Best Labels 2018

One of the best things about the maturity of the craft beer scene is the attention to labels that has developed over the past few years.

This list of favorite labels from 2018 is a fantastic example of what I mean: nobody was trying to push designs like this in 2000, and the scene is better for these developments.

But maybe you’d like to vote on some yourself? Well good news! Someone else is taking a poll here.

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Whatever You Say 54\Second Pint ACLU

Sitting at Bailey’s is nice; I remember how much I miss this place. I wish there had been a spot on the rail so I could ask someone what they were drinking, but it’s a fairly lively Sunday, to my surprise. Still, I’m glad I’m here because I still love this environment and drinking here isn’t just a nostalgia fix, Bailey’s is just a pleasant spot to be.

Rubens triple IPAThere are times where I don’t have anyone else to blame but me and this is one of them. I picked the Ruben’s Blimey That’s Bitter Triple IPA-a little reward for a long week-and it is…vehemently bitter. Jaded 50-something bitter, except with pine and soap as the aftertaste. I don’t object to it: It’s been so long since I’ve had a proper glass of IPA.

It’s a LOT though, and maybe I should’ve gotten a smaller pour.

On one side is a couple on a date, speaking a language I don’t recognize and on the other, a couple dudes talking about the origin of heavy metal (for the record, it goes: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Smoke on the Water, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, everyone else.)

I think I need to start coming back here for a bit.

Today’s second pint goes to the ACLU.

 

Well, So Much For Founders

Fuz sent me this story, which was brand new to me, unfortunately. Apparently the lawsuit in question goes back to August 22 and got some attention back then, but clearly not nearly what it should have.

And while the first action is pretty easy for me; no more drinking Founders ale, until they’ve cleaned up their act, there is always the next question: What else can the consumer do?

We can share that story. Because I didn’t know about it for six months but if I had, I would’ve stopped drinking their beer long before. Others probably didn’t know about it either; it’s on us to help make these problems visible so that they can be fixed.

Hop Seltzer

My friend Aaron sent me an article on hop seltzer which…I’m not here to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t like.

But I just don’t see hops working by themselves; for me, having that balance of malt and yeast matter. Otherwise it’s just bitter water. However, if brewers like it that means there’s an audience out there so who knows? Maybe we’ll see some commercially soon.

Whatever You Say 53/Second Pint Trans Lifeline

Pelican's Brut Lupes IPAIn a stroke of good fortune, I have found myself out at Pelican’s brewpub in Pacific City, and I’m going to try the Brute Lupes. (Which I had to say aloud to really get. I’m like that.)

The next wave of IPAs seem to be using champagne yeast to enhance the fruit notes while imparting a drier quality. The results are usually pretty interesting, though I’m not sure I’m convinced that they are awesome, at least not yet.

And the Brute Lupes isn’t the ale to convince me, either. It isn’t bad, by any means but it has a distinct orange juice flavor to it, as though it was blended together, instead of a distinct beer of its own. Now, since I’m at the Pelican brewpub in Pacific City, I have plenty of other delicious things to try. However, this ale? It’s just an interesting experiment and not one I’d jump on.

This pub is geared to be as cozy as it can be. Everything is in brown tones-even the light seems filtered through sepia. For a spot out in the middle of who knows where (the Oregon Coast) it really wants to make patrons feel warm, especially with the ferocious western coastline outside, clouds always ominous on the horizon at this time of year.

The remote location means that there isn’t anyone to ask-everyone is at a table tonight and there’s gentle disruptions, then there’s outright rude and I don’t want to cross that line.

I like it. I’d come back here en route to anywhere on the coast.

Second pint goes to Trans Lifeline.

Closure

Bridgeport brewing is big enough news that even people outside of Portland may have heard about it’s closure.

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised; murmurs get around the scene and Bridgeport had undergone at least two rebranding efforts to make their product more visually appealing. One rebrand isn’t unusual, more than that and one can’t help but wonder if everyething is OK.

The beers were solid though; stable mass market beers that you could bring to a party and not feel bad about, or that you might be excluding someone. They were always good, even if they were rarely great.

But as the Beervana blog pointed out, there seemed to be a lot of “Now that the dog has caught the car, what does it do with it?” Once they were owned by a company that didn’t seem to understand what it had or where to take it, Bridgeport didn’t branch off well; the only beer people talk about is the IPA, even though it is often spoken of in the past tense. “I used to love it,” I read or heard more than once. Yet, I thought they made other good beers too and went out of my way to try some, however one truth remains: The market is brutal and a lot of beer is out there.

I mean, Rogue still exists, FFS. ROGUE. A brewery that these days is known for making beer from the yeast found in the head brewer’s beard, and a shitty attitude towards its employees, than making a good product.

So it’s a bummer to see Bridgeport go, for certain.