Diary of a (still happening) Mad Year (+)

When historians start treading the waters of 2020-2021, trying to make sense of the Coronavirus and its impact will be key. And maybe with distance, we will be able to see the full forest of trees.

But now, we are in the weird pre-post pandemic time and it behooves us to look back at this year+ even though it is easier to read about happier things.

All that to say that you can now buy the Coronavirus Diaries compiled by Portland beer writer Jeff Alworth, where he spoke with beer people in the thick of the drama. It is honestly very dramatic.

Weinhard RIP

Weinhard has been given the ax. You can read about it HERE.

These regional brands really suffered in the transition to where we are now which is a few big conglomerates and a ton of smaller breweries underneath. The Weinhard’s of the world were stuck in a nether realm of too small and uncool to the SABInBev’s of the world while also not being small and nimble or cool to the craft sector. So they got bounced around like an NBA player during free agency.

I wish people (like myself too) could have one more bottle of the beer from its heyday before it left.

Featured Review – (3) from Ruse Brewing

Thanks to City Beer Store of San Francisco, I snared a couple beers from Ruse Brewing in Portland.

Static Equation – pours a hazy yellow color.  label claims apricot, grapefruit and dankness from the Citra-Simcoe-Mosaic hop trio.  I get a dank Meyer lemon taste with a pillowy feel to it.  Bit of a hazy burn at the back of the palate.

Ghost Coast – clear and yellow in color.  has a good strong lemony bitterness.  lot of malt chewiness here as well. gettin a bit of grassy character as well.

Thought Frequency with Great Notion – lightly hazed yellow color. quite spicy and herbal driven.  light in texture. pine aroma to me.  a bit of a toasted malt character here that is different from most hazies and not what I expected from a Great Notion collab.

New in Portland

Being an expat Portlander and not being able to return home to try Oregon beers has been trying to say the least and the New School Beer + Cider blog is not helping by posting a rundown of new breweries coming to the state. I strongly encourage you to check out the full list but below are the breweries (and contract brewery) that struck me as places to visit.

A brewery, in a formerly church with a gorgeous bar like that. What a great drinking environment.

A new Japanese and food based brewery is a really nice addition to the beer scene.

Contract brewing has always needed more facilities and more people focused on smaller breweries. Back Forty ticks both of those boxes and does distilling too.

That is one wicked cool logo and the fact that they will focus on the wild side of beer is even cooler.

Yet Another Orange Tinted Problem

When I moved to Los Angeles from Portland, (to be more precise Milwaukie to Glendale) I would get a call from my Mom if news reached the NW of earthquakes or fires. Most of the time, the natural disasters associated with L.A. were far from my doorstep. The headline she saw read Los Angeles so she naturally worried.

I see this scenario playing out but in reverse as the federal thugs unleashed by what we all recognize as the worst President ever (by a country mile) has whipped up another problem as if we needed another one right now. Now I am looking at Portland when truly the problem is with one small section.

Portland is not a war zone. It has been a democracy zone. And if left alone, the peaceful protests would have continued downtown and if you lived just south in Milwaukie would not have been any sort of problem. It would at most mean a detour around a closed street or two.

But the Orange one wanted to score points. Either he thought it would be a quick sweep and protests done or it would be a standoff showcasing the strength of Trump. Neither is in the cards. It has only reinvigorated the protests bringing out Moms and Vets. With the not unexpected results of a veteran getting his hand busted up by the thuggish federal police officers “walking on him”.

His base can willfully ignore a lot of shit but a veteran (a white male one) getting maimed and mothers being tear gassed (more mostly white ones) are images that will peel off voters who will most likely just not vote causing a drag on downstream races. And considering he lost the lost election, the Orange one can’t afford losing any group of voters.

Yes, this is a beer blog but we all (fans, brewers, employees) are living in a diminished world due to the actions of someone who gets mashed potatoes in his hair at family gatherings because he is such a little brat.

And I would argue further, that Portland being a major light in the beer world means that beer people should be caring about this issue. This could cause less tourist visits and that could lead to breweries going under.

So, please keep talking about it. The longer it stays news, the sooner we can get a competent person in charge and that leads to us getting better Covid care at least and maybe bring changes that will allow beer to flow from taps freely.

Cold Kush

Last time that Wayfinder dropped some of their fine beer in L.A., I had their Relapse Cold IPA. And now I can explain what that means to them, it is a hybrid India Pale Lager / Malt Liquor. And now they have teamed with the fan favorite Great Notion on a variant of that variant, named Cold Kush. A hazy with Citra and Strata hops primarily with Galaxy and Cashmere backing up. This beer also has rice and flaked wheat too.  And since L.A. also gets Great Notion on occasion, maybe this beer will show up on shelves. 

111

Yup, Gigantic Brewing of Portland is up to art piece 111…

Brad Delay added the pizazz to the new Hazy IPA, Smackdab with a fun assortment of cartoon characters that had a sticker / tattoo look to it.