This article outlines why I’ve started picking a style to brew and trying to make it well. That brewer got way more experimental than I ever have but still, I’m hopeful that this consistency will not only yield better beers, but a better brewer.
It has been brought to my attention that some readers may be new to this blog. That makes sense-I’ve been doing this since 2008 and every so often, it is good to provide a little refresher.
Let me start with; hello! Thanks for coming by. Please allow me tell you about what I’m doing over a Fort George ‘From Astoria With Love’ Russian imperial stout. This puppy is faint of nose, mild of midrange and brings the coffee in hard on the finish.
I’m not going to lie to you: there isn’t much more too it than that. That isn’t a bad thing, oh no. Not at all. You’ve got a strong, flavorful, straightforward beer. The flavor profile is the profile; coffee and roast.
You either want that or you don’t. Me? I’m good with this.
This blog is about the beer I make and the beer I drink, posting M-W-F (usually). On Mondays, I usually go out and sit somewhere with a beer and talk about whatever is on my mind. I do my best to make those posts a little more accessible, as these are the ones my Mom will often read and she doesn’t care about beer. (Hi, Mom!)
I also have a second blog, where I talk about playing Magic, the Gathering and other games, if that’s the sort of thing that interests you, with posts T-Th (usually). I even have a Twitter, though I’m infrequent.
The Second Pint project, referenced in the title, was started around November, 2016. Every week, my intention is to donate what would have been my second beer to a worthy cause and bring that cause to the attention of my readers. Maybe you want to donate too, maybe you don’t: That’s OK. I just want to contribute to a better world in the face of something very frightening and do so publicly, so that other people might feel encouraged to contribute as well, in whatever manner they feel capable.
And that’s the big picture version. Thanks for coming by.
Today’s Second Pint goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
I enjoyed this article from Eater on women in the brewing industry, perspectives on marketing, and general visibility in the scene.
Alesong‘s “Here Comes The Sun” dry hopped Bier de Mars with citrus and spices was my pick, based on the advice from the bartender. Sometimes I have to do that: ask for ideas or help or recommendations. There’s too much information and I can only sort through so much of it.
I’m not picking up much nose on this one and I’m unsure if it’s because this beer doesn’t have much scent coming off of it, or because it’s offering things that I’m not sensitive to. I try again and get something a little musty, farmhousey and then faintly tart, an undertow and for a moment I’m worried that I’ve gotten something sour and sour things don’t treat my stomach very well.
But it isn’t. A little spicy, a little dry, it’s got a really tactile finish, forcing me to ripple my tongue to the roof of my mouth so I can get enough spit around to moisten everything again.
I’m not sure it’s for me. I am positive that this beer is for someone because I have friends who like this flavor profile. It’s possible that if I was drinking this beer in July, I might have a more positive reaction to it.
As it stands, I’m not there.
Which is OK; I asked for a suggestion and I got one. Sometimes, you have to adventure out into the unknown.
Today’s second pint goes to Campaign Zero.
With Modern Times moving into the Portland market, now is an opportune moment for me to talk about their beer again. Previously I only found their stuff in Washington and I liked it a bunch, so I’m excited to give a different style a review.
The nose is funkalicious. Straw and dirt and outdoors.
The rest is also quite accomplished. The can says ‘rustic’ on it and that’s not a bad inclusion from the marketing folks.
Visually, it’s WHOA clear. I’d mistake it for a pilsner just by looking at it. Well done, there.
The beer itself is pleasantly chewy; there’s some sweetness in the middle but it isn’t overwhelming at all. It’s grainy, this mouthfeel: there’s a little weight to this saison that provides some nice body to it. The finish is dry and a little spicy, like pepper maybe?
I like it. I like it a bunch: it’s easy drinking despite having so many flavors going on and has a lot of “let’s drink this in the shade when it’s hot” vibe.
If there’s a drawback, I don’t see this pairing with a lot of food. Maybe a bread, cheese, and olive picnic? It’s just fine on its own, though.
This is a very cool article on a yeast being used in Norway which is just now being catalogued and shared among the brewing scientists.
I think that when stuff like this comes up and can be not only preserved but shared, that’s awesome.
Today: Block 15’s Sticky Hands Brewer’s Cut.
The nose doesn’t give much away, being dankish, marijuana tilted, but not overwhelming at all…
But the finish lays it all out there. It feels like I’m running a small metal screen over my tongue and there isn’t anything to weight the front end to protect my tongue from such a grating.
Is it bad? No. Instead, this is a beer that is telling me what it is-five hops are listed as part of the profile, and the ABV at 8.1% isn’t suggesting an imperial style- and fulfilling it. Instead, that’s me, hoping that it will be balanced.
Do I want another? No. Do I have regrets? No, not in this instance.
I can accept this choice because the consequences of this beer will last about thirty minutes.
It’s not like I projected my hopes onto a person, who was serially lying and promoting terrifying ideologies to any and everyone in the hopes that he could be a leader. Like I am having to make a decision that I will have to live with for years. Thirty minutes is not a very long, nor difficult time, to have to endure almost any bad decision.
I’ve just come from dinner with a friend and despite our best efforts to talk about games, movies, TV, books, comics…politics filtered in. Which is why I’m thinking about these decisions right now.
I’m starting to think that almost nobody actually likes politics. We have lives and issues to try and wrangle on our own without having to worry about politics. That’s why we farm that work out. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that the inter connective qualities of the world matter and…it’s tiring.
One of the reasons I think Americans are so angry is that we have to deal with this bullshit, shit that we entrusted other people to manage with dignity and our best interests as citizens…but the overwhelming evidence that money pulls those strings harder than votes do, so it’s time to cut those strings, that we have to do that work (again, in some respects), pisses us off. Makes it harder to listen to people…hell, anger makes damn near everything harder.
Today’s Second Pint goes to Freepress.
There are a lot of reasons why I’m interested in the environment and protecting it. This bit from Guardians of the Galaxy probably sums it up best though:
Rocket Raccoon: Why would you want to save the galaxy?
Peter Quill: Because I’m one of the idiots who lives in it!
Which brings me to the history of this man, who spent a lifetime researching strains of barley , at first to help diversify the kinds of malt available to brewers but through his life to help diversify…well, everything.
It’s a pretty cool history and I hope the protection of the environment continues because…well, I’m one of the idiots who needs it.
Also, happy National Beer Day! Because why not?
Recently, there was an article in the Willamette Week about how Bridgeport Brewing has been negatively impacted by current craft beer trends. I’d certainly hate to see them fall by the wayside, so when I saw some beers that were new to me at the store, I thought: “Well, let’s see what Bridgeport is doing.”
Lager funk nose is dead on there. The beer itself is very light, very clean, and finishes with just a hint of hop bitterness. There is a smidgen of sweetness that rides in the middle, subtle enough that I don’t notice it at first but I like the effect.
The ABV is contributing to the quality, I think: 5.6% isn’t too high but it is definitely enough to give this Tiny Horse a bit of power. It doesn’t feel like drinking water and I like that.
It’s good, is what I’m saying. If you’re the kind of beer drinker that figures there are two kinds of beer: yellow and brown and you like the yellow stuff, then this is absolutely for you.
If you’re just someone who wants a good beer with pub food of any stripe: this beer is also for you.
Or, maybe you’re someone who feels like having a decent pilsner. Then I’d say give this a go, too.
If Bridgeport goes down making beers like this, Portland will be worse for it. But if they go down making beers like this, then they will be going down swinging.
This week, Lagunitas‘ One Hitter: Dave Murphy’s Best Scotch Ale. This is an imperial scotch ale although you wouldn’t know it by the looks. Also: hell of a name on that, right?
The nose on the One Hitter tries to weasel the peat quality beneath me, sweet malt flavors really covering most everything up. But the first sip reveals all: smoke, peaty density that is drying in it’s intensity.
I let it sit for a few minutes to see if anything changes. To its credit, the One Hitter doesn’t shift; sweet nose, smokey flavor. Unfortunately, though, the One Hitter become one note. If I had ordered half a glass of this, I think I’d be kinder to it but as it stands, I’m just not enamored.
It’s a rare Sunday night to be out but here I am. Spring has made its presence known for almost three days in a row and as much as I enjoy long dark nights, I have to confess the sunlight is a welcome addition right now.
I can feel it in the city, too: a certain restlessness. Not in a bad way, a “ah, the hell with all this” sort of thing. More like; the sun is there to shine a light on life so you can get more done. More of everything.
Via sheer muscle memory I have discovered that I can hit “Cmd-Tab” on my iPad keyboard to flip between apps.
This is a very little thing, but it makes me happy. For a couple reasons!
First, keyboard commands are easier to execute than whatever swiping command is there.
Second, it’s a new thing that I have discovered! I want to be engaged in new things. I want to be able to look at the old and know when to set it aside for later, know when to defend it, and know when it must be discarded.
Which isn’t easy. Being assured of something makes everyone feel more comfortable: assured of our friends or lovers or family. Assured of employment. Assured of identity. Assured of trustworthiness.
I don’t have an easy answer. I want to be OK with change-with the notion that change is just a redirection of energy from one thing to a different thing-but I am also very tribal in my defense of things that I care about, or that make me feel safe.
I’m not sure how to let that go. Because I have grown up with the notion that it is difficult to really fail-to really be left behind in this country. Maybe it would be OK to let some things go if I could fall and only take a bruise instead of a break.
However, the callousness of the current political leadership, towards fact, towards the future, towards women, towards the disenfranchised or maligned, these things have raised a regression in myself. ‘Lock everything down and keep strangers away!’ I can feel it and I’m struggling against it.
So I am attempting to be more generous of my time. Attempting to be more vulnerable to people around me. Ironically, by trying to be more willing to put myself in situations where failure is an option. It’s weird. It’s likely a luxury in itself.
Still, I’m not sure I have another choice, given the situation in front of me.
Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.