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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.

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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.

Common Ales: Caldera Lawnmower Lager

36785920511_13f1f04d60_cAh, getting to the lagers just as summer ends….

The Lawnmower Lager has that nose, funk/sour that they have, but it isn’t strong. There are also whiffs of cut grass, too which isn’t a bad thing! As a matter of fact, I wish I got more lagers with a nose like this.

There’s a corn flavor to the malt; it’s not overwhelming but it is definitely covering up any two-row that might be in there. It even sweetens up the finish, where the bitterness might reside and the effervescence clears things out.

In other words; this is a lager. And it’s a pretty solid one, too. I’d prefer a less skunky nose, myself but this beer is still pretty quaffable and does what it’s supposed to.

Edit: This time I really am on the road this weekend, so there won’t be a new post up until Wednesday. I mean it this time!

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.

Bay Area 2017 (pt 1)

I was fortunate enough to visit the Bay Area recently, so I recruited some friends for advice and in some cases as a tour guide, while trying as many beers as I could. Here are those notes:

35042163792_31a99227be_cDrake‘s IPA: nice pine nose-oh how I’ve missed that. The pine finish in the bittering qualities is also present, and it’s definitely prominent. The midrange isn’t very supportive at first, but as the beer is drank, a smidgen of malt starts to show up.

While I can’t say that this is balanced, I can say that for an IPA it’s pretty solid and definitely is good for the hop head audience.

Track Seven: Left Eye Right Eye DIPA: another IPA with the dank pine nose. I suppose the grapefruit craze hasn’t made it to San Francisco/Oakland? This is a pretty solid beer too; there’s a very nice malt quality in the middle to keep up with the Bitterness Jones’s. I’d have another.

Faction A-Town pale: ok so this makes it official-the grapefruit IPA craze has not made it south. THANK YOU GOD. A marijuana skunky nose takes the stage but it isn’t pungent and the beer finishes like a regular ol’ pale, though with a slightly sharper plink on the bitterness. Not sure if I can recommend this; it isn’t bad, but the bitterness is sharp enough to overwhelm the rest of the beer.

35042165602_9419ef5705_cOld Kan Standard Pub Ale-this is described to me as a British pale and that’s a pretty solid turn of phrase. There’s a malt note to keep the beer a beer instead of colored water, and just a enough bitterness to keep it real. Otherwise, it’s an easy drinking beer-the kind that you want to serve a bunch of in a pub.

The Woods specialized in non-hopped beers.  A friend brought me there and we got taster trays of what they had on offer which you can get an impression of here: http://www.woodsbeer.com. Some were more successful than others and I was too busy conversing to really take notes. What I want to point out is that this is the kind of place that any beer enthusiast should check out, because they’re creating stuff I don’t see very often at all.