Tag Archives: Full Sail

7pm Second To Last Call…

…with a glass of Full Sail‘s Vendell’s Veizen, a weizenbock. The wheat malt is definitely offering a little more body, a touch of sweetness that sticks around, albeit lightly, until the next sip. I like it.

Man next to me on the rail has a messenger’s bag and is trying to explain why he’d never had a Firestone Walker beer- “hate where they’re from, hate the label-but he is persuaded to try a Double Jack, their awesome imperial IPA and my next drink. He likes it and realizes he should let go of his prejudices. I’m about 80% certain that he’s going past his limit, though it doesn’t seem to be in a bad way.

I have been feeling some wanderlust. While getting the ducks in a row for last week’s post I noticed I had 57 photos as part of the 7pm series, which suggests I have been doing this for more than a year. In that time I have, amongst other things, moved and there is a whole new neighborhood to explore, one that makes me a little nervous.

Which is the best reason to start checking it out. I live here: I belong. Plus, I have a hunger for novelty and though this novelty may have me drinking some very tasteless beer, I still need to know what is out there. Information is power and the more I know about my new location in town, the better.

But I think I’ll start in March. The weather ought to be improving by then, so I’m less likely to get drenched while going for my beer.

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7pm The Kids Are Alright

“They’re the next generation,” he said to me with an eye rolling cocktail of despair and disgust.

To be fair, the two young men were annoying. Boys, if I had to guess. Talking almost-too-loudly on the bus about such fictions of sex, rebellion and growing a beard this winter. Popping a bubble in the plastic tint of the window, talking of plans to see Dredd and sounding just a bit like Mugsy and Bugsy in their relationship as they parted ways.

I looked at this man with the grizzly gray beard, square glasses and red jacket and said: “I was them, not that long ago,” a shrug rolling from my right to left side. If I’m worried about anything, it’s what the next generation will learn from us.

I’m relating this over a Full Sail Hopenfrisch: their fresh hop offering. It’s a pilsner with Pearle hops and my initial sips were very, very favorable. Light, grassy elements that were pleasantly refreshing.

About one-third of the way through my pint, I have changed my mind drastically. The aftertaste on this beer is sticky and not in a good way. It could be hop bitterness, maybe: the beer certainly isn’t balanced well. This is surprising, because if I would have thought any style would benefit from the mildness of fresh hops, it would be a pilsner.

No. They went wrong here, somehow. The lack of malts means that the bitterness is overwhelming. This beer is actually challenging me to drink it, some kind of horrible gauntlet of bitter hop bite punching my taste buds with every sip. The fresh hop flavor at the beginning is overwhelmed by whatever they used for bittering and it’s ruined the beer for me.

But it was either this or the pumpkin beers and I have no interest in those. Those beers are for the next generation. People who love novelty more than beer because that kind of thing is new to them. Not that I resent a brew tasting like pumpkin pie, there’s just nothing to discuss about it and it’s not worth drinking any other time of the year.

I was one of those people too, not that long ago. Hell, sometimes I still am.

7pm Cogs

Snow fell this morning, like commuters distractedly making their way to work, unconcerned about their destination, knowing that when they get there, all their uniqueness will end and they will merely become water, like everything else. Why hurry? Why go? This slow drift down is much more entertaining.

It’s not always easy for a man to acknowledge his uniformity, his lack of extraordinary. My name is not one that will be recalled through history, my line won’t continue. My day to day? Is practically the definition of mundane. I am replaceable, and no different than the billions of other people who wake up, do their best and sleep.

You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

Which, I suppose, is a succinct way of saying: get the fuck over it. And here’s why–again, from Fight Club:

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

I don’t mind being a cog. I promise. I acknowledge this simple truth: I am not special. I don’t find my joy in this but I don’t mind it. I’m busy, I’m busy trying to fight a spiritual war. Not a war against spirits but a war OF the spirit. I don’t want the shit I’m told to want: I want the stuff that helps me engage, damnit. I don’t have time, nor the desire, to fuck around with crap that I’m told I ‘need’ vs what my heart tells me I need.

We are here to evolve. We are here to inspire each other to be better, inch by inch, day by terrible day. The monkey that learns to use the tool, that shows another monkey, that shows another, until everyone knows how the tools work: that’s what I’m here for. To learn from the other monkeys, to be the monkey that teaches, to figure out a small piece of a small element of that tool, to link that spirit and give it to someone else. Anyone else.

This is the reason that Fight Club spoke to so many young men (and women) over a decade ago. We knew, whether or not we’d been told, that we were and are being lied to, that our lives were more empty than full, that our cogs were taking over, defining us instead of being something we can shed and drop out of. Why the hell should we buy into a system that is intent on burying us with all the glee of a bully?

It’s taking years. It’s taking bombings and death and protests and the very slow raising of the veil that we are being screwed over AND we are not being allowed to live to our potential. It’s coming, though. I don’t know how to be a part of that, nor how to make a mark on anyone.

I play a cog on TV.  I don’t make a huge impact.

But I can learn to use the tools, I can evolve, motherfucker. Watch me get better, be a leaf on the wind, and maybe I can show you how I did it. Then you can show me how you did that and we can move to something better, instead of the bullshit that seems to be insisting on getting its way right now.

full sail altAnd it won’t matter when I melt and become just like everyone, because we’ll have done something together.

Drinking Full Sail’s Existential Alt, to, what I imagine, is nobody’s surprise. It’s a little more watery than I’d like, mostly notable because of a hint of bitterness at the end that makes it unappealing because there’s nothing to balance it out.

I bought this VI

full sail imperial porterThis is one of my favorite beers: the Full Sail Top Sail imperial porter. It just gets the balance between the malts and roasted flavors and the bourbon so right, and is tasty every year, that it’s hard to resist.

Plus, it has the advantage of not being overhyped to the point of scarcity, like Deschutes’ Abyss, which is a great beer but even more expensive and hard to find. Like the Abyss, the Top Sail is a seasonal so it can vary a bit from year to year, but I’m not the kind of person who stores beers up for a rainy day, so my ability to compare in this situation is limited.

What I can tell you is: This year’s batch is good.

As the porter warms up, it remains just as smooth but the bourbon flavors come out just a little more. It’s not overwhelming; I seem to be sensing it more in the nose than I was before but when combined with the chocolate and coffee notes, it’s really hard to object.

Man, it’s good; in part because it still drinks like a porter instead of a stout, which may be what gives this beer an edge over the bourbon barrel stouts, at least in terms of how drinkable it is. A pretty nice antidote to the sudden burst of cold weather we’ve had.

OBF wrapup

Once again, general impressions about the fest from my Outboard Brain. Extras in bold.
The festival  itself seemed to be well run and  I thank everyone who served, worked, and gave me a touch of bonuses as a blogger to write about it.

It’s just so cool to be a part of neat stuff. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

Hollister, Altered State:
Bready nose just a ping of hop bitterness in a clean ale

Deschutes, Chainbreaker
White IPA? Nose is a touch strange as though a hint of I don’t know what, however beer has a nice mouthfeel; smooth with hop bite

Full Sail, bohemian pilsner
Corn nose and finish and it’s not quite refreshing enough

3 Creeks, Fivepine porter
Nice but maybe served a touch cold and settled like a weight in my belly. Flavors seemed a bit muted and I think if I hadn’t been in a hurry to taste as much as I could have, this beer might’ve impressed me more.

New Holland, Golden Cap saison
Very light and crisp as hell. Post porter this is a real treat.

Elysian, Idiot Sauvin ipa
Very tangerine. Reminded me a bit of Widmer’s Drifter, which is a good thing.

Blue Frog, Ginger and Meyer Ann
Ugh the finish tastes like feet.

Goose Island, Pepe Nero
Farmhousey but no it just doesn’t appeal kinda icky at the finish. This beer did improve after being allowed to warm up; both the farmhouse qualities and the finish changed for the better.

Mt Emily, imperial red
Tasty but a touch watery. That said; I enjoyed the beer.

I was tempted to try Rogue’s offering but was told by a friend that it may have been the worst beer he’d ever had. While that is something that piques my curiosity, I’m not sure that ‘I should try it because it’s bad’ is really a philosophy I want to start following.

I also had to start volunteering at the OBC booth and while I was able to sample more brews, the day became more about chatting up than taking notes. However I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention that I had an chance to try Rock Bottom’s Zombie Flanders which I suggested people should avoid and you know, I actually liked it. My evaluation of that beer wasn’t wrong the first time I had it but I have to admit that when I tried it at the OBF, I would have unhesitatingly recommended it to anyone who enjoys sour ales.

Final note: I’m going to be away for a few days, so no post on Friday. Back for Monday.

Floral dubbel

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.

Quickies

I had the Scuttlebutt IPA from the bottle a couple weekends ago. I’d had their beer before at the pub in Everett, Wa and liked it. My notes tell me that it was not as satisfying as I remember it unfortunately.  Too bitter on the back end, and a funk in the nose like a lager. Maybe it’s just better from the keg, but this beer wasn’t balanced at all.

I also had Session’s Dark Lager. I usually don’t like dark lagers, but this one worked for me. Possibly because there was no nose to the beer–I drank it straight from the stubby little bottle–all I got were coco notes. Smelling it gave me that awful burnt scent but that was easy enough to avoid. A pleasant surprise.

Finally, I also had the Honey Moon (get it!) ale made by the Blue Moon folks. It was blandly sweet and should be avoided.