Tag Archives: metal

Where I Want To Go-Hawthorne Theater/Angelo’s

I am at the Hawthorne Theater to see the mighty High On Fire play. It’s a small luxury in what has been a fairly expensive year, so I’m quite happy I can attend. I won’t be having a drink here, though. It’s not because the Hawthorne Theater doesn’t have anything good: even the dive bars in Portland have incorporated the ‘we should have awesome beer’ message and something is at least available in the bottle.

No, it’s the bathroom. A zero privacy space that doesn’t lock easy that I refuse to use unless nobody else is in the building or I’ve gotten enough alcohol in me that I don’t care.  It’s a Monday night so I refuse to get to that point. It’s better to just enjoy the show and see if I can find something to slake my thirst later.

It’s a pretty good show, too the opening band Black Snake is about as generic as their name but aren’t bad and Windham is a jam band. I don’t care how heavy they are, a jam band is still a jam band.

Kveltertak is a bit like seeing five Andrew WKs and a drum beast filtered through Norway. Either that’s awesome or it isn’t and I thought it was awesome. Those lads are going to have to learn how to pace themselves soon though; you can’t headline on an hour of their breakneck rock. You’d just die.

As for High On Fire: If there is a more essentially metal band performing out there, I don’t know of them.

I left the Hawthorne happy, overheated and very thirsty. I was a little worried that I’d have trouble getting a beer at such a late hour on a Monday but I shouldn’t have been concerned at all. Portland seems to really like three things: strippers, reading, and drinking. Angelo’s was very quiet but it was open and the bartender was kind enough to sell me a Lagunita’s IPA.

Which tasted like awesome, because I needed one.

The Slayer of craft beer

I can’t say I really agree with the assessment of Stone Brewing at Decibel but I do like how it mixes two things I love a lot; heavy metal and beer.

I think metalheads ought to be asking for the best beer they can get. Shitty lagers are for people who aren’t into brutal amounts of hops, yeast or malt, which ought to be the same kind of people who are into brutal kinds of bass, guitar, drums and vox.

I don’t think you could get brutal water that was drinkable but if you could, metalheads should drink beer made from it.

Although I have to admit, when stuffed into the subhuman conditions that are indoor heavy metal concerts, a lager might be the best thing to keep you from getting dehydrated.

What’s in a name?

boneyard armored fist alePresenting: Boneyard‘s Armored Fist-brewed, I’m told via their website, as a collaboration with 3 Floyds from Chicago.

Now that is a metal beer. 10% imperial cascadian dark. Serious hop nose on this one but it’s definitely floral not citrus.  Maybe piney? Yup, piney.

It’s the middle that confuses me. Like why make this a dark ale? Why not just keep it a pale? With its brown profile I do get some bitterness roasted quality that gives the beer a touch more in the middle than it would have as an amber, even. Great name though and now I have to pause and let this warm up a bit so I can appreciate it a little more. That’s fine, I’m at Bailey’s and it’s always good to take in the sights.

Deschutes’ Marooned Belgian is also on and that a pretty cool name too but… It isn’t metal. I realize that I’m falling into cliches here with my love of beers named after monsters and things like the Boneyard but at the end of the day, I am who I am. I like monsters and I like heavy metal and it’s always cool to find things that fit into the niche you dig on. Still, if I have the chance I’m going to try some, just because of the name (and because Deschutes usually makes good beer.)

I’m not sure how kind warmth is to the Armored Fist. It does seem to get a touch sweeter and with the pine flavors that isn’t bad but it’s not great either because of the coffee elements. At the end I’m a bit torn on this one because it’s good but my inclination is to drink it fast and that’s not so wise for a 10% ale. Maybe it would’ve been wiser to have a smaller glass…but it wouldn’t have been metal.


I thought my buddy A.Ho and I had worked a pretty good tab up when I was in the ‘Kan last. It was a good night, filled with new places, new people, old friends and general revelry. The kind where at the end I said; yah, that cost me some, but it was worth it.

But we can’t hold a candle to Iron Maiden. THAT is an epic bar tab.

Two Great Things

While I don’t talk about it much here, it’s no great secret that I love heavy metal. I come late from the second generation of metalheads, when it’s younger punk brother was starting to size it up and borrow the skills, and the metal kids were taking the attitude and style. Everyone was still in exile from the ‘normal’ world but snarls and solos kind of bridged the gap.

Now, heavy metal and punk are this big sticky mess of sound. Being ‘pure’ doesn’t matter that much to people who love the music, in no small part because we’ve all grown up and can see now that those lines we set up? They were pretty meaningless. With Black Flag railing against the cops and Metallica spitting in the face of TV preachers, insisting that one genre was inferior to the other was something that you do as a kid but didn’t make any sense after 1991. Once the Seattle groups insisted that punk and heavy metal could be friends…well, being dogmatic about your music got a bit silly after that.

And now we’re all grown up. (In a way.) Grownups do things to honor their past though, especially when it comes to honoring something we could love without reservation because we knew nothing of betrayal. So it is that beers like this one, honoring the group Mastodon has come to pass.

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this kind of convergence; Ninkasi with their Sleigh’R and Maiden the Shade brews evoke Slayer and Iron Maiden, respectively.

You just know that these dudes were drinking terrible beer early on because that’s what kids at metal shows do; drink the cheapest stuff they can so they can pay to get in the door. Seeing the music is more important than beer…until you grow up and have juuuuust enough income for both. Then suddenly, having a good beer matters and if you’re in a position to make it yourself, why not?