Firestone Walker’s XVI Anniversary Ale

2 May

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For my 39th birthday, almost one year ago, I received a 22 of  Firestone Walker’s 16th anniversary ale.  As part of my mission to drink the beer that is now stored in the “food” fridge, I selected this one.  I think I should have read the bottle before cracking the cap, as this big boy clocks in at 13% ABV.  Not really a school night beer.  Who I am kidding, it is going to be summer-like outside and I am going to spend most of the day wishing I wasn’t inside. So being a bit slow in the morning will matter very little. Continue reading


29 Apr
the view of Olympic Park from my hotel room

the view of Olympic Park from my hotel room

The South is a mysterious place to many in this country.  If you’ve never spent any time there, you might picture Plantation homes, humidity on a scale unimaginable, and glasses of sweet tea being consumed on a large wrap-around porch.  All of those are things you find down south, but there is so much more than that going on. I’ve been in Atlanta for the last several days at a professional conference, and it’s been great. Atlanta is an old southern city, known for its history and friendly charm.  Ive been here several times in my life and am always struck by the livability of the place.  Considerably larger that Portland, most would assume that it’s all traffic and concrete. The truth is that the city has done a fantastic job, the last couple of years, of focusing on amenities that soften the edges of the large metropolis that it is.  With all of that has come renewed investment in the city and a burgeoning food and beer scene.

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Bust A Bucket

25 Apr


I almost exclusively write posts from the comfort of my home, where I have time to think about the beer and write. Or I am visiting a brewery with the purpose of reviewing their brews. Most nights when I am out, I am out. I drink to drink and enjoy and that’s it. But here I am waiting for the Blazers game to start…(we interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to say, oh my god! Did you see those first two games against the Rockets? Lamarcus Aldridge is a beast! I mean, I’ve had a crush on him for years, but seriously, those back-to-back 40+ games are just ridiculous. And talk about excitement. Blazer mania is in full force. Rip City baby).… I am at Tin Bucket with a Korean Pork Belly and Kimchi sandwich from Lardo in one hand and a Crux Banished Doublecross in the other and it’s like I died and went to heaven.

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just another weekday

24 Apr
foamy but tasty

foamy but tasty

A co-worker mentioned that he needed to “pick up some more de Garde” on his way home tonight.  That was all the push I needed to open this beer up.  Been wanting to drink their beers for some time, just haven’t gotten around to grabbing this out of the back of the beer fridge.  Their focus is spontaneous fermentations that are inspired by European traditions, and they’re located in Tillamook, OR.  Just awesome.  So glad I felt inspired.  This particular beer is the Spears Wild Farmhouse Pale aged in oak gin barrels.  As you can see from the pictures, this bottle was well-carbonated.  It would seem to be bottle conditioned, based on the sediment layer on the bottom.  Right after pouring, the bottle started spitting up foam.  Not sure what got it a tad over carbonated, but they might want to dial that back a bit, if possible.  Didn’t make for a great first pour.  The rest of the beer, though?  You pick up a lot of oak in the nose, with a whiff of juniper and spices.  The beer starts off dry, with subtle hop notes that give way to an even subtler malt flavor that has hints of apricot and marmalade.  As you swallow the beer sweeps aside everything with its dryness and some of that woody barrel flavor. At 5%, its not going to knock you out.  The oak and gin notes are subtle, unlike a lot beer that comes from whiskey/bourbon barrels.  I’ve noticed this about beer aged in gin barrels.  Lighter and more drinkable in quantity.  This is good enough to drink in quantity, believe me.

It would seem that I too need to pick up some more de Garde.  Probably need to get out to Tillamook and drink at the brewery as well.  Anybody been out there or had any of their other offerings in Portland?  I got this one at the Tin Bucket.  I know Bridgetown Beerhouse carries some of their stuff.  Where else?  Give me the details in comments.

feeling salty

17 Apr

photo 1There are a few things in life that are good in just about any form. Coffee and chocolate are two that I can think of…a cup of coffee, coffee candy, coffee ice cream, coffee beer…you get the picture. One of my other loves is salted caramel. The salted caramel macaroons from Pix, salted caramel candy bars, salted caramel ice cream…in fact, I just finished a bag of chocolate covered salted caramel eggs. So when Michael saw Breakside Brewery’s Salted Caramel Stout he immediately thought of me and brought it home. Especially since it was brewed in collaboration with Salt n Straw, who just so happens to make my favorite salted caramel ice cream: sea salt with caramel ribbon. Continue reading

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