The Porter Dream

Marijuana porterThis beer has a nose of chocolate and marijuana. The chocolate is closer to coco powder-dry, sidling up to bitterness but not quite there. A little sweetness, even but that seems to be cut off by the marijuana.

The flavors follow this pattern, too. There is, I think, a little more sweetness in the taste than in the nose, which is nice. Again, though, the marijuana cuts through the beer on the finish. However, the marijuana isn’t the finish on this beer, which is great.

There’s a dry cocoa quality that re-introduces itself and keeps everything in check.

I should’ve been doing things this way long ago; contrasts instead of competition. Every good chef knows that, and lord knows I’ve been taught enough times.

On the upside, though: now I have a path forward!

 

Brew date: 9/16/19

Steeping grains
.5 lb Chocolate
.5 lb black barley
.25 lb black patent
2 oz cocca nibs
1 cup toasted oats

Fermentables: 7 lb Light malt extract

Water additions: 1/2 tsp Gypsum

Hops
1 oz Nugget
3 oz Pale Blue Dream (marijuana strain)

Yeast: Imperial Darkness

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.018

Bottled 10/6

ABV: 5.7%

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The New Keg

This article on the new use of plastic kegs brings up complicated things for me.

On the upside, the beer lasts longer. That’s not something that I feel should be easily dismissed, alongside the benefits of reduced weight for easier shipping, and less fuel being used to get product to market.

The downside is that plastics just aren’t as renewable as metal is. While the company claims that these new kegs are recyclable, I can’t help but feel dubious.

Still, it’s a pretty interesting innovation and if the net benefit is positive, then that’s pretty cool.

Dec 31 2018/Second Pint LTT

So here we are, end of the year.

I always get pensive on this night, rarely allowed to be thoughtful. Instead, my brain wraps around the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’. I realize it’s not very helpful and when that’s the case, there really isn’t anything left to do but go for a walk.

Thankfully, my walk has brought me to the Proper Pint which has lead me to this beer. And it’s not easy to write when my brain is doing bad brain stuff….but the cure for that is to actually do the work. So I am doing the work.

My first beer: the Ninkasi ’14 Critical Hit barleywine.

It’s oxidized; I can tell because of the cardboard finish. Which is unfortunate, since there’s some good stuff going on before that finish, a lovely ribbon of caramel malt to drink…but you gotta stick the landing. To make matters worse, the landing has a chalky mouthfeel, turning me even further away from this beer.

Level brewing dunkleOK, round 2. This is the Funk A Dunkle from Level, and it’s pretty delicious. Light, chocolately and with a dry finish, I can drink another one of these. I don’t think I will because there’s always more stuff to try…but I could.

It hasn’t been a bad year, personally. I’ve quietly accomplished ten years of this blog and I couldn’t be more grateful for people who read this and support me doing what I’m doing. I’ve gotten to visit friends, travel abroad, drink some good beer, did some solid writing, and played games. I saw some excellent concerts and movies, read great books.

It wasn’t all good, of course-I also lost friends, in literal and figurative senses, and fighting against the decline of America is work that will wear a hole in you.

But for this moment, this beer; it’s for me. It’s for you, too; for all the struggles you dealt with, success or fail, for the accomplishments, the good and bad, hey; you’re still here. And it ain’t over until it’s over. And because this year isn’t much of a year if the people I know aren’t in it.

It’s 2019 in just a few hours. Let’s be careful out there. And happy new year, everyone.

Today’s second pint goes to Live Through This. As always, the disclaimer: I know the person who runs this and she’s awesome.

Common Ales: Full Sail Atomizer

Full Sail Atomizer IPA“Sci-fi suds for a wi-fi world” reads the label. So I think it’s fair to say that we know going in that there’s some self-hype nonsense going on, with more wording that promises ‘ultrasonic infused’ hops.

I don’t know where the ‘atomizer’ part comes in. I know there’s a marijuana reference in there but as far as I’m concerned, all it means is that they played Black Sabbath loudly at the wort. (As if there was any OTHER way to play Black Sabbath).

Fine, though; let’s get to the beer, right? That’s what matters.

The nose is really intense; pine, little bit of citrus. Definitely smells like opening a bag of Chinook hops: really green and intense. The first impressions are strong and positive.

There’s a big push of sweetness in the flavor. The Atomizer is lemony and bright but not cloying at all.

It’s a pretty good beer. I’d have another.

Common Ales: Ale Smith Nut Brown

Ale Smith Nut Brown aleLook at this: what a lovely shade of brown. I wish I’d seen this beer when I was brewing brown ales last year, because it would’ve been a great example of the style, visually. Translucent enough that I can see through it when I hold it up to the light, but dark enough that it won’t be mistaken for an amber ale.

The nose has a subtle nuttiness to it running behind some chocolate. Nothing strong but present and when the beer is drank; the exact same. It’s not sweet, like some of the peanut butter porters I’ve drank, which is a good thing. A bit of sweetness but it settles on the more slight bitter chocolate flavor on the end. It’s easy to sip on and very, very tasty.

Whatever You Say 48/Second Pint FBT

Everyone is coupled or grouped up at Bailey’s when I arrive I and I’m considering taking the author’s prerogative and picking whatever I want when a woman on the rail abdicates her seat to use the restroom.

I lean in to a man who looks like a stereotypical ski bum from the 80’s (long hair, wool cap, dirty woolen coat) and ask him, just as his glass arrives, what he’s drinking.

Ex Novo/Ft George collab IPA“Number 22!”I smile: he sounds like the cliche, too.

The number 22 is the Ex Novo/Ft George collaboration “Back & Forth,” a hazy IPA with rye. The scents fade rapidly, leaving me with a grapefruit flavored beer that has told sweetness to jump off a pier, followed up by the spiciness of the rye malt.

“Smooth,” the ski dude says and I have to agree, at least on my initial sip. We toast, and I let him get back to enjoying his date.

It’s also $8. That is wholly two dollars more than it ought to be, given it’s ABV (6.2%) and it’s style (basic IPA). For an $8 pint, I expect far, far more. The cost of setting expectations via your price point: when you miss, you burn a lot of customer goodwill.

Out of nowhere, the evening is disrupted by barking. An invisible dog decided to make herself visible and comes out from under a table of patrons to be vigorously and adoringly pet by other people. Sometimes, I love Portland so much I don’t even know what to do.

Today’s second pint goes to Families Belong Together.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Whatever You Say 47/Second Pint NPEP

Wolf in the Weeds IPAIt’s been a long day, this voyage home. I’m glad to get to Los Angeles, and while it isn’t my shelter for long, it’ll do long enough for me to have this beer with Leroy, a friend of my Dad’s who joined us on the trip to Panama.

Leroy drinks his beer quickly-we don’t have much time and we still need a sandwich before getting on the plane- but I pause as long as I can. We have to hurry, it’s true, but I’ve just gotten off of a 7 hour flight from Panama City. I can take an extra five minutes to tell you about what the selection for tonight was.

He’s picked the Wolf Among Weeds IPA at the Golden Road cafe in LAX. The nose has pine elements but is not overwhelming, and the finish goes towards that grapefruit bitterness. Nothing is too strong in that finish, and that’s OK. There’s enough sweetness in the middle and effervescent finish that, despite wanting to drink it quickly (it’s been a very long day of travel, with one more leg to go) I still want to hold off and sip it. We’ll be on a plane in mere moments and there’s no sense in rushing.

Today’s second pint goes to NPEP.

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