Tag Archives: second pint project

Round Two #3\Second Pint Yellowhammer

Block 15 Flanders Red AleI picked the Block 15 Flanders Red ale because I know Block 15 mostly for IPAs. They do some awesome IPAs, but I love this style and am hoping to see some skill on display!

I can feel the tartness in my nose when I breathe it in. Unripe strawberries or really tart raspberries come to mind. The first sip resembles this, too; the inside of my mouth puckers at the first couple sips of ale.

So I let it sit a little. Very slowly, I start to get a ghost of chocolate in the middle, and that goes a long way for giving this beer some dimension.

By my second glass, I’ve gotten used to this and the scents are not nearly as intense in the nose, anymore. I can even pick up some sweeter qualities in the scent. But the first sips are still muting the sweater elements so I hold off on drinking this quickly.

With the familiarity under my belt, I start to pick up something unusual in the scent, too; almost phenolic, medical in it’s sharpness. I clear my palate and smell again; it’s incredibly faint now, but it is there. It’s not enough to throw me off the beer, but it’s an unwelcome discovery.

Still, while the tartness is within tolerance ranges for me, I just prefer my Flanders red ales to be a little sweeter than this.

Today’s second pint goes to the Yellowhammer fund.

Round Two #1\Second Pint PP

Time for a new theme!

I’ve been thinking (and writing) quite a bit, lately about how flighty the craft beer scene can be. I’m guilty of it, myself; always looking to try a new beer instead of appreciating something I have. To that end, I thought a good way to counteract this would be to head out and have the same drink twice. This way, I compel myself to take a deeper dive on the drink and evaluate it.

Plus, most places in Portland offer different sized pours now. That means I can maintain an even keel, while still enjoying a broader experience.

Pfriem Brut IPASo with that, let’s kick it all off with Pfriem’s Brut IPA.

The first glass is like a lot of these Brut IPAs; champagne is nearest relative, not IPAs. A dry finish, with not much in the nose for me to hook on to. Part of that has to do with the location: I love the Slingshot Lounge, but they pour their beers for people who want beer, not for people who want to enjoy the subtle qualities of their beer.

All the more reason to have a second one! It is on the second pint that the hops start to make their presence known, and some genuine bitterness makes its way through the dryer, fruit qualities of this ale. I have a feeling I will see a lot more Brut IPAs as summer comes on, as they are light on the palate and the overall bitterness impression is lower, so I could probably drink a few. The ABV on this is just under 6%, which means it’s definitely got some repeat business qualities.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Whatever You Say 62/Second Pint ACLU

“Talk to me, what’re ya havin’?” The bartender has caught up to me before I’ve had a chance to even make eye contact with anyone else. I’m a little stuck for words, a rarity for me but I feel on the spot.

Sensing my hesitation, the bartender asks “what do you like?” He wants to recommend something, which is awesome, usually. Internally I’m having a slight moment of panic; I’m not ready to answer questions! And now the patrons on the rail have noticed that I’m doing a thing-which is nothing.

Lagunita's Waldo IPA“Tell ya what,” I finally say,  turning to a man on my right, “what’re you having?”

“Waldo’s,” he says.

“I’ll have that,” I tell the bartender. Who smiles and replies,

“You do know that he lost his sense of taste and smell during the war?”

“Hey,” I say, “someone’s got to be the adventure monkey, and it might as well be me.”

Unfortunately, there’s no place on the rail for me to sit, so I find a nearby spot to sit down.

Waldo’s Special Ale is an IPA from Lagunitas. Looking at the board, it becomes clear that this is a double IPA, with an ABV off 11.7%. Whoa, right?

But….it isn’t good, either. There’s a touch of caramel in the nose, but no hops and the middle of the beer is cloyingly sweet. This goes down more like malt liquor than an IPA and I’m not sure if they didn’t let this beer finish out, or if the yeast just tuckered out well before it’s time, but something is making this beverage less than palatable to me.

Sometimes you’re the adventure and sometimes you’re the monkey, I guess.

Today’s second pint goes to the ACLU.

Whatever You Say 61/Second Pint Mult Co Pets

The woman blocking me is having trouble with the door to Baileys-you pull on the handle on the left, you don’t push the center-but what confirms her state of mind, for me, is when she wobbles through the door and stops not two steps in to do something on her phone.

Oblivious and unsteady? Clearly not sober.

But whatever, right? I have to use the restroom and then find a seat at the bar…which just happens to be next to the woman who was in my way moments ago.

What the hell; in for a penny, in for a pound. So I ask what she’s drinking.

“OI!” she shouts at her friends. “What is this?”

Nobody knows.

“I like IPAs,” she tells me, “the more bitter, the better. This is one.”

Hmmm…OK, there’s only so many IPAs on the board and I can tell that hazy IPAs are pretty much out.

As I start to unpack my gear I explain why I spoke to her and as I’m about to settle in and look at the board she says, “Are you gonna actually have a conversation with me, or are you just gonna-” and she makes a wave off motion with her hand.

I’m gonna have a conversation with you. It’s the first time someone has wanted to talk to me while doing this series in a long time!

Her name is Katie, and she’s visiting Portland from Sacramento to go to the Timbers game. “Because I love the Army,” she says referring to the rabid fanbase Portland has for our soccer team.

“But people here are a little arrogant,” she complains, “I’m fun! I have blue hair and tattoos! I should fit in here!”

I’ve had friends from outside the PWN say similar things-that we are a bit standoffish here and it makes it hard to connect, if you don’t know how to read the cultural landscape.

“Plus, I love animals. I’m an animal surgeon at UC Davis, which is like, the top place in the country. I save lives,” she tells me.

“But I don’t like strip clubs. It’s the only thing here that I am super uncomfortable with.”

Well, they aren’t for everyone but-

“You don’t get it, because you don’t have a vagina,” she says.

That…is true but-

“I just don’t want to be objectified.”

Georgetown Rocketman IPASure.

Katie slumps down a bit, halfheartedly waves at her friends. “We got into this whole thing on the way here, because someone wanted to go to a strip club and I just didn’t.”

Perfectly, OK, I say, there’s lots to do and no reason to engage in something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

“Right?! Plus, this place is awesome. It’s one of my favorite places to come in Portland. The beer is good and look at all the plants!”

It’s my favorite place to come, too.

I never did figure out what beer Katie had. But I ordered Georgetown’s Rockeman IPA, which was pleasantly citrus and almost certainly too sweet for Katie’s tastes. But for me, it did just fine.

Today’s second pint goes to the Multnomah County Animal Services center.

Whatever You Say 60/Second Pint BfP

“This isn’t,” a man with close cropped gray hair tells me, waving his hand at his drink, “it’s not your usual IPA,” he says of Thirsty Monk’s BBR IPA. He’s got a faintly Slavic accent but I don’t know nearly enough to place it and it’s gauche to ask. So I order the ale and thank him.

BBR IPASoon after, a woman enters the pub, hugs him and they acquit themselves to a nearby table.

The bartender fills me in; he tells me that the BBR IPA is a collaboration between them and Crooked Stave brewing. A beer that started off as a Brut IPA was remixed with Crooked Stave’s house yeast, giving the nose a special kind of tart, and then rose petals and hibiscus added in, he informs me. It’s light, easy to drink, and not even close to what I think of when I think of an IPA.

But I would absolutely recommend it. The finish is dry in the way that white wine is, which almost , but not completely, covers the bitterness of the hops.

He then asks me about how I shaped my hat, which means I get to launch into the story of how I picked out and made my hat (a gray fedora made my Stetson and it’s awesome) work.

There are, my friends, two types of hats: hats that men buy to coordinate with particular outfits they wear, and hats that men relentlessly wear, regardless of the outfit they have on, until it becomes startling to see the person without the hat, it just is now a part of his features.

Neither is incorrect, but I have chosen the latter and my hat, with it’s warped brim and perpetually rising hatband, is definitely part of the latter crowd.

Today’s second pint goes to Books for Prisoners.

Whatever You Say 59/Second Pint OSPRIG

I sauntered in to Bailey’s at exactly the right time; empty tables exist and there is precisely one spot on the rail of the bar for me to take, so I do. The bloke next to me has two glasses in front of him, both filled with dark liquid. The one he’s drinking: Perennial’s Sump- Ethiopian Roba, an imperial stout with Ethiopian Roba coffee.

Sump's Perennial imperial stoutThis is some excellent stuff. Coffee is the overriding flavor, of course, but there’s stripe of caramel that slithers over my tongue and adds another layer to the beer. The nose has some heavy coffee notes; it isn’t reinventing the wheel which is OK. But it’s dangerously smooth, and just a little sweet with a sparkle of effervesce on the finish.

It’s also a 10% beer, so danger Will Robinson. This is one of those ales where it would be easy to go over my limit.

I compliment the gent on his choice. We agree this is damn good and he turns to his friend, ‘you had this?’

His friend is drinking a cloudy, yellow ale and doesn’t seem to be a fan of the stouts. He takes a sip and shakes his head in a non-committal way.

“This is the Perennial, right?” The friend says with a tone that says he knows the gent.


It’s a really nice interaction and one that makes me miss my friends, the ones I don’t get to see often, or the ones out of town. Things are always better when you have good people around.

Today’s second pint goes to OSPRIG.


Whatever You Say 58/Second Pint SotR

Ruse/Culmination hazy ipaThe bartender wishes me a happy birthday when I come in and it’s always nice when someone remembers my birthday. He asks me if anyone is going to join me tonight and I reply: I don’t know. I put the word out. If people come, they come, if they don’t, I’ll be OK. I have been really lucky today already; lots of people have reminded me they love me and I got to have lunch with my Mom.

‘The world will keep on spinning,’ he says, impressed by my attitude.

Yup. Everything will work out, and nobody will get hurt. At least as far as I can make it so, I tell him.

‘That’s all you can do.’

All I can ask for. Well, that and this beer, which I purchase on the bartender’s recommendation. It’s a hazy IPA collaboration from Ruse/Culmination titled Creative Conundrum. Not too heavy on the grapefruit, certainly not on the finish, but a genuinely pleasant, drinkable beer. For a hazy, it is restrained in a good way and I’m thankful for that. Makes for a far better experience than the juicebox/grapefruit pith combinations I’ve had way, way too many of.

Today’s second pint goes to the Sisters of the Road.