Category Archives: Respite

Respite 49/Second Pint SPLC

‘Fuck these Nazi scum.’

Is what I’m thinking as I drink Matchless‘ Son of a Voss pale ale. That isn’t what I want to talk about. Nazi scum, that is. But that’s where we are…and I’ll get back to it in a minute.

36567426485_71c4962dcd_cBecause the Son of Voss has a forest nose, a little pine in there, but the body of the beer is hinting more at citrus; orange in this case. After a few sips, a more grapefruit scent makes itself known and I’d like to know how they pulled that trick off. At 4.1%, it’s very, very light and the bitterness on the finish constantly threatens to overwhelm the beer.

It doesn’t though, which leaves me with a beer that is pretty easy to drink and wholly appropriate for this heat.

A few days ago, I was talking to a pal about the state of the world and said “I haven’t had to worry about nuclear war in 30 years. I’m not really excited about that.”

She gave me a wan smile and said, “I have to worry every time I leave the city if someone is going to shoot me, or run me off the road. You white people are overdue for some fear.”

Perspective.

In light of the thoughts I’d was having about trust last week, her words stuck with me. It’s difficult to concern yourself with the threat of needless annihilation when your day to day life is threatened by strangers, because you are unable to trust the people in your own country.

The next day, Nazis (and that’s what they are. The alt-right is but white power terrorists) would protest the removal of a Robert E Lee statue from Emancipation Park (just let that irony sink in for a moment), followed by someone taking a car a driving it into an anti-fascist protest, killing someone the day after.

So where the hell does that leave me?

Can someone build trust in an environment like this? Where the shambling moral swamp that is President Trump refuses to repudiate Nazis. How awful of a person does one have to be in order to miss that moral calling?

I’ll tell you why he doesn’t though: They’re loyal.

And some people wonder why women or people of color have difficulty trusting the powers that be. The powers that be have tacitly endorsed Nazis. Which is the same as overtly endorsing Nazis and that leads me back to where I started:

Fuck these Nazi scum.

But again: where the hell does that leave me? Because that isn’t what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how to build those connections.

I wish I had better answers. At the moment, denouncing evildoers and believing women, minorities, people of color or just different, when they tell me they’re frightened, so that I can behave accordingly, that seems…well, it’s a start. These skookin cowards have decided they can be brave, that there will be no repercussions to their hatred because of Trump’s ascendancy to President. That there won’t be consequences: they won.  But there needs to be consequences.

I think about what my Dad told me last November: ‘We’re going to have to take a hit, and that sucks. But we have to stand in there and take it,’ and my stomach sinks.

He was right and honestly, I am not looking forward to getting hit. I am, truthfully, scared. Scared of what’s coming out of Washington DC, scared of the fecklessness of those who have an opportunity to stop it and scared of what’s going to hurt me. However, I didn’t have to live with this every. Day. Now that I do-well, some fear is overdue, shall we say?

But, nobody ever said courage was easy.

Nobody ever said building trust was easy.

We’re going to need both of those things in massive handfuls, if we’re going to move forward-without the leadership from the White House. Which we will do, and it’s going to start with saying:

Fuck those Nazi scum. And then living accordingly.

Today’s second pint is going to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Respite 48\Second Pint B&GCA

35619006303_481b83ecc5_cTonight, I’ve picked up a Block 15 Hypnosis: a barleywine aged in cognac barrels.

This is delicious. With raisin and some chocolate flavors, it leans heavily into sweetness and I’m OK with it. There’s just a little sense of woodiness on the finish-nothing overwhelming but a soft counterpoint for sure. But it is dense. VERY dense. Getting a full glass of this might have been a mistake, because once it’s done, there’s definitely going to be a feeling of “man, you are full”.

I have a feeling that that the wood quality will become more pronounced as this warms up, too.

I have been thinking a lot about trust over the past few months. In a country where the leader is trying to bend every conversation towards loyalty-and the worst kind of loyalty at that- I am, instead, preoccupied with trust.

Because you have to trust people, if you want a functioning society.

For a long time, the concept of trust has been eroded in America and nowhere is this more apparent to me now, than in the relationship between the Legislative and Executive branches of government and the citizens. When the approval rating of the President hovers around 33% and people are staging sit ins at Congress, yelling at them at town halls, something is deeply wrong.

We have to trust people in order to accomplish anything. And the thing about trust-versus loyalty-is that trust is symbiotic. We trust each other and the level of that trust is earned. Loyalty often goes one way: Someone is loyal to someone or something but that loyalty doesn’t automatically extend the other direction and it is never a gradient; loyalty exists as a binary state.

Trust has to operate differently and it has to extend to people we don’t know, people who aren’t like us. Which is why it’s so important. The ideals of America make this explicit and stand in contrast to how many other nations were formed: we don’t look for people who look and believe like us in order to join in.

We want people who want the same goal and ideal.

And those people exist! Which I hope we remember when we’ve decided that zealots who demand loyalty over trust or competence need to be removed from power.

Because who will be left? Just. Us. And we won’t be loyal. We’ll just have trust each other.

To do the rebuild-a rebuilding that is going to require rebuilding trust, too. It would be exhilarating if the road to getting there wasn’t so terrifying.

The second pint goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Respite 47/Second Pint Trans Lifeline

OK….so I hope you know how I dearly appreciate readers and your willingness to come by every M-W-F.

I especially appreciate the responses to the Monday posts, because I get that it’s not like other beer blogs on those days.

Between a very good friend visiting and us hitting the OBF and then Bailey’s anniversary party, though, with all the writing and socializing that went with it…I am burnt out and have had no time to organize my thoughts for a proper Monday post.

So, same time next week? Great.

Today’s second pint goes to Trans Lifeline.

Respite 46\ Second Pint Snopes

36000935031_17e6575a69_c“What’s a grisitte?” I ask, and from behind the bar Scotty says something to the effect of “what lagers are for miners, grisittes are for farmhands.” Well, while I don’t often drink similes, I figure I’ll give anything a shot once.

Engine House No 9’s Petite Belle Grisitte; is a farmhouse influenced saison. What I mean by that is, it’s got that funkiness in the nose and an interesting creaminess on the finish that I wouldn’t expect but the spice note is subtle and…this is just damn tasty. I got a small pour because I didn’t know what to expect and now I’m wishing I’d gotten a big one.

This is going to be a pretty exciting week: I’ve got an interview with the owner of Bailey’s to put up on Wednesday, in preparation for their 10th Anniversary event, then the review of the Oregon Brewer’s Fest on Friday!

For today then, I’m going to relax. My friend Noah is here and we’re going to play some Magic. I’m going to do my best to just enjoy this evening because after that, I’m very busy for the next seven days.

The Second Pint is going towards helping Snopes stay open. I know that isn’t a nonprofit but the work they do helping debunk false stories is incredibly important. More information on that here.

Respite 45\Second Pint ACLU

I have a soft spot for Flanders red ales, so when I saw Vanguard/Loyal Legion’s Red Don, a Flanders red ale with cherries, well I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next. The nose smells like cherry juice and that feels…weird. There’s a little bit of funk under that, too, as though the juice might be turning in an intriguing way.

35174218563_0417940cd2_cThe beer itself is also a challenge to get my head around. The mildly sour part of the Flanders red style is there but without much sweetness, and the tartness of the cherries is in full force so it’s both a contrast and a counterbalance? I suppose if I had to pin it down, I would call this beer grapefruit cherry sparkling water.

I suppose I’m spoiled due to my experience with other versions of Flanders reds, that have a definite dry fruit or chocolate note of sweetness to keep the whole thing corralled in and I’m missing that. Is this beer bad? No. I know there are people who will love this. Buuuuut it’s not quite working for me.

On the I-5 southbound this morning, I saw a mini-van with a giant sheet of paper covering an unwise amount of the back windshield that said: Jesus is the truth, the light and the way, handwritten in fat black marker.

With a handicapped emblem.

And a Trump sticker.

So, what is practically a perfect storm of delusional behavior; unsafe driving created by poor vision, unsafe behavior created by Trump support, in a vehicle that is operated by a person who desperately needs society’s support structures, is in front of me.

In the meantime, I’m listening to this.

The freeway is for everyone, though. I don’t need to monitor this person, so long as they stay in their lane. The rules help keep everyone safe. My job is to stay aware of what’s going on around me and to maintain my own safety. My job is to take care of everything I can in order to keep that freeway a safe place to be, starting with my own driving and care of my vehicle, to the money I give so that these public spaces are in good shape and don’t endanger anyone.

So I keep on keepin’.

This second pint is for the ACLU.

Respite 44/Second Pint-Donors Choose

35840396115_691b414796_cA Heretic/Evil Twin collab, Evil Quadruplets is on today. This is supposed to be an Imperial Red ale but honestly it just tastes like a barleywine; caramel alcohol and a solid bitterness on the finish. The bitterness is strong enough that that might be the element that doesn’t fit as barleywine but it’s pretty damn delicious.

I still feel a bit exhausted. I want to step away from the general madness of the day but…there is no getting away from it.

Yet, this series is called The Respite, right? It’s meant to be a moment of pause, reflection, peace. Happiness and joy are even welcome. Or just smiles and contentment. Whatchu got? Let’s bring that.

Because I don’t talk about the state of America these days because I don’t care. I talk about it because I think the potential of America is grander, more noble, than other countries. Our social political experiment has somehow helped push more goodness in the world. It isn’t without massive flaws but…it’s hard for me to just abandon it, because I’ve seen it help, I’ve seen the better nature of humans win out.

I know that phenomenon is unique to America. But this is my home and this is a place that hasn’t begun to fulfill it’s promise-a promise that is being sawed at daily by the worst of what America has to offer.

So, I can’t step away.

But I don’t get to rest. Sometimes you gotta. Today will not be that day.

Today’s second pint will go towards Donors Choose. I specifically went with this one, because of a lifelong love of books and a feeling that they are critically important towards helping people become better people but I would heartily encourage readers choosing to donate to pick whatever feels right for them.

Respite 43\Second Pint IRC

35307654540_71ffc91cf4_cI came to Bailey’s after serving the closing shift at the Portland Craft Beer fest and I deserved a beer. Sat down on the rail and ordered what looked like the most interesting thing: Buoy‘s Foraged for Thought, a North Coast Gruit with honey, cranberries and rose hips.

After a long day at the craft beer fest serving, this is about dead on. Crisp, fruity, a bit tart; this beer is a hell of an argument for these weirdo kinds of styles.

I had this whole spiel, “Happy birthday, America, it’s a great republic, if you can keep it, however we manage to struggle right now” going. You know. Old man rants.

Which leads us to; How DO we keep struggling? Especially without heading down a path of “Just burn it all down!” As if that helps.

In hour three of my serving shift-it’s late in the day, the drunks are getting cocky, my knees vocally unhappy, and for two hours I had to listen to a loop of music that included “I think we’re alone now“. Twice. I swear that has got to be a crime against the innocent. Or at least against me.

A DJ took over and people were starting to dance, which is always a crowd lightening event. It’s a little amazing how that works; people dancing equals a bit of joy

Two women nearby were really getting into Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and another woman, asking for a glass of wheat beer from me, said “How do I get to their level?”

For once I listened to the first thing that came into my head.

“I think you just decide to dance.”

Metaphor, baby.

Today’s second pint goes to the International Rescue Committee.