All posts by grotusque

My name is Dan and I like a lot of things, but this blog will be about the beer I drink and occasionally make. Well. Mostly.

A Little Problem

I was honored to assist with the Oregon Beer Awards again this year-delayed and restructured due to the pandemic.

Part of that meant that fewer people worked on providing services this year…but there was still the same amount of beer. Which needed to go somewhere.

Leading me to having this:

Boxes full of beer

That is too much beer. And that is after I’ve given much of it away! (I am still giving beer away.)

So the upside to this is first: free beer.

Second: I can use this opportunity to sanitize my gear: mix up a bleach solution and run it through my carboys and hoses, and start running my bottles through the dishwasher. There’s never a bad time to spend some time making sure your gear is clean.

So, you know; making the best of it!

Front Porch Chats #58/Second Pint AIF

I’m having Stormbreaker’s Big City Brown ale and…I really like brown ales. I wish my attempts to brew them were more successful.

Stormbreaker's Big City Brown ale, in glass on table outdoors

This one has subtle qualities of chocolate and coffee; it doesn’t go full chocolate covered espresso bean, but there’s a ghost of one in there.

An easy ale for some deeper thoughts.

Last weekend, I assisted with the presentation of the Women’s International Beer Summit, which was pretty neat!

Meagan Anderson did a presentation on how her life was impacted when she decided to quit drinking-as a member of the beer industry. She spoke of how her life changed, and how she maintained her abstinence through exercise, meditation, mindfulness exercises, and supportive people.

This was a fascinating talk, reminding me a little bit of Pete Hamill’s A Drinking Life, which was his account of stopping drinking as a reporter-and all his friends and coworkers drank.

Now, while I’m not going to stop drinking, I remember thinking: I need to make sure I am doing the things that keep me healthy-in all states. It isn’t a secret that I drink: I write a beer blog, and I homebrew.

But I also play games, and write, and take walks every day, and read as much as I can. I am fascinated by stories and how they are told. I attempt to say, ‘fuck fascists’ as often as I can. I have friendships to maintain; it’s a life-one that takes some tending to, as any life does.

What I’m driving at is that I hope that everyone reading this is remembering to take time to care for themselves, to do the things that matter to them. Sometimes that means changing certain behaviors entirely-but often, in my experience, it usually means stopping for a little bit to take care of things you might neglect in the hustle and bustle.

You deserve better and taking time to care for the things you care about helps you get there.

Today’s second pint goes to the American India Foundation.

It’s All Craft Beer Now

It may’ve been mentioned before but seeing this map, showing how many craft breweries each state has, really drives it home for me.

There isn’t a place in America where you can’t find craft beer. Something made by someone in your own state.

That is both a neat point of pride for people (hey, we make this here!) and a cool reason to travel (Oooo, I can’t find that at home!) I think we could use some more reasons to engage in some friendly rivalry with each other and if good beer isn’t the best one well, I’m open to other suggestions.

But you got a long way to convince me.

Cream Ale 2021

This isn’t hitting right. I can sense it in the nose, actually. This beer is off. It smells a bit like old paper.

Now, it’s reasonably malty in the midrange: some caramel there, and pleasantly bubbly too, so nothing sticks around long. However.

The finish? It brings back that old paper flavor. Not my best work, is all I can say.

Brew date: 3.6.21

Steeping Grains
3 lb Munich
3 lb Vienna
1 lb Digngemans Aromatic malt

Fermentables: 3 lb dry malt extract pils

Hops: 1 oz Willamette, .25 oz Falconer’s Flight @60

Imperial Pub yeast (2nd use)

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.012

Bottled 3/14

ABV: 6.5%

Front Porch Chats #57/Second Pint PPP

Weekend Brewing- American Wheat ale in glass on table outside

I appreciate when things are named for what they are. Case in point: Weekend Brewing’s American Wheat ale.

It is what it says it is. Reminds me of a candy store I saw in New York City called “Sugar”. Yup. That’s what it sells.

Don’t get me wrong; longtime readers of the blog know I can’t really resist any beer named after a mythical monster, or a heavy metal pun but I also like things that go solidly the other direction.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ve had an American Wheat ale before. But I have to say: I like this. Grainy but not overly sweet, a dry finish but I wouldn’t say it’s from a hop character. It’s a quaffable ale, rewarding lazy warm evenings.

The rain has come back to Portland-and though we are still under drought warnings I hope the rain abates some of that. It’s still pleasant enough to sit outside and hear the water drip down the spouts.

It’s also been a scary week in Oregon, as we’ve had the highest COVID infectious rate in the nation-a little payback, I suppose, for getting lucky at the beginning of it all.

But we aren’t immune yet, aren’t out of the woods. Nothing like what India is experiencing, either.

So I am staying on the porch for the foreseeable future. I figure most of the summer, maybe. Picking up food on my way home is easier than ever, and we’re at the time of the year where it’s easy to be outside.

Is it still barbaric? Well…yes, but I do have the civilized touch of being on my own front porch. So it’s hard to bitch about it, because doing this is a small action in part of a larger system. A system that desperately needs us to take as many small actions as we can, if we want to help each other, and/or change it, depending on the topic.

If you know what I mean.

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

Common Ales: McKenzie’s Bombay Bomber

Rare to see something made in Oregon that I haven’t heard of (despite being around since 1991!) in the store, and even better to find it for pretty cheap. As a 6-pack, I appreciate that even more, as I feel a bit of a disservice is being done to consumers by having to buy pint sized 4-packs. That’s a lot of beer for most people. 6-packs spread the experience out better.

I want to like this: the nose is piney and that’s my favorite kind of hoppy scent. It lingers, too so they really leaned into the American Pale style, pushing the hop qualities.

But the finish tastes dirty. Something that shows up well past the expected hop bitterness, and goes into that sensation that the hops weren’t cleaned before they were added to the beer.

Something that shouldn’t have got into this beer and I can’t recommend it.

Witchcraft

I’ve known for a long time that initially, women were the ones who brewed beer: a family staple, brewing often fell to them.

Some, as you might expect, got good enough at it that they started selling it at markets.

And I’d always figured that, with the industrial revolution, men just muscled their way into the field and pushed women out.

Buuuuut…no, No of course it’s a little worse than that.

Front Porch Chats #56/Second Pint OEF

Von Ebert Wermut ale in glass on table outside.

Sour ale for a sour week.

Von Ebert’s Wermut has what I’ll call ‘the fandom problem’.

To someone like me, who loves heavy metal, I can distinguish between black, thrash, drone, djent, stoner, etc. But for someone who doesn’t, it’s all noise to them.

I don’t like sour ales. All I get is something vinegary and it practically doesn’t matter what kind of sour ale it is. It’s not the beer, it’s me.

I suppose the week was full of a lot of things I don’t like, though none of these things have the fandom problem. The have entirely different problems.

I’ll admit, I don’t think humans are evolved enough to not have some kind of law enforcement presence. We do dumb shit, all the time-and sometimes we’re mean about it.

But I do believe that we’ve evolved enough to have a better thing than the police. I am certain that we can have better than an unaccountable agency that murders people, targeting Black and Brown people, and is allowed to walk away from it without a reckoning.

They should just fire any police officer who kills someone, and force them to go through the process of being rehired. If they engaged in justifiable homicide, I’m sure they’ll be rehired. In the meantime; they can go on trial as an unemployed person.

I see that we’ve also returned to our ‘weekly mass shooting’ in America. Boy, didn’t take long after the vaccine arrived and people started to feel like they could leave their homes for ol’ shooting spree to return.

Really does seem like there’s an accountability problem there, too. But, pre-accountability, if you will, like maybe, JUST MAYBE, you should have to have special trainings and licenses if you want a device that can murder someone.

Any device. I gotta have a license and training to drive a car, and more trainings to drive different vehicles. At least in my Honda, I can legitimately claim to be transporting cans of soup to my home.

Can’t really say that an AR-15 as multiple uses.

Finally, there’s the “we’re going to outright proclaim our hatred” of the GOP.

There’s an accountability problem too-why are the people of Georgia or Colorado or Florida or ANYWHERE in this country not telling people who want to form this America First Caucus to eat shit?

Never have I seen so many people scream how much they love America, while simultaneously doing their damnedest to hate people. You know; Americans.

Don’t get me wrong; they’re going to insist it’s about ‘liberals’ or ‘protecting children’ or ‘values’ but put some windex on that glass and you’ll see right through to the Black, immigrant, female, and trans populations they really, really want to murder. You know: Americans.

Just like the cops. Just like shooting sprees.

Seems like it’s all tied up in one big raging pile of evil, doesn’t it?

Maybe it is the fandom problem, after all.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Energy Fund.

Common Ales: Laurelwood Megafauna

Laurelwood Megafauna DIPA in glass on table, next to can

Let’s talk ’bout this.

The Megafauna has papaya, tropical qualities in the nose. That fades but not completely, which is good. It’s consistent throughout the experience, which is a benefit.

It’s sweeter than I would expect from a double IPA. Admittedly, that sweetness makes this beer a bit more drinkable; the finishing bitterness isn’t as harsh as a result. But that bitterness is definitely there. I’d say it’s strong, but it doesn’t reach tongue scraping levels.

I’d recommend it!