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Living In A Pale Blue Dream

This is the second marijuana ale of the year. I didn’t realize that I’d be producing two ales repeatedly-the amber being my ‘official’ yearly project but here we go!

Marijuana pale aleThe marijuana strain is evident in the nose still-not as intense as the first beer but still there. There are also hop scents too, underlying the marijuana ale. Not bad, but not well balanced, either. So: lots of earthy, dank scents but much less overpowering than last time and I think the malt is showing up a little more.

On the improvement side, the marijuana flavor isn’t as strong in this beer as it was in the previous one. The added malt sweetness has helped this beer, providing a little more dimension to it. It’s not much, and it goes fast but there is enough there to pull the beer from being one dimensional.

The effervescence is consistent, providing for a fairly clean mouthfeel and a reasonably brisk finish-it’s actually a little dry! Which is a surprise but not an unwelcome one. This pale has a bit more complexity than I would’ve expected and I’m not at all upset about that

Brew date: 1/28/18

Steeping grains
2 lb Carapils
2 lb 2 row
1 lb C30
1 lb Victory
1 lb NW Pale
1 lb Golden Promise

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

1 oz Centennial @ 60
1.5 oz Blue Dream Marijuana @60
.5 oz blue dream @ 30
.5 oz Warrior @ 5

Irish Moss: 1/4 tsp @5

Yeast: Imperial-Joystick (3rd use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.016

Secondary on 3/7 (no dry hopping)

Bottled 3/11

ABV: 7.3%





Common Ales: Ordnance FMJ

Ordnance FMJ aleToday we’ve got Ordnance’s FMJ English style IPA. It’s got a nice nose, with touches of caramel, pine and a little citrus.

That nose drops away far too quickly though: three sips in and I get some faint citrus but that’s about it.

It tastes uneven, too: some but not nearly enough caramel in the midrange, with a step up in the bitterness, leading to a surprisingly dry finish. The effervescence doesn’t pop things off my tongue either so all these flavors not only overstay their welcome but don’t bring me any joy to start with.

Seems like this one is a miss for me. Though I usually like Ordnance’s stuff, the FMJ just isn’t working.

Whatever You Say 3/Second Pint Spread the Vote

37948562955_b8eb556486_cTonight’s beer is 10 Barrel’s Femme de la Rouge-Belgian-style wild are w/cherries aged in oak barrels, which I’m drinking at Bailey’s. It’s interesting for me to have this beer, because I don’t willingly order 10 Barrel now: they’re owned by ABInBev. However, these are unusual circumstances.

This beer is tart! Really tart, tasting like unripe cherries. So those come through like gangbusters. It’s also really dry on the finish, making my mouth pucker. It was the choice of a woman next to me, visiting from Kansas City. She flew up with her boyfriend to see a concert and visit friends; they ended up at Bailey’s because he forgot to buy tickets to the concert. Without the tickets, the couple ended up visiting friends they knew and then coming to try the local beers.
I find this story to be utterly charming. How can I not love this? Plans that don’t quite work out & they make the best of it? Neither of them seemed too out of sorts and it’s nice to see people getting along.
I asked about the beer scene in KC and she said that on the Missouri side it’s pretty good. Smaller places are popping up (Martin City, the boyfriend chimes in, and she nods, repeating) so it’s coming along. But nothing like here.
I admit to her we’re spoiled. It makes rating beers difficult because if I was in a place without all these options, I would be so glad to get¬†some¬†options. Her boyfriend is drinking the Boulevard Winter Warmer, and I ask him how it is. He tells me he really likes it. I mention to him that I just brewed one today with my friend Miranda, so I was thinking about trying it, just to get a baseline for comparison.

“It’s a really good example of the style, I think,” he replies. So maybe I’ll give it a sip, next.

Today’s second pint goes to Spread the Vote.

Whatever You Say 2\Second Pint OFB

It took some convincing to get the bartender to tell me what his favorite beer on tap was. I’m asking him because he’s the on26905268429_da4d603784_cly other person at Imbibe, where I’ve come to pick up beers while I’m on the road.

I don’t fault him: His job is to find out what I want and give it to me, not the other way around. But I have a theme, damnit and he’s gonna help me with it.

Eventually he recommends Airways’ Sky Hag IPA, so I get a tiny glass. The Sky Hag is one of those scour power IPAs, where you can practically taste dry hops on the finish: extremely harsh there. It’s a little much for me but for a aficionado of IPAs, they would probably dig it. I wish I could get some scent off this but because I chose a very short pour, the effervescence is limited. When I agitate the beer, I get a little tangerine, but faintly.

He asks me where I’m from and when I tell him, we immediately start talking about Portland breweries and quickly hit upon Old Town Brewing being in the news. For those uninitiated to this story, here’s the super short version: Old Town has a trademark that the city of Portland wants them to give up so they can sell it to ABInBev.

This leads us to talking about politics (super cutthroat lately, he says) and monopolies (I have heard some stuff about Amazon from customers that I had no idea about, he tells me) as I tell him about Portland and the struggles we have to balance the needs of the city with the needs of its people. Things just seem unfair and nobody likes it when things are unfair.

Our short answer: some of those big companies should be broken up…

But who knows. We’re just a couple dudes at a bar. Soon, other customers come in and he’s got a job to do, while I have my own work to be done. Nonetheless, the conversation feels a little old fashioned, like something you’d read about in a knock-off Steinbeck novel. Just in a good way.

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

Common Requiem 2/Second Pint UPPR

36792554623_072330a4a2_c I am going to miss Commons’ Hood lager when it’s gone. The nose is bready, like yeast rising, with just a whiff of lemon there. The flavor is crisp, light and also lemony. It’s just so good, so drinkable and the kind of beer that ought to be championed to others. Even if you aren’t fond of lagers, I think there’s something to appreciate here.

It’s a weird thing to think about: sometime soon, I won’t be able to get this beer. When that ends, I don’t know.

Which I suppose is a good lesson in enjoying the now, when you can. Because I can’t take this beer with me. (And really, lagers don’t keep well enough for me to do so anyway). So what is left?

The now seems increasingly difficult to enjoy. Puerto Rico is a full on catastrophe and the response from people in power has felt muddled at best, eerily callous and confused and at worst? Indifference motivated by racism with only immense public pressure as coercion to do the right thing.

Even then, the right thing seems to be halfhearted at best.

It can be difficult to find those lanterns to guide us-we have enough information about how bad things are in Puerto Rico, and certainly enough about how lacking the federal leadership is. It’s on us to seek those lights out and share them or, when necessary, do the difficult work of lighting them ourselves.

I think we’re up for it. I won’t lie to you though and suggest it will be easy or painless, or won’t require a lifetime of vigilance, compassion and listening.

All the more reason, though, to find those moments to enjoy the now. When the now is enjoyable, living in it means, at least for me, that the burdens are easier to bear.

Today’s second pint goes to United for Puerto Rico.