Category Archives: Round Two

Round Two #10\Second Pint STV

I have finally gotten out early enough to check out Threshold’s brewery, which has been getting all the buzz lately. The Best Laid Plans IIPA is calling my name, so here we go!

Threshold Best Laid Plans IIPAOranges seem to be the strongest scent, and they run a current under the beer. But I get a bit of melon in the flavor, too. There’s enough sweetness in the middle that the pithy qualities of the hazy IPAs don’t turn the beer against me. It’s pretty nicely balanced, so far, which makes this beer more pleasant to drink than most hazys I often get.

I, personally, am not a huge fan of the melon flavors. However! It’s just midway through the first glass; I might have my mind changed. If I’m going to have a second beer, I’d rather keep my ears up for anything new, or to appreciate something I knew better, than write it all off.

If I have an issue at this point, it’s that five of the nine beers Threshold has made are variants on IPAs. Sure, there’s Brut IPA and sour IPA and double IPA buuuuut c’mon. There are also two stouts,  and that leaves a grisette and a Pilsner to round it all out. Five IPAs is a lot of IPA.

Still, let’s go for the second glass, shall we?

By now, the finishing bitterness has appeared and is coating my mouth. It isn’t too intense, but I can definitely pick it up. That bitterness doesn’t mute the sweetness in the middle; rather it emphasizes the melon flavors more than it does the citrus ones. As you might imagine, that isn’t exactly a point it it’s favor for me.

That said, I know there are people who will love this beer and these flavors; if that’s you, have at because this is a very solid example of the style, in my opinion. Heck, I might even try a not-IPA, since this is such a strong effort.

Today’s second pint goes to Spread The Vote.

Round Two #9\Second Pint EACADA

Stormbreaker Everyday is beer week IPAStormbreaker’s Everyday is PDX Beer Week ale is what I’m pondering, so I ask about it.

“It’s a sour IPA.”

Wait. What?

“Yeah, it was kettle soured and then heavily dry hopped.”

Well, Stormbreaker does good stuff so let’s give it a shot.

The hops are definitely there in the nose, and they go citrus/orange flavored. This is a good thing, since the beer is tart-honestly, drinking it is very similar to drinking really good lemonade. It’s light and just sweet enough in the midrange so the tartness doesn’t overrun my taste buds, but has that mild pucker that cuts through a lot; this would be fantastic with a dense dessert or even something like a hot dog with everything: a great palate reset.

I can see this beer as the comedic fulcrum in a movie; adults who inadvertently leave it out in a glass, kids who are just thirsty and taking sips off the drink without knowing it’s alcohol. 80’s style hijinks ensue.

Glass two; the hop character isn’t as forward in the nose; a little flavor fatigue is happening, at my best guess. On the other hand; more of the lemon-tart quality appears and that’s interesting too.

Also, the finishing bitterness is starting to become a little more pronounced. It’s not enough to make the sour element go away, but it does add a little sprinkle of complexity to the beer.

Today’s second pint goes to EACADA.

Round Two #8\Second Pint RAICES

It isn’t often I get to talk about Chuckanut Brewing-although I imagine the opportunities will increase, since I think they’ve gotten distribution in Portland-but when I saw the pilsner on tap, I knew I had to have it. One nice thing about the new theme: I don’t always have to go for the new shiny object.Chuckanut Pilsner

The nose is slightly spicy from the hops and not a trace of malt to be found, which is both awesome and interesting.

The beer has a mild sweetness to it but that easily steps aside for a touch of bitterness and then even that steps aside to leave nothing behind.

It’s delicious and I feel lucky to get to tell you that you should be drinking this; Chuckanut’s beers are just so well done.

Let’s have a second one!

The thing about good beers is the consistency. And this isn’t just about the second glass, although that is certainly true.

In the case of a Pilsner, or at least this one, it’s about this beer tasting good all the way down; even after breaks of conversation. I still look forward to finishing my beer, telling you all about it.

Sometimes I just want to tell people: Just try it, and let them discover it for themselves. This is definitely one of them.

Today’s second pint goes to RAICES.

Round Two #7\Second Pint NMD

I try a sip of Modern Times’ Keeper of Secrets Alt before committing to it and it’s quite interesting, so I go for a small pour.Modern Times Keeper of Secrets Alt

The nose has a distinct candied orange quality, which is about as unusual as you could get for an alt ale. It’s so distinct that I triple check myself, just to make sure that I’m getting the nose right.

The beer is also a horse of a different color. While there are still elements of orange and sweetness, especially in the middle, the beer finishes those with a quality of smoke.

It’s not strong, which is good; smoke is the kind of thing that frequently overpowers everything else but it’s so unexpected that I don’t quite know how to process the Keeper of Secrets.

I could definitely see drinking this from some eerie looking cup in a secret society setting. Every new person wondering what the heck they’re putting in their bodies, the senior members knowing it’s just beer, the senior senior member knowing it’s soul extraction.

You get smokey orange. You lose your empathy for poor people. Sure, it isn’t a fair trade but that isn’t why you joined the society, is it? Not for fairness. Nah, brah, you’re here so you can keep people under your thumb. And what better way to anesthetize your soul to crushing them than with the taste of smoked candy orange?

Truly, you have made it.

It’s a good ale, but the smoke does what it inevitably does, sticking to your tongue a lot longer than any other flavor. Still, it is admirable like that the brewers kept the smoke light enough that, even though it’s lingering in your mouth, you can still taste the sweet orange on every sip.

The second glass holds much the same as the first, but now I’m noting the effervescent pop to help clear my palate. I’d say, though, at 15 ounces through, the combination which was unique and interesting up til about now, really starts to wear out it’s welcome.

Should you drink it? Yes, I think so. It’s definitely worth one glass. There’s enough going on to keep my attention and despite the density of flavors and alcohol overall, the finishing pop makes this beer far more drinkable than something made by someone less skillful.

But be cautious about that second one.

Today’s second pint goes to No More Deaths.

Round Two #6\Second Pint GWAF

The new Three Way IPA;3 way IPA a Fort Georg Cloudburst, Ruse collaboration is my selection today.

There’s a tropical quality to the nose, but I think there’s some fresh cut grass there too. So far, I’m happy with that, since this beer isn’t chasing the trend of mango/grapefruit/candy qualities found in so many IPAs now.

The flavors in the first glass definitely have bursts of fruit and sweetness but the finish is bitter and a dry, with just a hint of pine. I am a fan of this. The new 3 Way has a summer drink quality, light and with qualities that allude to white wine with it’s dryness, but isn’t. Nobody will mistake this for anything but an IPA. That said, the brewers have left enough residual sweetness to keep this from being a scour pad on my tongue.

While I wouldn’t mind being downtown for today’s pint, it’s Fleet Week, which means going downtown is madness. Between traffic and having to compete with the Navy for drinks, I think I’ll just pass, you know?

Besides, it’s a beautiful day and Proper Pint is happily serving an underserved neighborhood in Portland.

By the second glass, I’ve settled in to this beer. The flavor profile isn’t changing, there doesn’t seem to be something new for me to discover.

However, I am not complaining: consistency is an important quality when making food. This second beer is exactly the same as the first one. That is precisely why I would have another one; because I know that I can repeat my experience. Well done, collaborators: this is a solid ale.

Today’s second pint goes to GWAF.

Round Two #5\Second Pint PP

Garden Path Fermentation session meadGarden Path Fermentation: The Dry Table 1: a fireweed honey session mead catches my eye.

A session mead. I didn’t even think that was possible. Mead is effectively honey wine, so the ABV is typically in the double digits.

So let’s give this a shot.

It’s grainy and dry. There’s a limp attempt at tartness, but it doesn’t go anywhere. This is light mead and boy, does it suck. It certainly succeeds at being what it is trying to be; sessionable. Now if only I wanted to drink it.

This mead is watery; I don’t know why this exists, man. Unless it is there to remind me that suffering is a constant in the universe and we cannot resist it. We must instead launch ourselves forward into the void, accepting that nothing we do matters in the cosmic sense of things, all sense of meaning stripped from us like the moisture from my mouth by this beverage.

I endure this so that you don’t have to.

It really tastes like someone dumped water into a perfectly good mead and I am paying $4 for the privilege of drinking either polluted water or mead gone wrong.

There’s something to be said for not throwing good money after bad. Today, we have just the one.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Round Two #4\Second Pint WHOO

Upright's Adult IPAUpright’s Adult IPA, is, as you might suspect, an IPA. There’s a bit of melon in the nose, which made me wary because this is usually the sign of a fruity and altogether too sweet IPA.

But no; there’s a solid flag planted in bitterness on the finish, and there’s also a dry quality too. The beer feels a lot like IPAs circa the early 00s and my initial impression is; cool!

But then, three sips in, and the dryness is so potent that I’m licking my teeth. I can’t place it but something feels a little off.

I get some water before trying it again.

Nope. There’s something weird about this beer. More malt starts to appear in the nose as I let it warm up a little, and the faint sweetness makes me think of Fruit Stripe gum.

For the first time, I am starting to regret this theme. Do I really want another one of this? Can I get a mulligan?

Because it’s weird to feel like I have to moisten my teeth.

The second glass doesn’t seem to have any scent that I can pick up. This is getting weirder, right? The beer had a perfectly acceptable head on it, I should be able to get some of that tropical fruit qualities, right? Some honeydew melonish thing? Instead, nothing.

Without any nose, the bitter qualities become too prominent. There’s a pinch of melon in the flavor,  but I’m not going to call this ale balanced by any measure. For some reason, the front end has gone completely absent and the back end is not what I want in my mouth.

Still, I’m glad I gave this another go.

Today’s second pint goes to Women Have Options Ohio.

Round Two #3\Second Pint Yellowhammer

Block 15 Flanders Red AleI picked the Block 15 Flanders Red ale because I know Block 15 mostly for IPAs. They do some awesome IPAs, but I love this style and am hoping to see some skill on display!

I can feel the tartness in my nose when I breathe it in. Unripe strawberries or really tart raspberries come to mind. The first sip resembles this, too; the inside of my mouth puckers at the first couple sips of ale.

So I let it sit a little. Very slowly, I start to get a ghost of chocolate in the middle, and that goes a long way for giving this beer some dimension.

By my second glass, I’ve gotten used to this and the scents are not nearly as intense in the nose, anymore. I can even pick up some sweeter qualities in the scent. But the first sips are still muting the sweater elements so I hold off on drinking this quickly.

With the familiarity under my belt, I start to pick up something unusual in the scent, too; almost phenolic, medical in it’s sharpness. I clear my palate and smell again; it’s incredibly faint now, but it is there. It’s not enough to throw me off the beer, but it’s an unwelcome discovery.

Still, while the tartness is within tolerance ranges for me, I just prefer my Flanders red ales to be a little sweeter than this.

Today’s second pint goes to the Yellowhammer fund.

Round Two #2\Second Pint Truthout

Peach Pilot aleAfter some deliberation at the Proper Pint, I choose Fly Boy’s Pilot’s Peach pale ale. I’ve walked to the pub, which means I’m a little tired, a touch overheated and thirsty. Let’s have something on the lighter side.

So: the nose has some tropical qualities along with the scent of a freshly cut peach. I’m impressed!

And I’ll be damned, but the ale has a peach purée quality to it. This has multiple levels of meaning though, as the beer has some viscosity to it, a weight on my tongue that I wouldn’t expect from a beer. It’s lighter than a smoothie but definitely has more texture than I was expecting.

The nose fades pretty hard near the end and the beer goes a little flat as a result. If it sounds like I’m perplexed, then you’re right. The Pilot’s Peach had a very strong start but got weird, fast.

Glass two has a sulfuric scent strong enough to have me wondering if I got the same beer! The finish is a lot more sparkly, too, which lightens up the ale considerably from the previous glass.

This mutes the peach flavors, although that may be a result from this being this my second glass, too. Often when something isn’t ‘new’ the flavors aren’t as intense.

Also, the purée quality starts to register as more of a drawback, the further down I go. The fruit starts to override everything and sit on my tongue. Because there isn’t a cleansing moment for my palate, it starts to get a little sugar-sour; you know, when something is sweet enough that your mouth backlashes and a puckery quality appears in the upper corners of your mouth, behind the molars?

Maybe it’s just me. I honestly cannot piece out what’s going on with this beer. I don’t hate it by any means but I also feel as though I can only recommend it in a very narrow window.

Today’s second pint goes to Truthout.

Round Two #1\Second Pint PP

Time for a new theme!

I’ve been thinking (and writing) quite a bit, lately about how flighty the craft beer scene can be. I’m guilty of it, myself; always looking to try a new beer instead of appreciating something I have. To that end, I thought a good way to counteract this would be to head out and have the same drink twice. This way, I compel myself to take a deeper dive on the drink and evaluate it.

Plus, most places in Portland offer different sized pours now. That means I can maintain an even keel, while still enjoying a broader experience.

Pfriem Brut IPASo with that, let’s kick it all off with Pfriem’s Brut IPA.

The first glass is like a lot of these Brut IPAs; champagne is nearest relative, not IPAs. A dry finish, with not much in the nose for me to hook on to. Part of that has to do with the location: I love the Slingshot Lounge, but they pour their beers for people who want beer, not for people who want to enjoy the subtle qualities of their beer.

All the more reason to have a second one! It is on the second pint that the hops start to make their presence known, and some genuine bitterness makes its way through the dryer, fruit qualities of this ale. I have a feeling I will see a lot more Brut IPAs as summer comes on, as they are light on the palate and the overall bitterness impression is lower, so I could probably drink a few. The ABV on this is just under 6%, which means it’s definitely got some repeat business qualities.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.