Tag Archives: second pint project

Whatever You Say 30\Second Pint Spread The Vote

The man next to me has just sauntered up to the bar at Rocky’s, so I ask him what he’s going to be ordering.

PBR at Rocky's“PBR,” he replies.

“Thanks much,” I reply, explaining what I’m doing.

“You’re probably glad I didn’t say, like some sorta whiskey thing.” He smiles.

“Nah. Whoever you’re ordering, that’s what I’m having. I don’t judge. Besides,” I tell him, “day like today? (It’s crazy hot for Portland) I’ll take a PBR.”

He nods and asks my name, extending his hand. I tell him, he says he’s Noah. He’s got a black T with the Metal Mulisah logo on it and he seems happy to be patient while the harried bartender hustles through Rocky’s.

Which is not a place that I was ready to come to. On the southern outskirts of Portland, all I really knew about it was that it was the kind of place that I wasn’t going to find my people at-the beer geeks, that is. Which means it’s exactly where I should go.

Because this theme isn’t just about trying beer. It’s about people. And you can’t learn more about people unless you’re willing to get out amongst them.

Noah gets his beer and returns to his friends to play a videogame. I stay on the rail and try to drink it all in.

Rocky’s is the kind of place that will likely be playing something by Stevie Ray Vaughn when you walk in and strangers will greet you by calling you “boss”. It’s also the kind of place that has stickers for KBOO, a and one that says “Support your local bartender: Helping ugly people get laid!”

That local bartender will cheerfully offer that she knows all the words to Rapper’s Delight “even the 11 minute version” for karaoke, while friends cheer each other on at the video bowling game, with slogans stenciled in red on the ceiling, and everyone knows where the key to the bathroom is except you.

“I know you’re busy, love-” a woman says to the bartender

“Just yell at me, baby, I gotcha,” she replies, then: “Here ya go, mama,” when she brings the woman water.

In short: you kinda have to be here, even if you’ve seen ‘here’ before.

Today’s second pint goes to Spread The Vote.


Whatever You Say 29/Second Pint Snopes

Coming off last week’s post, I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between destinations and locals. The feeling of Von Ebert‘s is in sharp contrast to Hoplandia and that isn’t an indictment, but it’s definitely real. Von Ebert is a destination, not a local.

Von Ebert's Chapter 3 IPAI’m having a Chapter 3 here, described as a West Coast IPA. I had to briefly interrupt a conversation to request my choice for the evening so after that, I backed off so those people could enjoy themselves.

Fortunately, I have a friend with me tonight so I don’t have to sit here alone.

So: this beer is…the Okayest beer. The nose evaporates pretty fast, but what little I get involves grassy scents. The beer is orange-forward, especially on the finish there’s an orange gummy taste, and I don’t mind that. Dodges the sharper grapefruit flavors, which I’m very thankful for. But….it’s just there. I don’t hate it. I don’t want to share it. It is just a beer.

Similarly, Von Ebert, as a space, is just OK. I’m not sorry that I’m here but it’s clearly got that corporate sheen to keep it from getting too Portland. It wants to be a spot that out of towners can come and be in, without getting any impression of Portland.

It’s also a pretty new place, though. Maybe the feel of it will change in a year or two. The beer isn’t bad, so I think they’ve got time to liven it up.

Today’s Second Pint goes to Snopes.

Whatever You Say 28\Second Pint Florence Project

Heater Allen SchwarzAt Hoplandia, the man on the rail grumbles “Schwarz–Heater Allen,”  while giving me side eye from his phone. He’s got his thing and it involves the phone and the Mariners game on TV and not strangers who ask him questions. That’s alright: the couple next to me is having a discussion about glitter beer, which apparently is a rising trend. I can’t say I saw that coming but…glitter beer.

They’re getting their beers to go so the conversation is short, which leaves me to the Schwarz itself.

The nice thing about Heater Allen is that they do solid beers. Doesn’t matter that I’m not a huge fan of schwarzbiers; it’s still drinkable.

The other TV at Hoplandia is showing episodes of Samurai Jack and it seems to me that there are worse things to have to deal with than writing and baseball. I like this spot; it’s low key with a decent selection of beer, both on tap or in the bottle.

The bartender is a chatterer; he and the fellow I got my beer selection from talk it up ; apparently one of them is about to be a new parent, the other a two time dad. I decide to wait and see if this place develops some character.

Eventually, other people stop by; someone who wants a cider while waiting for her pizza, the other with her dog, because dogs are welcome damn near everywhere in this city. I can’t fault that: It’s usually a pretty good day when I get to pet a dog. The bartender seems to know half the people who walk through; once again we’ve got a local, instead of a destination, and I’m starting to understand the difference.

I’m struck by little I know about the city; it’s huge and I have only seen so much of it. Every adventure into it can’t always pay off, but more adventures should definitely be taken.

Today’s second pint goes to The Florence Project.

Whatever You Say 27\Second Pint Raices

Great Notion has been getting a lot of good word of mouth and I am long overdue to check their place out. It’s crowded, but there’s a place on the rail for me so I take it.

Tonight’s drink, the Blueberry Pancake: half the Double Stack imperial breakfast stout, half the Blueberry Muffin fruited sour. It tastes exactly like a waffle with blueberry syrup on it. The nose is tart blueberry, the flavors a delicious maple with just a hint of the tartness. There’s even an element of waffle-y bready thing happening and I have no idea how they did that. I don’t know if I’d want several of these-it’s skewing a little sweet for my tastes-but I would gleefully recommend the beer to people.

Great Notion Blueberry Pancake aleI get this on Steve’s recommendation, although he says that if I really want something tasty, his personal favorite beer is the Papaya Mochi IPA. He’s currently drinking the Blueberry Pancake, however, so we casually agree that this is the thing to stick with.

I mention remembering this place when it was an entirely different brewery, and I can tell from his expression he’s new to the city. Hailing from Wisconsin, he been here eight months and is spending his days off exploring the city, trying to find which neighborhood he’d like to settle in.

There seems to be quite the influx of people from WI, MN, I tell him and he chuckles, saying that most of the people in the Midwest really get tired of the winters.

Soon after, he accidentally knocks his drink over, spilling it towards the patron next to him. He apologizes like he’s a stranger at a party full of roommates; frequently and with great sincerity. But the impacted person laughs it off and is clearly rolling with this just fine.

With what’s left of Steve’s beer I toast him: everything worked out and nobody got hurt.

Turns out, the person he spilled his beer on is also new to Portland, so to speak; she and her boyfriend are visiting from Philadelphia. A short ‘welcome to Portland’ later and they’re gleefully getting information on what other places they should go visit, while recommending some breweries in Philadelphia to me.

We talk a bit about the cultural differences between the East and West coast (or at least the East coast and the PNW) and, like you do with people from Philly, I congratulate them on the Superbowl win. They beam a little and I get the sense that they may not be football fans, but they are definitely in love with Philadelphia.

Today’s second pint goes to Raices.

Whatever You Say 26\Second Pint AFSP

I almost don’t recognize my friend as I saunter up to the bar at the Upper Lip, but as I get closer, his beard fails to disguise him so I greet him heartily. It’s been a couple months and when you live in the same city as someone, a couple months is probably too long to go between visits.

We catch up rapidly, using the short form this evening, (unfortunately) because he’s on his way out to get dinner with a friend he’s with, and I’m just stopping by to write before I head to the Hyborian show at Dante’s.

However, there’s no reason to miss this opportunity, so I ask what they had and, given the options, I choose the Alesong/Bailey’s collaboration, Bailey’s Joy, an imperial stout with coconut and cacao nibs, aged in bourbon barrels.

Alesong-Bailey's Joy stoutWe say our goodbyes and I am left alone with the Joy. Its nose has a diminished bourbon quality, the cocoa an even fainter undercurrent but both exist. The flavors follow it up nicely, but in reverse: Cocoa first, then a bit of bourbon, followed with a very dry finish. That finish practically sucks the moisture out of my tongue, it’s so dry. I like it.

Since I’m left to my own thoughts, I think about Anthony Bourdain-a man whom I never met and have no knowledge of, aside from his work-and the sorrow that comes with his death.

My take on Bourdain was that he was someone who had made some mistakes, seen and quite likely been part of some bad shit, but had come through it better, kinder and with more curiosity about the world, rather than less. A greater willingness to champion a better world, instead of being intimidated by those forces to keep it the same.

That’s the kind of story I can get behind. One that has helped inspire greater empathy in myself, too, transitioning me from being a beer elitist to one who just is happy to have one with friends, or soon to be friends.

While my vision of Mr. Bourdain is woefully incomplete, and I am not the kind of person to idolize someone, especially someone I’ve never met, the lesson still remains: be curious about the world, and try to be kind to people along the way.

Today’s second pint goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Whatever You Say 25\Second Pint New Avenues for Youth

The fellow I make my inquiry to is Rob, who introduces himself after I explain why I’m here. We shake in the common language of strangers, then he goes back to his phone.

I’m a little thankful for that: I’m punchy from a day in the sun at a wedding, with a few ales to keep me cool during that time. A lot of water, shade and sunscreen has kept me in the fight but we are coming into the final stages and I’m having to screw up my determination to keep going.

Still, on the days when the work is a bit more challenging due to time constraints, I’m grateful for an easy evening. The pub is engaging without being subdued, so I can function here without feeling overwhelmed. Which is great, because I’m in a good mood and I don’t want to be discouraged.

Because weddings are a little weird, right? All these people coming together from different quadrants of both the bride and groom’s lives (which has got to be at least eight quadrants) in order to meet up, get along and be happy for a happy thing.

And we do this! We come together as strangers in order to celebrate our friends and we are just happy for them because we can be. We decide that whatever fears or harm is out there in the world, well, that stuff can fuck right off for a day, because we have something important to do.

Laurelwood Rando paleWhich is a good thing. The world is presenting more of a terrifying face to us than it usually does. Coming together to celebrate, especially in the face of such fear, is one of the best ways I can think of to defy such terror.

From out of nowhere, Rob taps me on the shoulder.

“What do you think of the Rando?”

It’s what I would expect from Laurelwood, I tell him, a delicious IPA. I suppose it’s NE style (hazy) but the Rando doesn’t want to hammer the grapefruit home too hard. It’s quite drinkable and really good. They’ve got a long tradition of solid beers and this is a fine addition to their library. Like some of the more established breweries in town, they can get overlooked sometimes, which is a bummer. They make tasty beverages.

He nods, pleased that we’re in agreement and goes back to his phone again.

Today’s second pint goes to New Avenues For Youth.

Whatever You Say 24/Second Pint-Innocence Project

Doomsday Agent Orange IPAI thought that coming to Vancouver would be an excellent way to ensure expand the horizons. But walking to the Doomsday brewpub, I overheard a man say “our little neighborhood is changing fast” to his friend and it’s true: I can see it in the hustle of uptown and the uneasy merging of what was just homes to homes and businesses.

My friend has the Doomsday Agent Orange IPA so I get that. It is what it says; an orange flavored IPA. The finish is a little harsh, but it’s sweet enough on the front end that I’m willing to go with it.

This place is about as low key as you could ask for. It’s managed to feel like a local-the bartender and a patron are playing cards next to me, chatting about the latest superhero film-while being on one of the busier streets, getting foot traffic from casual visitors like myself. Everything in Doomsday stops for a couple minutes when a pink stretch humvee pulls up across the street, and a family exits in baby blue tuxes and dresses for a 16th birthday party. It was the fanciest clown car exit I’ve ever seen, one person after another until a whole crowd was on the street.

We all joked about wishing we’d had better 16th birthday parties and after a brief moment of comradery, went back to our respective corners.

Today’s second pint goes to the Innocence Project.