The Lomporter is a chocolate delight. The nose has an element of liquor to it, as though I was drinking something stronger, and chocolate malt, the kind my Dad could get milkshakes made from as a kid.
I think there’s a little roast on the finish, right next to a toffee flavor. The menus says this won gold at the Great American Beer Fest last year and I can see why: it’s absolutely delicious.
It’s weird to be here, days before closure. There’s no way to look at things as normal, but the appearance certainly reflects that.
Lompoc has been in Portland for 23 years-nearly as long as I have-and its closure comes with a long line of news about places closing (Bridgeport) or being bought out (Laurelwood, Ninkasi). 2019 has been rough on the local beer scene. If they brewery operates in Portland but is owned by someone in San Francisco, is it still local? If you lose your local pub, where do you find your community, now?
Something will rise up. Something always does; we need our communities and when we cannot find them, we often make them.
But we’re losing something, again. Something both real and ethearal and that is why I’m here, even though Lompoc wasn’t my local brewpub. They made really good beer, they were a reliable spot to come and hang out, and they anchored part of the Portland beer scene.
It sucks to lose that, because it feels like there have been a lot of losses this year. Personal and public, private and for all to see, on stages large and small, it’s hard to escape the notion that the beatings will continue until morale improves…or until we outright break.
And it used to be that we could say that ‘hey, at least we can get a beer when it’s over’. A way to salve our losses together, regroup and support where we could.
But now there’s one less place to get that beer.
A nearby table has a couple growlers on it: some savvy fans of Lompoc brought something to get filled. Behind me I can hear the waitress tell a table that they’re out of certain food items, offering alternatives. I watch another patron head to a table, two six-packs of the Lomporter in her arms-if the good thing is going to leave us, damnit we’re going to take as much of it with us as we can.
Today’s second pint goes towards the Excalibur Food & Staples drive. One more week to go!