This month marks another first Friday where I didn’t get my post for The Session written on the actual day—hopefully this won’t become a trend, but for now, let’s take a look at this month’s Session topic. It was hosted by Douglas of Baltimore Bistros & Beer, and he’s chosen a surely-provocative theme: Why do you drink?
There are plenty of people out there who wish that alcohol consumption ceased to take place and would be happy for prohibition to rear it’s ugly head once again. Others, while not looking to ban alcohol altogether, are quick to judge those of us who drink more than what they would consider a proper amount. As I get older, I’ve lost the urge to defend my life decisions, but there was a time when judgment about the liquids I chose to put in my mouth made me feel self-conscious.
And that’s where my idea for this month’s Session topic came from. It’s easy to find article after article on the internet telling us that alcohol is bad. As beer bloggers it’s safe to say we all disagree. Let’s take the opportunity as a group to tell people why we do drink and how it improves our life for the better. I know the default answer a lot of us fall back on is “it’s nice to sit back with a good beer after a stressful day of work”, and while that’s true, I’m looking for answers that aren’t so obvious to people who aren’t fans of our hobby. Beer is bigger than a liquid “chill pill” or we wouldn’t have gone about setting up a blog and dedicating so much of our time discussing it. So, what is it that compels you to drink and what would your life be missing if beer was no longer an option for you?
This seems particularly apropos as I’m currently neck deep in researching Prohibition for the book; doing a deep dive into the subject can definitely bring a new appreciation to questions like these. However, my answer to this particular question is probably a bit prosaic. Why do I drink? Pleasure.
Not the “pleasure” one derives from drinking to get drunk—there are far more efficient liquors than beer available for that—but the same kind of pleasure one gets from, say, eating gourmet meals. Why do you eat good food, when ordinarily, unremarkable canned foods will offer you the same nourishment? You do it for the experience and the pleasure of enjoying something that elevates the senses; you do it to enhance your understanding of what beer (or food, or whatever) can be.
And yes, sometimes you drink for the alcohol. And sometimes you shouldn’t have that second piece of cheesecake. But just as long as it’s not a habitual excess, well, then, enjoy responsibly.
Happy first Friday of March! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for the weekend of 7th, 8th and 9th. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.
Today is the first day of the Malt Ball in Portland, which pairs music with beers in a two-day extravaganza: “What happens when you put together the two best things in the world: delicious beer and rocking bands? You get the third annual Malt Ball, a weekend-long fest that celebrates the staggering abundance of terrific music in our city AND the finest craft breweries that the Portland area has to offer. Your pals at the Mercury have partnered with Widmer Brothers Brewing and Oregon Brewers Guild to bring you the best-sounding beer festival in town, or the best-tasting music fest — whichever way you want to look at it.” It’s taking place at the Wonder Ballroom on NE Russell, and costs $20 per day or $50 for the two days together.
Double Mountain Brewery (Hood River) is tapping their Carrie Ladd Steamship Porter today: “Today at 5pm we are officially tapping this year’s batch of CARRIE LADD STEAMSHIP PORTER in our taproom. Although this chocolatey/roasty steam porter will be available in the taproom, it won’t hit the market until later this month in both bottles and on draft.”
Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, 03/07/2014” »
Here is the beer news from around Oregon for Thursday, the 6th of March. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that updated as well.
Deschutes Brewery (Bend): Today is the release of their Reserve Series Mirror Mirror which last appeared in 2009. All day starting at 11 (when they opened) the Bend Pub and Portland Pub are celebrating: “Not only will you get to take home up to 6 bottles per person, but we’ll have some great specials going on all day. Order a snifter of this barley wine and get a small bite food pairing to accompany your beer. Order one of the food specials of the day and get a 4 oz sample of barley wine to pair with your tasty meal. Either way, it’s a win win (or Mirror Mirror) situation for all!”
Belmont Station (Portland) is hosting Corvallis’ Flat Tail Brewing today for a bottle tasting and meet the brewer from 5 to 8pm: “Flat Tail’s brewmaster Dave Marliave will be donning his cucumber suit (yes, he really owns one) as we release this year’s El Guapo Cucumber Lime Habanero beer, Humulus Nocta, a barrel-fermented sour ale fermented entirely with Brett. Lambicus, and a brand-new Seriously Low-Budget Double IPA in the bottle shop. We also will be pouring some tasty Flat Tail beers in the Biercafe, including the Humulus Nocta and Tailgater Kolsch.”
Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, 03/06/2014” »
Today is the release celebration for the first of Deschutes Brewery‘s 2014 Reserve Series beers, Mirror Mirror, which is taking place at both Pubs all day long. (Event pages here and here.) As a precursor to today’s celebrations, Deschutes hosted a media event last night at their “secret” barrel warehouse, pouring up samples of Mirror Mirror and two other beers along with homemade crackers, while brewer Ryan Schmiege and owner Gary Fish talked about the beer and answered questions.
In addition to a “sneak peek” tasting of the new Mirror Mirror, there were also tastes poured from Big Red, the first of the new Pub Exclusive series of bottled beers (released on New Year’s Eve), and a sample direct-from-the-barrel of “Not the Stoic,” a Belgian-style strong dark ale in the Reserve Series being release in late April. And at the end of the event, everyone got to take home a bottle of Mirror Mirror.
This year’s vintage—the first in five years, the last version of Mirror Mirror appearing in 2009, the year many were also inadvertently infected with Brett—is 11.2% abv and 53 IBUs, and was 50% aged in wine barrels (Oregon Pinot Noir, Temperanillo, and Malbec) for 10 months. Only 956 barrels were brewed total. It’s a good beer, particularly if you like Barleywines (and I do!); the wine notes come through plummy on the nose. It’s certainly drinkable now, but will age very well if you want to put some away (and you should).
One other bit of news—this year’s Reserve Series Black Butte XXVI is brewed with cocoa nibs on the conditioning side (in past years they added the nibs during the boil) as well as Oregon cranberries.
Overall, an enjoyable and well-presented media event. I snapped a few pictures for you to enjoy:
Here is a late-edition Oregon beer news for Wednesday, March 5. I will be updating this post very occasionally throughout the rest of the afternoon, so if you have any news to share please contact me to get it updated.
The Bier Stein (Eugene) has Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider in the house today preaching the ways of cider from 6 to 8pm: “The small Portland cidery produces an array of distinctive apple concoctions. In one corner are the classics; single-varietals such as Newtown Pippin. In the other are his experiments; Hallelujah Hopricot (with hops and apricot, fermented with an ale yeast), Sacrilege Sour Cherry (fermented with 100% lactobacillus), and more. We will have two of his ciders on tap: Hallalujah Hopricot & Newtown Pippin.”
Sky High Brewing (Corvallis) has the release party for their Monk’s Mana Belgian Honey Tripel going on today from 4 to 6pm: “We got shwag to raffle away! Posters, Growlers, T-Shirts and Sky High Brewing Logo Glasses. Hoppy Hour Pricing too! Come join the party! Celebrating Trappist Monks, our Belgian Honey Tripel is brewed with 100% Belgian malts, Corvallis wildflower honey and Crosby Farm hops. We’ve created a brew of intense lushness, with wildflower bouquet and spicy, funky, Belgian character. With a honey trip of a finish, you’re drinking Mana from Heaven.”
Continue reading “Oregon Beer News, 03/05/2014” »