Category Archives: misc

Festival Shoes

Adidas has made beer-proof shoes.

That’s really it. Yes, it’s absurd and yes, you can accomplish the same thing with a good pair of hiking shoes and some waterproofer.

But what the heck; we can have some fun, right? Maybe not $240.00 worth. But some.

I’m on the road soon, so the next post will go up Wednesday the 13th. Cheers!

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Measure The Court

While I was running through the Ecliptic brewery, sliding around actual professionals who make beer for a living I saw this:

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And I thought, “I have a hydrometer like that at home.”

Which brought to mind this scene from Hoosiers.

I don’t talk about it much, but I don’t consider myself to be a great brewer. I have had a lot more failure than successes, more undrinkable beers than drinkable ones. I won’t deny that I have improved: twelve years of brewing should show some improvement, damnit. I just seem to drink beers made by others that are (almost) always better than mine.

In the end though, there isn’t any magical difference between what they’re doing as professionals and what I’m doing. Skill, certainly, knowledge, more expensive tools, no question.

But it’s not magic. It’s just work.

A Toast To The Extras

This is Sherpa, and yesterday we had to put him down. I’d known him for 11 years and no matter what I was writing at this computer, he showed up to insist that I provide some space on my lap for him.

He was a good kitty and he will be missed by everyone who met him. He was just like that, you know?

I miss my friend and I hope he knows I love him.

We’ll get back to the beer stuff on Wednesday.

Saturday Will Be Big

I know I usually have content posted on Fridays but this Friday I expect to be at the Oregon Brewer’s Fest! So I am going to have a post on Saturday, reviewing what I’ve had so people can use those notes if they haven’t gone yet.

Saturday itself, I plan on being at Bailey’s Taproom for their 8th anniversary event and, in a change of pace (and because Bailey’s has wifi), I thought I’d live-Tweet the experience.  If that interests you, the Twitter feed is here.

With all that celebration, I think I’ll be taking the week of the 27th off though! That’s a lot of beer to get through in two days, so I think I’ve earned a break.

A Beer Voyage

Full disclosure, this project is something I’m connected to in a friend-of-a-friend way.

Still: check it out. This guy wants to go around the state of New York and talk to brewers about their stories. Not just their beer, which matters of course, and is always a fine place to start a conversation. But beer and food at large is always a good starting point for the stories that we can tell.

It’s a neat project and I’d like to give it a little exposure.

Health, Alcoholism and Craft Beer

I saw this thread at the beer Subreddit and read through a great many comments.  I have to confess, I cannot read a thread like that and ask myself some questions about my drinking. Portland is a drinking city, too, whether we want to say so or not: along with reading and strippers, great beer has come to be one of the ‘cool’ reasons to visit or live in Portland.

It’s a challenging thing to face, because these days beer not only gets you drunk, it also tastes really good.  On top of all of that, there’s this vibrant culture of people involved and they’re all excited about it. That combination is pretty damned heady for anyone, even a mentally healthy person.  For someone who isn’t in a very healthy place (and I occasionally include myself there) or who just flat out is suffering, I feel like there’s a risk for addiction that we should be vigilant about, even if we don’t discuss it much.

There are a lot of interesting comments and some good stories from people who are drinking too much, who scaled back, who learned various ways to moderate their behavior in such a way that it wasn’t detrimental (or as detrimental) to their lives. Discussions about volume of beer vs volume of alcohol, articles referencing medical studies, a whole host of people talking about judgment, about  need, and about health.

I personally think about this subject often. I have alcoholism in my family so I know that the potential is there. I also really like beer: I make it, I write about it and a great deal of my social activities involve beer at some point. At the same time, I don’t just sit around and drink, my health seems to be good, I exercise frequently and my ability to create a functional life doesn’t appear to be negatively impacted. That is: I have a job, I show up on time, I’m sober, I don’t alienate friends or family with my behavior when I drink, etc.

This is in part because, paradoxically, I want to keep drinking. Alcoholics have to stop drinking. But functional adults (which I sometimes qualify as)  get to do whatever they want. I keep an eye on my behavior, so I can keep doing the things I like to do.

It’s not a bad system, at least so far.