I know we’ve been drinking a lot these days…

…but what surprises and disturbs me is how, relatively speaking, we’re not drinking much more than we tend to in a typical year.

Research done at the University of Victoria suggests that the average person in BC has had between five and ten more drinks a month in 2020 than the 2012-2019 average. Drinking spiked in March (unsurprisingly), dipped in April, and has gone up consistently until July (the last month for which the researchers have data). But again–not as much as I was expecting.

What is shocking to me, though? Those numbers represent “estimates of per capita monthly standard drinks of total alcohol consumption” for everybody in the province aged 15 and older. To put it in other words: if a standard drink is ~a 12 oz. beer at 5% alcohol, that means that in July 2020, it’s estimated that every single person in BC aged 15 or older drank the equivalent of fifty beers in the month of July. Which is, again, just slightly higher than the average of per capita monthly standard drinks of total alcohol consumption since 2012.

Fifty drinks is approximately two beers a night. Or two glasses of wine. Or two shots. Which is not bad.

But then you remember that the drinking age in BC is 19. And, of course, not everyone drinks fifty drinks a month; I’m probably at a third of that this month.

So spare a thought for those whose drinking keeps the average per capita that high in a regular year.

Front porch Chats #40/Second Pint OEF

Rand Paul is a dick.

I feel like that could be the post, but I want to get that said before we move on.

Rand Paul is a dick.

Now, I invite you all to read this Twitter thread about last week’s protest at the Oregon capital, while I wait for this salted caramel stout from Breakside to warm up a little bit.

Breakside stout in glass, on table outdoors.

If you drink this beer when it’s too cold it will taste muted, but too warm and the subtleties get wiped out. Usually about five minutes does the trick. Which should be long enough for you to read that thread-or get the salient points.

Because what’s noteworthy about that right-wing rally is that they’re clearly as upset about a dysfunctional government as any leftist. That they’re treated better by the cops is, white understandable, you know?

Though I’ve read that the reason they didn’t get tear gassed is that it would make working in the capitol building impossible. So…yay?

Right about now, this beer is perfect. A little nutty, a fine ribbon of caramel and chocolate going though it, with a touch of saltiness to offset everything. I’m telling you, if you drink this beer at the right time, it’s one of the best things you could ask for.

Back to what I was going for, though; what I found interesting about this story was how often the reporter remarked about where the complaints of those people overlapped with left wing complaints-but not quite like the right wing fellows thought.

I wasn’t the only person to notice this of course, which brings me to The other thing I found a little troubling. In the responses to this story-and in the subsequent discussion on Reddit, were people remarking that once you get far enough left/anarchistic, guns really weren’t a problem anymore. Just like the right-wingers.

As soon as I read that, I could hear my Dad saying “That’s true, but not quite like the leftists think.”

Because once you’re comfortable with your murder symbol…well, you’re likely going to get the world you want-but not like you think. If you’re going there, you’d better have a concrete vision of what your better world looks like. The right wingers don’t, not really-they look at the past and obsess over it, a past that never really existed but can exist in unsullied glory, so long as you don’t actually look at it.

Who’s looking to the future, and how that manifests? No cheating: How do you actually get to that better world via force?

It’s a critical point, because the line between defense and offense gets obliterated without it.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Energy Fund, which helps people heat their homes during the winter.

Oct Pale Ale

The nose isn’t bad; a whiff of citrus is there but it’s largely malt, which is not what I was looking for. I might have to start adding hops in the following days, after the initial yeast activity, if I want to really get something in the nose, because this isn’t doing it.

October pale ale on kitchen counter

There’s also a rather prominent run of malt in here. So the hops really aren’t getting to shine much. Even the finish isn’t offering me much bitterness.

Honestly, this might not make a bad red ale-it’s dark enough and there’s enough sweetness but…how the heck did I get here?
And then I see it; Light malt extract, not extra light-so the malts were going to be pushed more than the hops I was adding in.

It’s not bad, but I possibly mismanaged my expectations.

Brew date: 10/4/20

Steeping grains
4 lb Golden Promise
4 lb Genie Pale

Fermentables: 3 lb LME

.25 oz Pallisade 1oz Galena @60
1 oz Galena, .75 oz Pallisade @5

Yeast: Imperial’s Loki

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 10/11

ABV: 7.2%

Front Porch Chats #39/Second Pint PPP

Because Von Ebert makes good beer, when I saw the Night in Tallinn I didn’t concern myself with the fact that I couldn’t tell what style of beer it was. Von Ebert makes good stuff, so let’s try it.

The fellow at Lents Tap & Bottle said that I’d gotten some good things; my hope is that he’s right.

I was not expecting this beer….mostly because I was making assumptions about this being a pale or IPA. But it’s winter time, so I should’ve been more thoughtful.

I’ll have to check, but I want to say this is a porter; sweeter, chocolaty notes are what I get most of, with only a little coffee or roasted qualities. It’ll be pretty cool if I guess right!

One month from now, if we can hold things together long enough, and the US will have a new president.

If I never have to hear that cursed man’s name again, I’m OK with it. Same goes for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio (that spineless hack), RealHuman(tm) Ted Cruz and sentient mayo jar Pence.

I’m certain this country has had a similar selection of craven lickspittles in power before, and I’m equally certain things did not go well for America last time. If it was possible to take those men to court for dereliction of duty, I’d fund it.

So many hopes pinned on Senate races in Georgia, on the courage of ill-willed men. It really is enough to make you think that you should start your own goddamn country, with blackjack and hookers.

But it’s also Christmas, a time when we highlight our goodwill towards others, our willingness to come together to be more than the sum of our parts. Where we recognize the humanity in the ‘other’ and we demand that these. fucking. people. do their jobs and help us get through the day with the dignity and safety we deserve.

There is no reason but sheer cruelty for the GOP to behave this way. I can’t influence them…but maybe you live somewhere where you can. We deserve better-let’s keep insisting on it.

PS: I was right about the style of the beer! It’s a solid pint and I’d say have some.

Today’s second pint goes to the People’s Parity Project.


This article on opening a brewery as a Native American was an eye opener for me.

In addition to illuminating the challenges that Native people have within their own communities regarding alcohol, this story also shone a light on disinformation I’d been fed as a kid, namely that Native peoples were genetically more likely to be alcoholics.

What I didn’t know at the time was about the impoverishment and systematic conditions that are far greater contributors to illness than alcohol are. It is another reminder that poor people suffer under the yoke of life more than most, and I’m glad I was reminded, yet again, of this fact, but prouder to see people continue to fight against not only bad narratives, but create a future for themselves.

Common Ales: Deschutes Handup IPA

Deschutes Handup IPA pic

There is a surprising caramel quality to the nose. Reminiscent of something I would expect from a barley wine, which is unexpected, to say the least. The Handup seems to lack any hop quality at all and that’s disconcerting.

The midrange of this beer follows through on the caramel bit, so that’s nice but the finish is…just all off. I suspect this beer might be stale, if it isn’t outright off. The ending notes have a wet cardboard quality, and coupled with the bittering hops it is hard to get past.

I’m not sure what may have gone wrong here, but something certainly did.

That’s when I look at the date when this was bottled: 8/2/20. I’m drinking this on Nov 5. Well, that certainly lends itself to the idea that this beer went stale.

Front Porch Chats #38/Second Pint EPPE

It’s that time of year; winter ales and stouts are back in season and I’m draining an Ol’ Saint Nick from Block 15 today. (We’re still doing phrasing, right?)

I’ve been coming out on my porch now for almost nine months. Nine months of this utter horseshit.

The ratfucking continues-it’s week six by my count-and at this point a portion of our representative leaders can be reasonably tasked with sedition.

What in the actual fuck.

Four yeas ago, when I started the Second Pint Project, I did it with the notion that things were going to be bad. That is was on me to pitch in more, highlight people fighting the good fight, and speak up because things were going to be bad.

I said so, because I saw it coming.

But I didn’t see this. I didn’t see a coup, I didn’t see what I don’t know else to call but treason.

These are cold days, so I suppose it’s good this winter warmer is on the table. The nose fades quickly-I can’t even remember what it was, now, but the beer itself is liquid dried fruit-fig, plum, raisin-punctuated by a dry-brush bitterness quality that scrapes the top of my mouth.

However, I can feel the alcohol heat in my belly, and when you’re on your porch in December, that is a welcome thing.

I hope we make it, and I hope that we are able to throw down the gauntlet and insist, “No more.”

I think we’ve all had enough of the ratfucking. It wasn’t funny to begin with, and it’s looking like they want to use bloodletting to get rid of it. So much for modern science. Medieval times for all! No wonder these yahoos won’t wear a mask!

Today’s second pint goes to the Emotional PPE Project.

August Amber

The nose is somewhere between caramel and toffee; sweet but not so roasted as to get that more complex burnt quality.

The flavors follow this, I’m pleased to say, but there’s also an interesting dryness to the finish. It’s not exactly bitter-I don’t think the hops involved really push that note. But it isn’t a white wine thing, either.

It does cleanse the palate off nicely enough though, and encourage another sip. So that’s pretty good, at least by me!

Brew date: 8/22/20

Steeping grains
4 lb Gambrinus pale
1 lb Biscuit, Special roast, 2 row

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

.5 oz Nugget, 1 oz East Kent Goldings @60
1 oz East Kent Goldings .5 oz Nugget @5

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan (3rd use)

SG: 1.06

FG: 1.01

ABV: 6.8%