It took some convincing to get the bartender to tell me what his favorite beer on tap was. I’m asking him because he’s the only other person at Imbibe, where I’ve come to pick up beers while I’m on the road.
I don’t fault him: His job is to find out what I want and give it to me, not the other way around. But I have a theme, damnit and he’s gonna help me with it.
Eventually he recommends Airways’ Sky Hag IPA, so I get a tiny glass. The Sky Hag is one of those scour power IPAs, where you can practically taste dry hops on the finish: extremely harsh there. It’s a little much for me but for a aficionado of IPAs, they would probably dig it. I wish I could get some scent off this but because I chose a very short pour, the effervescence is limited. When I agitate the beer, I get a little tangerine, but faintly.
He asks me where I’m from and when I tell him, we immediately start talking about Portland breweries and quickly hit upon Old Town Brewing being in the news. For those uninitiated to this story, here’s the super short version: Old Town has a trademark that the city of Portland wants them to give up so they can sell it to ABInBev.
This leads us to talking about politics (super cutthroat lately, he says) and monopolies (I have heard some stuff about Amazon from customers that I had no idea about, he tells me) as I tell him about Portland and the struggles we have to balance the needs of the city with the needs of its people. Things just seem unfair and nobody likes it when things are unfair.
Our short answer: some of those big companies should be broken up…
But who knows. We’re just a couple dudes at a bar. Soon, other customers come in and he’s got a job to do, while I have my own work to be done. Nonetheless, the conversation feels a little old fashioned, like something you’d read about in a knock-off Steinbeck novel. Just in a good way.
Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Food Bank.