Category Archives: portland

Got Milk?

A buddy sent me this link about a company that takes spent barley and turns it into an oat milk product. In and of itself, I’d find that cool because it’s another way to make brewing an environmentally friendlier process.

But then I noted that the company Take Two Foods is local!

So now I’m obligated to try this and tell you about it.

I thought I’d taken a picture of this but it appears that I have deleted (or forgotten) the pic. An unfortunate turn of events but not the end of the world.

The first thing I noticed is that it didn’t look like milk. That’s a little weird on first pour-but it does look like chocolate milk. So there’s a mental break but it isn’t too jarring.

It doesn’t taste like chocolate milk though, again another mental bump, but not a severe one. It’s not really sweet in any sugary manner.

It’s not exactly cow’s milk, either. There’s a resemblance, and I wouldn’t say that it overwhelmingly resembles a malt beverage, either. My point of comparison here is the liquid malt I use to make beer: nothing that sweet at all.

It’s good, but I also wasn’t astounded by it either. I see nothing wrong with using this for things like cereal or coffee. I’m not sure how this product might impact baking needs, like use in a quiche or cake. But for drinking, hey it seemed good to me.

There is a question of price though: this was $4.99 for 40 ounces, and that’s not even half a gallon. For the same price, I can get a gallon of organic milk. That’s a consideration, because budgets are a thing.

I’m definitely glad I tried it though and if my budget allowed, I’d do so again.

$13 Pints

While I appreciate the inspiration and even the array of flavors, this offer from Salt and Straw is pretty absurd.

I realize I just reviewed a $15 pint of beer on Monday, but at least a pint of that will give you a buzz. A pint of ice cream just gives you brain freeze.

Finally, I’ll be on the road this weekend, so no post on Friday.

Where To?

I don’t miss places often.

Bailey's Taproom Exterior

I spent a year in Italy in college and I don’t miss Italy. Even though it is undeniable to me that some very important things happened in my life there, I don’t miss it: It still exists. I took what I needed to from that moment in time.

If I was to go back now, it wouldn’t be the same: the first lesson I would need to learn is that I cannot and should not hold it to what it was.

But, Bailey’s Taproom is gone. I started writing my blog there, and I had hoped that my first post ‘out in the world in 2021’ would be from there. And now, I can go back into the world and it…isn’t there anymore.

I brought friends and family there, I played games, met strangers and gave directions to tourists. Even over the twelve years I went there, Bailey’s wasn’t the same-but it also didn’t change. Like people, the core of who they are still remains, even as they grow outward and shift, like trees.

So I miss it, not just for what it was, but also for the future I was hoping to experience there. Sure, that future was vague and didn’t go much further than: I want to sit on the rail, have a beer and write for awhile, but that was enough.

Now I need to let it go: I hate nostalgia in any form and I’d rather just be fond of what Bailey’s was, than insist that everyplace else be something it isn’t, because Bailey’s isn’t there anymore. I don’t know where I’ll go next and that is both saddening and weird but it’s a problem for future me, one I’ll solve in time.

There’s no malice to this event that I can detect, but…it certainly is someone’s fault.

Today, though, I don’t want to dive into that rabbit hole. This is about letting go of a hope, about remembering a good thing, and making room for the next one.

This Welcome Wagon pear saison from Dwinell brewing is exactly the kind of beer I’d get at Bailey’s: unknown, interesting. I’d probably order ten ounces of it though, just in case. The description includes wild yeast, pear must, aging in oak barrels and a golden ale blend. So there is quite a bit happening here.

In this instance, the cautionary pour would have been warranted: this is more of a wild ale than a saison, the pear mostly shed in favor of the wild yeasts in play. The finish is as dry as a white wine, and the tiny, persistent bubbles remind me of champagne, too.

It is not for me: But it is definitely for someone. And as a way to honor a place I really liked, it’s a very good pint: it’s interesting, something I wouldn’t’ve tried otherwise, and a beer I can talk about with other people.

Finally, I’m taking the next week off, so there won’t be any new posts until June 21st. Thanks for reading!

There Goes Another

Portland Brewing is shutting down operations this week and there’s a damn fine recap of their history at the Beervana blog.

There’s at a bit to unpack here-not the least of which being a bit of sadness for a pal who is losing his job as a result of this closure.

There’s also the end of (another) Portland institution, a brewery that helped usher in the craft brewing scene to Oregon. A reminder of a time when your flagship beer didn’t have to be an IPA; just something good that wasn’t a lager could make waves.

So I’m going to have a MacTarnahan’s amber, their flagship ale and also their Ink & Roses IPA, in honor of the event.

The nose is faintly caramel, and the beer is very light on the tongue.

In Portland tradition, this beer is probably a touch overhopped-the finishing bitterness is a bit stronger than I would expect. It’s also very bubbly; while the head is thin, it is persistent and pops in my mouth long after I’ve swallowed.

There’s also a nice roasted quality in the middle, which provides a more robust character than this beer would have otherwise. I mentioned how light it was-that roasted part keeps the beer from feeling thin. This is a beer that works well with all the top of the line pub food and probably should’ve been a go-to for Portlander’s everywhere.

The Ink & Roses IPA has a nice whiff of pine. The middle, however, doesn’t want to show up and the beer has a tongue scraping level of bitterness. There’s an herbal, grassy element, too-trying to wink and nod at the Roses part of the beer I suppose. It almost feels a little stuck in the past, though. Lacking balance, it’s a hard sell to people who aren’t hop head dedicated.

That said, I can also see this pairing nicely with most pub grub-the hops really cut through some of the greasier or spicier offerings. A remnant of the past that can still make a case for itself now-if the brewery had decided to make one.

But I also think that, just as Portland Brewing didn’t know how to market themselves, we took the brewery for granted, accepting that a reliably decent beer would just be there. And I get it; there are only so many hours in the day and one cannot give their attention to everything.

In Portland, everything is an option.

Still; thanks for the beer. I hope all the employees at Portland brewing land on their feet.

2020 Things

I acquired Ale Apothecary’s Sahalie {a wild fermented ale with honey, spruce and aged in wine barrels. Flowery nose, very white wine oriented, dry finish} back in February during the judging for the Oregon Beer Awards. A wild ale generally isn’t my style, but I got one for a friend who visits me and loves these beers.

He isn’t coming to visit this year. The border is closed.

I was supposed to go to Spokane and Seattle this year. Have drinks with friends, see my family. Discussions to get on a plane to see other friends. That didn’t happen, either. And it isn’t going to, looks like.

Generally, I try not to drink alone: there’s writing to do, people to visit. I know it’s not healthy for me-or anyone, really-, so being around people, even if I’m just in a bar doing some work, is better than sitting at home by myself.

But I have sat home alone a lot this year, in order to help protect other people. It doesn’t feel right to have bartenders risk their lives for me, so I can have a beer. Hell, it doesn’t feel right to have anyone risk their lives for me, but especially just so I can go out to eat or drink.
I know it has been the right decision.

We don’t always get the thrill of being righteous, just because we are right. Since this year has been hard, I think it’s important to acknowledge why it has been hard and who is responsible for the increased difficulty we have had to face.

There are, by my count, at least two men who bear a lot of responsibility for the position we find ourselves in. There’s an opportunity to take power away from them and I think we should take it.

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.