Front Porch Chats #110/Second Pint RYP

Acid Drop lager  by Black Plague brewing in glass outside

With an Acid Drop from Black Plague brewing, I take my respite on a wet weekend day. It’s May, for heaven’s sake. Why is it still raining like this?

The Acid Drop is a light lager with lemon and it is really, really good. The lemon twist nose, the grainy finish; like the lager from Hammer & Stitch, this is exactly what I’m hoping for out of a beer like this. The citrus is present, but nowhere close to overwhelming and the grains on the finish are excellent at balancing this out.

Balancing things out is why I want to take money from rich people.

This is going to be a walk, so bear with me. Because the latest, repeated tragedy in Texas is why I want money taken from the wealthy.

See, right after the events, one Rep Paul Gosar used his platform as an authority and the megaphone given to him via Twitter to tell people that the person who had committed this act was a trans immigrant.

It wasn’t. By sheer force of 50 fucking years of data on these events this was going to be a lie and sure enough it 100% was. Also, Gosar is a soiled condom of a human being and that doesn’t help. If there is ever a shit situation you would like to make worse, clearly Gosar is your man.

But it was too late for her. So, in case you don’t want to read the article-perhaps your rage meter is already full this week- a young trans woman named Tracey, someone who had no local support and utterly no involvement in shooting children, was threatened by strangers because they heard from someone in authority that a trans person was involved.

The thing that makes me angriest about this situation is that there isn’t a drone to go by and kick this Rep in the junk. He’s clearly earned it.

But Gosar? He’s there because of money. Because people with money have decided to pay for the efforts that get him elected, instead of building drones to kick people like him in the junk.

This includes the NRA, who for some Cthulhu cursed reason, people have seemingly forgotten about their whole ‘we took money from Russian special interests hoping to destabilize America’, may they all eat Cthulhu’s asshole forever.

If these are the kinds of people that rich folks want in charge, well, then it follows that rich people aren’t good people. They shouldn’t be rich-because being rich the only reason they have any power. Tax the fuck out of ’em.

We’re better than this. And we deserve it.

The rain has kicked up pretty good again. It’s peaceful, in much the same way some people find the ocean to be calming.

I hope that peace can be found by Tracey. And no rest at all for the bastards.

None at all.

Today’s second pint goes to the Rainbow Youth Project.

It’s All Political, Eventually

Even the beer.

For anyone wondering what I mean, let me elaborate-briefly.

This beer could’ve had any name but the brewers chose to send a message. They’re making a statement to their fellow citizens, and to the world, about where they as as brewery-and breweries don’t exist without people-stand.

Something to keep in mind is all.

Front Porch Chats #109

Lenzbock from Heater Allen in glass, outside

The Lenzbock from Heater Allen has a very typical Pilsner nose-that old school funk of cheap beer you remember your parents drank-but the flavors are very different. With a heavy malt focus, this beer boosts the grain profile. It reminds me of being at the home brew shop, rummaging through two row, six row, maris otter grains, trying to see what base malt I was in the mood for.

The finish is a little challenging to me though: well after the beer is gone, there is a almost sour quality that arises in the space between my cheek and gums. Not sure what to make of that. This beer is interesting and possibly requires a second opinion.

The rain has persisted further into the spring than usual, and for me it’s started to highlight the wear and tear of winter. Streets with potholes getting deeper, water accumulating in places it wasn’t before.

And all around me, what I see it patchwork. Band aids. The stopgap measures that are used to keep something in tact until the weather breaks and actual work can be done. That wouldn’t bother me except that I’ve been seeing it for years.

Decades, if I really think about it. There is something to the idea that ‘back in the day, they built things to last’. I know; I saw Tonka trucks go from metal to plastic.

Kids wreck plastic shit. Metal things get passed down.

But even the built to last stuff wears out, eventually. All that was offered to us was more patches. Patches upon patches.

Which leads me to ask: where is the investment in my generation? In the generations that follow me-there are at least two now. Where’s our country’s support for them?

Mine was the first one to crash upon the beach, barely able to afford the things our parents had, debt into our eyeballs, and we arrived with a ‘whew, we made it’ instead of ‘why is this so fucking hard?’

Or really it was both but because we actually accomplished something, maybe it didn’t feel that bad. We didn’t know all the things our parents struggled to do-and some of the struggled pretty hard.

Since the 1980’s (obligatory ‘fuck you, Ronald Reagan’), all I have heard about is how ‘government is wasteful of YOUR tax dollars’ and policies, every single one of them that helped sustain people-from school lunches to housing developments to loans for housing, or education, to ideas about helping people get healthcare, all falling to the wayside in the name of ‘not wasting dollars’.

What about investing my goddamn money in us?

Why hasn’t that been a priority?

Instead the infrastructure crumbles, the patches fray and break, the big ideas are screamed down for greed and fear, and goddamnit, I just want to write a beer blog, people.

I want to kiss lovely people who want to kiss me, and have a pint, and not work too fucking hard, and help protect friends from the ravishes of life.

I don’t want to starve (mentally, emotionally), or see babies starve (literally), because we were too fucking cheap to invest in ourselves, in the people who will, and should, outgrow us. Because someone decided we were too scared to share with Black people or poor people or queer people.

But the work still needs to be done. And I am here to do it. I’m not afraid to share; there’s enough for everyone, if you let it. Let’s go. And uh, finish off the beer first, eh? A person feels a little better after a day of work, if they can have a pint.

The stories tell me so.

Front Porch Chats #108

Brave Noise pale ale from Urban Roots brewing, in glass on a table outside

I’ve been thinking about some bad advice I gave to someone a few weeks back.

It’s coming to me because I have a chance to advise people about this Brave Noise pale ale from Urban Roots, and with its barely present scent and a finish that reminds me of something between pith and cilantro, I’m going to put this one in the no column.

Anyway, I was playing with some pals a few weeks ago and she was asking our opinion about how to go about asking someone she liked out. Apparently I had a pretty pensive look on my face, because someone eventually asked me about it and I told her,

“Assume he’s dumb. And just ask him out.”

Which is a terrible place to come from on both ends: why should she want to ask someone out who she thinks is dumb? Why should we assume that this person is a fool?

It seems like a bad way to approach things all around.

What I wish I would have said was this:

“Nobody is a mind reader. On top of that, a lot of people spend time devaluing themselves-I know that I certainly don’t think that anyone would want to date me, until they do.

“But because I think that, I don’t ask. (Now that is a me problem for sure.) Still, the idea that nobody can tell what’s going on in your head is true regardless.

“If you really want to make your wishes known, you have to ask. Which is positive on multiple levels-because you’re being clear about what you’d like, but also setting a standard up for someone not having to guess what you think. They can just ask and you can tell them.

“Which seems way healthier than trying to parse someone out using Enigma machines and semaphore.”

I doubt that she’ll see this advice, but I put it out there for everyone else, including me. Next time, it’s better to just ask.

The Best*: Away Days and West Coast Grocery

Away Days Brewing: Not So Sensible IPA

The thing about Away Days is the taproom closes at 7. But they own the Toffee Club next door, a place that focuses on showing soccer matches and conveniently serves Away Days’ beer.

I start off with the Not So Sensible IPA which has a mild nose that gives off elements of citrus and honeydew, and that kind of melon style bitterness is what appears on the finish too. I’m quite pleasantly surprised about that, since the middle malt sweetness allows for a nice bridge between the two.

My friend has the Milner’s Mild, which is served on cask and this beer is dangerously drinkable. It’s almost far to easy to have three or four pints of this. Just a bit toasty and very, very smooth, this beer is a great place to start if you’ve never had a mild.

My second beer was their ESB which was on nitro. And this beer, like the mild, is malt forward but only with strong gestures at coffee, and caramel, not any overwhelming presence. Another beer that is very easy to drink a lot of.

At West Coast Grocery, I’m having the Good Night Soon IIIPA which is a great name for a beer. The nose hints at citrus but the beer is fairly sweet and finished with a definite melon quality-I want to say honeydew.

Goodnight Soon IIPA from West Coast Grocery, in glass on table indoors

It’s pretty drinkable for such a strong beer, and the smoother finish is a definite surprise.

My friend had the Wedding Season creame ale and it is a nice beer-I definitely got a sense of the grains on my sip of the beer.

My second beer is a pale and…I’m just not sure about this one. The first problem is: I can’t pick up a nose and that tweaks everything else. It’s got this flaccid…melon note.

But the flavors don’t do this any favors either. The finish is wrecking it for me: it’s got a seltzer water bite but nothing to surround it. Just not thrilled with this one.

Front Porch Chats#107/Second Pint NNAF

“The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones” Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

Tunnel Vision hazy IPA by Bearded Iris brewing in a glass outside on a table.

Been thinking a lot about that quote this week, and so it comes to mind when I sit to have today’s beer. In the glass is a Tunnel Vision from Bearded Iris brewing and once again, I am objecting to any IPA that doesn’t tell me it’s a hazy before I purchase it.

This isn’t bad-although the grapefruit scent hits hard from nearly two feet away-but the finish is pithy enough to almost be medicinal. I’ll drink it, but I’m not happy about it.

Not being happy about things is kinda the rule right now, ennit? It’s been a particularly rough week to own a uterus in America and that means it’s been a particularly rough week to be a person, too.

Because being reminded that your bodily autonomy is not in your hands and is not to be respected by the Powers that Be, that’s a pretty shitty situation to be in.

If women don’t have bodily autonomy, do they have any rights as a person at all?

And if they don’t have any rights, do I? I’m a person. The difference between me and any other human on this planet is so insignificant as to be negligible in the eyes even of the Almighty.

And apparently our rights come from him, right?

Excerpt they don’t. They’re in the hands of hypocrites and as I was saying last week, hypocrisy is merely how we know who the bastards are. They lied to us and everyone who said ‘hey they’re lying’ was hushed, while the small group of people who make the yay or nay decisions decided we weren’t worth fighting for-after all, THEIR rights weren’t up for grabs. No, apparently it’s just all of ours.

There’s the rub, aye. The haves vs the have nots. The have rights know they will be fine and the have not rights stuck hollering outside the halls, hoping someone will listen before someone gets hurt.

People are going to die as a result of Roe’s overturning, they are going to be mostly poor people or people in some kind of medical crisis-but even if they weren’t!- and they still need healthcare! Healthcare that they deserve to figure out for themselves. And they’re going to die for a long time after the five zealots on the Supreme Court have been laid to rest. Those jackals don’t have to live with the consequences of that decision; we do.

The evil that men do….

Today’s second pint goes to the National Network of Abortion Funds.