Tag Archives: golden belgain

52 Weeks 48: Hopworks Diabilto

In a rare moment, I have deliberately chosen a photo. Or perhaps better said; deliberately set up my photo. I didn’t quite get the star shaped light coming from behind my hat that I was hoping for but it still seemed more interesting than my typical photos. 

Fuz has come down to visit, and he’s reading a play by a man I’ve never heard of while I write. There’s a man behind him saying that he ought to take it easy tonight, because he has a presentation to give tomorrow but when his companion suggests no more drinks, he says “Are you kidding? I’m a fuckin’ professor of this shit. Another beer.”

Then he starts to sing Puff the Magic Dragon. 

Over my shoulder is a man in solid neu-hiking regalia; beaten baseball cap, REI raincoat, backpack, glasses. He’s all set for a hike in the woods. And he’s sleeping, chin to breast, slumped over crashed out. At 9 p.m. 

So it’s one of those nights. The day sucked in beer-related ways and I’ll be detailing that for everyone on Wednesday, but for now I have company and so things aren’t so bad.

The Diabilto (which I’ll just confess I got because of two parts name, one part lineage) is a bit doughy on the nose and then a thin, sweeter beer after that. It’s not bad but it’s very far away from the beer I feel like having. This is too fizzy, it’s thin in a way that I am not approving of. I’m wanting to act like Pac-Man, wakka-wakka-wakka-ing through my ales and this beer is not a power pellet. No monsters to turn blue here, just an ale I’m trying to drink to get through to the next one. 

Again; it’s not a bad beer but it has met me on the wrong night. 

Last week, I mentioned to Sparky that the end of this project was coming up. He and I began to talk about about going to pubs and our particular motivation to do so. He suggested that I should write about why I drink and while I’ll admit that it’s a tempting topic I’m wary of making some kind of definitive statement about such a topic. 

Humanity has been drinking for a long, long time and the subject is one that invites big, sweeping statements that should have wedges of human insight. Or are just the ramblings of a drunk and I don’t feel like doing either, so perhaps this is the kind of subject that requires a bit of pondering. 

Instead, I think I’m going to finish up this post and play some cards with my friend. While I’m all for asking questions, I am almost old enough to understand that questions don’t always need answers.

52 Weeks 19: Bridgeport Fallen Friar

Mostly recovered from my illness of last week, and in the new acquisition of a ring around the trunk of my tree, I am back at Bailey’s once again, trying the Fallen Friar, which I’ve been hoping to get a sip of for weeks. It’s a golden belgian style beer, with faintly sour nose keeping the whole sweetness in check. Fitting the color, it’s light and easy to drink. 

The nice thing about being away for a week is that there are now many more beers I haven’t tried on the menu. Crazily enough finding new beers is difficult due to just living in Portland and trying everything I can get my hands on. I’m both thankful to be back at the regular bar and reflective on the city I left to come here. 

While in Spokane, I also drank the local brewery’s offerings, in this case Northern Lights‘ IPA. Northern Lights’ flagship beer, Crystal Bitters is a rather pedantic brew, but the IPA is another animal.  Made with more traditional ideas in mind, this beer while quite hoppy isn’t a NW style IPA at all. It’s actually got a restrained bitterness, with a great nose making for a very balanced beer. I hope that when I visit next I’m able to try more styles by them, just to see what else they offer. 

It’s pretty cool that cities are getting local breweries again. I’ve read that before Prohibition, damn near every city in America had a brewery of it’s own and it was a source of local pride. Spokane’s local may not win national recognition, but at least I know I can get a solid beer when I go back. 

Going back is weird though; I don’t know that I conveyed well enough how alien I felt in the city last time. Some things had changed-enough that I could feel disoriented-but the basics were all still the same that I almost felt as though I never really  knew the city at all. A remnant of my teenage years when I was even more introspective and self-absorbed than I am now. Who cares about the city when everything around you seems to suck?

Yet, when I drive along the Monroe Street Bridge and no longer see The Wall, I feel sad. The Wall was just that; once the foundation for a large railroad bridge, then just a huge populist space for anyone with enough will, friends, and paint to write any message or place any graffiti they wanted. It was there for as long as I lived there, and for that quarter century it was one of the few things that made the city interesting. What surprised me was how rarely profanity was used. People could say anything and did, but infrequently used their platform to tell the world to fuck off. They wanted to propose marriage, make art, protest politics, welcome bands, have a voice. Any voice. 

A few years ago, the property was bought and the wall was destroyed, so the land could be leveled and developed. I can’t even find pictures of it on Google, although searching for it is kind of difficult under the gun of this blogpost. 

It has yet to be developed. The land sits there now, barren and empty save for the large ‘For Sale’ sign.

They shouldn’t have let that happen. People need quirky, strange, unique places to express themselves. Someone should’ve saved that wall…and that I miss it now is a little silly given that I don’t even live there anymore. Maybe that’s why I don’t live there though. The city didn’t realize how important that wall was, and was content to become something dull instead of embracing it and being different.