Category Archives: lunchbreak drink

I drank here

At lunch I go for walks along 82nd, which is the busy-but-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere street that has old women driving baby blue Olds Cutlass Supremes, men on Harley’s and Mac trucks painted purple, all driving quickly by.  Today I passed by the man with the visor and the Sleep Country sign. The other man who stands outside with the sign pointing to the bedroom store has a trucker cap and a white mustache that traces the edges of his face. They both know me by now, and we smile and nod at each other in that casual acknowledgment that guys can do. The man with the visor smiles and says, “We get paid on Friday.” I can tell that a bit of his bottom teeth are missing, and I wonder how he ended up with this job.

I’m not criticizing by any means. But standing outside for 8 hours a day means only one thing; you’re gonna get a beer afterward, and if all you have to do is cross the street, you might as well. So I got a Lagunita’s IPA here:

What can I tell you about BJ’s? They celebrate their patio, where there’s a pool table instead of their food like most pubs. But it’s a home for someone. A home with signs insisting on a one drink minimum, and a mobile attached to the ceiling that says ‘Red Neck Wind Chimes’ and has four empty semi-crushed cans of Milwaukee’s Beast attached.

So I think you can figure it out. It’s small, and they have benches instead of booths, but it’s the kind of place I could see a bunch of people gathering for a NFL game and having a riotous ol’ time, everyone leaving all smiles. The glow of the neon signs of bad beer and reflective surfaces of ads for cigarettes and even worse beer are all over, so someone put a lot of time and effort into making this place a proper dive bar.

I’ll admit, it’s not my kind of dive bar. Bartender was a good one and gave me a solid pour but the seats are just too uncomfortable for me to feel like I could kick back and relax.

But I was able to get free wifi. Maybe not theirs, but someone’s. One could almost argue that it’s a dive bar of the future.

Wee Heavy lunchbreak beer

Summer has brutalized it’s way into Portland, slapping us with 90 degree heat mere days after highs in the 60s. I wandered into the the pub on my lunch break. It’s deviant for me to have a beer on my lunch break, but it was one of those days; fuck the job, let’s have a pint.

So I found myself at the Rogue Alehouse, pondering their vast selection. Written in large letters on their chalkboard: No Cell Phones In The Bar-please use the phone booth.  Lo and behold, there’s a red british phone booth, with a crown above the word Telephone on each side, and looking like it’s made from iron- something heavy duty enough to survive soccer hooligans- in one corner. On the opposite wall is a skeleton in Spider Man pjs, and a sparkly neon-green tie. Ah, Portland.

Making choices under pressure is a challenge for me because there are so many beers to try and when I can only get just one, better make it good, right? It’s not like I’m having to choose a car in 30 seconds, but I want a beer that is going to meet a couple criteria: be tasty and be something I haven’t had before.

The Wee Heavy Scotch ale from the Issaquah brewery was what I went with, having had good memories of other wee heavys (heavies?) I’ve drank. It was not my wisest choice though, especially given the heat of the day. Scotch ales tend to be sipping beers, and perhaps not for a less leisurely lunchtime consumption.

The deep amber color that’s almost but not quite dark enough to be opaque is the first thing I noticed in my already sweating glass. This beer was thick and sweet, giving away to a final hop bitterness at the very end. It’s a last minute save worthy of Batman, honestly; without that bitterness the beer would be almost syrupy. As I kept drinking, I notice a tang to it that’s not quite right. There’s a metallic quality to the finish here that throws the whole beer off. I’m not sure if that’s due to the weather or what, but I was not so fond of this.

My impresions were made worse by the fact that I had to walk quickly back to work. The Wee Heavy sat badly in my belly, sloshing around as I strode the blocks, the heat uncomfortable and the beer not very cooling for this day. Next time, I’ll have to remember to try something lighter.