Category Archives: Uncategorized

Front Portch Chats #55/SEcond Pint MFF

On an April day that feels chillier than March, I’ve got an All Ways Down IPA from 10 Barrel. Which is basically them saying; what if NEIPA, but translucent? Real groundbreaking stuff, guys. Clear beer!

10 Barrel All Ways Down IPA, in glass outside

Now on the one hand, I approve. I’ve seen enough hazy beers that had chunks in them and if there is one quality that I think everyone should agree on regarding beer, it is that it should never be chunky.

On the other hand, it’s just a grapefruit beer. Grapefruit nose, grapefruit middle, and the common failing finish of the All Ways Down’s hazier cousins is there too. I could have Squirt with gin in it and I’d probably be happier, especially since the icky pith flavor on the finish wouldn’t be involved.

But, you know what? I don’t have to finish this beer. I don’t have to do anything with it anymore, now that I’ve tried it. I can move on and do something else.

Which, as messages go is pretty obvious, I will confess. Then again, it is also a metaphor I wish I’d figured out a few years sooner than I did.

Don’t get me wrong: I want to like this. I want to like any beer that is poured for me, even if I’m pouring it myself. However, I don’t believe in forcing myself to finish a beer just ‘cause.

Life’s too short, right? Which, again, pretty obvious. I suppose some weeks are just like that: you get the obvious signs because the subtle ones haven’t been making a dent.

Today’s second pint goes to the Minneapolis Freedom Fund.

Front Porch Chats #49/SEcond Pint PAI

Sometimes, a series of words is put together in such a way that I think to myself: well, I gotta know what this is about.

Such is the case with Asheville’s Dark Cherry Saison. I just had to know what that was about.

The nose has a tart cherry quality, and…well, it overwhelms the beer. It isn’t bad, but a Flemish Red ale would have similar tartness and offer me a little chocolate or sweetness, too.

Asheville Dark Cherry Saison in glass on table outdoors.

This just gives me cherry. I’m not sorry I tried it; it is mostly what they said it would be, right? But I cannot pick up any citrus or peppery qualities, the cherry is just too strong.

There’s a wind blowing from the South and it’s giving me a chill, which means I don’t want to be out on the porch right now. Then again, I never wanted to be out on the porch but…we do what we must.

There’s a list of must things that need to be done, I suppose. Setting the minimum wage to $31/hr would be one.

We’re going to be lucky if we get $15 out of an “elite” class that doesn’t know the price of a loaf of bread, and people are going to needlessly suffer because of it.

Needless suffering seems very on brand for 2021. The right wing of this country is going full Nazi cult and money seems perfectly happy to support it. If anyone was ever about needless suffering, it’s the Nazis. And if money was ever about anything, it was almost certainly about needless suffering.

I don’t expect changes to happen overnight but…it is demoralizing to see such political cowardice from the Democratic leadership, in particular.

Biden has no elections left to win, so why is it important to compromise with people who are out to crush democracy as we know it?
Why is it important to coddle Nazis?

I want to know why the apparent leader of the nation doesn’t seem to have a dream big enough for it?

We deserve better than this and while it isn’t a problem that we have to fight for it, it would be better if we felt like someone with the authority to go after these grifting goosesteppers and violent dickheads was doing that job.

I mean look at this. What batshit reality have we stepped into? I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the criminals responsible for the state we’re in be held to task.

Today’s second pint is going to the People’s Advocacy Institute, for the work they’re doing trying to ensure people in Mississippi can get water.

N O P E

Not long ago, I had an IPA made with Norwegian Kveik yeast. This yeast has been getting a lot of hype lately, because of its unique fermenting properties-able to operate at very high temps without throwing off unwanted flavors.

Except the IPA tasted awful. So bad that I immediately messaged a friend to tell him how bad it was. It was a hazy IPA that had the finishing notes of burnt paper. Grapefruit + burnt paper. That was not appetizing.

Little Beast belgian ale in glass, with can, on table

But maybe it’s the brewery, right? It was a beer that was brand new to me (Hyper Scream from Dekker brewing) and maybe they just suck.

One month later, I’m drinking a Folkvanger from Little Beast brewing, a brewery I know is solid. The Folkvanger is a dark ale made with the Norwegian yeast and…it tastes like singed butthair. It was so bad that I wanted other people to try it, just so I didn’t feel insane for thinking that something a professional brewery made could taste this bad.

I feel like there’s a massive joke being played on people right now; that this thing which, admittedly, does something cool and unique, is touted as also being tasty and…it really just isn’t.

Not at all.

Front Porch Chats #38/Second Pint EPPE

It’s that time of year; winter ales and stouts are back in season and I’m draining an Ol’ Saint Nick from Block 15 today. (We’re still doing phrasing, right?)

I’ve been coming out on my porch now for almost nine months. Nine months of this utter horseshit.

The ratfucking continues-it’s week six by my count-and at this point a portion of our representative leaders can be reasonably tasked with sedition.

What in the actual fuck.

Four yeas ago, when I started the Second Pint Project, I did it with the notion that things were going to be bad. That is was on me to pitch in more, highlight people fighting the good fight, and speak up because things were going to be bad.

I said so, because I saw it coming.

But I didn’t see this. I didn’t see a coup, I didn’t see what I don’t know else to call but treason.

These are cold days, so I suppose it’s good this winter warmer is on the table. The nose fades quickly-I can’t even remember what it was, now, but the beer itself is liquid dried fruit-fig, plum, raisin-punctuated by a dry-brush bitterness quality that scrapes the top of my mouth.

However, I can feel the alcohol heat in my belly, and when you’re on your porch in December, that is a welcome thing.

I hope we make it, and I hope that we are able to throw down the gauntlet and insist, “No more.”

I think we’ve all had enough of the ratfucking. It wasn’t funny to begin with, and it’s looking like they want to use bloodletting to get rid of it. So much for modern science. Medieval times for all! No wonder these yahoos won’t wear a mask!

Today’s second pint goes to the Emotional PPE Project.

Front Porch Chats #36/Second Pint OFB

As of writing, it’s Thanksgiving and I hope that everyone is staying safe today. The data doesn’t suggest that people are staying home, but…nevertheless, I wish everyone well.

Great Divide Yeti imperial stout on table

I’m having a Yeti from Great Divide that’s been kept in whiskey barrels and it is about as dangerous a beer as you could ask for. 10% ABV but that quality doesn’t announce itself up front.

There is an alcohol heat, lingering on the middle of my tongue but if it wasn’t for that, the nose (chocolate and coffee) and the flavor-strongly of cocoa-would leave a less suspecting person leveled. As the beer warms up, that warmth diminishes, too, increasing the chance that someone might not be ready for the intensity of this stout.

As it stands, I don’t have anywhere to go today, (something I am thankful for) so I feel safe drinking this.

And this holiday, I am specifically thinking of the humility of gratitude.

Because I believe that if you’re truly grateful, you have to be humbled by that. It doesn’t take much to turn a life around-for good or for ill-and I am doing better than many. So many things that I have gotten that I didn’t even know I was getting, or required, and yet….here I am.

Others have less, through no fault of their own. Just because we haven ‘t decided to make a better world, really.

So what I do have: shelter, readers, a very strong beer, a body that mostly functions, a little extra cash, family & friends who look out for me…these are things that, considering the immense benefits, I have not had to do commensurate work for.

That’s humbling.

I’m thankful for those things, and with that knowledge, continuing to dedicate my efforts towards a more just world. However small those efforts are, I humbly make them, in hopes that they contribute to that larger whole, that More Perfect Union we all deserve.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Food Bank.

Front Porch Chats #26\SEcond Pint WFF

Ecliptic's Altair fresh hop pale ale
350

Ecliptic’s Altair fresh hop ale supports my theory that these beers are incredibly fragile. There’s a soft aroma of grass but it’s quickly swept away by the outside breeze. I feel lucky to have caught the scent that I did! Also, the finishing bitterness is so intense, I would take a guess that they used regular dried hops for the bittering and fresh hops in the last part of the boil for scent.

On the upside, there is a nice middle to separate things, so it isn’t just a straight hop bomb, with a finish of an oh so slight lime quality. It’s good, though I don’t know that it’s great.

Yesterday, eight days after the wildfires covered Portland’s skies, I saw blue in the air. A sign that things were getting better, rain had come and was hopefully bringing relief to the fires in the Pacific Northwest. Sure, it smelled like wet ashtray but you could actually stand outside and breathe it, if you were hale enough.

And then Justice Ginsberg died.

I was asked by my friend at the comic shop how I was doing, and all I could say was, “Everyone I know is sad. So I am also sad.” She nodded and I could tell the subject was upsetting to her…and I am unable to give her a hug, because the death cult has decided to make the rules.

Something is deeply wrong, when the hopes of millions of Americans to maintain their dignity rest on the shoulders of one 87 year old woman, fighting off cancer for a fifth time.

Similarly, something is deeply wrong when the rights of millions of Americans are about to be summarily denied by 52 people, who represent merely over 40% of the country and 100% of the death cult.

Justice Ginsberg did all that was asked of her and more. She is a hero and, I hope someday, a legend in our history.

But the defense of our rights do not depend on her. They depend on us. And we need to depend on each other.

We are about to see how ossified America has become. We’ve been selling ourselves the story of being able to remake yourself here, can become anything you want. We’re going to find out how true that is for America itself, when those who have a vision of America truly clash with those who don’t.

Today’s second pint goes to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. But lord knows, there are a lot of people who need help right now.

Front Porch Chats #24\Second Pint OJRC

Belgian pale aleUrban Roots and Allegash did a collaboration: Virtual Connection, a Belgian pale ale.
The nose throws off some heavy Belgian yeast; a bit of clove, a little spice, but overwhelming, too. It reminds me of the tripels or quads that I’ve had-beers that are so sweet they might be considered sickly sweet by some.

Virtual Connection plays into that a little bit-this is sweeter than I would expect a standard pale to be, with a very strong banana flavor. near the end. It has a crisp finish though and some finishing bitterness, too.

It’s…interesting, but I don’t see it coming together. Breaking the Connection down gives me a sense of what’s going on, but the beer doesn’t come together to make more than the sum.

I’d walked to NWIPA to get a can of this (the can had a cool design), because I like walking around. I may have mentioned it but I think that you can only get a sense of your surroundings if you walk around in them.

And it is impossible to ignore the homeless. The numbers have gone up in the past few months, and the camps where they stay have become more fortified. Piecemeal, but still put together with the notion of permanence.

There will be reports that tell you that America is fine. that everyone is better off.

But walk around. See for yourself. Portland isn’t unique, despite whatever quirky marketing bullshit you might’ve seen. Are WE really better off? Or are THEY better off, insisting that you see what they do?

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Justice Resource Center.