Summer Series #7

Hopworks's Ferocious IPA in a glass on a table outside

Hopworks’s Ferocious IPA claims to be a citrus affair, but I don’t pick it up from the nose.

That might be because at The Lodge, they serve you beers in pre-chilled glasses. A proper dive bar practice. My experience is that chilled things tend to blunt sensory experiences.

Also: I’m on a patio that has a lot of ashtrays on it and that scent is everywhere.

On the other hand, a couple sips and the Ferocious shows it’s citrus off well enough. The finish is very bright and pleasantly bitter, offset by the initial malt flavors. Nothing too sweet but there’s a nice interplay going on.

The Lodge is located on Powell boulevard proper, which also substitutes as Highway 26, and as with my drink at Lents Bottle & Tap, the presence of cars is something one cannot ignore. The kitch of the patio-longhorn skulls, wagon wheels, old lumber mill saws hanging-cannot blunt the presence of vehicles just thirty feet from me.

I walked to this place, as I’m someone who enjoys stretching his legs but this experience is partly what I mean when I say that drinking outside is for barbarians. I am supposed to have a respite from the world. Cars are…not a respite from the world. They are many things-intrusive, dangerous, a ticket to freedom, a sad necessity-but if you’re in one, you are by necessity engaging with the world.

Don’t take all of this to mean that I dislike the patio here. It’s sheltered, well lit, well protected from most of the elements. It’s got a vibe, which is more than many outdoor spots can say.

But I can’t help notice that it doesn’t shield you from the systems of the world. Or, maybe it is better it say that it cannot do that. We’ve built an entire country around the notion that we could have private fiberglass transportation missiles all unto ourselves to do whatever we want with. Mostly though, we’re speeding to get to a stoplight.

It is a certainty to note that America would look completely different if we had made alternative decisions about how to get around. This is especially prevalent in the West, where massive open spaces still exist.

What concerns me at this point is that all of the signs point to a future that doesn’t revolve around cars. At least, if we want a future worth living in.

Are we going to insist that things don’t change, or are we going to try and face it bravely and embrace something new?

Could go either way, honestly. What worries me is that the optimistic odds might be 50/50.

See, I wouldn’t be so dour if I was inside.

As I’m finishing up my beer, I notice that the music has changed-when I sat down, it was Clash era punk, now it’s En Vogue era R&B. I look over my shoulder and there’s the bartender who served me, done for the day, a glass of whiskey and soda in one hand, cigarette in the other.

Well, I did come out to be with the people again.

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