Tag Archives: rogue

Austin via alliteration

I started off my trip to Austin in the Portland airport, recommending Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout to a man on his way back to Hawaii. He was asking the waitress about a dark beer and while she went to get samples, I told him about their porter and specifically recommended their stout.

Austin, amongst its other charms has some really good beer, too. This is a huge plus for a city that never dipped below 80 while I was there. Even at night, as far as I could tell. While IPA’s tend to be favored in hot weather, I found myself drawn to Real Ale Brewing‘s Brewhouse Brown (from Blanco, even). Brown ales especially tend toward naming alliteration, sadly. It’s as though people feel the need to ‘spice up’ what is meant to be a very drinkable {sometimes read as: bland} ale with a clever name. Or, maybe it’s because it’s easy to alliterate a ‘b’ word. Either way it seems lazy, but then again, nobody’s asking me to name their beer…

I had a layover on Salt Lake City on the way home and hurriedly rushing to the plane I pass by an airport brewpub posting its beers on the side, Polygamy Porter being the one that winks out of course. But alas, I could not stop to try it; boarding was being called.

texas brewI also had a Lone Star, because When in Rome, right? The nose on this beer was fetid, like bad dog breath. But it was pretty damn drinkable until it warmed up; clean, light, and very bland. Which on a 96 degree day, can be pretty nice. Just don’t drink more than half a can, and you’re set.

Juniper to the rescue

Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale sneaks up on me every time.

Sure, the piney flavors show up in the nose and it’s a fantastically clear beer, with a sparkly juniper finish. I wouldn’t think that it would have sneakiness to it. It’s the kind of beer that goes especially well with spicy dishes because it stands so strong by itself. However, it’s also really good for those hot days when you just feel like  having something cooling-or at least it feels like it. Perhaps the reason I’m caught off guard is because this beer is supposed to go with food, and sometimes I’m just drinking a beer. It’s only a 5.2% beer, so it shouldn’t leave me fuzzy headed, right?

Yet two Juniper Pales later I’m asking for food, so I can stabilize my body and my head. Truly, this is one of my favorite Rogue ales, and certainly an antidote to the dark and heavy beer blues I’ve been encountering lately, but it’s got a kick to it that I would do well to remember.

Wee Heavy lunchbreak beer

Summer has brutalized it’s way into Portland, slapping us with 90 degree heat mere days after highs in the 60s. I wandered into the the pub on my lunch break. It’s deviant for me to have a beer on my lunch break, but it was one of those days; fuck the job, let’s have a pint.

So I found myself at the Rogue Alehouse, pondering their vast selection. Written in large letters on their chalkboard: No Cell Phones In The Bar-please use the phone booth.  Lo and behold, there’s a red british phone booth, with a crown above the word Telephone on each side, and looking like it’s made from iron- something heavy duty enough to survive soccer hooligans- in one corner. On the opposite wall is a skeleton in Spider Man pjs, and a sparkly neon-green tie. Ah, Portland.

Making choices under pressure is a challenge for me because there are so many beers to try and when I can only get just one, better make it good, right? It’s not like I’m having to choose a car in 30 seconds, but I want a beer that is going to meet a couple criteria: be tasty and be something I haven’t had before.

The Wee Heavy Scotch ale from the Issaquah brewery was what I went with, having had good memories of other wee heavys (heavies?) I’ve drank. It was not my wisest choice though, especially given the heat of the day. Scotch ales tend to be sipping beers, and perhaps not for a less leisurely lunchtime consumption.

The deep amber color that’s almost but not quite dark enough to be opaque is the first thing I noticed in my already sweating glass. This beer was thick and sweet, giving away to a final hop bitterness at the very end. It’s a last minute save worthy of Batman, honestly; without that bitterness the beer would be almost syrupy. As I kept drinking, I notice a tang to it that’s not quite right. There’s a metallic quality to the finish here that throws the whole beer off. I’m not sure if that’s due to the weather or what, but I was not so fond of this.

My impresions were made worse by the fact that I had to walk quickly back to work. The Wee Heavy sat badly in my belly, sloshing around as I strode the blocks, the heat uncomfortable and the beer not very cooling for this day. Next time, I’ll have to remember to try something lighter.