Front Porch Chats #14\Second Pint Mass Defense

Brewery 26 Crispy Clean IPA“The poor will always be with you” Matthew 26:11.

My dad occasionally reminds me Jesus said this, and like dad, I am reminding you that only one of Breonna Taylor’s killers have been arrested at this point. It only took over 100 days.

On a week where people are crying about the death of Elijah McClain.

There is always another person who is made to suffer, so long as there are unjust things.

The poor will always be with us.

Because we know that poverty is largely the result of policy, not actual scarcity, it strikes me that injustice is something that we’ve always had to manage. The stories and essays verify this; going back millennia, issues around poverty and injustice have been among us.

What that means is that we have to be vigilant, and consistent about the pursuit of justice. Because for those who have enough power, they can pay someone else to champion their unjust ways-and money doesn’t sleep.

We have to rely on each other, and we have to do it almost every day. But there is work too do, and we have to commit to doing it, not just on days like Juneteenth, or Christmas, but on Wednesdays, too.

It seems like that work wouldn’t allow for breaks but it actually does; those breaks are important reminders of why it’s worth it! Because people deserve a society where they are able to sit and have a beer on their porch. Or dance. Or just exist. Without being shot.

Which brings me to Brewery 26’s Crispy Clean IPA. It has a tropical, mango scent, but the rest of the beer doesn’t quite line up with that nose. It isn’t sweet, and the bitterness on the finish doesn’t seem to have enough oomph to it.

I’m uncertain about this beer; it doesn’t seem bad but it’s not something I’m willing to recommend. If my dad was here, I’m not sure he’d be fond of it, even while reminding me that the poor will always be with us.

Today’s second pint goes to the Mass Defense program at NLG.

Desperate Times

I wish stories like this weren’t billed as ‘feel good’ moments.

This person shouldn’t have to move into their workspace and lose their home in order to keep the life they’ve built.

Good on him, and I’ve heard good stuff about Lowercase Brewing.

But still. Things didn’t have to be like this-and shouldn’t be like this.

An Open Letter To The Pubs I Like To Drink At

I’m going to stay away for a bit longer.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Quite simply: my desire to go out and have a pint does not supersede the risks that you are compelled to be under. Risks we’re already having to deal with.

I don’t blame you: people are desperate and impoverished. They are being forced into inhumane, immoral decisions between having a place to live and having a life to live in that place.

I can afford to stay out of your way, order online and take things to go. So I’m going to keep supporting you that way, for at least a few more weeks. You can establish your rules and procedures and I can let that all happen safely from home.

I’ll be back, don’t you worry.

Front Porch Chats #13\Second Pint Loveland Foundation

Stormbreaker Triple Double IPAGot us a Stormbreaker Triple Double today, a day when Breonna Taylor’s killers still haven’t been held accountable for their deeds.

It’s actually a benefit, right now, that the best argument for not having police as we know it is coming from the police.

I get that they don’t think they are making that argument, but it’s crystal clear to anyone who is on the other end of their enforcement. If the police weren’t behaving the way they were right now, I guarantee you that the protests happening nightly would have petered out by this point.

You know it is true: the continued shitty behavior by the police is keeping people from relenting on them. I know the major news has lost interest in the stories, but I’m watching the local feeds and videos from citizens and every. morning. There is a new video of police, in Portland and elsewhere, trying to terrify and abuse citizens, reporters, and protesters.

But until they are held accountable for the things they do, they won’t change-and if they won’t change, then the model the cling to deserves to be ground into oblivion.

I hope it happens sooner than later, since we deserve better. The push for change is there-let’s be brave enough to bring a new world to bear.

The effervescence on this beer dies out quickly, to its detriment. The nose-initially a nice, spicy quality, has been lost not even halfway through they glass. The finish has a sweetness and orange quality, and it supersedes the bitterness pretty well.

It’s drinkable and decent but it isn’t rising to the next tier of goodness.

Today’s second pint goes to the Loveland Foundation.

Pouring One Out

Contaminated pale aleFor the first time ever, I have dumped a batch of beer. Call it a rising sense of maturity, or a desire not to get into sunk costs but it is what it is.

The yeast didn’t start for 2 days, despite me making yeast starter. I was using a dry yeast, so making a starter was my attempt to jumpstart the yeast so the beer wouldn’t get contaminated.

That didn’t work out so well.

This beer smells of iodine, tastes of citrus, band-aid and metal. I seriously thought about bottling this anyway because who knows? Maybe a week in the bottle will improve things!

No. It won’t and I should stop pretending that it will.

Now, am I certain that the yeast is to blame? I am not, but it is the only variable to the process I’ve been doing for years, and certainly the only change since December. Nevertheless, I’m going to take some time to run a bleach solution through the equipment after this, because fool me once…

Here’s what I did, anyway:

Brew date: 6.7.20

Steeping grains
3 lb Gambrious Pale
4 lb Lamonta Pale

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

@60 1oz Southern Aroma, Cascade
@5 1 oz Cascade

Added 1 tsp Irish Moss @5

1.5 tsp Gypsum pre boil (for water conditioning)

Yeast: Mangrove Jack dry yeast-starter

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.014

Attempt to bottle: 6.17.20

ABV 6.9%

Black Is Beautiful Collab

I found this link via my homebrew club and so far, it looks like only 10 Barrel in Oregon is going to be making a beer for this-but I hope there is more.

While I’m here, I’d like to spotlight this link for Black owned craft breweries around the U.S. (Thanks to my pal Luna for sending that my way!) The last one on the list, Weathered Souls, helped spearhead the Black Is Beautiful collaboration beer linked above.

Looks like the closest one to me is in California and…well that ain’t right. Black people were brewers during the founding of this nation and they shouldn’t be shut out of the benefits craft beer has brought us in the modern age.

That said; cool vacation destinations, when we can travel again, and maybe new local spots for readers not in Portland.


Front Porch Chats #12\Second Pint Okra Project

Von Ebert Black PilsBreonna Taylor’s killers are still unaccountable for their actions, as of this writing.

That sucks to think about but I’m still thinking about it, on the porch, listening tot he rain.

Because the police are unaccountable not because life isn’t fair, but because of systems we’ve decided to live with that are unfair. I’ve never liked anything that was unfair, even since I was a very tiny person.

Concurrently, I’m sipping on this Black Pils from Von Ebert, which I got on recommendation.

I went into Beer, a store on Stark that is selling cans and bottles to go, and was looking for something else to round out a four pack.

The guy behind the counter behind the glass behind a mask told me that this was pretty good. He’s not wrong. It’s got a faint roasted quality that I don’t really pick up until about midway through, which actually is how the dark malts manifest throughout: the nose has it but just barely, the finish keeps that roasted quality there a bit longer but dang near everything else about it is a straight Pilsner; even that almost sour bitterness finish Pils tend to have is there.

I think this beer would go excellent with a hot dog.

And while that conversation was a tiny luxury, it is one I am still thinking about. He took a little time to give me a suggestion, which I appreciate. The whole thing felt normal.

The line in The Last Jedi goes “We win…by saving what we love.”

I am still very aware that the injustices done to America have not been addressed on the scale it needs to be, but I don’t want to pass those moments by where something good happened. Like the protection of LGBTQ+ rights by the Supreme Court today.

Fighting for justice is as important as preserving the values that lead us to justice. Inevitably, that means preserving the people, and relationships, that help us stand up.

Even in small ways, like getting a recommendation for a beer.

Today’s second pint goes to The Okra Project.

The First Cream Ale

first cream ale 2020It’s not too often that I feel like I really get to be proud of what I did, but this is one of those times.

For a first stab at a cream ale, I really like what I did here. There’s a pleasant sourdough nose, the malts are sweet but not grainy, and the finish is reasonably crisp. There’s even a subtle bitterness from the hops, which helps set the whole thing into balance.

The head on the beer isn’t quite as strong as I would like, which means that the effervescence on the finish doesn’t quite pop as much.

However, for the first time trying, couple with new methods of bottling, I feel like this is a pretty serious upgrade!

Brew date: 3.22.20

Steeping grains
4 lb Blue Serenade Vienna
3 lb Weyermann floor malted pils

Fermentables: 3 lb light LME-amber (doh)

1 oz Hallertauer @60
1 oz Hallertauer @10

Yeast: Imperial house yeast, 2nd use

OG: 1.055

FG: 1.012

Bottled 3/28

ABV: 5.8%

Front Porch Chats #11\Second Pint CZ

Eleven weeks ago, when the closure due to the pandemic started, I did what seemed like the most normal, obvious thing I could do: I went out on my front porch, beer in hand, and wrote.

Ex Novo's Cult Classic pale aleI’m doing it today, too-Ex Novo’s Cult Classic Pale is in the glass.

Two months ago Breonna Taylor was killed in her home.

In the past fourteen days, two things have come to light for me.

The first is a bit jazzy; it’s all the things I don’t have to worry about.

Like going for a drive, going to work, walking around, getting groceries, visiting friends, waving at babies and coming outside my own house to sit down and have a beer.

Nobody says shit to me about it. Nobody harasses me about causing a pandemic, or drinking in public, or much of anything. The more I think about it, the longer that list gets.

As of this writing, the people directly responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death have not been held accountable.

Which makes me so livid I could cry.

The second thing I understand is this; anyone can be shot on their own porch.

I recognize that now. Because the police want all of their power, but not the responsibility and we’ve been seeing how that plays out over the past two weeks: anyone can be shot at if they think the police should be accountable.

The country is trying to make a statement: What you’re doing is wrong, and we deserve better.

Black people are not them, they are us. Poor people are not them, they are us. Latinix, LGBTQ+, they are not them. They are us.

Since the injustice done to one is an injustice done to me, there is no way to view them as people who are undeserving of the right to sit on their porch, drink a beer undisturbed, and love who they love. Undeserving of justice when they are done wrong.

We deserve a just society. All of us.

Every bullet we purchase is a meal denied to the hungry. I’m tired of bullets. I want more food.

There is a lot of work to do between now and November, and more work to do after that.

Let’s get to it, and protect the people who need protecting. ‘Cause the police certainly ain’t here for it.

Now as a stunning coincidence, the Portland Police Bureau has their contract up for renewal this week. There is a call from the City Council to put off those negotiations for a year, because of the pandemic.

Don’t let them do that. We have seen what the police do and how they react to being told they need to be better. We know it NOW. In a year it will be too late, because the authority that comes from this moment will be forgotten. If you live in Portland, you have a stake in this.

So here’s how you talk to Portland’s council.

Today’s second pint goes to Campaign Zero.