I reluctantly interrupt the man next to me. He’s got his phone out, a pencil and pad of paper, and is intently doing something. So after a brief explanation of my request I let him be: it’s important to respect everyone’s time and I’m eating into his, just a little.
He’s drinking Ruse’s Deep Sleeper. He says he doesn’t know the brewery, so I fill him in on what I know (they were doing contract brewing where they could and are opening up a their own place soon) and he compares the beer to Founder’s CBS beer, which was aged in whiskey barrels that had also aged maple syrup.
‘This isn’t as sweet,’ he tells me ‘but it’s still pretty good.’
So I ask for the beer-it’s in a bottle, a rarity for this theme!- and thus begins a small scramble to find another bottle. The bartenders make a short leap to try and see if the beer is available on the top shelf of their beer cooler (it was definitely a small highlight to see them both hop to try and see into it) but apparently the visitor has gotten the last bottle!
“Sorry man, did I ruin your blog?” he asks.
“Absolutely not! Adaptation is the hallmark of the species,” I reply, and he chuckles. So another rarity for tonight: I get to pick for myself. I take the Stonebreaker/Occidental Klarem Pale ale.
It is delicious. Light and lemony, using a Kolsch yeast to make it bright and Mandarina Bavaria hops for the citrus, this beer is a great reroute of my evening. It finishes very clean, and the bitterness isn’t intense at all. I just forgot to take a picture of it.
The man next to me is Lance: he’s visiting from Chicago. He comes to Portland a few times a year and is swing through via a trip to Seattle. He asks me for my favorite beer-an impossible ask-but I list a few breweries that, if he hasn’t heard of he should investigate. I end up telling him about the new Modern Times facility across the river and he seems pretty excited to hear that.
“The first time I had Modern Times,” he says, “I was in Thailand.”
Which leads to him telling me a short tale about the connection that San Diego has to Thailand and how breweries have found distribution there. Pretty cool stuff!
Today’s second pint goes to the White Helmets.