Front Porch Chats #98/Second Pint Point of Pride

North Jetty's Keelhauled IIPA in a glass outside on table

Back in the day, I’m told that the punishment for crews on ships was keelhauling-that is, they’d tie a rope to the sailor on the back end of the boat, throw him off the front and his body would run under the ship.

I doubt many survived the experience, but it does sound like a hell of a punishment for bullies, right?

Fortunately, this Keelhaul IPA from North Jetty isn’t as harsh. It’s lacking in the nose, but there are some danker flavors in the body. The finish is a biter, that’s for sure. A punishment of its own sort, though…not of the severity that the old ships used to do.

Old time punishment comes to mind these days though. Never thought I’d see the days that Vladimir Putin, Gov. Abbot of Texas and Justice Thomas would have something in common but here we are.

Putin thinks he can get away with annexing a sovereign nation. Abbot thinks he can persecute trans people. And Thomas…Jesus I know Black people aren’t a monolith but I don’t think I have ever seen someone so dedicated to preserving and promoting a system that would absolutely kill them given half a chance.

Thing is, Putin has fought five wars in the past couple decades and won them all. Abbot doesn’t seem to face any real blowback for his ghoulish turn against Texans and children. Thomas is insulated from the fact that he’s directly associated with seditionists.

What the actual fuck, y’all.

Days like this are enough to get one to start drinking. Fortunately I’m ahead on that count.

But, they also remind me to pay attention. There’s more than enough to be upset about-the trick is to not let outrage subvert your intent, I suppose.

I wish courage to the people of Ukraine, good trouble to resisting people of Texas, and wisdom to the rest of us.

But fuck you, Clarence Thomas. You’re a traitor to the Union.

Today’s second pint goes to Point of Pride.

The Best*: Great Notion and Hair of the Dog

Great Notion's Obscurial IPA in glass on table.

At Great Notion I started with the Obscurial IPA. It’s an imperial, which I don’t mind, but it’s a hazy, and every other beer on the menu says if they are hazy. So some consistency would be nice.

The nose has an orange candy scent, so I’m expecting juice box.

I am pleasantly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong; the beer IS sweet, but they remembered the utility of finishing hops! It comes across far more balanced. My friend says it’s pretty mellow & we agree the finishing bitterness reigns it all in.

My friend got the Northern Light which is supposed to be a Helles but is waaaaay to hoppy for me to grok. It might not be bad, but I don’t know that it is what it says it is from the brief description on the board.

Next up, the Obligations of Autumn stout. Now, I’m expecting there to be pumpkin so…here we go.

And there is just too goddamn much going on here. Cinnamon, vanilla, ginger-any one of these flavors would be enough, but that with clove, nutmeg and coffee too? This is a mishmash and I can’t enjoy it.

My friend got the Horchata ale and it’s got a fine cream brûlée flavor. I’m glad the pour is a short one (10.5 oz) because I cannot imagine having a pint of this, though. Heck, finishing this small amount might be too much.

There is a reason why beer snobs look at Great Notion with a touch of disdain. The beers are always on the sweet side and that rarely seems tasty to a aficionado. But for someone who isn’t immersed, this might just be the thing they need to see that beer has a lot more personality than they knew.

At Hair of the Dog, I’m having the Green Dot triple IPA because the Blue Dot is responsible for the worst hangover I’ve had in my life. The nose is giving me orange and caramel, which I do not object to at all!

Green Dot IIIPA by Hair of the Dog in glass on table indoors.

The bitterness on the Green Dot is a slow burn, coming in late, and lingering. But it does help tie the beer together, because the front end is rather sweet.

My friend has The Hague, a dopplebock and it’s got a little hint of smoke to it. An interesting and enjoyable ale. I’m a bit more impressed than I thought I would be, but maybe that’s because Hair of the Dog is practically an institution here and expected to be decent.

But that expectation is well deserved, ‘cause it’s good stuff.

I had the Fred ale next, an American strong, because it’s arguably their flagship beer. It’s a nice beer but it feels a little under-carbonated. This isn’t a heavy beer, but I think I’d appreciate it a little more if it felt a little lighter on my tongue.

That said, it’s got those roasted caramel notes and isn’t overly sweet. About halfway through, I even get a little alcohol warmth in the back of my throat. Glad I tried it.

Late Year Golden

2021 Golden ale

The nose on this beer is of bread dough, with a sweeter layer of malt underneath it.

The beer has a pretty crisp finish, so it really clears the palate well, too.

It’s an easy drinking, malt forward beer with a a solid bitterness to help keep things in check, too. The effervescence and the bitterness make this a solid finisher.

Brew date: 12/19/21

Steeping grains
6 lb 2 row
1 lb dextra pils
1 lb cascadian white wheat

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLight liquid

1 oz German Saphir .5 oz Pearle @60
.5 oz Pearle 1 oz. German Saphir @5

Yeast: Imperial’s Pub (2nd use)

OG: 1.069

FG: 1.014

ABV: 7.5%

Front Porch Chats #97

Hopworks: Ace of Spades IPA, in glass on table outdoors

I’m about 99% certain that there aren’t any reasonable Republican types who read my blog-that is, people who are pro-business but anti-Trump/fascist but if there are, here’s how you get rid of him:

You expand voting rights.

That’s it. That’s how it’s done. Because he’s deeply unpopular with people, and when you offer people the chance to speak their voice on the subject, he loses a lot of power.

“But if we do that, then we lose power!”

Yeah. Well. Y’all tied your boat to a volcano. I’m supposed to feel bad when it blows up?

Also, the values your party represents are unpopular and the implementation of them in the 1980s has led us to a whole lot of angry, resentful people who won’t be tamed by you having power.

On the other hand, you’ll be saving the country and possibly the planet. Maybe it’s worth considering.

I’m dodging talking about the Ace of Spades imperial IPA from Hopworks because I have noticed that it has little floaty things in it. I don’t notice a change in the texture of the beer on my tongue, but, and I can’t believe I have had to say this more than once in my life, yet here we are: beer shouldn’t have floaty shit in it.

Is the Ace of Spades bad? No…it’s reasonably balanced until the finish, which has a very big bite to it. It’s grapefruit oriented and the nose and flavors reflect that.

But. It has floating shit in it. And that ain’t right. Much like the GOP itself.

I paid for this beer, but I don’t have to drink it. And you don’t have to drink the swill Trump is selling either.

You will have to take your medicine though. I just think you ought to, for everyone’s health.

That Bit Ya

Hair of the Dog brewing is closing, because the owner wishes to retire. And I get that.

I can’t help but feel that this is the end of an era though, in Portland beer. Or maybe just a changing of the guard? Hair of the Dog was a small operation and undoubtedly worked because of the vision of the founder.

Someone else will come along and I hope the community is willing to make room for them.

In the meantime, we can certainly toast the work and legacy of Hair of the Dog: they helped put Portland on the map in regards to our respect in the craft beer world, and that is worth celebrating.

Front Porch Chats 96

Labyrinth Brewing's Bolshevik Zayatsky Russian imperial stout, in glass on table outside

Some random thoughts today, while I sip on this Russian Imperial Stout from Labyrinth Forge Brewing. It’s called Bolshevik Zayatsky and yoink is that a mouthful.

Went for a walk to pick up some beer today; it’s disturbingly sunny for a February in Portland, but walking is good all the same.

I think people should walk around their neighborhoods more. Walking around a place is really the only way you can get to know it, because you go out and experience it. Sitting at home, even if you do it for 30 years, isn’t going to teach you what your home is like.

While walking around, I saw a dude doing some yard work, squatting down to pick weeds with one hand, the other with a beer.

That is the way it should be done. I’d probably only sort of loathe yard work if I could have a beer while I do it.

I’d also do less yard work because hey, I got a beer.

Speaking of, there’s a gasoline and coffee nose to this Russian Imperial Stout and while I don’t hate that, I wouldn’t call the Bolshevik Zayatsky a user friendly ale. You really have to like roasted flavors to appreciate this one.

I do get a little waver that kind of floral sweetness honey offers and that’s interesting. That flavor ribbons through the beer and the BZ desperately needs something to contrast the other harsh flavors. It almost does the job.

While Joe Rogan, Jimmy Dore and all those other failed comedians can go fuck themselves, I will defend their right to say shitty things.

That said, I also won’t shield them from the consequences, and that’s really what I and many others are missing. Consequences for their shit behavior. In the same way that I don’t exactly endorse Richard Spencer getting punched in the face, I will happily stand aside so someone can punch him in the face.

I’ve been sitting on this porch for almost two years now and while I’m glad that my actions have helped keep the community safe, and I’m glad that the neighbors can see me just out here doin a thing, like a normal person, goddamn am I tired.

Not so tired that I’m going to give up, though. Hell, Oregon is lifting their mask mandate at the end of March and my general feeling about that is: no, that’s dumb.

Because we’re going to just have to start wearing them again in May. You know it’s true.

Maybe we should just take it seriously and keep wearing our masks and getting food to go and tipping generously, getting our shots and basically keep at this. Because the hospitals will fill in a matter of weeks and April will be feeding time for COVID.

Hey, you know what happens if you have a Confederate flag at your event and you aren’t telling those people to fuck right off?

You’re a while supremacist. We all understand that now, right? You fly a Confederate flag and you’ve tied yourself to white supremacy. Which is why the whole Canadian tucker blockade can, and I am more than happy to be impolite about it for my Canadian friends, GO FUCK THEMSELVES INTO THE SEA.

These fucking failures. They don’t want ‘freedom’. They don’t even understand freedom. They just want to be in charge, without having to take responsibility for being in charge.

Give ‘em consequences, I say. I won’t stand in the way of them getting ‘em.

The Best*: Little Beast and Modern Times

Little Beast's Top WC IPA in glass

Starting with Little Beast’s Pine Top WC IPA has a piney-ish nose and is absolutely referencing the IPAs of the craft beer explosion. However, the finish isn’t intensely bitter; it’s got that lovely craft of being bitter and allowing the bitterness to build over the course of the drink.

Which means that instead of overwhelming me, the beer is just far more drinkable.

My friend got the Helles and…wow! this is a very drinkable beer. I only took a sip, but it was light and a little sweet, but then finished with a pleasant grainy flavor that gave the beer depth. I was impressed.

My second beer was the fresh hop Little Green Men and it’s pretty subtle. A little citrusy on the finish and the beer is really mild, but that isn’t a complaint.

At Modern Times I had the Storm Armor IPA; really fruity nose-like candy.

Modern Times' Storm Armor IPA in glass

That’s what the beer is like too: there’s a jolly rancher quality to this, like cherry candy which is very very weird. The finish has a hint of pith…and I have a feeling that’s going to be more intense as I go.

I try my friend’s festbier and it’s just…ok. A bit thin, which is odd. Festbiers tend to have a little more oomph to them.

In the end my Storm Armor is OK but I can’t say I’m happy.

My second beer was the Ghost Hug Belgian golden ale. This is a much more pleasant experience. The Belgian qualities-clove in this instance are nicely complimentary to the malt. It’s also a little dry on the finish, whichI like. So this is a nice change.

My friend to got the Italian Pilsner, Oracolo, and it had a very pleasant hop bite on the finish. A quality ale for a hot day for sure.

Common Ales: Ecliptic’s Filament

Ecliptic Filament winter IPA can next to glass of Filament ale.

Ecliptic’s Filament winter IPA is brewed with tangerine, which is not what I was expecting from a winter ale at all. The nose has a great tangerine nose, with a little bite, too. Yet it’s on the sweeter side, almost like a tangerine jelly candy.

The beer almost leaps the middle though: the finishing bitterness has a solid tangerine quality along with a very pushy bitterness. It really overwrites everything else in the beer.

But when I go back for my next sip I come away with that sweet tangerine-it’s almost as if they’ve flipped it so that you’re supposed to take a whiff of it after your sip.

It’s an interesting and pretty dang good beer.


Freemont Brewing's 5000th ale, a barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, in a glass outside on table.

It is an oft-repeated statement that writing is a lonely task. One sits there with a blank page in front of them and has to literally type their way out of nothing. This is one of those times when it certainly could be lonely: I am celebrating my 2000th post and this should be noteworthy.

But I am not at a pub, I have no one here to celebrate with. The circumstances to have this Fremont 5000-a batch of their 5000th brew, a barley wine aged in bourbon barrels- have none of the trappings of joy: no people, no places. A world that seems to get increasingly hostile by the day to people who don’t sleep on beds of money.

It could feel pretty isolating. There are elements of it that certainly do: many friends far away, my favorite pub gone for nearly a year, pandemic keeping me from finding a new place and engaging with new people or old friends.

However, writing isn’t a solitary endeavor. For years now, I have had people send me articles, or suggest beer, because they knew I had a blog. They helped give me something to talk about.

They provided advice on beer that I brewed, and as slow as the process may be, have helped make me a better brewer.

They read what I have to say, and they don’t just sit there, they respond in various ways.

And Fuz even helped write a few posts, which has been a great help.

Also, this beer is pretty damn good. A velvet smooth beverage with notes of fudge and raisin, this is a delight and should be shared with anyone who has a reason to sip on it. It’s also quite expensive, which is all the more reason to share it.

Yes, there is work that I have to do and no one is forcing or paying me to do it. Still, there is no reasonable way I can look at the past 1,999 posts and say that I did it alone.

I just hope that I’ve been doing it better. That’s what matters. Better might come in very small increments, but better is still better.