Tag Archives: second pint project

Summer Series #11/Second Pint CoH

It’s got to be one of the last nice evenings of ‘22, so I figure I ought to take advantage of it while I can. Now I feel like I’ve missed out, since most of the outings have been in the late afternoon.

The night crowd is different. Even at Assembly brewing, where I can smell the pizza despite being outside.

Assembly brewing's pale ale, on a table outside in a pint glass

But not over my College Pale ale. This pale has a nectarine quality in the nose, but the middle brings the malts forward, so there’s an interesting blend of malt and fruit, and it completes itself with a nice bitterness on the finish. A welcome surprise tonight and definitely a recommended beer.

You know, one thing the pandemic did do is make the pubs curmudgeon friendly again. Enough people stopped going out that the grumpier folk who might’ve been dissuaded by the presence of too many people, well they don’t have that problem anymore.

This set of conditions really makes me miss Bailey’s. I was never sad about the bar’s success but I was someone who remembered the early days when it wasn’t a worldwide destination. It felt cozier, like a place I could go to get some thinking done.

Still, having a beer at Assembly right now? It’s great. Blues on the stereo, a cool but not chilled evening, everybody minding their mind. Hard to beat that. Plus, they’ve got the doors open for good ventilation, so even the people inside have a decreased risk of the plague. Can’t hardly beat it with a stick, as my Dad would say.

I don’t know that I know what he means by that, but I know what he means.

One thing that has been odd about the Summer Series is that I’ve felt compelled to talk more about my immediate surroundings, instead of the world at large. In some respects, I like that-we exist in a certain area and we ought to pay attention to that area. Plus, I haven’t gotten to do that in three years.

On the other hand, I am aware that nobody reading this is here. We as a collective have more in common with the impact the larger world is having upon each other, than we do with one person at a bar on a Friday night, getting to appreciate the atmosphere.

Winter will be upon us before we know it though. I’ll be back in the porch, staring at the street, waving to dogs as they walk by, reminding you that billionaires are assholes and christofascists shouldn’t have any say in how we govern ourselves.

Looking forward to that, too.

Today’s second pint goes to Convoy of Hope.

Summer Series #8/Second Pint MS Water Fund

1st City Festbier from Oregon City in a glass on a table outside

It’s the best time of the year for beer.

That’s right, its festbier time! (Fresh hop ales are overrated. I said what I said.)

To that end I’ve got the 1st City Festbier from Oregon City at the Proper Pint, which is light, malty, and the kind of beer that I would consider having several pints of, if there weren’t so many other things too try.

Still, this beer: recommended. A little bready, malt forward but not cloying, it’s a treat to start the festbier season with.

Also, I got to pet a dog. Proper Pint is pretty dog friendly and a pooch moseyed his way up to me. After asking if I could pet that dog (it is always wise to ask if you can pet a dog) and getting the OK. this dog promptly got into my lap and licked my face while I pet him. He was a white and brown dog with a big pink nose and blue eyes. Adorable.

You know. That could be it. That’s the post. I got a nice beer. I pet a dog. The ingredients for a pretty good day are all but done. Or at least, an improved day, right? Hard to have a terrible day when you get to pet a dog.

Yeah. Let’s do that. Let’s pet a dog, enjoy this beer, and call it. Everybody gets to have a nice day, even me.

Today’s second pint goes to water funds to help people in Mississippi.

Summer Series #2/Second Pint Dr. B

Bale Breaker's Field  41 pale, in glass on table outside at Workers Tap

One thing I like about Workers Tap (where I’ve come for this post) is that they have a very solid tap list. This time I’m having Bale Breaker’s Field 41 pale ale and this one rides the line between a pale and an IPA. Very present, forest-y spicy nose, with a dank bitterness on the finish that is just restrained enough that this beer can still call itself a pale in my book.

But that wasn’t my only choice, and what I appreciate about this pub is the options that are available. Yes, the list tilts seasonally-right now, there are more lighter beers for example-but there are ciders, framboise, lagers, pales, and there is still a stout on tap for people who are seasonally unbound. They’ve done a nice curation and I dig it.

Another thing I dig is this report that says that the majority of Americans approve of the 10 billion dollars we spent on the James Webb telescope.

I know that things can feel really, really bad. But sitting out here, smelling the marijuana of someone smoking somewhere, a couple having a nice chat over my left shoulder, the sun going down on my right, and a good beer to enjoy, I am soothed to know this:

Americans, by and large, do not want fascism. Do not want authoritarianism.

They want to leave a better world for the next generation to inherit, they want the vulnerable to be protected-be they poor, Black, Brown, LGBTQ+, or disabled- they want a fair shake for people, houses for homeless, medicine for the sick, and generally, a future that offers hope instead of desolation.

They want cool space goggles.

That is a world worth working for.

Today’s second pint goes to support Dr. Caitlin Bernard.

Summer Series ’22 #1/Second Pint WWH

Last time I checked there was close to one million words in the English language. One million! As someone who really does appreciate the craft of writing, it floors me to think about it.

Ex Novo's The Most Interesting Lager In The World on a table outside

That means that for someone who’s willing to be diligent and desires to be precise, the word you want is out there.

Correct, right, just, proper; these words all mean and yet do not mean, the same thing.

It might be correct to follow the law, for example. But is it just?

It might be proper to wear a mask indoors, but is it right to go indoors?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and today specifically with the Most Interesting Lager In the World from Ex Novo, because for the first time in three years, I am blogging from a place that is not my porch.

I’m at the wonderful Workers Tap.

As someone who has had it better than most, the pandemic has still been difficult. But I chose to stay home because I knew it was important, it helped keep people safe, it was a good thing, and it set an example.

I realize that this is a small blog with small numbers of readers but every little bit counts. I know people who work in healthcare or have to work with the public at large, and I work alongside people who are vulnerable. It is important that I make myself visible, doing the things I can because I know that I’m seen.

But with that visibility is a responsibility, yes? To show up for people, to be better.

The bitch of it is: things aren’t getting better. And I am, like all of you, suffering for it. Despite wearing my mask indoors, and getting vaccinated, and doing the social distancing that I can do…things are rough. I’m a bit lonely.

You have to put on your own mask before you can assist others. If I’m not OK, I won’t set the kind of example I expect to see from myself.

So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to have my Monday pints at a place.

The rules are simple:

This series will only last as long as it is comfortable to have a beer outside.

I will always be drinking outside.

I will be up to date on my vaccinations, and will mask indoors as appropriate. Which right now is always.

We’ll call this the Summer Series. And sure, I’ll probably be back on the porch come October. If that’s the case, then I’ll write from there and do Summer Series ‘23 next year.

But I wanted to be clear about what I was doing, why I was doing It, and the standard I was going to hold myself to. Because while I am not going to behave as though the pandemic is over, I am also not going to behave as if my own mental health doesn’t matter.

So that’s the deal. Hope everyone understands.

This beer is pretty good, too. But we’ll talk about Worker’s Tap another time, ‘cause I like it here and will be back.

Today’s second pint is going to the Whole Women’s Health GoFundMe, so they can relocate services.

Front Porch Chats #114/Second Pint ALA

Tough As A Mother IPA from Single Hill brewing in glass on table outdoors

The Tough As A Mother IPA from Single Hill brewing leads with a burst of orange, like I’ve just peeled one. But despite this excellent first impression, the beer isn’t working for me. I’m not picking anything up in the middle and the finish is very fizzy with a pith like bitterness.

Still, proceeds went to the Pink Boots Society, so I can’t feel too bad about getting a can. And it’s a cold beer on a hot day-Summer has crashed into Portland with the force of a Hulk punch-and sometimes a cold beer is good, even when it’s bad.

This week has been a lot, I have to say. Any illusions I had about being governed by a majority are eradicated. Most of my friends see the writing on the wall very clearly: there are cruel people in power and they are coming for the protections of the LGBTQ+ community.

And those cruel bastards won’t stop there. Jewish friends: nervous. Black & Brown friends: nervous. Weirdos: nervous. Women: nervous and angry.

Actually nervous and angry probably groups damn near everyone I know.

I think the cruel want a war (a thing they do not understand the impact of) and I am deeply frightened that they’re going to get one. That’s what they’re telling us, and one thing that has been firmly established after 2016 it is that when someone tells you who they are, believe them.

It doesn’t have to be like this, of course. We shouldn’t have to talk about an Underground Railroad for healthcare for women. Christofascism is a word that, like billionaires, shouldn’t exist.

Here we are though. We take care of us. We have to: it is clear that the systems once designed to do so have failed.

None of that makes me happy, understand. I was hoping we’d be able to work on the next generation of problems, instead of our grandparent’s. I was hoping to be a writer, have beer, play games, kiss people who thought I was worth kissing.

I suppose those things can still happen, but the other things have to happen, too.

Because we deserve better.

Today’s second pint goes to the American Lung Association. A friend is doing a fundraiser for them, and I’m contributing to her goals.

Front Porch Chats #110/Second Pint RYP

Acid Drop lager  by Black Plague brewing in glass outside

With an Acid Drop from Black Plague brewing, I take my respite on a wet weekend day. It’s May, for heaven’s sake. Why is it still raining like this?

The Acid Drop is a light lager with lemon and it is really, really good. The lemon twist nose, the grainy finish; like the lager from Hammer & Stitch, this is exactly what I’m hoping for out of a beer like this. The citrus is present, but nowhere close to overwhelming and the grains on the finish are excellent at balancing this out.

Balancing things out is why I want to take money from rich people.

This is going to be a walk, so bear with me. Because the latest, repeated tragedy in Texas is why I want money taken from the wealthy.

See, right after the events, one Rep Paul Gosar used his platform as an authority and the megaphone given to him via Twitter to tell people that the person who had committed this act was a trans immigrant.

It wasn’t. By sheer force of 50 fucking years of data on these events this was going to be a lie and sure enough it 100% was. Also, Gosar is a soiled condom of a human being and that doesn’t help. If there is ever a shit situation you would like to make worse, clearly Gosar is your man.

But it was too late for her. So, in case you don’t want to read the article-perhaps your rage meter is already full this week- a young trans woman named Tracey, someone who had no local support and utterly no involvement in shooting children, was threatened by strangers because they heard from someone in authority that a trans person was involved.

The thing that makes me angriest about this situation is that there isn’t a drone to go by and kick this Rep in the junk. He’s clearly earned it.

But Gosar? He’s there because of money. Because people with money have decided to pay for the efforts that get him elected, instead of building drones to kick people like him in the junk.

This includes the NRA, who for some Cthulhu cursed reason, people have seemingly forgotten about their whole ‘we took money from Russian special interests hoping to destabilize America’, may they all eat Cthulhu’s asshole forever.

If these are the kinds of people that rich folks want in charge, well, then it follows that rich people aren’t good people. They shouldn’t be rich-because being rich the only reason they have any power. Tax the fuck out of ’em.

We’re better than this. And we deserve it.

The rain has kicked up pretty good again. It’s peaceful, in much the same way some people find the ocean to be calming.

I hope that peace can be found by Tracey. And no rest at all for the bastards.

None at all.

Today’s second pint goes to the Rainbow Youth Project.

Front Porch Chats#107/Second Pint NNAF

“The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones” Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

Tunnel Vision hazy IPA by Bearded Iris brewing in a glass outside on a table.

Been thinking a lot about that quote this week, and so it comes to mind when I sit to have today’s beer. In the glass is a Tunnel Vision from Bearded Iris brewing and once again, I am objecting to any IPA that doesn’t tell me it’s a hazy before I purchase it.

This isn’t bad-although the grapefruit scent hits hard from nearly two feet away-but the finish is pithy enough to almost be medicinal. I’ll drink it, but I’m not happy about it.

Not being happy about things is kinda the rule right now, ennit? It’s been a particularly rough week to own a uterus in America and that means it’s been a particularly rough week to be a person, too.

Because being reminded that your bodily autonomy is not in your hands and is not to be respected by the Powers that Be, that’s a pretty shitty situation to be in.

If women don’t have bodily autonomy, do they have any rights as a person at all?

And if they don’t have any rights, do I? I’m a person. The difference between me and any other human on this planet is so insignificant as to be negligible in the eyes even of the Almighty.

And apparently our rights come from him, right?

Excerpt they don’t. They’re in the hands of hypocrites and as I was saying last week, hypocrisy is merely how we know who the bastards are. They lied to us and everyone who said ‘hey they’re lying’ was hushed, while the small group of people who make the yay or nay decisions decided we weren’t worth fighting for-after all, THEIR rights weren’t up for grabs. No, apparently it’s just all of ours.

There’s the rub, aye. The haves vs the have nots. The have rights know they will be fine and the have not rights stuck hollering outside the halls, hoping someone will listen before someone gets hurt.

People are going to die as a result of Roe’s overturning, they are going to be mostly poor people or people in some kind of medical crisis-but even if they weren’t!- and they still need healthcare! Healthcare that they deserve to figure out for themselves. And they’re going to die for a long time after the five zealots on the Supreme Court have been laid to rest. Those jackals don’t have to live with the consequences of that decision; we do.

The evil that men do….

Today’s second pint goes to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Front Porch Chats #98/Second Pint Point of Pride

North Jetty's Keelhauled IIPA in a glass outside on table

Back in the day, I’m told that the punishment for crews on ships was keelhauling-that is, they’d tie a rope to the sailor on the back end of the boat, throw him off the front and his body would run under the ship.

I doubt many survived the experience, but it does sound like a hell of a punishment for bullies, right?

Fortunately, this Keelhaul IPA from North Jetty isn’t as harsh. It’s lacking in the nose, but there are some danker flavors in the body. The finish is a biter, that’s for sure. A punishment of its own sort, though…not of the severity that the old ships used to do.

Old time punishment comes to mind these days though. Never thought I’d see the days that Vladimir Putin, Gov. Abbot of Texas and Justice Thomas would have something in common but here we are.

Putin thinks he can get away with annexing a sovereign nation. Abbot thinks he can persecute trans people. And Thomas…Jesus I know Black people aren’t a monolith but I don’t think I have ever seen someone so dedicated to preserving and promoting a system that would absolutely kill them given half a chance.

Thing is, Putin has fought five wars in the past couple decades and won them all. Abbot doesn’t seem to face any real blowback for his ghoulish turn against Texans and children. Thomas is insulated from the fact that he’s directly associated with seditionists.

What the actual fuck, y’all.

Days like this are enough to get one to start drinking. Fortunately I’m ahead on that count.

But, they also remind me to pay attention. There’s more than enough to be upset about-the trick is to not let outrage subvert your intent, I suppose.

I wish courage to the people of Ukraine, good trouble to resisting people of Texas, and wisdom to the rest of us.

But fuck you, Clarence Thomas. You’re a traitor to the Union.

Today’s second pint goes to Point of Pride.

Front Porch Chats #94/Second Pint PRM

So, we’re getting four COVID tests….per household.

Baerlic NUGS! IPA in glass on table outside

~takes very, very long sip of Baerlic’s NUGS! IPA~

I swear to fuck, the only sin this country considers valid is poverty.

Which is pretty messed up, when you take in the larger picture, and notice that poverty is a policy choice that we’ve made.

I’m not talking about being poor-anyone can be bad with money and end up broke. That’s a temporary problem-or it should be.

I’m talking about systems that keep you from being able to access assistance if you need it, or that rich people have decided that you’ve gotten enough of, the skyrocketing cost of housing, the suppression of the minimum wage, the inability to tax wealthy people so things like healthcare and education programs are property funded.

And so on. Hell, even the systems that are available are so opaque to use that people go without that help! You know; the things that ensure you stay poor if you are, or horde wealth if you have it. It’s all just world fallacy bullshit.

But people are so into their myth that even when they have an experience that shows them how the deck can be stacked, they insist on holding to the beliefs that put them in a position of privilege. I get some of that; it’s good to be the king, right?

I just thought that one of the whole points of America was that we didn’t do…kings.

At least the beer is good-lighter mouthfeel and malt input makes for a spotlight of the hoppy bitterness, which is almost but not quite as bitter as my heart is toward the richest nation on earth.

Today’s second pint goes to the Portland Rescue Mission.

Front Porch Chats #92/Second Pint D&M

Wander brewing's Correspondent foreign export stout in glass on table, outside

Let’s talk about the problem with numbers. Specifically, experience numbers and conceptual numbers.

Don’t worry, I brought a beer. Wander Brewing’s Correspondent foreign export stout, to be specific.

Earlier this week someone I know reposted a thought that went: “No matter how long I live, I won’t get over the fact that during the pandemic, the majority of people were unwilling to help.”

And I took exception to that: I don’t believe that most people were or are unwilling to help out; instead I believe that a small group have been terrible and that group has been spotlit and had their voices amplified so things seemed terrible, and I said I as much.

Her reply was: “You clearly don’t work in food service.”

What can I say to that? It isn’t wrong, but that reply is all about insisting on their experience and how it is the Truth.

I want to be clear here.

If one person treats you badly, every day-whether it is a different person or not-then eventually, what can you say except that you are being bullied? If you cannot go a single day without being accosted then your brain is going to tell you a survival truth: that most people are terrible and won’t do the minimum to help.

Which, given the state of service workers, nurses, any customer service jobs there is only one conclusion: they aren’t wrong.

And you cannot argue with an experience number, especially a negative one. Human brains are wired for survival as such that negative experiences last longer. My attempt to reframe that experience was unsuccessful and part of the reason for that, is the conceptual number problem.

Because there’s a point where a number gets large enough that most people just cannot imagine it. For example, 245,000,000. Most of us have never seen 245 million of anything, much less had the personal experience of that number.

But that’s roughly the number of people in the USA who have been fully vaccinated.

Or, 63%.

In Multnomah County, where both my pal and I live, that number goes up to 77%. (Or roughly 630,000 people. Again: how does someone really grok a number that big?)

But both of those numbers represent a majority.

They are just incredibly difficult to experience.

That’d be the opposite of this beer, which is pushing hard on the roasted elements of a stout. The Correspondent is nearly ashy, it’s so roasted. There’s only a tiny bit of sweetness to keep it all together but I’d say this is a quality beverage. Drink ’em if you got ’em.

Now, I don’t know how to reconcile the experience number and the conceptual one. I do know that it’s within our power to make everyone’s experience with us better, and it is within our control to help each other out.

Today’s second pint goes to Dinner & a Movie.