Cream Ale From May #2

Cream Ale 2020Here we go:
Head is steady and very white. It’s not thick, but it keeps the layer of foam on the beer throughout.
It’s got nice malt nose, too; not strong enough to be called grainy or bready but notable.
The flavors are excellent, to me; the malt is there and the bitterness on the finish isn’t intense at all. The carbonation really picks up the slack when it comes to clearing the palate.
It’s nice to know I can get beers like this made; no, it isn’t perfectly clear but it’s still bright and, as the kids might say ‘crushable’. I think one could easily put away a few of these at a time easily.
Brew date: 5.25.20

Steeping grains
7 lb 2 row
1 lb 15L Cara malt

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME
1.5 oz Fuggle .5 oz Cluster @60
.5 cluster, .5 Fuggle @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.018

Bottled 5.31

ABV: 5.7%

The Convert

This enjoyable story about a heavy metal drummer finding a second career in craft brewing is both a lot of fun and, I think, a great example of how the enthusiasm for something can bring someone around.

If it wasn’t for the passion of US beer drinkers, this guy wouldn’t’ve ever found himself in this position. That’s a cool thing, in days when America is, to put it kindly, shooting itself in the foot.

Front Porch Chats #18\Second Pint FRRC

Breonna Taylor’s killers are still unaccountable.

But, that is the last time I am going to mention that casually.

It isn’t that I don’t care, it obviously isn’t that justice has been done.

IPelican brewing Bronze God martzent is because I don’t want to use her memory like a cudgel to get people to pay attention. The whole damn country is focused on Portland right now, and who knows who has stumbled upon this blog.

But she was a person who had an injustice done to her and I don’t want to be someone who tries to turn that injustice into my crusade.

It isn’t fair to her, nor the people who loved her, nor anyone working to push for this wrong to be made right.

She deserves better, just like the rest of us.

Today, I’m on the porch with a Bronze God martzen style ale from Pelican brewing.

It’s a decent enough beer; I love the copper color. The flavors are pretty mild; this isn’t overly sweet and as a matter of fact, I hardly get anything from this beer but a subtle toasty quality.

To tell the truth, I wish this beer was colder. Seems like it should be, you know? Not American light lager cold, but not much warmer than that, either. Also, the effervescence on this beer is surprisingly flimsy. I was expecting the mouthfeel to be a bit crisper. Maybe that’s just what I’m actually in the mood for and this beer isn’t doing it? Or maybe this beer should just have a little more pop.

Still, nice beer to share on a nice day. Maybe I’ll have another.

Today’s second pint goes to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

Good & Bad

NPR did a story about what beer sales are telling us about the impact the pandemic/recession is having on the beer industry.
One element that stood out to me, though was this:

“You know, we didn’t really see craft or imports or super premium lose share in the last recession,” he says. That’s because, he says, the recession didn’t inflict as much pain on the class of people who tend to drink Session IPAs, artisanal Porters, Belgian Lambics and Saison pale ales. Likewise, in this pandemic and recession, craft beer drinkers are more likely to have the luxury of working remotely, keeping their jobs and spending a few extra bucks on beverages with flavor.

Now, on the one hand I’m thrilled that craft beer has been doing well. All things considered, well, anyway.

On the other hand, I cannot help but notice how the group of people who are able to support the industry are people who do not have to risk their lives. Unlike the people in the industry who make the thing they love.


Front Porch Chats #17\Second Pint ACLU

Chuckanut Vienna lagerThis Chuckanut Vienna lager has a banana flavored finish, Breonna Taylor’s killers are still free men, and yesterday I saw footage of a man being kidnapped by unidentified police officers off the streets of Portland.

Fuck everything about this.

Seriously, what else is there to say: nothing in the first sentence of this essay is good, and the last two things are crimes.

Worse, I know that there are ‘Americans’ who saw that footage and shrugged their shoulders, thinking ‘they shouldn’t’ve been around the area’ or some such nonsense excuse.

Who haven’t even bothered to read the story about Breonna Taylor’s murder-since I’m not a journalist, I can just call it what it is: Murder,-and don’t think any correction is needed.

I know that just enough white people in this country are perfectly fine with what has happened.

It’s pernicious, this knowledge, because it means that I do not want to trust the citizens of my own country.

Fuck everything about this.

It’s difficult to write anything else, to DO anything else, when there is only the plague. The actual plague, and the fascist one, too. It feels crushing, that people-other Americans- might just leave us here to be kicked in the junk.

I want to be clear about what I believe is happening: getting Portland to heel is the goal, so it’s very, very important that people who are not in Portland think that this city is a war zone.

So I want to add to the voices of Portland telling you, wherever you are: It isn’t. The protests are pinpointed, at very specific locations. The rest of the city is trying to live their lives as best they can.

The violence that is being enacted upon the protesters is why there is a conflict at all.

It is the government building that has murder holes and barricades. It is the government vehicles that takes people away and it is the government employees who, unidentified but with Very Large Guns, kidnap us. Any person in America who is not outraged by this action, somehow thinks it cannot happen to them. But it can, and they’re going to start this in Chicago this week.

Remove the police from the equation, and the Feds-the police, the mayor, even-have nothing to stand on.

Fuck everything about this.

We deserve better.

Today’s second pint goes to the ACLU.

May’s Cream Ale #1

May cream aleNose is…odd. Has a malty quality, to it with almost a vanilla note? It makes me think, just a little bit, of nougat from a candy bar.

While the head on the beer dies down pretty quick, the scent remains, and it carries into the beer. A prominent malt element there but it steps back just shy of caramel. The finish, now here’s where things get weird. The hop bitterness comes on pretty hard, which is a surprise, but there is also a pleasant pop on the finish, when the bubbles kick in to keep things in check.

It’s really drinkable, which is something I don’t know that I’ve gotten to say about my beers too often.

Still, I’ve been trying to simplify and really drill down into beers that are just a few ingredients and for this one, at least, it’s been a working out.

Brew date: 5/3/30

Steeping grains

4 lb Serenade Vienna
3 lb Bohemian Pilsner

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1.75 oz Mt Hood, .5 oz German Blanc hops @60
.25 Mt Hood, .5 oz German Blanc @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.061

FG: 1.01

Bottled 5/10 (Smells a little apple-y at bottling)

ABV: 6.9%

Repurposing spent grain

Fuz here. I had hoped that this time away from all things would allow me the leisure to drink new and exciting beers, and to have something more to report to you on the brewing scene up north.

I hadn’t counted on the whole “I have no desire to leave the house and interact with people, even if it’s to buy things I love” feeling I’ve had since the world turned upside down. My trips to the liquor store have become blitzkriegs. And, while what I’ve been buying is good, I’ve been going after old standards.

But, these folks have been coming to my farmers’ market for a few years. Susgrainable takes spent barley from breweries, dries it, and uses it to make flour, breads, cookies, and more. By using spent grains, they’re reducing food waste–and, because most (if not all) of the barley’s sugars are extracted in the beer preparation, what’s left is far less likely to impact one’s glycemic index. Which is a good thing.

Critically: how does it taste?

Pretty good, actually! Their rosemary focaccia is nice and oily and redolent of rosemary. It’s definitely a bit darker than I’d like, the crust a bit more tender than I enjoy, and the crumb is a bit closer than I’d prefer. (To be honest, the bread up here is generally softer and less crusty/chewy than I’d like, so this isn’t a knock on the Susgrainable folks, per se.)

In any case, I enjoyed this, and I’d definitely buy it again.

I also had an Animal Lover’s cookie (not pictured)–and here’s where we run into my issue with healthy desserts: coconut. Let’s just say I’m generally not a fan of coconut’s taste or texture. So I was surprised when I generally liked the flavour of the cookie. The texture was not my cup of tea–but I imagine that they know what sells.

Overall, I had a positive experience with their baked goods, and I’d be willing to try more. And I think this is a great idea for reducing the amount of waste that brewing generates.

Front Porch Chats #16\Second Pint BRF

double mountain 'this is the only planet with beer' IPAOn the one hand, I appreciate what Double Mountain is doing by focusing on the Idaho 7 hops in the ‘This Is The Only Planet With Beer’ IPA.

On the other, Breonna Taylor’s killers are free, and so is Roger Stone.

The scale really doesn’t balance.

This beer is a single hop ale, so there is a spotlight on the Idaho 7 flavor. I get the sense of some pine, both in the nose of the beer and on the finish. There’s a bit out ‘scour your mouth’ quality to the bitterness, too; Idaho 7’s are a bit on the intense side, it would seem.

The real drawback for me is that the malts are not prominent enough go provide this beer with some depth. Because it isn’t bad, yet I cannot help but think that it could be great with just a nudge.

Unlike America, which is going to take an entire movement to be even good. A flushable movement, I would wager.

Those scales may never balance. But they certainly don’t have to be weighted so sinfully. We deserve better and by god, until we get it, we should keep screaming about it.

Today’s second pint goes to the Black Resilience Fund

Break Up Big Beer


Also, big tech, big media, and big banks.

Fun l’il anecdote to this: I found this story via Reddit and one of the comments, from someone who hadn’t and clearly wasn’t interested in reading the story, went:

“Why? They make decent beer (ed.-later clarified as Bud Light, Busch, Coors) for cheap.”

My dude, “Let poor people drink shitty beer” is not the argument that you think it is.