the beer blog novice.

13 Nov

So here’s my first post on this new, little adventure of ours. Like every other pseudo-intellectual beer lover in this town, we figure everyone wants to know what we think about everything beer…or maybe we just want to feed our already healthy egos a little more in the coming months. Like the title says, I never thought I would blog. I detest the word. I detest those who brag of it. I laugh at the image it conjures when I think about it. Yet here I am.

Talked into it by my own brazen desire to write something down and a co-worker who wants the world to know how much she likes Stouts and Porters. Who knows if we have the stamina to make it last? What I do know is that I am going to be drinking really good (and sometimes really awful) beer in the coming decades. Having a place to store all that experience is probably going to help me remember how it all tasted later. You know…when I am old and sitting in my adult diapers in the nursing home. Yeah. That’s when it will be handy. So prepare for a rambling, incoherent, thoughtless couple of posts…at some point I figure I’ll get it down.

Having come from a bit of a beer wasteland in New Mexico, my first four years in Portland have really been an eye-opener. I mean, there are brewpubs in New Mexico (reviews to come) but the beer really is different. The ingredients are the same, sure, but when you can get hops within less than an hour of a location and local breweries have their own grain fields…well…it’s going to change the way the beer tastes, right? Of course, hops are king in the Northwest. And for a person without much experience in hop dominance it was all too much when I got here. “What the hell is the brewer trying to prove?” was usually my first reaction. That was often followed up by “I am not going to be able to taste anything for a week”. It’s taken me some time, but I have found my appreciation for the delicate little flower that is so important to most of us here. I am sure I’ll wax poetic on the hop during the next harvest. Be on the lookout for that embarrassing post next year.

Not knowing much about beer before I came here, I also wasn’t really ready for the overwhelming amount of beer available locally. I mean, the choices are a bit much to the novice, aren’t they? My brother comes to visit occasionally, and it’s just too much for him sometimes. I still can’t keep up. And you know what? I am not going to try. I am not that guy. I just can’t devote all my time and energy to beer. I sometimes want to be like those guys I see at the Horse Brass on Wednesday nights. You know…the ones who talk about the latest nano-brewed, civit pooped, dry-hopped, blended, barrel-aged nonsense. They go on and on and on about beer. They are clearly knowledgeable and invested in beer. But the reality is that I don’t have the ability to do that.

So what you will see from me is the occasional review of a homebrew I have made, reviews of brewpubs in the city and beyond, and possibly some full-on tastings at one of our houses. Most importantly though, will be my focus on what to eat with the beer I am tasting. An overlooked aspect of beer is its ability to be paired nicely with food. And since food is my real passion, I will always throw a recommendation down. Probably one I have even tested prior to. Oh yeah…there might even be the occasional rant about something that pisses me off. Not necessarily related to beer, but it’ll probably have some loose connection (I stress the word loose, because I can rant with the best of them about anything).

So as I crank out this first little ditty, I am drinking a Bock that Michael and I brewed on his birthday this past summer. The beer poured a nice amber/orange color with a fantastic white head that quickly dissipated (not sure why…is that a bad thing?). The malt aroma is shared with apricot and pear notes and the beer has an initial sweet taste with a bit of spiciness at the back end. The hops are there, but they are only a small contributor to the flavor. Brewed with a Kolsch yeast, the beer finishes as dry as you would expect it to. Those little yeasties did a nice job!

Food Pairing: This would be a nice beer to eat with a buttery, herb roasted chicken and brussel sprouts. Think hearty. Think buttery chicken meat. Think herbs. Think caramelized brussels. Think crispy chicken skin. This beer will cut through the richness, yet accentuate all of those types of flavors. I think I now know what’s for dinner.

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One Response to “the beer blog novice.”

  1. Miranda November 13, 2011 at 4:54 PM #

    the head dissipated quickly on both the Barleywine’s we tasted last night. so, i’m going on a limb and saying it isn’t a bad thing…at least not always. so excited the bock turned out well, and that I just so happen to be having roast chicken with those yummy potatoes (that absorb all the chicken fat) tonight for dinner. so excited. now we are going to pop the cap off a couple of those Bocks as well.

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