The Old Guard

Here’s a nice accounting of the beers that helped kick off the craft beer revolution in America.

Some of these I have had already, Sierra Nevada, Dogfishhead, Alaskan, and others. More than I would’ve thought! It wouldn’t take too much for me to round out this list. I should make it a point to drink all of these. For science, of course!

Not Quite A Dream

Blue Dream ale AugContinuing the marijuana series of 2018:

The marijuana smell is in the nose-it’s tempered, but it’s definitely there. I suppose the process has blunted the intensity of the marijuana a bit, but that’s not a bad thing. That I don’t pick up much else is a bummer-I’m expecting a more one dimensional ale now.

I tried a different method of hopping; putting in two ounces of hops at flame out (when one stops boiling the wort) but it doesn’t seem to have had the impact I wanted. Perhaps more hops were necessary? I don’t want to just default to ‘well if it doesn’t work, MORE’ but on the other hand, I doubt it will hurt to try.

Visually, it’s pleasantly clear but a little busy from the effervescence.

One thing that I think makes this beer a little more interesting is the addition of rye malt: this version is a little dryer and a little spicy as well. It doesn’t taste like I’m chewing on marijuana leaf, so that’s a definite plus, but I think it may be time to really mix it up.

Brew date: 6/30/18

Steeping grains
1 lb Carapils
2 lb 2 row
1 lb C20
1 lb Vienna
2 lb Golden promise
.5 lb rye

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

2 1/4 oz Pale Blue Dream, 1 oz Centennial @ 60
1 oz Falconer’s Flight, 1 oz El Dorado @0
1/2 tsp Gypsum (pre-boil)
1/2 tsp Irish moss @5

Yeast: Imperial Flagship

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.01

Secondary: 7/17
1 oz Calypso in secondary

Bottle: 7/21

ABV: 8.1%

Whatever You Say 39/Second Pint Planned Parenthood

Ruse 4th Kind Oatmeal IPA

I have come to check out the new Ruse brewing location with my buddy Daniel and he’s ordered the 4th Kind, a NE style oatmeal IPA. Nose has a softer grapefruit scent, with a lush mouthfeel on this beer, likely brought about by the oatmeal. It’s not especially complex but it is tasty and not too harsh on the finish. Plus, the additional body from the oatmeal gives me a little more to chew on than the average.

My friend has recently found his job severely downsized and as a result, is home quite frequently. I’ve invited him to Ruse to get him out of the house and treat him a beer. Ten years ago, in the last big recession, I found myself unemployed too and a lot of people were kind to me during that year. I like to pay that forward when I can.

There are a lot of dogs here tonight; big, shaggy, friendly pooches who are really hoping that people will stop talking to each other or watching the football game and instead pet them a bunch. This is one of the reasons I like dogs so much; they just want you to pay some attention to them and even though they don’t understand why you aren’t, they still want to stick around so you will pay attention to them, eventually.

One dog has resigned himself to laying down in the shadow under the bar, and his friend is poking her nose into the hips of the occasional passerby, “are YOU going to pet me?” A third is standing, looking at everyone, trying to get a feel for the crowd.

It’s a nice little place with some good beer and it’s nice to catch up with Daniel, who’s been spending some of his extra time making art. “I haven’t sat on the couch and just played videogames all day even once!” he tells me and we agree that it’s one thing to blow off a day and have fun when you’re ignoring responsibilities and another when your responsibilities are on hiatus.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Send Us (some of) Your Beers, Canada, pt 2

Driftwood Cry Me A River Gose

OK, let’s wrap up my lovely visit to Canada starting with….

Driftwood Brewery-Cry Me A River Gose: This is a little bit like an alcoholic grapefruit soda. That isn’t a criticism, though: this gose is very light, even the nose is only vaguely suggestive of the tartness. It’s incredibly quaffable though and I think would be not only a great beer to drink on your porch but one that would go very well with heartier food. The tartness isn’t strong enough to blow out your taste buds, but it would totally cut through some fattier cuts of meat and clear your palate.

Plus, that label is an absolute winner. 10/10 there.

Fuggles & Warlock-the Last Strawberry-strawberry wit. The strawberry comes off really strong when I open the bottle but it’s settled out by the time I pour it into the glass. Faint but similar to a strawberry flower, the nose holds a little of the saison spice, too. As for drinking: well, the flavors deliver on the nose: it’s got a ripe strawberry flavor with just a little saison and, if this was July, would be one of my go to drinks. As it stands, it’s just a tasty beverage that I’m happy to come back to.

Category 12 Brewing-Simplicity blond ale: The beer is a crime and someone should pay for it. The nose is stale, like grain that has been left out too long and any flavors are obliterated by a finish that is as dirty as peanuts you’d find on the freeway.

Riot-Working Class Hero dark mildRiot Brewing-Working Class Hero, Dark Mild ale: the nose is stingy with it’s scents of coffee and chocolate but they are there. But the flavors are really nice. Nothing too strong- this beer is easy drinking and a little sweet on the finish. It’s a solid beer and one that you might find yourself drinking a lot of without noticing. Which is ok, because at 3.8%, you’re going to be fine.

Micro Le Casor-Farmhouse Houblon; this has got that farmhouse, horseblanket note that I’d expect from the style but also something metallic in the nose, too. It’s fairly light, thankfully and I don’t pick up any metal in the finish. Lemony, just shy of soapy but an OK beer I’d say.

Send Us (some of) Your Beers, Canada

My recent trip to Canada yielded the opportunity to try a lot of different ales! Which was really quite nice. Plus, I got to share many of them with an old friend, and that’s even better. So, as is tradition, I’m going to give short views on what I had, with a little influence from my friend. Because the best way to really evaluate a beer is with someone else.

Four Winds: Meli saisonFour Winds- Meli, a farmhouse ale. This farmhouse ale is mining apples for flavor like nothing I’ve ever had. The nose is a little sweet, almost cloying in a yeast base way. But the beer tastes like cinnamon and applesauce. Or perhaps apple pie would be a better comparison: A little sweet, a little spicy, even a hint of dough in there. It seems a little alcohol forward for a 6.7% beer-there’s a question as to where the spice comes from, alcohol or yeast. It’s definitely enjoyable though and recommended.

Brassneck– 10×10 IPA: Faint hit of pine in the nose, and that woody quality shows up in the finish, too. It’s a solid, no frills IPA I’m perfectly happy to drink this at first…

But it doesn’t age well. The more sips I get, the more a dirty note comes in and the beer becomes less palatable. The front end of this beer is really good but the dismount just torques it badly.

However, their Kolsch is a different story entirely. Sourdough nose, bready malt line running through it, finishes pretty clean, I really think it’s delicious.

Brassneck: Pinky Peppercorn saisonAlso, they gave me a taster of the Pinky Promise to replace the 10×10. This is a saison with pink peppercorn and this too was a very good beer. A little lemony, just the barest bit of spice, and a pleasantly tart finish, I’d recommend this beer, no question.

33 Acres– ‘Of Euphoria’; Belgian tripel. There’s a hint of vanilla liquor in the nose, which sets me up pretty well for what I’m in for. Banana, vanilla: very much like a sundae is this beer. I can appreciate it, but my personal preference would be if it was a little drier on the finish, like white wine. However, it’s not flawed and I’d gladly recommend it to anyone who likes the style.

Luppolo– Oatmeal Stout: this is a super light stout. Pleasant coffee nose, with flavors that follow through. What I don’t get is a mouthfeel that I would expect from oatmeal being added. My tongue slices through this ale like water and I’m a little disappointed by that.

However; feel is not the major determiner of a beer, flavor is. And this stout is a light, dry stout. If there was a little more chocolate in there, I’d call it a porter and be perfectly happy. As it is, the coffee notes are strong enough and the beer more than pleasing that I’d tell someone to have one.

Field House-Dutch Pale ale: First impression, oh this smells like cutting open a bag of hops, maybe Simcoe. It’s a little funky, too but the flavors give me some malt (yay!) before turning back to the hops. The finish, though, has a lot of effervescence & bubbles and wipes the slate clean-right before a tinkerbell wave Torchlight: Hoptimus Prime IPAof sweetness arrives to balance it all out. I dig it.

Torchlight Brewing– Hoptimus Prime IPA: Pleasantly straightforward NW IPA. Clear & bright, without an overpowering hop bitterness-there’s actually a little sweetness that appears before the finish-it reminds me of IPAs from 5 years ago.That isn’t a bad thing: it’s nice to get a break from the “juice box” IPAs. Definitely wants some nachos to go with it. I like it.



Whatever You Say 38/Second Pint OFB

“You know who owns the Washington Post?”
Backcountry-Suck It Trebek IPA

“Jeff Bezos?”

Nods, “He’s a liberal cunt.”

This was a conversation I overheard in Backcountry Brewing in Squamish, British Columbia.

And that was how I knew that Americans had failed the world.

On the upside, the beer I was having was pretty good;

The Suck it Trebek is a NE style, hazy juice box IPA. It’s also got some density on the tongue that I’m good with. It’s mining the grapefruit note but the beer keeps things on the sweet side, and the finish isn’t sharp at all. I like this one.

Backcountry Pils

Next up was the Trailblazer Pilsner and like the OG pilsners, it has a sourdoughish nose and finishes very clean and very crisp. I’m digging it, I tell my friend and as I say that, a hit of bread-ness comes up on the finish. I’m really liking this beer and am impressed with anyone who does a really good Pils.

But what stuck with me was listening to the conversations that the locals were having about the state of American politics, and one man in particular who was assured that “President” Trump was absolutely doing the right thing-that any problems his administration was having, specifically the dentition of hundreds if not thousands of refugees and children was the fault of the previous President (and only him), and not the result of specific policy choices.

And in response to reporting that Trump is a liar and deeply problematic for multiple reasons, this man had decided to write off the owner of the source of the reporting.

It took a lot of restraint to keep myself from getting involved with that conversation. It wasn’t mine though, so I tried to focus on the company I was with.

I couldn’t let it go, though: America has allowed an unwise, callous, racist, bigoted, sexist criminal to take the lead-and people are following it. Not just Americans. The world.

Because that leader has a voice and that voice has been amplified now by power he should not have been given…yet here we are. I shudder to think at the consequences for us, the ones that America must take on and the ones others will foist upon us.

So I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the power that America has comes with responsibilities, and those responsibilities extend not just to our fellow citizens, but to a wider audience as well. We owe it not just to the world to exercise our responsibilities in a kind and just manner, but to ourselves. Perhaps especially to ourselves. If you aren’t registered to vote, now is a good time to do that.

I grinned sheepishly at my friend while a misinformed man loudly dismissed the facts at hand, and when he said “Can we go?” I gladly agreed. There would be no point in involving myself in a conversation where I did not belong. But we’d had a couple tasty beers and our own company was good; there was no reason to let our day be spoilt.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Food Bank.

The Old School

Before the days when you could get anything you wanted, there was…not that. As this article outlines.

I enjoy these looks into history, and while this is a pretty broad overview, it is still has some pretty cool stories involved-and promises some still to be told.

I’m in Canada for the rest of the week, so the next post will go up on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!

Whatever You Say 37/Second Pint TAC

Crooked Stave: Nightmare On BrettIt is another fortunate week for me, as I have a friend visiting from out of town and I get to take his recommendation.

His choice: Crooked Stave’s Nightmare on Brett, a sour ale with a raspberry base, aged in whiskey barrels. This ale is not too sour, raspberry in the nose, blackberry flavors in the sour, but the whiskey is not there at all. I found this to be surprisingly drinkable, which was great. My friend tends to enjoy really sour ales and I just don’t have the stomach for them, so it’s cool that this worked out.

It was especially nice to come to Bailey’s, since it was one of his favorite places when he lived here. That’s certainly one of the things I enjoy about going back to Spokane, though most of the places I used to go aren’t there now, or, truth be told, fitted me at that place and time and I’ve been gone for twenty one years.

I wouldn’t mind if for a few months, this entire series became about visiting with people I don’t get to visit with often. I know I’m doing this in part to try and reach out in a world that seems like it’s becoming very closed in and scarier than before but getting to visit with friends is still the best.

Today’s second pint goes to the Treatment Advocacy Center.

Common Ales: Bridgeport Rose IPA

Bridgeport Rose IPAI bought this beer in the middle of summer and liked it so much, I bought it again so I could write about it for the blog.

The color on the Rose IPA is just fantastic. A lovely shade of pink, evoking the wine it’s named from.

They didn’t shy away from the hibiscus, either; the nose is very floral but it isn’t citrusy or piney in the way of most hops. It also isn’t overpowering, which is nice.

Which is something that can be said about this Rose IPA at large: it’s fairly subtle and pretty easy to drink.

The can says they use hops in this but the finish is pretty floral too, and dry to boot. Again; a homage to a refreshing glass of wine. That’s pretty cool, I think and I definitely would recommend it.