T’was an early arrival tonight so I could play some cards. Without any food in me, I went for the final Block 15 beer available, GLO Golden Lager. I wasn’t terribly surprised to see the lager still available because people just don’t go for the lighter beers when the sun drops off too quickly and I can’t say if that’s the result of conditioning or lagers actually being not as pleasant in the cold but this lager was not too bad. Hit a few too many corn and skunky notes for me to think of it as great but for something easy to drink with a large bubbly finish, it worked. Would’ve been better as my 2nd drink, because I got some ceviche from the Santeria that was way too spicy for me. Tasty but a bit too high on the burninating: I end up switching to the Green Flash Hop Head Red to douse the pain.
As an aside; I don’t know how many places do this but: tiny pubs that can make a deal with a local restaurant are so cool to me. It feels almost New York in the dealmaking: hey, I got this, and you got that and we’re only across the street…let’s make a deal.
My friend arrives and we play cards. It’s a pretty low key affair: Monday nights aren’t made for rockin’ when you’ve got responsibilities, which we both do. I spend a great deal of time not winning for reasons I’ll talk about elsewhere.
It’s about then I notice that there are a lot of gamers at the pub. People playing ‘regular’ board games and card games are all over and the couple at the next table recognizes the game I’m playing: apparently she used to play and he spent the Thanksgiving with someone who works on making the game, which is pretty wild. I didn’t want to take up too much of his time but he tells me about his friend a little, playing Dominos over the weekend and how his friend’s son was talking game theory.
I’ve had people attempt to mock me while playing Magic in public but mostly I’ve met, albeit casually, some pretty interesting people. I suppose it’s pretty hard to make fun of geeks playing a game when a third of the bar is doing the same thing.
I finish off my night with Columbia River‘s dubbel, which is pictured here on the right with Deschutes’ Stoic. It had a pleasantly roasty quality that helped soothe a particularly hard fought but lost match at the end of the night.
Ah well, it happens.
Let’s just get straight to it; I look unexcited because what awaits me is greens with dinner. Don’t get me wrong; the greens are well prepared, they are good for me, they are all the things greens ought to be.
But still. Greens.
There is still beer, however! I may start a hypothesis that says that beer was created in part to help make vegetables more palatable during the meals where there was no meat. And where there was meat, beer was just good.
Now I am certain that I am not the first person to suggest that the bombers from Full Sail are more interesting than their six pack beers, so let’s just pretend that everybody agrees that for the interesting concoctions, we go to the 22 ounce bottles and for company who doesn’t know better we bring up the six packs.
Onward, I say, onward, damnit! I am drinking Full Sail’s Sanctuary Dubbel. I find this beer to have a floral quality, in the nose especially but with an undercurrent of orange blossom running through the whole thing. I’m not exactly sure what the inspiration for this beer is but it doesn’t quite resemble the Belgian dubbels I’ve had in the past. The obvious missing element is the sweet to nearly cloying element that many dubbels present. There’s some nice balance here and it’s totally worth checking out.
So I had the Laughing Dog St. Benny’s Labbey ale, made in the dubbel style, and liked it. At first it smells like champagne; only after it’s warmed up do malts come through. It’s quite bubbly in the mouth with a sweetness cut by a white wine kind of floralness. Knowing no better, I’d suggest that this beer has quite a bit in common with champagne.
Natian is actually pronounced ‘nation’. It said so on the beer coaster. Their winter IPA is damn tasty, which means they’re 2 for 2 with me. Plus, they have a website now! Congrats.
Dear Broadway Grill: quit putting lemon in your saison. It’s a wonderful beer and you’re dumbing it down and insulting your audience by doing so. This rule is not hard and fast but it’s still a pretty good one: fruit does not belong as a compliment to beer.
We tasted a bunch of pale/amber ales at the last taste test. The big surprise was that everyone was fond of Sierra Nevada’s pale ale. The personal surprise was that I couldn’t pull Deschutes’ Mirror Pond out of that group; I used to drink that beer all the time and it’s always been my default beer when nothing else appealed to me.