped my vehicle off to get repairs. Beaverton is a long, long way to drive and I’m very thankful to have people in my life who are willing to help me out. We sit and have beers, me with the Catch 23 Experimental Hop pale ale and her with the Pipewrench IPA that’s been aged in gin barrels. Both beers are deemed to be worthy. My Catch 23 is very drinkable, the hop presence mild but enough to offset the malts. It’s a pale, if by margin.
As the evening goes on and the beer warms up, though, I begin to weary of the Catch 23. If I’d gotten a 16oz ale instead of a 20oz one, I think my feelings would be much more positive. Portions matter, as strange as it seems and the Catch 23 wears out its welcome a little faster than I would’ve expected. Especially since my initial response to the beer was very, very positive. The first few sips are incredibly drinkable and got me to look forward to having the rest.
But the Catch 23 doesn’t stick the landing. Partially because it’s just a little thin; there isn’t much to taste as the beer gets finished. That’s OK, because this is an experiment and so I expect Gigantic to refine this beer and come back with something even better. I knew what I was getting into so I’m not going to complain that it’s a work in progress. On the other hand, my compatriot is enjoying the Pipewrench and it seems to be improving as she drinks it. Sometimes, it just works out like that.
The woman next to us is reading a book; I keep glancing over to try and see what it is she’s reading. I like to read and as someone who often writes in a bar, I feel an affinity for people who read in one.
Finally, I just ask and as it turns out, she hates what she’s reading. It’s not enjoyable for her at all. I tell her: “Reading shouldn’t make you suffer. If you hate it, quit. I’ve tried to ready Ulysses twice and both times I hated myself. Fuck that. I acknowledge that Joyce is an important author but I don’t have to read that bullshit. I can be happy instead and read something else.”
She says, “Great. Do you want my book?”
Which is how I ended up with this: