Tag Archives: second pint project

Front Porch Chats #67/Second Pint HYA

I snagged the Lumberbeard Anniversary ale (a barleywine) because I like the name of the brewery. It’s bourbon barrel aged but this is the rare barrel aged beer that hasn’t let the barrel overwhelm the beer. There’s a little spice and heat on the finish-just to let you know that this beer isn’t an easy drinking safe one. But otherwise, you got a damn fine ale.

Lumberbeard barleywine in glass on table, next to can of barleywine, outside

Which is good, because they’re charging $15.30 for it. But at 16.5%, this is definitely a ‘once a year’ ale.

On a do nothing Saturday, I got to spend most of it playing games with a friend.

It’s really all I could’ve asked for. I’ve got beer, I’ve got people I like, I’ve got something fun to do on a day that isn’t so hot or cold that I am certain that it is trying to murder me.

It doesn’t seem like much, does it? It isn’t much, is the thing.

And there seem to be three categories of people here: those who don’t have the baseline that I do, those who do have what I have, and those who have so fucking much that their acquisition denies things to the people in the first two groups.

Most of us don’t want or have any need to rule the world. But we do have a need to curtail the abuses of people who do need to rule. Because they will let us starve, deny us the simplest of things, for one reason only: To have more.

And those rich people can enlist others, they have the luxury to pay hype men to lie and fuck with us.

Down here, we have to do the work. Maybe look around for the other people who are doing the work-and whom they are working for. Because some people aren’t worth defending. If the power that some people have isn’t something we can democratically take away, they they are not representatives, they are monarchs.

That goes from people as high up as Bezos, to as street level as the cops. But we fought a monarchy once. I have a feeling we’ll do it again if that’s what it comes down to.

I hope it doesn’t though, because we deserve better.

Today’s second pint goes to the Homeless Youth Alliance.

Front Porch Chats #64/Second Pint Loveland Foundation

Got a different porch for ya today; I’m sitting on my Dad’s stoop, a hazy IPA from Cloudburst nearby. That can is pretty sweet, ennit?

Cloudburst hazy IPA in glass, next to can, outside.

The beer is dead solid for a hazy. That style may never be my favorite, but I recognize a good one when I taste it.

I’m in Spokane for family reasons, both proud and saddening. It’s been a strange week, in terms of time and people, trying to navigate spaces new and old: the past doesn’t exactly haunt me, but it often dials my number a little more often than I’d like, especially here.

The pandemic seems all but over in Spokane, which is a little discombobulating, because that’s more about the behavior of people than the reality of what we’re going through. As a way to ease into the next phase, it’s jarring, to be honest. Cavalier about the pandemic is what got us into trouble.

Then again, the sense of getting back to a new normal-one where I can see my family and friends, but with a re-aligned sense of justice and respect, a sense of perspective: this I can get behind.

The proud event was getting to see my niece graduate. I’m so happy for her, and her next adventure should be a good one. She’s got a lot of people in her corner, even if she can’t see ‘em all.

There was even a bonus happy event, since my dad gave a ring to his girlfriend. Sure, they laughed out loud when I asked about a wedding date, but it’s good to see people come together.

It’s even good when it’s for a sadder thing, as a memorial for an old family friend took place. In some ways, the thing I loved most about the memorial was that everybody admitted the guest of honor was flawed, and had little trouble saying so (much like he was while alive) but what stuck out in their minds was the good stuff.

The times where they knew they were loved.

Can’t beat that.

Today’s second pint goes to the Loveland Foundation.

Front Porch Chats #63/Second Pint PP

Wayfinder Time Spiral dunkel ale in glass, on table, outside

I’m hoping it’ll rain today, as I sit with this Wayfinder Time Spiral ale. It’s a dunkle, which roughly translates to: what if a lager, but with cocoa?

It’s even got a dryness on the finish that reminds me of cocoa powder, complete with a bitterness. Pretty drinkable, but I think I’d like a tart or some other fruit pastry to go with this one. Might just be the chill in the air, though.

I hit full efficacy of my vaccine last Friday, and again: if you haven’t gotten your COVID vaccine I strongly encourage you to do it. It’s free, and it can help save lives, including yours.

As a deal goes, that’s pretty good.

This means that I can start to go places!

…where?

Seriously. I get a whiff of anxiety about going out, even though it is perfectly safe for me. Or at least, as safe as any reasonable person could ask.

But what about everyone else? I worry. I don’t want to be the person who puts others in jeopardy, just because I want a beer or a burger or a comic book. I’d like to play Magic with my friends but I still have this concern that I’m putting someone needlessly at risk.

Tipping extra doesn’t make up for getting someone sick.

Maybe I just have to ease into things. Playing a game is a good distraction from worry, and again: I’m not exposing others (or me!) to an unreasonable risk anymore. Writing will also be a good way to deal with this-I’ll have to ask the reader’s forgiveness in advance if the subject of social anxiety becomes a throughline for the next few weeks.

I still like writing on my porch and I’m going to do my best to take advantage of nice weather to stay outside when I am social, just to minimize risk for others. We haven’t hit 70% vaccination rates yet, and honestly, 85 or 90% are what we really need to get this under control. I want to do what I can, and give people as much time as I can to get their shot.

That said, it is going to be time for a new Monday theme soon, so I’ll be thinking about that, too. I can’t go back to Bailey’s…but we’ll get to that on Wednesday.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Front Porch Chats #61/Second Pint IRU

Pfriem's Chuck's 10th Anniversary barleywine ale in glass, on table, outside

I don’t know who Chuck was or what anniversary they were celebrating, but I got my second COVID shot on Friday, so this Chuck’s 10th Anniversary barleywine from Pfriem seems like a fine thing to celebrate with.

And, no jokes about Bill Gates, magnets, microchips or 5G. For three reasons.

First, a joke like that is only funny the first time you hear it.

Second, far smarter people have made this joke. I might be clever sometimes, but it isn’t my job to tell jokes and there is certainly a difference between someone who makes a living doing so, and someone like myself.

Finally, and most importantly, because it is a crazy goddamn world. Can we just all agree on that? Life comes at you fast and the amount of stuff that you need to understand to make your way through it is, quite frankly, astounding.

We cannot know it all. We outsource all kinds of activities because of this.

I am fortunate: I happen to know a remarkable number of people in the medical field: from researchers to pharmacists to doctors and nurses (go nurses!) and, coupled with my own reading on the subject, I was able to quickly come to one conclusion:

The vaccine is as safe as any reasonable person could ask it to be. It’s safer than birth control, for Christ’s sake and millions of women take that risk every day.

However, not everyone has friends in that group. Not everyone has the resources I do-from easy internet access to an education that helps support my curiosity, to time to investigate and support from a whole lot of people who are smarter, and often kinder, than I am.

And some of those people just want someone who they know cares about their well being, to hear their concerns and reassure them that they are not making a dangerous choice. Those people deserve to be heard, not mocked.

This doesn’t include the “just asking questions” crowd. And I know you know who I mean. Fuck them to the gates of Hell.

Wanting someone who cares about you to give you advice, to listen to you and help you through important decisions, that isn’t a person I want to mock. It someone I want to encourage.

Because we’re all in this together, we deserve better and the only way we’re going to get out of the pandemic is to act like it.

For what it is worth, I had my second Moderna shot and about 24 hours after that, I felt lethargic and achy for about 4-5 hours. I drank a ton of water, I watched Harley Quinn (which was fantastic), and the day after that, I felt fine. I didn’t even need a Tylenol.

That’s it. I feel fine, and am looking forward to getting to see people I haven’t gotten to see in a long time.

It about two weeks.

Oh, and the barleywine? Pretty damn good. Usually these ales lean too hard into a maple flavor but this is more bready, and there’s an alcoholic bite on the finish that pushes out the sweetness. I like it.

Today’s second pint goes to Islamic Relief USA.

Front Porch Chats #60/Second Pint NWIR

This might be the first actual day of Summer, even though technically it’s not here yet. Fine day for Pfriem’s Mosaic pale ale-which I presume means that they used Mosaic hops exclusively in this particular beer.

Pfriem's Mosaic pale ale, in glass on table outside

The nice thing about that is that it really highlights a hop quality; for me, this beer smells like papaya, has a mild tropical fruit flavor and pretty mild bitterness, too. I’m OK with this, your mileage might vary, of course.

There’s a reason we blend, however and that’s because it frequently gives us a better beverage. Single Malt And Single Hop (SMASH) beers are usually one dimensional. And while I don’t know the malt build for this ale, I would wager that they mixed it up to give the beer body and depth of flavor, to offer the drinker more than just two row and Mosaic.

Even with what might be a balanced malt build, I find myself rating this beer ‘okayest’ not, you know, good. I don’t hate it, but I’d like it better if there was more variety.

There’s a metaphor here for what makes good countries but it’s a little on the nose, don’tcha think? Or, perhaps, I’d have to wring a lot of meaning from just a few words. The exercise is probably left best to the reader.

For myself, I’m getting my second shot next week, which means in roughly three weeks, I could start going to pubs and drinking indoors. I could get back to my usual Monday style posts, and I could be around people again.

But the place I want to go to doesn’t exist anymore, and I’m just not sure what to do, now. If there’s something I would like, post pandemic, it would be a lodestone as to where next?

Lotta places didn’t make it through the pandemic. Lotta people didn’t, either. I don’t know how we’re going to mourn these things-the places represent the people, in a way, but the people are irreplaceable.

What I do know is that we, all of us, are going to have to set aside some time to do that: that year of possibility that we had to deny, the locations where we met and came together being gone, and the people we came together to meet.

We dug mass graves. Caregivers watched people rattle their last, angry breath against a disease they were certain was a hoax. Screaming matches erupted over wearing masks, while parents buried infants, sons and daughters buried patients, no one able to say goodbye, or I love you, or even have an unresolved hurt resolved.

We limped through our lives and I don’t know that it made us stronger. Or even better, at this point. Better would be nice; more compassionate, more tolerant, more willing to stand up for people who have been trod on by the Powers That Be for far, far too long.

What a shitshow.

I don’t know how we do it. I write, and maybe that’s all I can do. But I’m gonna keep doing it, ok? Someday, we’ll have a toast for everyone, and every place that didn’t make it-and one for those that did. My gut tells me, neither of these toasts will be jovial.

Today’s second pint goes to NWIRP.

Front Porch Chats #59/SEcond Pint STV

Immersion brewing's Raise The Alarm red IPA, in glass on table, outside

This is Immersion’s Ring the Alarm, a red IPA and one sip of it gives me burnt citrus flavors.

So I guess I won’t be drinking that. Too bad; it’s a lovely looking drink, a fine shade of amber and clear enough to see through.

But.

While I’m on the porch though, I’d like to tell the author of “COVID is waning can Portland Let it Go” to fuck riiiiiiight off. (Fun fact: the day after this op-ed was published, the Oregon state senator who let rioters in the state capitol was diagnosed with COVID, along with 807 other people across the state, and we’re probably averaging between 700-900 cases a day right now).

Similarly, the person who wrote the Atlantic’s “Liberals who can’t quit the lockdown” bullshit can kiss my entire ass.

I have spent the last year in a shite limbo, avoiding things I like, helping where I can, wearing a mask, learning new and fun songs to sing while I wash my hands, all to keep people safe.

I didn’t like it. I didn’t wake up every morning thinking; Hey, I get to wear a mask! I’m not the freaking Green Lantern. I didn’t shiver as I tipped a beer to my mouth, because I had to drink outside and it’s fucking December but I would also like to get out of the house a little please, because I thought being cold was fun.

I didn’t suffer though videos conferences because yay, I didn’t avoid Thanksgiving because I suddenly developed a dislike for turkey, and I didn’t smother what social life I had with a pillow for sport.

I did it because that helped keep people safe.

And maybe if 2020 hadn’t been a soup-to-nuts shitshow, maybe if I wasn’t living amongst seditionists who seem to be still walking around unjailed, maybe if at least 30% of the population wasn’t saying, “no vaccine for me, CUCKS”, then fine: we could have an honest discussion about what the summer could look like.

I could leave my house, reasonably confident that the people in this country were trying their best to look out for one another. That if there were mistakes, they would be handled with kindness and grace. That we’d rectify whatever error we made, and proceed.

But I can’t. So I’m going to be fine with over cautious rules because I’ve been doing my part and the only reason we’re still living through this is that SOME people refuse to do the minimum without throwing a tantrum.

Go talk to them about what they’re addicted to. Go blame them for their shitty behavior.

Then you can come back an apologize for being a sanctimonious ass. Because I resent being told that I ‘can’t let it go’ when we’re still in the middle of it, because other people are selfish dildoes.

Today’s second pint goes to Spread the Vote.

Front Porch Chats #58/Second Pint AIF

I’m having Stormbreaker’s Big City Brown ale and…I really like brown ales. I wish my attempts to brew them were more successful.

Stormbreaker's Big City Brown ale, in glass on table outdoors

This one has subtle qualities of chocolate and coffee; it doesn’t go full chocolate covered espresso bean, but there’s a ghost of one in there.

An easy ale for some deeper thoughts.

Last weekend, I assisted with the presentation of the Women’s International Beer Summit, which was pretty neat!

Meagan Anderson did a presentation on how her life was impacted when she decided to quit drinking-as a member of the beer industry. She spoke of how her life changed, and how she maintained her abstinence through exercise, meditation, mindfulness exercises, and supportive people.

This was a fascinating talk, reminding me a little bit of Pete Hamill’s A Drinking Life, which was his account of stopping drinking as a reporter-and all his friends and coworkers drank.

Now, while I’m not going to stop drinking, I remember thinking: I need to make sure I am doing the things that keep me healthy-in all states. It isn’t a secret that I drink: I write a beer blog, and I homebrew.

But I also play games, and write, and take walks every day, and read as much as I can. I am fascinated by stories and how they are told. I attempt to say, ‘fuck fascists’ as often as I can. I have friendships to maintain; it’s a life-one that takes some tending to, as any life does.

What I’m driving at is that I hope that everyone reading this is remembering to take time to care for themselves, to do the things that matter to them. Sometimes that means changing certain behaviors entirely-but often, in my experience, it usually means stopping for a little bit to take care of things you might neglect in the hustle and bustle.

You deserve better and taking time to care for the things you care about helps you get there.

Today’s second pint goes to the American India Foundation.

Front Porch Chats #57/Second Pint PPP

Weekend Brewing- American Wheat ale in glass on table outside

I appreciate when things are named for what they are. Case in point: Weekend Brewing’s American Wheat ale.

It is what it says it is. Reminds me of a candy store I saw in New York City called “Sugar”. Yup. That’s what it sells.

Don’t get me wrong; longtime readers of the blog know I can’t really resist any beer named after a mythical monster, or a heavy metal pun but I also like things that go solidly the other direction.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ve had an American Wheat ale before. But I have to say: I like this. Grainy but not overly sweet, a dry finish but I wouldn’t say it’s from a hop character. It’s a quaffable ale, rewarding lazy warm evenings.

The rain has come back to Portland-and though we are still under drought warnings I hope the rain abates some of that. It’s still pleasant enough to sit outside and hear the water drip down the spouts.

It’s also been a scary week in Oregon, as we’ve had the highest COVID infectious rate in the nation-a little payback, I suppose, for getting lucky at the beginning of it all.

But we aren’t immune yet, aren’t out of the woods. Nothing like what India is experiencing, either.

So I am staying on the porch for the foreseeable future. I figure most of the summer, maybe. Picking up food on my way home is easier than ever, and we’re at the time of the year where it’s easy to be outside.

Is it still barbaric? Well…yes, but I do have the civilized touch of being on my own front porch. So it’s hard to bitch about it, because doing this is a small action in part of a larger system. A system that desperately needs us to take as many small actions as we can, if we want to help each other, and/or change it, depending on the topic.

If you know what I mean.

Today’s second pint goes to the People’s Parity Project.

Front Porch Chats #56/Second Pint OEF

Von Ebert Wermut ale in glass on table outside.

Sour ale for a sour week.

Von Ebert’s Wermut has what I’ll call ‘the fandom problem’.

To someone like me, who loves heavy metal, I can distinguish between black, thrash, drone, djent, stoner, etc. But for someone who doesn’t, it’s all noise to them.

I don’t like sour ales. All I get is something vinegary and it practically doesn’t matter what kind of sour ale it is. It’s not the beer, it’s me.

I suppose the week was full of a lot of things I don’t like, though none of these things have the fandom problem. The have entirely different problems.

I’ll admit, I don’t think humans are evolved enough to not have some kind of law enforcement presence. We do dumb shit, all the time-and sometimes we’re mean about it.

But I do believe that we’ve evolved enough to have a better thing than the police. I am certain that we can have better than an unaccountable agency that murders people, targeting Black and Brown people, and is allowed to walk away from it without a reckoning.

They should just fire any police officer who kills someone, and force them to go through the process of being rehired. If they engaged in justifiable homicide, I’m sure they’ll be rehired. In the meantime; they can go on trial as an unemployed person.

I see that we’ve also returned to our ‘weekly mass shooting’ in America. Boy, didn’t take long after the vaccine arrived and people started to feel like they could leave their homes for ol’ shooting spree to return.

Really does seem like there’s an accountability problem there, too. But, pre-accountability, if you will, like maybe, JUST MAYBE, you should have to have special trainings and licenses if you want a device that can murder someone.

Any device. I gotta have a license and training to drive a car, and more trainings to drive different vehicles. At least in my Honda, I can legitimately claim to be transporting cans of soup to my home.

Can’t really say that an AR-15 as multiple uses.

Finally, there’s the “we’re going to outright proclaim our hatred” of the GOP.

There’s an accountability problem too-why are the people of Georgia or Colorado or Florida or ANYWHERE in this country not telling people who want to form this America First Caucus to eat shit?

Never have I seen so many people scream how much they love America, while simultaneously doing their damnedest to hate people. You know; Americans.

Don’t get me wrong; they’re going to insist it’s about ‘liberals’ or ‘protecting children’ or ‘values’ but put some windex on that glass and you’ll see right through to the Black, immigrant, female, and trans populations they really, really want to murder. You know: Americans.

Just like the cops. Just like shooting sprees.

Seems like it’s all tied up in one big raging pile of evil, doesn’t it?

Maybe it is the fandom problem, after all.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Energy Fund.

Front porch Chats #54/Second Pint OSPRIG

Flattening the Nerves IPA from Hop Capitol in glass outside

“Have you gotten the vaccine yet?”

Some variation on this question has been all up in my business this week .

So it’s time for some Flattening the Nerves IPA from Hop Capitol brewing. What started off as a perfume-y, orange nose quickly left the scene and I’m left with something a little more dank. The bitterness is a tongue scraper too; a little like shedding pine needles. With a bit more malt character in the middle I’d probably enjoy this one more. As it stands, I’d recommend it for hopheads but caution anyone else.

“Have you gotten your shot?”

~sigh~

No, I haven’t. But it isn’t because I don’t want one. I very much do! However, I have certain luxuries: a job that isn’t front facing and allows me to hang out in my office, good health, and am relatively young. I’m ineligible, for now.

And while there might be vaccines available in other counties, the Oregon Health Authority has asked people not to travel to other counties, as the vaccine is distributed by population count, quite sensibly. People going to another county to get vaccinated throws the numbers off. Or worse, denies someone the vaccine in that county who should have one.

What I’m getting at here is that it’s my responsibility to keep distancing from people, to use the nice days as a great excuse to see people outside, to wear a mask and practice good hygiene, so that other people who have a higher risk than myself can go first.

Nurses. Grocery store employees. Farm laborers. Transporters. People with health conditions. Older folks. There is, when I give it a bit of thought, quite the list of people who are in line ahead of me.

And that’s is OK. That’s how it ought to be. I have the luxuries, I have the responsibilities.

When I’m eligible, give me an appointment. I’ll show up, I promise.

Today’s second pint goes to OSPRIG.