Tag Archives: everybody’s brewing

I’ll have whatever you say #10

clear creekThis post starts early on the Outboard Brain. I’m at the McCarthy whiskey release. Is there a steel mill next door? Steel distribution, to be sure. If all goes well I’ll be at work in roughly 40 minutes and nobody is the wiser. But with the steel factory nearby I wonder how the flavors of the alcohols they make might be impacted? The man next to me in line is familiar but I can’t place him. Portland…where you’ll met everyone if you read or drink here long enough.

Eight plus hours later….officially it is looking like tomorrow will suck hard. I have come to the Globe at the behest of It’s Pub Night (though that request came when I was doing The Local) and it’s eerie levels of quiet. The only other person at the bar is a woman who, I gather from overheard conversation with the barkeep, works there. Still it is early and not a tv in sight so there is time for other people to appear. A Cash Stout (an oatmeal stout) from Everybody’s Brewing is among the slim but well represented beer choices. The body arms a little thin for an oatmeal– I’d expect something a little thicker on the tongue. That said, it’s a solid brew which seems to be the line for Everybody’s: their beers are good but don’t quite cross the line into great. I’ll happily continue to try their stuff because I think they’ve got the foundation down so nothing else to do but build.

I’m now the only fella at the bar and the two ladies there talk men. I attempt to shrink as much as possible; my opinion about men or relationships at large isn’t really important here as I am a stranger. I overhear a thing or two about chocolate and dinner, pressure and politeness, the wish to be civil when refusing a request for a date; I get smaller and smaller, looking at the patterns on the walls, the beer taps, waiting for the line on my beer glass to diminish to the point where I can take my final swallow and leave. I forget to take a picture of the beer, looking at ceilings, tables, anything else.

Eventually, my glass is empty and as I’m packing up the woman whom I’ve taken my suggestion asks me if I liked it. I tell her and we all pause while she, the bartender and I have a brief conversation about stouts and the beers available at the Globe and all in all I start to feel like I’m at a neighborhood place, which is always nice. I politely say my goodbyes and head home to have dinner and prepare for a tomorrow of blarg.

The Local: Claudia’s

claudia's barThe Centennial hops come easy off the Country Boy IPA by Everybody’s Brewing.

Claudia’s has more TVs than a man should see in one space. Plus two poker tables, two pool tables, a trophy case and a projection screen that’s right next to a television.

The guy next to me talks hockey playoffs on the phone.

It’s the purest sports bar I’ve been to, of all I’ve been in along this journey. It’s easy for me to imagine a time when the four flatscreens were huge, hulking ray-tube televisions and smoke filled the air. Claudia’s isn’t just unrepentant about being a sports bar, it’s a haven, a bristling cactus to outsiders who do not love sports like they do.

I approve.

Just like beer bars are for beer lovers, so Claudia’s provides a place for people who want to gather and celebrate more physical achievements of the human spirit. It does it so well, how can I criticize it?

I mean, sure, the beer selection is limited but that’s like complaining Avatar had a hackneyed plot–I’d be missing the forest for the trees.

I have a friend who, after a painful divorce, arranged his work schedule so he could come and watch football every Sunday and Monday at Claudia’s. All day. That was what he did, rebuilding himself back up around something he loved. He only did it for one season but it was what he needed and I like that story for a lot of reasons. Most importantly, though, I think I like it because he went and hung out with strangers in order to make himself well and it worked. A bunch of strangers helped him, whether they knew it or not.

It can be difficult, sometimes, to point to the kindness of strangers in this world.  Yet it exists, albeit quietly, if you go outside to experience it. That’s what a good bar is for.

The Local: Matchbox Lounge

matchbox lounge“For meetings that are not entirely business, but not exactly personal either, the best places are litle pubs, with five or six tables at most.” -Anton Gorodetsky, Twilight Watch by Sergi Lukyanenko.

I’m all scattershot now.

Usually I arc out a narrative as I walk to the bar. In this case, it was going to be something about how the Whiskey Soda lounge wasn’t for me but when I left I walked by the Matchbox and thought; I didn’t know that was a pub! So here I am.

On my way here though, about 42nd and something, just after walking under the monkey arm tree, I heard a jingling, a kind of limp beat. Looking for the source I saw a fuzzy kitty, brown-gray with a black collar, limping between two houses. It’s silver and red tags clanging together as it gimped to what I hope was a safe location, left forepaw held up and dangling in the way that animals have when they’ve hurt a limb, it caused me to stop.

Owch. You need help there?

The cat stopped and looked at me. None of your nonsense human; I’m on my way home.

I certainly hope so.

Though I began walking on and heard the jingle of movement I still worried. The cat has a home, fortunately.

Now instead of a narrative I have jumbles of thoughts, like a Boggle board; scents of pine, lemongrass, and smoke, girls playing on their front porch, a strange starburst shaped thing with blue and purple colors on another, and look, there’s a Cube.

Who the fuck thought that Cube was a good name for a car? Brought to you by the people who named ‘orange’.

The Matchbox treats. The bartender has an Isis shirt on and we talk about the upcoming Melvins/Isis split and tour. All of fifteen seconds and the Lounge has won me over because there’s a heavy metal bartender. The art on the wall ranges from multimedia to sparse, local artists with their wares on display, a solid wal-o-hol and a nice jukebox selection; some music expected, some not. Plus, I can see from there Johnny Cash is there and liking Johnny Cash is pretty much quintessentially American. Not everybody is going to get Metallica or Crooked Fingers; everybody gets The Man in Black.

I got a Daily Bread common ale. I keep trying common ales in part because it was an extinct style-or nearly extinct-and I like the idea that what is lost can be revived. It’s the Roman Catholic in me; I have a thing for redemption, even if it’s beer. Actually, beer makes more sense than anything else.

However, the style just never quite works for me. A little thin in front like sweet air, a bit too bitter at the end, slightly dry finish in this case. I probably would’ve been better off with an IPA but I cannot resist the glory of new things. I think I’d rather have a proper mild ale than a common but oh well. What’s done is done.

The bartender removes a bottle of Johnny Walker red to light a candle behind it. I like that there are hidden candles. I don’t know how the drinks are here but I think this might make a good alternate for the Victory lounge on nights when that place is crowded.

I hope that cat made it home. It bothers me that I had to let it go. I am not a cat person but I dislike seeing someone limp.