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.

Break Up Big Beer


Also, big tech, big media, and big banks.

Fun l’il anecdote to this: I found this story via Reddit and one of the comments, from someone who hadn’t and clearly wasn’t interested in reading the story, went:

“Why? They make decent beer (ed.-later clarified as Bud Light, Busch, Coors) for cheap.”

My dude, “Let poor people drink shitty beer” is not the argument that you think it is.

Common Ales: MacTarnahan’s Amber

MacTarnahan's AmberWhen was the last time you had a MacTarnahan’s tho’?

I picked this up because it’s the equivalent of comfort food. MacTarnanhan’s has been a staple in Portland since I moved here 20 years ago. But also: it’s what people see in a store, and it’s been awhile since I dove into one.

The nose emphasizes the malt-it’s not quite bread but I certainly recognize it as a cousin to bread. The beer is on the sweeter side, with a little caramel malt in the middle to give it something. It feels thin though, even for a 5% beer. I’m not sure why that’s the case however it’s really the only detriment.

There’s a pleasant (but not overpowering by any means) hop bite on the finish to keep the caramel from running away with it all, and the effervescence does a decent job of cleaning everything away.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel just irks me. I wouldn’t refuse one! But I don’t know that I’d seek it out.

Front Porch Chats #15\Second Pint DVRC

Happy birthday, America. Breonna Taylor’s killers are still unaccountable for their actions.

Honestly, if America isn’t breaking your heart every damn day, then you probably ain’t Americaning right. It’s full of promises, America is, and we’s not done much to live up to them.

I’d accept well intentioned fucked ups by America, and I’d even be willing to live with errors via ignorance. Those things can be worked with.

But this country is over 200 years old and we damn well ought to know a few things.

For example; fascism is bad. Racists are cowards and should not be heard. Money hoarders should not override the needs of the people. Big banks, big tech and big media run roughshod over the rights of citizens and should be shattered like a glass you throw against a brick wall. People are people, regardless of race, creed, gender. No exceptions. Corporations are not people. I don’t want to have to fight a war to prove that one, but I wonder if we might.

Henhouse Juiced raspberry goseAnd share your beer with people. From a distance. There’s a pandemic on-not even our first, so we REALLY ought to know better-and things will be vastly improved if we respect our distances and share what we can. Be kind. Always lead with being kind. Plenty of time to be mean later.

So, this is a Juiced! Ale from Henhouse brewing-a gose with raspberry.

I’m of the opinion that gose should probably always be brewed with a tart fruit like this. Because what I really have here is raspberry beer. It’s tart, then sweet, then tart again and it smells and tastes like raspberries.

Personally, I’m in for that. I can see where other people might not be-this doesn’t really meet a lot of the traditional flavors for beer. However, neither do hazy IPAs and those are popular.

This is just straight up raspberries and alcohol. I like it.

Today’s second pint goes to the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

First Quarter IPA

first quarter IPAExcellent nose; really get the dank scents from the hops. They seem to fade rapidly, which is a tiny drawback, and a surprising too. The head of this beer is thin, but steady so I’d hoped I would be more from that.
Still, a persistent head is a good sign, and pays off by helping clear some of the bitterness of the finish away.
You might notice that it’s a bit darker than your standard IPA; this is because I have continued with last year’s attempts at Sierra Nevada’s Resilance IPA which called for some caramel malts, giving it both the reddish hue and some sweetness.
I should definitely try this without the caramel malts, just to produce a ‘classic’ style.
However, this is a solid beer; again, one of the better ones I’ve made and I absolutely contribute that to the expedience with which I took to bottling this beer-and not putting it into secondary for a hop addition. Less exposure to the elements has made for a better beer.
Brew date: 4.11.20

Steeping grains
2 lb Dark honey
1.5 lb C30
5 lb Serenade paleFermentables: 4 lb ExLME

2 oz Centennial, .5 oz Columbus, 1 oz Magnum @60
1 oz Magnum, .5 oz Columbus @30

Yeast: Imperial House (3rd use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.01

Added 1 oz Columbus on 4.14

Bottled: 4.18

ABV: 8.1%

Front Porch Chats #14\Second Pint Mass Defense

Brewery 26 Crispy Clean IPA“The poor will always be with you” Matthew 26:11.

My dad occasionally reminds me Jesus said this, and like dad, I am reminding you that only one of Breonna Taylor’s killers have been arrested at this point. It only took over 100 days.

On a week where people are crying about the death of Elijah McClain.

There is always another person who is made to suffer, so long as there are unjust things.

The poor will always be with us.

Because we know that poverty is largely the result of policy, not actual scarcity, it strikes me that injustice is something that we’ve always had to manage. The stories and essays verify this; going back millennia, issues around poverty and injustice have been among us.

What that means is that we have to be vigilant, and consistent about the pursuit of justice. Because for those who have enough power, they can pay someone else to champion their unjust ways-and money doesn’t sleep.

We have to rely on each other, and we have to do it almost every day. But there is work too do, and we have to commit to doing it, not just on days like Juneteenth, or Christmas, but on Wednesdays, too.

It seems like that work wouldn’t allow for breaks but it actually does; those breaks are important reminders of why it’s worth it! Because people deserve a society where they are able to sit and have a beer on their porch. Or dance. Or just exist. Without being shot.

Which brings me to Brewery 26’s Crispy Clean IPA. It has a tropical, mango scent, but the rest of the beer doesn’t quite line up with that nose. It isn’t sweet, and the bitterness on the finish doesn’t seem to have enough oomph to it.

I’m uncertain about this beer; it doesn’t seem bad but it’s not something I’m willing to recommend. If my dad was here, I’m not sure he’d be fond of it, even while reminding me that the poor will always be with us.

Today’s second pint goes to the Mass Defense program at NLG.

Desperate Times

I wish stories like this weren’t billed as ‘feel good’ moments.

This person shouldn’t have to move into their workspace and lose their home in order to keep the life they’ve built.

Good on him, and I’ve heard good stuff about Lowercase Brewing.

But still. Things didn’t have to be like this-and shouldn’t be like this.

An Open Letter To The Pubs I Like To Drink At

I’m going to stay away for a bit longer.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Quite simply: my desire to go out and have a pint does not supersede the risks that you are compelled to be under. Risks we’re already having to deal with.

I don’t blame you: people are desperate and impoverished. They are being forced into inhumane, immoral decisions between having a place to live and having a life to live in that place.

I can afford to stay out of your way, order online and take things to go. So I’m going to keep supporting you that way, for at least a few more weeks. You can establish your rules and procedures and I can let that all happen safely from home.

I’ll be back, don’t you worry.

Front Porch Chats #13\Second Pint Loveland Foundation

Stormbreaker Triple Double IPAGot us a Stormbreaker Triple Double today, a day when Breonna Taylor’s killers still haven’t been held accountable for their deeds.

It’s actually a benefit, right now, that the best argument for not having police as we know it is coming from the police.

I get that they don’t think they are making that argument, but it’s crystal clear to anyone who is on the other end of their enforcement. If the police weren’t behaving the way they were right now, I guarantee you that the protests happening nightly would have petered out by this point.

You know it is true: the continued shitty behavior by the police is keeping people from relenting on them. I know the major news has lost interest in the stories, but I’m watching the local feeds and videos from citizens and every. morning. There is a new video of police, in Portland and elsewhere, trying to terrify and abuse citizens, reporters, and protesters.

But until they are held accountable for the things they do, they won’t change-and if they won’t change, then the model the cling to deserves to be ground into oblivion.

I hope it happens sooner than later, since we deserve better. The push for change is there-let’s be brave enough to bring a new world to bear.

The effervescence on this beer dies out quickly, to its detriment. The nose-initially a nice, spicy quality, has been lost not even halfway through they glass. The finish has a sweetness and orange quality, and it supersedes the bitterness pretty well.

It’s drinkable and decent but it isn’t rising to the next tier of goodness.

Today’s second pint goes to the Loveland Foundation.

Pouring One Out

Contaminated pale aleFor the first time ever, I have dumped a batch of beer. Call it a rising sense of maturity, or a desire not to get into sunk costs but it is what it is.

The yeast didn’t start for 2 days, despite me making yeast starter. I was using a dry yeast, so making a starter was my attempt to jumpstart the yeast so the beer wouldn’t get contaminated.

That didn’t work out so well.

This beer smells of iodine, tastes of citrus, band-aid and metal. I seriously thought about bottling this anyway because who knows? Maybe a week in the bottle will improve things!

No. It won’t and I should stop pretending that it will.

Now, am I certain that the yeast is to blame? I am not, but it is the only variable to the process I’ve been doing for years, and certainly the only change since December. Nevertheless, I’m going to take some time to run a bleach solution through the equipment after this, because fool me once…

Here’s what I did, anyway:

Brew date: 6.7.20

Steeping grains
3 lb Gambrious Pale
4 lb Lamonta Pale

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

@60 1oz Southern Aroma, Cascade
@5 1 oz Cascade

Added 1 tsp Irish Moss @5

1.5 tsp Gypsum pre boil (for water conditioning)

Yeast: Mangrove Jack dry yeast-starter

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.014

Attempt to bottle: 6.17.20

ABV 6.9%