Heavy rain makes people go in.
I can feel it as I move through the city: people on the streets are in more of a hurry to get where they want to be and now that I’m at my destination, I feel it all around; people have their shoulders turned in towards each other, surrounding tables like circling wagons. Dark, wet nights encourage people to huddle up, I suppose.
I can still overhear snippets of conversation and I wouldn’t say that the evening has people getting grim but this isn’t a night to meet strangers. One group is talking about their 99 year old grandma “Still drinking a glass a wine every day” another gathering of women is laughing up their dating experiences via Tinder (and how can anyone blame them) but the couple next to me is hunched over a smartphone, bitter tones eminating towards something or someone they see on it. If the weather was any worse, I wonder if I’d feel outright isolated.
I drink my ale, the Green Flash Second Son IPA. The finish is exceptionally dry; even the bitterness that builds up as I get further into my glass seems to recede fairly quickly. It actually reminds me a little bit of the Kenton IPA I had on Friday, without the spicy notation on the finish. Instead it’s a little more oriented towards the nose. More relevantly, I am barely detecting any malt profile and I’m missing that. A little more balance to this beer and it would be outstanding, instead of just solid.
Human nature kicks in eventually because sitting on the rail means you’re never isolated for long. Soon the couple next to me is talking to me about the bottle of Crux’s imperial stout they’ve gotten; is it good, is it worth the price, what is fair and how difficult it is to make an impression in Portland. It’s not a revelatory conversation but it’s a lively one and that’s always nice. Also, if I have a the money to spend, Crux’s beer is good. Or so I am told.
Hey look, the rain has subsided. Maybe it’s time to head home.
PS: It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m off visiting family, so no more posts until next Monday. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!
I was able to sample a great many beers yesterday and I’ll talk about that on Wednesday. For today, however, I wouldn’t say that I am suffering from my indulgences but weary. No beer and no tv may make Homer something something but too much beer has burnt me out. Too many flavors, too much stuff and I’m just tired.
Excess is not a topic brewers and beer drinkers discuss often, I think. Maybe there just isn’t too much to say? Of course if we have to discuss excess too frequently, we become ex-drinkers. It’s an idea that makes me a little nervous, honestly. I know myself well enough at this point to understand that I like too much of the things I like. I don’t want to go to stop drinking: it’s tasty and provides inebriation. However, if I drink too much too frequently then I have to stop drinking entirely. It is the curse of being a grownup: you can finally afford the really awesome stuff you wanted as a kid but now you know there are consequences for getting what you wanted.
Want what you want but acquire it moderately, I suppose.
My weariness of beer has lead me to sip on the Green Flash extra pale, one of the lower ABV ales on tap and a restrained beer in comparison to all the other winter ales on tap.
It’s a nice drink, very clean and bright: if I hadn’t been told it was an extra pale, I would probably call this a pilsner. It’s at least comprable to one.
My experience is flawed only by a perfume in the air, someone nearby smells like…Lysol, of all things. I only catch hints of it but it’s enough to throw off my nose when I sip my beer. I don’t know who thought that would be a good scent to head into the wild with but they should rethink that choice. Still, this is a pretty mild complaint. The evening is so surprisingly pleasant! The bar is just busy enough to be lively but not too loud, it’s cold out but it isn’t stormy; I would have expected something a touch more subdued, given winter.
Nice night with a nice ale. Even so, it may be a very good week for juice.
I am having a short Green Flash Retro because I am on my way to see Torche tonight. I’ve resolved to attempt to get out a little more this year and make sure I wasn’t just hiding out at home, writing, brewing and scowling away and going to the rock show is one of those opportunities that I haven’t been taking enough advantage of.
This beer is a little grassy: there’s a ‘young’ feel to it that isn’t unpleasant but it is a little strange, as though the hops were freshly added to the beer. Given the recent heat, it actually works very well, making for a beer that feels rather light.
I’ve come back to Bailey’s after a few weeks gone; the gang is playing cards and I, for once, am not as involved because I’m going to leave soon. I don’t know what I’m in for tonight but now that I think about it, I never really do. I just have a plan tonight, whereas frequently I don’t make a plan and spend my time a bit more disorganized.
It feels nice to have a bit more organization going on, though I wish the plan gave me more breathing room. I need something to do Thursday, not Monday!
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.