Category Archives: outboard brain

OBF wrapup

Once again, general impressions about the fest from my Outboard Brain. Extras in bold.
The festival  itself seemed to be well run and  I thank everyone who served, worked, and gave me a touch of bonuses as a blogger to write about it.

It’s just so cool to be a part of neat stuff. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Hollister, Altered State:
Bready nose just a ping of hop bitterness in a clean ale

Deschutes, Chainbreaker
White IPA? Nose is a touch strange as though a hint of I don’t know what, however beer has a nice mouthfeel; smooth with hop bite

Full Sail, bohemian pilsner
Corn nose and finish and it’s not quite refreshing enough

3 Creeks, Fivepine porter
Nice but maybe served a touch cold and settled like a weight in my belly. Flavors seemed a bit muted and I think if I hadn’t been in a hurry to taste as much as I could have, this beer might’ve impressed me more.

New Holland, Golden Cap saison
Very light and crisp as hell. Post porter this is a real treat.

Elysian, Idiot Sauvin ipa
Very tangerine. Reminded me a bit of Widmer’s Drifter, which is a good thing.

Blue Frog, Ginger and Meyer Ann
Ugh the finish tastes like feet.

Goose Island, Pepe Nero
Farmhousey but no it just doesn’t appeal kinda icky at the finish. This beer did improve after being allowed to warm up; both the farmhouse qualities and the finish changed for the better.

Mt Emily, imperial red
Tasty but a touch watery. That said; I enjoyed the beer.

I was tempted to try Rogue’s offering but was told by a friend that it may have been the worst beer he’d ever had. While that is something that piques my curiosity, I’m not sure that ‘I should try it because it’s bad’ is really a philosophy I want to start following.

I also had to start volunteering at the OBC booth and while I was able to sample more brews, the day became more about chatting up than taking notes. However I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention that I had an chance to try Rock Bottom’s Zombie Flanders which I suggested people should avoid and you know, I actually liked it. My evaluation of that beer wasn’t wrong the first time I had it but I have to admit that when I tried it at the OBF, I would have unhesitatingly recommended it to anyone who enjoys sour ales.

Final note: I’m going to be away for a few days, so no post on Friday. Back for Monday.

New Year’s pre

The sweetie and I both had the day before New Year’s Eve off, so in an attempt to avoid the craziness that can be New Year’s events (and some of the expense) we went to a movie, stopping off at Bailey’s beforehand for a few drinks. The following is from my Outboard Brain, mildly edited so my shorthand makes sense to normal humans.

ft george north the forth brewFt George North the Forth has candy canes in it, I’m told. That’s about as unusual as I’d expect to get while brewing. No idea what the style is offhand but probably a winter ale since there are candy canes.

Which (and I never thought I’d say this) is a good thing. Lots of spruce in front almost gives it a simple green moment. Not for everyone but I dig.

Boulder Never Summer winter ale on nitro:
Nitro means there is no nose but it’s very smooth. Drawback: it’s a bit bitter in unexpected ways, without any nose or sweetness to balance it out. I like it but would be hesitant to recommend it.

With those, we went to see Waste Land, which I dug on quite a bit.

Next time, what I actually did on New Year’s. (Hint: there was beer.)

What’s in a name?

boneyard armored fist alePresenting: Boneyard‘s Armored Fist-brewed, I’m told via their website, as a collaboration with 3 Floyds from Chicago.

Now that is a metal beer. 10% imperial cascadian dark. Serious hop nose on this one but it’s definitely floral not citrus.  Maybe piney? Yup, piney.

It’s the middle that confuses me. Like why make this a dark ale? Why not just keep it a pale? With its brown profile I do get some bitterness roasted quality that gives the beer a touch more in the middle than it would have as an amber, even. Great name though and now I have to pause and let this warm up a bit so I can appreciate it a little more. That’s fine, I’m at Bailey’s and it’s always good to take in the sights.

Deschutes’ Marooned Belgian is also on and that a pretty cool name too but… It isn’t metal. I realize that I’m falling into cliches here with my love of beers named after monsters and things like the Boneyard but at the end of the day, I am who I am. I like monsters and I like heavy metal and it’s always cool to find things that fit into the niche you dig on. Still, if I have the chance I’m going to try some, just because of the name (and because Deschutes usually makes good beer.)

I’m not sure how kind warmth is to the Armored Fist. It does seem to get a touch sweeter and with the pine flavors that isn’t bad but it’s not great either because of the coffee elements. At the end I’m a bit torn on this one because it’s good but my inclination is to drink it fast and that’s not so wise for a 10% ale. Maybe it would’ve been wiser to have a smaller glass…but it wouldn’t have been metal.

I’ll have whatever you say #5

Proletariat RedI’m on my Outboard Brain and waiting for a friend to show up but I’m alone right now at Oaks Bottom and I’m not sure what to do. I’m surrounded by tables and booths and these provide a certain silent request for privacy–just interrupting and asking a simple question feels like a slightly bigger, more intrusive step. Still, I have a mission. A much older man and his wife are in the booth behind me, helpfully offering his selection of Proletariat Red when I ask what he’s having. He likes it and that’s a great start. Mogwai‘s Auto Rock is on and as that song represents a form of heartbreak for me, it is weird and out of place. I can’t explain why, exactly; loving a song-even a song that breaks your heart- is something that just is and dressing that up, while a worthwhile task and a fun endeavor, is no substitute for just getting it.

I like the Oaks Bottom. Have since Fuz and I walked in a few years back. Gets bonus points for not being absurdly crowded on a Monday. It is a bad time to be here though because I have been jonesing for chicken strips and this is the kind of scene where you want chicken strips.

Sticking to a budget is damned hard, sometimes. Like when I want a beer. And chicken strips.

I wonder why there aren’t pork strips? Seems like a good idea, right? Or beef strips? Basically I am fan of meats that can be breaded, deep fried and dipped in sauce.

Except for bacon. I had deep-fried bacon once and it was so disappointing I remembered what it was like to discover there was no Santa Claus. A little bit of the magic in the world went away.

The beer however might restore some of my faith. The Proletariat Red is workhorse kind of beer that may not get much respect but revels in its malty goodness. It does leave me wishing I could have the monster mash imperial porter. I’m a bit of a sucker for new beers and seasonals in particular. However, one of the great lessons of the world is to accept what you have, because what you want isn’t the reality: what you have is.

Indelicate matters

I was fortunate enough to get to Migration Brewing and from the Outboard Brain my thoughts came as follows.

“The MPA at is ok.  A bit more hoppy than balanced but it’s alright and Seth agrees. He then plays Swamp, Gwyellion so its not all bad.

The black currant cider has a really funky scent like cheap red wine so ignoring the scent is key. Do that and there’s a nice cherry tart in the cider. “

So the beer I had was OK, if not distinctive and the cider was enjoyable. Migration is a new place so I’m not expecting crazy or breakaway brews from them just yet. Reliable ales that can appeal to a broad audience is a good plan for new brewery, especially in Portland where one bad ale can turn you away from an entire venue. There’s also a broad selection of 2nd party ales so if you’re not intrigued by Migration’s beers, there are others. The waitstaff was friendly and didn’t mind our need for a little more light while we played cards. For the most part, I felt encouraged to to come back.

There are small problems though and they really shouldn’t be put gently. First, the men’s bathroom doesn’t have a door for the toilet. Instead, you have a mirror on the back wall, so anyone sitting on that toilet can be seen by anyone turning from the sink after washing your hands. You need a door in front of your toilet, OK? That’s really not up for debate. (Update; I was told later by friends that the main door locks; the bathrooms are meant to be single-serving and this fact diffuses the privacy element of my criticism.)

Second, it smells like cucumber in there. But not cucumbery enough that you won’t smell something else. So eventually, you’re walking into a bathroom that smells of cucumbers and shit. This is also under the category: Not Cool.

Now, if the beers are cheap enough and/or I’ve got enough of a buzz then sure, I can ignore it. Life is not all about awesome things 24/7. But for a brewpub like this it really doesn’t work because it isn’t a dive. That’s not a complaint, just my feelings on Migration’s pub; it’s a nice joint that feels like it could be a good neighborhood place. The fact that the bathrooms aren’t ventilated well enough, while a mild criticism, is something that might keep people away and that would be a bummer because everything else about the bar was pretty swell.

Outboard Brain

The Outboard Brain is what Warren Ellis uses to describe his smartphone and posts he makes from it. While I don’t have a smartphone, I do have an outboard brain of sorts and here are some of the random beer related thoughts from it. (Note, there will be other Outboard Brain posts in the future.)

Rogues 21 English strong is tasty and malty. It’s weird to get a beer with  no hop presence. There’s no slickness that I might’ve expected.
(I liked this beer and had it at the Green Dragon.)

From a friend’s Barfly bus event:

Speakeasy: ninkasi radiant rough pour = rough finish.
Yukon w/ a twilight ale. Nice. Bear w/ leg in mouth on wall.
Penguin pub w/ kalamath falls drop dead red malty goodness w/ steady effervescence.  Karaoke bar…old coot regs (regulars) are fun. Can’t forget the red plastic cups.
What gets weird is how I am reminded of Spokane with the lit hills. And when I don’t know where I am I am reminded of the secret loves of a city I am still learning.
Pink Feather and a rogue dead guy. Good to have reliables.