Category Archives: misc

Memo To All Breweries

Stop using scented soap. The scent is on my hands now and my hands are important for lifting beer to my face! That means that whatever’s on my hands messes with your beer and I don’t want that. I’m going to bet that you don’t want it either.

Especially since one of the things I absolutely learned over the past two years was how to wash my hands-and I hope you did, too.


Freemont Brewing's 5000th ale, a barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, in a glass outside on table.

It is an oft-repeated statement that writing is a lonely task. One sits there with a blank page in front of them and has to literally type their way out of nothing. This is one of those times when it certainly could be lonely: I am celebrating my 2000th post and this should be noteworthy.

But I am not at a pub, I have no one here to celebrate with. The circumstances to have this Fremont 5000-a batch of their 5000th brew, a barley wine aged in bourbon barrels- have none of the trappings of joy: no people, no places. A world that seems to get increasingly hostile by the day to people who don’t sleep on beds of money.

It could feel pretty isolating. There are elements of it that certainly do: many friends far away, my favorite pub gone for nearly a year, pandemic keeping me from finding a new place and engaging with new people or old friends.

However, writing isn’t a solitary endeavor. For years now, I have had people send me articles, or suggest beer, because they knew I had a blog. They helped give me something to talk about.

They provided advice on beer that I brewed, and as slow as the process may be, have helped make me a better brewer.

They read what I have to say, and they don’t just sit there, they respond in various ways.

And Fuz even helped write a few posts, which has been a great help.

Also, this beer is pretty damn good. A velvet smooth beverage with notes of fudge and raisin, this is a delight and should be shared with anyone who has a reason to sip on it. It’s also quite expensive, which is all the more reason to share it.

Yes, there is work that I have to do and no one is forcing or paying me to do it. Still, there is no reasonable way I can look at the past 1,999 posts and say that I did it alone.

I just hope that I’ve been doing it better. That’s what matters. Better might come in very small increments, but better is still better.


Amber ale at FitzgeraldsThis is the house amber ale at Fitzgerald’s Pub in Manhattan, New York.

I’m in New York because an old friend got married and asked me and another buddy from Portland to be his groomsmen. I’m in Fitzgerald’s because the third groomsman, whom I hadn’t met previous to the day of the wedding, invited us to his bar the next evening.

To my surprise, the amber is made by Michelob but damnit, it’s tasty. Nice mouthfeel, just enough caramel malt to look and taste amazing and easy to drink.

“It’s 6%,” the bartender-and our host- says, a little apologetic, his Irish accent softened by years of living in New York, “so it’s a little high,” and I chuckle in response.

“We start our IPAs at 7.5 in Portland. This is great.”

I had a blur of a weekend, and 90% of it was in service to the wedding I attended.

But for just a little bit, after it was all over, I was able to make a little time to sit at the pub with some old and new friends, and have a drink.

That’s a pretty good deal.

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!