Pale Blue Dream

pale blue dream aleEvery homebrewer I know has been asked this question at some point: Ever made a beer with marijuana?

The answer is almost always ‘no’. There’s the obvious problem: legality, but there is another. It’s cost prohibitive: two ounces of hops for five gallons, the minimum I’d want for a pale ale, would probably run over $200.

So you really gotta ‘know a guy’ if you will. And before marijuana became legalized in Oregon, you really had to know a guy.

Well, now that it’s legal, turns out I know someone and they wanted to know what would happen with marijuana they’d grown used in an ale.

So, here it is: the Pale Blue Dream.

The nose isn’t subtle at all. It smells like the strain of marijuana we used; it’s extremely earthy, but also gives the sense of something very dry, like dried out pine. Which is really weird, because I’m sniffing a liquid.

The flavors are a bit muted, thankfully. Having to drink what I smelled might be a little challenging, the scent being so harsh in my nostrils.

The flavors are mellower though. The sweetness from the malt shows up in front of the beer, providing a small amount of counterbalance. The dry, earthy scent from earlier appears on the finish but it’s quickly swept away by the lively effervescence. That earthy flavor comes back but without all the harsh qualities, and gives the beer a more mellow, drinkable quality.

It’s worth trying again, but I think I’d like to up the malt character a bit.

Brew date 12/9/17

Steeping grains
2 lb Carapils
2 lb C30
1 lb NW pale ale

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

1 oz Mosaic @ 60
2 oz Blue Dream @ 60
1 oz Blue Dream @ 5
Decarboxylate Blue Dream for 30 min @ 300

Yeast: Imperial Joystick 2nd use

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.013

Secondary: 1/10/18, added 1 oz Blue Dream, 1 oz Mosaic to secondary

Bottled 1/13

ABV: 7%

Climate Change Is Money

I’ve always been of the opinion that anyone who really loves a thing would understand that they need to do things to protect it and ensure that it survives. Hunters should be conservationists, for example. If there aren’t protected wild spaces, nobody wins.

As such, drinkers should also be environmentalists. Because we need water. Without it, there are a LOT of problems but for the sake of staying on track let’s get to the most relevant one: we don’t have more beer.

And that’s one reason, amongst many, that we should pay attention to climate change.

Some people, however, are only motivated by the cold hard realities of cash. Well, I got an article for you, too.

Whatever You Say 16\Second Pint Welcoming America

I have stopped at the Roadside Attraction on my way to somewhere else. It’s nearly empty inside, to my surprise, but there’s a man at the rail so I sit next to him and ask him what he’s drinking.

Ninkasi Dawn of the Red aleAnd that’s how I ended up with Ninkasi‘s Dawn of the Red.

The gentleman next to me is Mark; he’s come to the Roadside Attraction because his favorite bar recently closed, and he’s been trying to find a substitute bar since. It’s difficult, he tells me, because most places are too loud-especially sports bars.

I talk to him about exploring new places, because of this blog’s current theme.

The conversation turns to travel and Mark tells me he’s a amateur photographer who recently took trips based on a nuclear theme: visiting Nevada, seeing Trinity in New Mexico (site of the first nuclear bomb test), and a decommissioned base north of Atlanta where they did tests for nuclear-powered bombers.

He wants to collect the theme and publish the photos, maybe online, maybe as a tiny magazine.

Which is awesome. America, I reply, is a pretty amazing country and more Americans would do good to see more of it.

Soon, the clock reminds me that I have to go. I thank Mark for his time, finish my ale and head on my way. I never even had time to write about the beer (which I liked).

Sometimes talking to strangers lets me see more America, and when I can’t get out to see America, sometimes America comes around to see me, if I just get out a little bit.

Today’s second pint goes to Welcoming America.

Water Saver

This is extremely cool. If hop flavor can be imbued into beer without or with significantly less hops then that is a huge boon for everyone. Less water for hops means more water for other necessary things, like more beer.

However, my friend at the Traveling Yeti has a wiser and more nuanced take on things that keeps my enthusiasm in check.


Whatever You Say 15/Second Pint Maren Sanchez Foundation

I have come very far from my neighborhood to visit the Lombard House, a local pub in St Johns, and holy crap I could not create a more local local if I had wished it up. The bartender, Ryan, introduces himself and it isn’t until after I’ve sat down and seen him speak to five other patrons that I understand he’s greeting me because I’m new here and he knows it.

Upright Engelberg PilsA gentleman finishing his conversation with Ryan tells me he’s drinking the Pilsner, so I order that and then look at the board to see who made it: Upright. The Engelberg Pils.

The nose has a sourish note, like raw sourdough: yeasty, bready. The middle is very clean and the finish is crisp, breaking on my tongue like ice in a drink. It’s drinkable, mining the classic styles of pre-macro lagers. I don’t know that I would’ve ordered it for myself but I can’t be mad at it, either.

“You hungry, you want me to get some food?” A different patron asks Ryan; and man, that’s how you take care of your bartenders. Offer to buy them food.

“I don’t drink much these days,” a man says behind me.
“I definitely do,” his friend replies.

On my left is an open window -and I’ve seen at least one person lean into the window to hail the bartender for a beer. Outdoor seating is clearly key to a pub as cozy as this one.

I’m not sure if I’m here on a special night or if it’s like this all the time, but I hope it’s like this all the time. Everyone and everything feels like they walked here from work or home and are catching up. Plus, if I don’t miss my guess, a country band is about to start rollicking the place up.

I find myself wishing there was a place like this closer to home.

Then again, if it was close, what would help spur me to new adventures?

Today’s second pint goes to the Maren Sanchez Home Foundation.