At the end of a long Friday, I saunter into Bailey’s, hoping it closes at midnight not eleven, so I can settle down before going home. I’m in luck and I’ve got time to spare!
I get my input from a man on the rail: “The #7 on nitro. It’s pretty good.”
He’s not wrong; the Gigantic/Bailey’s Woodblock Chocolate stout is pretty smooth and the chocolate really comes through. The chocolate is strong enough that I’m almost expecting the viscosity of milk to come out. That the beer is thin isn’t an objection that I can really raise to it; it’s tasty!
The gent next to me has to get up early tomorrow so he doffs a pink ski hat and heads out. I’m left with an easy beer to drink and what is one of the more low key nights I’ve had in awhile. Which is good! The last week of February decided to keep me hopping. Now that I can breathe, I’m glad to take the change to do so.
I have one more ale in me; tomorrow is also a big day, since I’ll be volunteering at the SheBrew event. I can’t stay out late but it’s a nice day. Let’s treat ourselves.
I give Widmer’s Green Skies, a hazy triple IPA, a shot.
It’s delicious. I’m starting to think that maybe double or triple IPAs are what the hazy style is for. The sugar and mouthfeel help give the beer a density that softens the impact of the higher ABV. Widmer did good on this.
With Bridgeport’s closure, I’m becoming more cognizant that the known brands need some love too, because they are often making something pretty good.
And tasty stuff is what it’s all about.
Today’s second pint goes to Spread the Vote.
First off: No. Everything is not awesome. And I’m not just talking about the political tire fire down south.
I came to Backcountry for my first beer in a week (shakes tiny fist at the state of my health), and…I wasn’t deeply unhappy with what I picked. But I wasn’t happy either, and it’s easy to explain why.
I had high hopes. Backcountry has great beer names, and this is no exception; I’m half sold on the name alone. And the beer smells toasty and malty–exactly what I’d like in a brown ale.
The mouthfeel is round and rich. The front end even has some subtle hints of berry from the coffee. There’s also some licorice, which is a bit odd, because that isn’t traditionally part of the style.
The richness in the beer, however comes across as booziness, which is weird in a 6.3% brown ale, and far too much for this style of beer. Also, the back end is bitter-far more bitter than I was expecting it to be.
I’ve been a big fan of their stouts, porters, and brown ales before, so I expect this is just a bit off. It’s not a bad effort, but it’s not their best effort.
One of the best things about the maturity of the craft beer scene is the attention to labels that has developed over the past few years.
This list of favorite labels from 2018 is a fantastic example of what I mean: nobody was trying to push designs like this in 2000, and the scene is better for these developments.
But maybe you’d like to vote on some yourself? Well good news! Someone else is taking a poll here.
Sitting at Bailey’s is nice; I remember how much I miss this place. I wish there had been a spot on the rail so I could ask someone what they were drinking, but it’s a fairly lively Sunday, to my surprise. Still, I’m glad I’m here because I still love this environment and drinking here isn’t just a nostalgia fix, Bailey’s is just a pleasant spot to be.
There are times where I don’t have anyone else to blame but me and this is one of them. I picked the Ruben’s Blimey That’s Bitter Triple IPA-a little reward for a long week-and it is…vehemently bitter. Jaded 50-something bitter, except with pine and soap as the aftertaste. I don’t object to it: It’s been so long since I’ve had a proper glass of IPA.
It’s a LOT though, and maybe I should’ve gotten a smaller pour.
On one side is a couple on a date, speaking a language I don’t recognize and on the other, a couple dudes talking about the origin of heavy metal (for the record, it goes: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Smoke on the Water, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, everyone else.)
I think I need to start coming back here for a bit.
Today’s second pint goes to the ACLU.
Fuz sent me this story, which was brand new to me, unfortunately. Apparently the lawsuit in question goes back to August 22 and got some attention back then, but clearly not nearly what it should have.
And while the first action is pretty easy for me; no more drinking Founders ale, until they’ve cleaned up their act, there is always the next question: What else can the consumer do?
We can share that story. Because I didn’t know about it for six months but if I had, I would’ve stopped drinking their beer long before. Others probably didn’t know about it either; it’s on us to help make these problems visible so that they can be fixed.
My friend Aaron sent me an article on hop seltzer which…I’m not here to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t like.
But I just don’t see hops working by themselves; for me, having that balance of malt and yeast matter. Otherwise it’s just bitter water. However, if brewers like it that means there’s an audience out there so who knows? Maybe we’ll see some commercially soon.
In a stroke of good fortune, I have found myself out at Pelican’s brewpub in Pacific City, and I’m going to try the Brute Lupes. (Which I had to say aloud to really get. I’m like that.)
The next wave of IPAs seem to be using champagne yeast to enhance the fruit notes while imparting a drier quality. The results are usually pretty interesting, though I’m not sure I’m convinced that they are awesome, at least not yet.
And the Brute Lupes isn’t the ale to convince me, either. It isn’t bad, by any means but it has a distinct orange juice flavor to it, as though it was blended together, instead of a distinct beer of its own. Now, since I’m at the Pelican brewpub in Pacific City, I have plenty of other delicious things to try. However, this ale? It’s just an interesting experiment and not one I’d jump on.
This pub is geared to be as cozy as it can be. Everything is in brown tones-even the light seems filtered through sepia. For a spot out in the middle of who knows where (the Oregon Coast) it really wants to make patrons feel warm, especially with the ferocious western coastline outside, clouds always ominous on the horizon at this time of year.
The remote location means that there isn’t anyone to ask-everyone is at a table tonight and there’s gentle disruptions, then there’s outright rude and I don’t want to cross that line.
I like it. I’d come back here en route to anywhere on the coast.
Second pint goes to Trans Lifeline.