Tag Archives: misc

A Little Problem

I was honored to assist with the Oregon Beer Awards again this year-delayed and restructured due to the pandemic.

Part of that meant that fewer people worked on providing services this year…but there was still the same amount of beer. Which needed to go somewhere.

Leading me to having this:

Boxes full of beer

That is too much beer. And that is after I’ve given much of it away! (I am still giving beer away.)

So the upside to this is first: free beer.

Second: I can use this opportunity to sanitize my gear: mix up a bleach solution and run it through my carboys and hoses, and start running my bottles through the dishwasher. There’s never a bad time to spend some time making sure your gear is clean.

So, you know; making the best of it!


Not long ago, I had an IPA made with Norwegian Kveik yeast. This yeast has been getting a lot of hype lately, because of its unique fermenting properties-able to operate at very high temps without throwing off unwanted flavors.

Except the IPA tasted awful. So bad that I immediately messaged a friend to tell him how bad it was. It was a hazy IPA that had the finishing notes of burnt paper. Grapefruit + burnt paper. That was not appetizing.

Little Beast belgian ale in glass, with can, on table

But maybe it’s the brewery, right? It was a beer that was brand new to me (Hyper Scream from Dekker brewing) and maybe they just suck.

One month later, I’m drinking a Folkvanger from Little Beast brewing, a brewery I know is solid. The Folkvanger is a dark ale made with the Norwegian yeast and…it tastes like singed butthair. It was so bad that I wanted other people to try it, just so I didn’t feel insane for thinking that something a professional brewery made could taste this bad.

I feel like there’s a massive joke being played on people right now; that this thing which, admittedly, does something cool and unique, is touted as also being tasty and…it really just isn’t.

Not at all.

2020 Things

I acquired Ale Apothecary’s Sahalie {a wild fermented ale with honey, spruce and aged in wine barrels. Flowery nose, very white wine oriented, dry finish} back in February during the judging for the Oregon Beer Awards. A wild ale generally isn’t my style, but I got one for a friend who visits me and loves these beers.

He isn’t coming to visit this year. The border is closed.

I was supposed to go to Spokane and Seattle this year. Have drinks with friends, see my family. Discussions to get on a plane to see other friends. That didn’t happen, either. And it isn’t going to, looks like.

Generally, I try not to drink alone: there’s writing to do, people to visit. I know it’s not healthy for me-or anyone, really-, so being around people, even if I’m just in a bar doing some work, is better than sitting at home by myself.

But I have sat home alone a lot this year, in order to help protect other people. It doesn’t feel right to have bartenders risk their lives for me, so I can have a beer. Hell, it doesn’t feel right to have anyone risk their lives for me, but especially just so I can go out to eat or drink.
I know it has been the right decision.

We don’t always get the thrill of being righteous, just because we are right. Since this year has been hard, I think it’s important to acknowledge why it has been hard and who is responsible for the increased difficulty we have had to face.

There are, by my count, at least two men who bear a lot of responsibility for the position we find ourselves in. There’s an opportunity to take power away from them and I think we should take it.

Beers made by walking

I found this to be a neat concept, one that, in many ways harkens back to how beers were brewed over a century ago: Go out, find edible things, steep them in (soon to be) alcohol. I’ll be out of town on October 20th but maybe someone else will go and return with tidings of interesting beers.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Willamette Week’s President of Beers event going on. Looks like they ‘overlooked’ the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (if Puerto Rico has as brewing scene that would be awesome) but a fun exercise nevertheless.


Edit: title said ‘Bears’. Don’t know what I was on.

Misc debris 2

First, we have the beer and food pairings guide from the Brewer’s Association. With all the crazy new kinds of beers that are made, I think that sometimes people forget that originally, beer was touted as being something that could be on a level with wine and paired with food, in much the same way.

I’d suggest that it’s a little bit like trying to chase the older brother who hasn’t realized that he’s not quite as cool anymore, but that’s just a personal perspective. The guideline is still useful and ought to remind those of us who tout beer as being a great drink what kind of angle we should take to the non-beer lovers, or less adventurous amongst us. Everybody eats food, right?

Next up, there was a really cool profile of Dogfish’s Sam Calagione at the New Yorker and I think it’s worth reading.

Finally, there’s 9.5 beers you should try this summer. Personally, I prefer to try all the beers but for some people that just doesn’t work out, so a list is a good thing.

Odds and ends

Casualbrewery forwarded to me this article on brewing with hot rocks. Apparently it’s old school brewing Finnish style. I have actually had the Hot Rocks Lager¬†and I enjoyed it. However while it was a good beer I have to admit, I liked it more because the idea of people throwing superheated rocks into water is very appealing to me.

And my friend Ed has this post at his blog about a North Korean brew, Taedonggang. I generally don’t go for brews from that part of the world, but this has everything to do with exposure. All I seem to see are lagers, and big brewery lagers at that. Budweiser from Japan, in essence. That said, I like to give anything new a chance and I don’t know that much about North Korea so if they can ship a bottle to me unbroken, I’ll drink it.