Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Return to The Tundra

I finally understand what all my non-Upper Midwest residing friends and family have been trying to convey for 30+ years. After moving to Portland a mere six months ago, my return to the tundra convinced me that the people who live there are crazy. Certifiably crazy.

When we left in June Minnesota was nearly as green and lush as Portland. When I returned there was snow on the ground and temps were in the 20’s. For the first time I was seeing the stark contrast that visitors had been seeing instead of the gradual change in landscape and climate I was familiar with. That was only the start as Mother Nature let loose, dropping 1 ½ feet of snow on the metro and holding Sunday and Monday’s high temps in the negative single digits. Reminding myself not to let the weather get in the way, I mostly kept to my preset plans to visit my favorite watering holes.

Before things got nasty I budged my way in on the Friday night Surly tour. Starting with a warm welcome by Omar, followed by my fill of Coffee Bender, and an evening with fellow volunteers, it made for a great night. The cherry on top was through the generosity of Keith and Omar, I’d be able to take some of that Surly goodness back to Portland.

Saturday Kat and Scott got into the spirit of things with me and agreed to get the Suburu out to make our way to pint club at Town Hall. Yes, there were multiple warnings that if one didn’t have to go anywhere it would be better to stay put. We cast those warnings aside, planned a non-highway, most-likely-to-be-plowed route, and hit the road. The longer than usual drive was amusing to say the least and the reward of being back at Town Hall was worth the hassle the snow provided. Sitting at “our” table, drinking tasty pints brought by one of my favorite servers, and watching the entertainment provided by drivers, skiers, and cyclists, made me pine for this now lost part of my weekly routine.

Sunday the snow had stopped, the cold had descended, and sun shown brightly on the snow. We bundled up and made an easier drive to Great Waters for pint club. Although many friends were digging out once again after the winds had erased their efforts, I was thrilled with the ones that were able to come out and share some beer with me.

You might now be wondering where more details about the beer I drank are at. They aren’t here. The beer was great and I thoroughly enjoyed every pint, but it’s my “beer friends”, my wonderful friends that I miss most. Thank you to everyone! You made braving the snow and cold more than worth it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Ever since coming out to Portland and talking to beer geek brethren, we’ve heard that the Holiday Ale Festival was the best fest out here. Sounding somewhat similar to the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Winterfest in that the majority of beers would be more wintery in flavor and stronger in ABV, we were looking forward to partaking.

I’ll spare you my event planner and been-to-plenty-of-beer-fests critique of HAF. If you truly want to hear how it stacks up to Winterfest, just let me know. I’d be happy to rattle on for quite a while with all the nitty gritty. Instead, I’ll fast forward to what I know you want to hear.

Undoubtedly, everyone always wants to know what your favorite beer of a festival was. Sometimes it’s harder than others to pin it down to just one. Not this year. I can firmly say my favorite beer was Breakside Brewing’s Belge d’Hiver.

Their description of this Belgian Strong Ale:
Brewed using Belgian Pils malt, wit yeast, and an absurd amount of Continental hops, this light colored brew defies easy style categories and stakes out new territory in the brewing world. It’s finished with a touch of secret holiday spices for additional complexity.

Those of you that have spent any time drinking with me should know that with “Belgian Pils malt” and “wit yeast” should send me running the other way. Generally it probably would have but thanks to Fate making things happen for a reason, we got to chatting with some folks in an isolated area of the festival where I’d already tried the rest of the beers I wanted to. This choice was more one of default than anything else.

Granted, when I first put the glass (I use this term liberally as they only offer plastic tasting mugs) to my nose all I could think was that the beer smelled like piss. And not in that good hay and manure or B.O. way. Good thing I soldiered on because upon tasting it I was hooked! In the end I probably had about a full pint of it and had they had it when we returned the next day (it's a five day fest), I would have had more.

A strong runner up, and probably the beer that topped the fest for Mag, was Buckbean Brewing’s Very Noddy Lager. And finally, the beer that I’d want to sip in front of a fire on a quiet winter’s night would be Oskar Blues’ 2008 Ten Fiddy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

$3 (or less) Pints Any Day of the Week

It’s no surprise that we’re surrounded by great beer out here in Portland. And due to their less restrictive laws (compared to Minnesota), if you want a particular beer, we’ll go with Laurelwood Free Range Red as an example, you have more options than just going to one of the Laurelwood locations. Not only can you find bottles of it at many stores, but you can find it on tap at many other local establishments.

Beyond good beer, there are some darn good prices to be found as well. First of all, since there’s no sales tax here, the price listed is the price. Not only easier on the wallet, but super easy when figuring the tab. Secondly, if you look around you can find some rock bottom prices on really good beer. If you’re coming out this way and are looking for some cheap drinking, or just want to torture yourself if you’re not, check this out.

Monday-Friday 3-6pm:
$2.50 taps at Bread & Ink Café
$3 pints at Alameda

$2.50 pints of Lompoc beers all day at Oaks Bottom
$2 pints & $6 pitchers at Fire on the Mountain (6-10pm)

$2 pints at The Eastburn (4pm-close)
$2.50 pints of Lompoc beers all day at Hedge House

$3 pints at Coalition (one beer selected each week)

$6 pitchers in Rock Bottom’s Pool Room (11am-4pm)

$10 pitchers at Coalition all day with an OLCC card
$3 pints of local beers at Hawthorne Hophouse all day

This is only a partial listing; I’m sure there are many more great deals around town that I’ve yet to discover. And although it doesn’t make up for missing out on the free hour of beers every Saturday at Town Hall or the four hours of $1 beers at Great Waters every Sunday, it certainly helps soothe the sting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More Than Meets The Eye

Last night we went to the recently opened (two weeks as of Friday) Hawthorne Hophouse and thinking back about it this morning I didn’t think there was really anything to talk about. Overall, my thought was “meh” but when Mag and I were talking about it I realized our visit deserved more thought than just a quick morning-after thumbs up/thumbs down review.

Being newly opened there hasn’t been a ton of reviews but one of the comments I had heard repeatedly was that some people weren’t pleased about the beer pricing. Basically, the thought is that their beer is pricier than it should be. Having this in mind I made sure to take a look at the beer menu closely and I can’t disagree. That being said, the first two pints I had were less than $4 each (one from Natian, one from Alameda). In my mind the biggest point of contention is that there were some beers served in 10 oz that other places serve in pints and although I didn’t whip out the calculator to verify, it did seem that the pricing was a bit steep.

Looking past price and on to the 20 or so beers on the menu I remember my first thought was that nothing really caught my eye, whereas generally I see something that I just can’t wait to try. However, they had a solid line up with the majority being local beers. More importantly I realized (this morning) that if we had gone to another establishment and they had the same beers, plus some that jumped off the menu at me I probably would not have ordered what I did last night. And that would have been an unfortunate thing indeed because the stout, porter, and IPA (from Laurelwood) were all excellent beers.

Finally, as is becoming fairly commonplace in our experience, the service was subpar. It appears that we may have caught the staff on a shift change but that’s really not much of an excuse, especially considering that they were not that busy. In the future I would probably seek a seat at the bar in hopes of more attentive service.

My verdict: I wouldn’t have reservations about going back but unless someone else suggested it, it might be a while before I do so. They have some interesting looking food items on the menu that I’d like to try and it is relatively close to our house however poor service memories are long lasting and with the small size of the Hophouse I could see it being difficult to find a seat on a more popular night. Any guesses on how long it'll take me to make it back?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In the last week I have stumbled upon replacements for not one, but TWO of my favorite Surly brews that I’ve been missing dearly.

The first was Green Flash West Coast IPA at The Beermongers.  This great place only has four or five beers on tap at a time, but they are always quality ones and like usual, this evening I was having a hard time deciding which one…first.  Having been pleased with the Green Flash beers I’ve had in the past, and not one to shy away from an IPA, that one got the nod.  However, it was with Mag’s assistance that I realized that both the taste and aroma were strikingly similar to Surly Furious.  Hazzaah!

Fast forward a week when I decide to visit The Eastburn for their can’t-be-beat Tuesday deal: $2 pints all day.  After a too-malty-for-me IPA at their main bar, I headed down the steps to their second bar, which carries a completely different set of beers.  Once again I gave into my IPA infatuation, going for Bear Republic’s Fresh Hop IPA.  The first sip tickled my brain, urging me to take another sip and another whiff.  Low and behold, this IPA had the same odd but loveable tea characteristics I firmly associate with Surly Bitter Brewer.  Score!

For all the wonderful beers I’ve found out here, I nearly cried with joy in finding these Surly substitutions.  Like Bitter Brewer, the fresh hop is likely in waning supply but I’m hoping I’ll be able to find Green Flash IPA on a more consistent basis to feed my Furious cravings.  Now if I could only find a Coffee Bender substitution…that’s probably dreaming a little too much, huh?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Jaunt to the Headquarters of Sours

You’ve heard about my newest love, sours.  Last night we checked out the newly opened headquarters of sours in Portland, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House.
To whoever was responsible for picking this location, you get a big thanks from me!  Not only is it relatively close to where we live, it’s also just across Belmont from the Green Dragon and a few blocks north of the Lucky Lab on Hawthorne. 

Of the 17 beers on tap, 13 were sours so the choice of what to order first wasn’t an easy one and when our waitress came by I panicked, ordering the apricot.  As I waited for it to arrive, I thought back to our trip out to the Raccoon Lodge with the McG’s and was pretty sure I’d had it before.  As it turned out, our waitress was overwhelmed and Mag ended up going up to the bar to place our order so I had a chance to rectify that, ordering a beer they had just put on tap – Beck Berry. 

There was no description of Beck on the menu and with the place hopping with folks watching the Timbers game or cueing up to watch the Ducks game, the best description to be had was that this was their first and would be their last beer made with Brett.  Brett!  My heart sang and my mouth was not disappointed.
Next up I had to give their Funk II, a sour wheat a try.  Currently it was the only one coming directly out of the barrel, being “dusted” with a small amount of carbon dioxide to carbonate and coming out of a traditional German brass tap (on the left in the picture below).* Again, without a description on the menu I wasn’t able to find out much other than either Funk II was a component of Noyeaux, or the other way around.  Mag had ordered the Noyeaux so we were able to try the two side by side and while it was clear there was a relationship between the two, they were distinctly different and each very tasty in their own right.
My love of Brett drove me to return to Beck** once more before we headed out and if I can swing it, I’ll be making another trip back to Cascade to get some more of it before it vanishes.  And if you like sours make sure to put Cascade on your radar.  You won't be disappointed.

*Thanks to the exceedingly well timed placement of the October/November issue of the Northwest Brewing News for this explanation.

**A check to their website the next morning produced some more info on Beck.  Click here and scroll down all the way to the bottom if you’re so inclined.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What we will do for beer

Last night that meant getting sticky and itchy at Hopworks Urban Brewery with eight or so fellow beer lovers with a couple hours on their hands.
Behind the brewery lies a two year old patch of Cascade and Willamette hops which were ready for their first harvest.   
After a pleasant afternoon of picking, chatting, and enjoying beer the result is estimated to be enough to brew two batches in the brewery’s 30-gallon system. 
And now the wait, hopefully a short wait, until we're able to taste the fruits of our labors.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Silently Doing Good Work

In a place where craft beer abounds around every corner it’s easy to overlook the solid, quiet players.  It’s especially easy for a beer geek like me who is always looking for the next new thing, the beer that will push the limits of hoppiness or ABV or uses some as of yet untasted ingredient.  Add to that a place that isn’t tweeting or posting on Facebook about what’s just been brewed or gone on tap and what you get is unintended, but not inexcusable, lack of attention and attendance.

Tuesday night, upon the suggestion of a friend, I made my way back to Alameda Brewhouse, one of the first Portland brewpubs I had the first hand pleasure of enjoying.  As I drove east on Fremont, I was surprised to find the neighborhood looked just like it had years ago and even remembered stopping in at the slightly sketchy looking convenience store.  Good memories of that trip came to mind and I was hopeful the beer would be as good as the memory.

Perusing the tap line up, there were numerous beers that caught my eye, including an imperial IPA and a barleywine.  Knowing better than to start off with one of those heavy hitters I defaulted to their less potent El Torero Organic IPA.  The aroma was less stanky than I was hoping for with solid floral notes and the flavor was well balanced, an IPA most lovers of this style would enjoy. The pint went down easily enough but as I thought about what the next one would be I knew there were others I needed to try.

A friend had boldly started off with the imperial IPA, allowed me to try it and thus I was able to scratch that itch without a full pint of that powerhouse to down.  No doubt, this was a very tasty beer, but one more suited to a different day.  Going back to the beer listing, my second pint was a no-brainer order.  Cascadian IPAs are abounding in this area of the beer world and I was eager to see how Alameda’s would stack up.  Presenting with a full dark hue, minimal head, and characteristic Cascadian flavor combination of hops and roasty malts, this was indeed an excellent beer!  As noted by a friend, who has an aversion to molasses, this beer offered stronger coffee notes from the dark malt than another recently enjoyed Cascadian, Pyramid Discord Dark IPA.

Just as I was wondering if I would make the next pint a repeat of one of the first two or possibly go down the lovely but treacherous path of the barleywine, our waitress arrived with one friend’s beer and an extra El Torero.  She apologized, offered it to me and deciding I was happy enough with the first pint to have a second, I accepted.  For as much as I had enjoyed the Cascadian IPA, going back to El Torero was no disappointment at all (and a bit of a bonus that she didn’t charge me for it). 

I’d like to think this lesson will stick with me and I’ll not be as neglectful of quiet, yet quality players like Alameda.  If nothing else, the enticement of a good happy hour is worth the trip with $3 pints and $4 eats. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don’t Like Your Beer? Don’t Pay For It

Last night I met up with some folks for beers at one of the many places I have yet to visit, The Victory Bar. It was described to me as a dive, which is A-OK in my book, but upon arrival, “cozy, neighborhood bar” seemed a more appropriate description. Being the first one there (shocker, huh?) I bellied up to the bar for my first pint – Oakshire Mud Puddle Chocolate Porter – and to wait for the others.

While still working on the first half of the pint, Mike showed up, decided upon the Jolly Pumpkin Wit, and we grabbed a table to wait for the others. As it turned out JP’s version of a wit came with a fairly pronounced sour finish, much to Mike’s chagrin. Sours being right up my alley (and a bit bummed that I had missed the Cascade Frite Galois they had on tap the previous week), I gave it a try and offered to make his first beer my second beer so that he could order something more to his liking. When our waitress/bartender came by he ordered an IPA and I mentioned by way of explaining the nearly full glass in front of him, that he didn’t like it so I’d buy his IPA in exchange. She offered not to charge him for it but I insisted that I had tried it, enjoyed it, and it was no problem to keep it on the tab.

Fast forward a couple rounds beers and the rest of the folks that were supposed to show up…wherein we decided we’d all explored their beer menu to our satisfaction and decided to saunter down the street to one of the New Old Lompoc locations. Our tab came and low and behold – she actually didn’t include the Wit on the bill!

Victory's tap list, in case you were curious
That’s a new level of commitment to customer satisfaction for me and just adds to the reasons (good beer reasonably priced, meat, cheese, atmosphere, close to home) I’ll be coming back and recommending it to others.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Well Now, That's a New One

Kris and I hit the 2nd Annual IPA Brewer's Fest at Blitz on Saturday, mainly because it was a beer event.  I mean, what's not to like about an event featuring 13 IPAs...aside from the raging heartburn afterwards, that is?  We're generally not drawn towards live-music events and, while we both enjoy BBQ, beer trumps all.  And if we're at an event featuring beer, live music and BBQ, the live music almost always ends up being the least enjoyable part of it.  It isn't that we may not like the music, bur rather the live music is usually too loud to enjoy and prevents any other conversation.  If the music were fantastic, we're more forgiving of the volume.  But on Saturday, I think the music trumped the beer and BBQ.

I gotta admit, I never thought that someone banging away on a typewriter would be considered enjoyable music.  If fact, if you asked me if I wanted to see a band featuring a typewriter as a percussion instrument, I probably would have declined unless it were the Blue Man Group or something similar.  After Saturday, however, I'm of a different mind.  The second show of the day was Sneakin' Out.  It's a small, three-man band that played covers and medley's of songs with an unusual set of instruments, including a typewriter, a mandolin (I guess) and an acoustic bass.  The music was lively and, in most cases, very familiar to most of the crowd.  It was interesting to have an arrangement of ABBA and Black Sabbath mixed together and played in a frenetic, but interesting fashion.

Kris and I will certainly go out of our way to catch more shows.  If you get a chance, I recommend checking out this unique act.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Buckman Village Brewery

With less than two months as Portland residents there are still many, many beers to drink and many, many places to drink at that still need to be checked out. That being said, one place made a great impression upon us when we checked it out last week: Green Dragon. This is a newer Portland establishment, at least in terms of it being a Rogue-owned property. With somewhere around 40 tap lines there’s no shortage of great beer to choose from and this week the choices got even better with the debut of their onsite brewery, Buckman Village.

Last night was the grand opening for the brewery and with it being a short drive away, off I went to see how their first beer would stack up. The staff was eager to make sure everyone that came in got to try the beers. Yes, plural. Instead of the one beer, Chamomellow, that at least in terms of name didn’t intrigue me too much, there were three offerings which included an IPA and a ginger beer.
While the set may have been similar in color, their flavors were strikingly different from one another. The Chamomellow, as expected, was heavy on the chamomile aroma with some upfront honey flavor. The Ginger reminded me very much of Lefthand’s JuJu Ginger, which for me was a very good thing. Finally, the IPA fell on the sweeter end of IPAs but neither the hoppy nor sweet characteristics were lingering, making it a very easy drinker.

After my first taste of each I fully expected to end up with a pint of IPA in front of me. But after making my way back for second and third tastes, and the beers warming up, the Chamomellow really grew on me. The honey flavor became more assertive and the beer very smooth and I was powerless to do anything but order a pint of it.

All three beers were very drinkable (although I’d really love to be able to have the Ginger with some sushi) and being in the 6-ish ABV range, easy to enjoy a few of. As far as I’m concerned, Buckman is off to a great start. Such a great start that I might have to return tonight as the carrot being dangled is that they’ll have a firkin. Hmmm…will it be the Chamomellow? Something new? It’s probably important for me to investigate so I can report back.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Find it in MN, Find it in OR

Since our relocation we’ve been talking and looking, albeit not too hard, for an everyday drinking beer. In Minnesota that probably would have been Summit EPA, maybe Coffee Bender for me.

So far it seems like the Portland equivalent of Summit is Deschutes and while I’m A-OK with that, I don't want to be complacent with the first thing that pops up so I have been continuing to look around for another label that’s widely available and has something up my alley. Today I may have found a pretty good contender, one with enough hops and flavor to keep me coming back for more but without the brutal hop punch that is enjoyable but can be palate fatiguing.

Generally you won’t find me buying New Belgium beer. First of all, the majority of their products don’t interest me very much due to the style. (For the record, I think 1554 is a great black ale, full of the chocolately malts I love.) Secondly, I don’t think Fat Tire is a very good beer, but everyone who thinks they have just discovered the greatest thing since sliced bread thinks it’s AWESOME. That type of fan boy behavior just irritates me. Consumer behavior should not influence my view of a brewery but I’ll admit in this case it does.

Back to the story at hand and finding a good go to beer.

Tonight as I opened the beer fridge I found some good stuff in there but not what I was searching for; not an EPA or Coffee Bender to be found. Feeling lazy and also curious to see what the 7-11 had to offer I wandered down the street. I wasn’t surprised to find their selection wasn’t very broad, although it did include the aforementioned Deschutes. Looking to branch out I decided to take a chance on New Belgium and the Ranger IPA that has been dominating their marketing for the last few months.

Weighing in with 70 IBUs it might be a bit more hoppy than I’ll find I want for a go to beer, but tonight it hit the middle of the road spot I was looking for hard enough to be a contender.  I know you'll be waiting with baited breath to see who ends up filling the highly coveted "Everyday Beer" slot.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I haven’t been able or even willing to answer the question, “What is your favorite beer?” for years. But for the last year or so I could give an answer to, “What is your favorite style of beer?” Hands down I would say IPA: double, imperial, the hoppier the better.

But lately I have a new infatuation - sour beers.

I’ve been a fan of the Duchess for quite a while, but I don’t really consider her a sour. There’s a bit too much sweet and not enough tart for her to actually be considered a sour in my book. But I suppose she must be given credit for leading the charge on my taste buds, pushing me in the right direction.

Since having been in Oregon, I've a wonderful sour blend at Upright Brewing and a Summer Gose from Cascade Brewing while attending the Oregon Brewers Festival. Just this week, in part to show the McG’s around our new home, we went made a maiden voyage to Cascade Brewing and made a return visit to Upright Brewing.

Cascade currently calls the Raccoon Lodge in SW Portland home (soon to be opening a much anticipated barrel room) and when we stopped in they were offering up somewhere around ten beers, of which nearly half of them were sour. Their Summer Gose caught my eye right away, but having already tasted it, I gave the Winter Gose a try. It was a good beer, with the spice notes being more subtle than I feared and the sour notes more pronounced than I had expected. But I was eager to return to the stronger sour notes of Summer. Then it was on to the Frite Galois, which offered the most sour notes of all and was my favorite of the session. Their Raspberry Wheat was also surprisingly good, with fruit and sour notes drowning out nearly all the wheat flavor and one of the most lovely shades of pink-lilac to have ever graced a beer glass.

At Upright, a young nano-brewery that uses open fermentation, the sour blend I’d had before was long gone, but the Barrel Aged Four was at least as good. After aging for a month or more, the wheat flavors of the original Four were virtually gone, being replaced by wonderfully sour flavors. Their two other “modified” beers, Long Pepper Six and Dry Hop Five, offered up bits of sourness, but nothing to satisfy the pucker seeking sour lover.

This is by no means the extent of sour beer I should be able to get my hands on and I can’t wait to see what makes me pucker next.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simpler Times

There were simpler times, times when all the beer you knew was this color.

Times when the beer was cheap…say $3.99 for a 6-pk.

Times when you drank it because, well, it was beer.

These days you drink beer that is usually NOT this color, is more likely to be $13.99 for a 6-pk, and you drink it because it’s GOOD beer.

Then again, when you find a decently made pilsner, without any skunky or nasty aftertaste, that IS $3.99 for a 6-pk, is refreshing on a hot day and isn’t just 3.2% (5.5% actually), well, Simpler Times can still be yours.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

But Wait! There's More!

Yesterday I was a bit negative in the thoughts shared about the Oregon Brewers Festival.  Some of that negativity is my own damn fault.  What should I expect when I move out to Portland and away from drinking the beer I love with the people I love?  Of course OBF isn't going to stack up.  And then to do a direct comparison, and a negative one at that, is disingenuous at best.  I think my comparisons were pretty spot on, but I focused on the negativity.  My apologies.  Time to make amends.  Here are some additional thoughts.

Great Music
I really enjoyed the live music we heard yesterday and Friday.  On Friday, there was a interesting "trance/psychedelic" (I guess) band called Ruins of Ooah that consisted of nothing really more than a harmonica, drums, a didgeridoo and vocals.  Their music was creative, enjoyable and pretty original.  On Saturday we got to enjoy a bit of techno from a DJ as well as some fellow playing steel drums.  And you know what, it all fit the fest.  And it wasn't so damn loud that you couldn't chat with the folks around you.  I still think bagpipes would be a nice addition, though.

Beers - Not a Bad One in the Bunch IMO
I thought it was interesting that I didn't drink one beer, either day, that I didn't enjoy to some degree.  There were one or two that I maybe wouldn't purchase given other options, but I'd be happy to drink them again.  There weren't any beers I hated or decided to dump, and I pretty much tried as many different ones as I could (okay, except for the gruit).  There was a wide range of beers from sours to RIS to blueberry wheat to gruit...oh yeah, and IPAs.  Kris and I were excited to have our first nano-brewed beer as well (yeah, I know, no big deal, but it's the concept, you know).  Additionally, getting a 4 oz sample (a very strict pour) gives you a chance to really sample a beer.  One of the nice things about this event is that if you especially like a beer, they're willing to give you a full pour (about 14 oz typically, versus the 4 oz sample).  And, as I've learned, the purpose is to promote as many brewers as possible, not labels, thus the one-beer-per-brewery requirement.  I can respect that.

The Style
Saturday's was a markedly different crowd than Friday's and the beer shirts came out in force, thank god.  I also saw more Wolverine-style sideburns than anywhere else, at any time in my life.  Gotta love that.  We also, finally, saw the folks sportin' the wild and crazy stuff, like the guy with the watermelon hat, vest, pants, etc., the goofy beer hats and goggles, and so on.  Oh yeah, there was lots of cleavage too.

The Intangibles

  • This event had tons of port-a-potties ("Honey Buckets").  I never had to wait.  And the damn things were clean and smelled good.  Huzzah!
  • They had free rain.  Yeah, that doesn't sound like it should be a big deal in Portland, but it was kinda nice.  It was a huge, metal misting contraption that you see in hot, dry areas.  It was very enjoyable strolling through it on a day whose temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.
  • There were several food options inside the gates, but as this is Portland, there were probably 40+ food  stands within 2 or 3 blocks of the event grounds.
  • There certainly was a bit of diversity here.  And I'm not just talking ethnic, although there was more ethnic diversity here than at any other beer fest I've been at.  There were folks from all other the country and all over the world.  The 55+ crowd was also very well represented.  And, there was a wide range of douches, ass-hats, hipsters, wankers, buttheads, and so on.
  • Where else you gonna see a 6'5" sweaty turtle???

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thinkies on Oregon Brewers Fest

Yesterday was an exciting day as Kris and I hit our first beer fest, Oregon Brewers Festival ("OBF"), since moving to Portland. The fest has a good reputation and given that this IS Portland after all, our expectations were very high. Of course, being who we are, we couldn't simply enjoy the fest for what it was. Noooooo. We had to go and immediately compare every detail to some of our favorite fests like Great Taste of the Midwest and Autumn Brew Review. I assumed OBF would stack up well or even surpass these other fests. I was wrong. Here's why:

Sense of Excitement
OBF is a four day event and you don't need to buy tickets ahead of time.  That means, if you want to go to the fest, you can get in.  But wait!  Why's that a bad thing, you ask?  It's not, I guess.  But instead of having a fest filled with die-hard beer fans who are very excited to be there, you get a mixed crowd of families, casual drinkers, fanatics, etc.  Again, that's not a bad thing, but it detracts from the overall mood of the crowd (e.g. enthusiasm).  There was no countdown nor ragged cheer when the gates open.  Some people don't like how some fests can turn out to be exclusive events, but if you're fortunate to get a ticket, I think this makes the fest all the sweeter.  Yeah, there's a flip side to this that sucks.  But there's no denying a sense of excitement when you hold the hard-to-get-ticket.  But, this is made up, in part, with enthusiastic, random yelling (see below).

Beer Shirts
What?  Yeah, I said it.  Beer shirts.  Kris and I saw very few folks wearing beer shirts, hats, etc.  I mean, what's a beer fest without folks supporting their home team or favorite pub or whatever.  Based on the crowd, this could have been any kind of outdoor event.  I like seeing the beer geek crowd all decked out.  Hell, it's like going to Comic-Con and not seeing Storm Troopers or Spidey running around.  A certain important element is missing from the ambiance.  Also, and this is weird, as I was wearing a Surly work shirt (a very common thing to wear at GTotM or ABR), I got asked about five times about Surly beer, as though I was the brewer.  "What did you bring to the fest?"  "How long have you guys been around."  What the hell?!  I didn't ask the short white dude wearing a Pryzbilla jersey if he liked playing for the Blazers.  Goofy as hell, man.

No Food
No food could be brought into the fest.  Now, normally this doesn't really bother me much, although I think it's a bad idea.  But this means that all the creative pretzel and sausage necklaces had to be left at home.  I mean, what's a beer fest without pretzel necklaces???  And I didn't get a chance to eat any too-warm meat and cheese.  Thankfully, we did see a few guys who snuck in pretzel necklaces.

Volunteer Servers
All the beer was served by volunteers.  Many of these volunteers were quasi-knowledgeable about beer, but given that any Joe off the street could sign up to be a volunteer, many of them were clueless.  It doesn't help that most of them were serving beer about which they probably knew nothing.  So, there were no opportunities to chat with anyone who knew anything about a particular beer, brewery, etc.  You could get a tasty beer, but you certainly couldn't learning anything else about the beer/brewery.  But I can live this.  What I find unconscionable is the servers leaving full and partially filled pitchers of beer sitting in the hot sun when there was shade available.  Christ, if you gave a damn at all about beer, you wouldn't do that.

No Beer Stands
Beer at OBF was stored in large semi trailers and pushed through coolers into pitchers from whence they were poured into ones cup.  Tables were lined up, end to end, with the crowd on one side and the serving volunteers on the other.  Now, this is an efficient way of doing things and pretty common.  But it really lacks character.  I like when breweries get to set up their own little stands or personalize their spaces.  It tells you something about them and adds to the overall experience for attendees.

One Beer Per Brewery
Aside from special offerings in a buzz tent, each brewery/brewpub had one beer on tap at the fest.  There was no chance to explore several offerings from a place you'd never heard of or had the chance to visit, thus giving you a chance to evaluate the spectrum of their offerings and setting your overall level of interest in their beer.  Instead, you get a limited picture and run the risk of basing your opinion on a brewery/brewpub based solely on the merits of one beer.  Summit and Surly were both at this event.  Summit had their Horizon Red and Surly had Bitter Brewer.  Well, okay, Surly had Four in the buzz tent as well, but the damn yokels running the fest had the wrong beer hooked up for several hours, thus giving folks the wrong beer.  We learned this when someone told me, because I was wearing a Surly shirt, that my Russian Imperial Stout (at least he was in the right ballpark) was way too pale and underflavored.  *sigh*  But I digress.  If you were to base your opinion of Summit and Surly based on your sample of Horizon or Bitter, you'd really have missed the mark with respect to what these breweries are really doing with their beer.

Random Yelling
If you've been to a beer fest in MN, then you know that when you hear the roar of the crowd roll from one end of the grounds through the other or roll out in ripples from some central point, some pour sucker has dropped his/her beer glass and broken it.  You immediately get a warm glow from 1) not being that pour sucker and 2) being part of a superior majority of drinkers able to hold on their glasses.  OBF had a similar rolling-wave of yelling, but given that the tasting cups were plastic and the event was held on a grassy area, I'm not sure what caused the yelling.  Was it simply someone dropping a beer?  I made numerous inquiries but was disappointed by the blank-stare, shrugged-shoulder responses I got.  I was happy to hear the random roar of the crowd, but disappointed that I couldn't confirm why.  That didn't stop Kris and I from enthusiastically joining in the random yelling, though.

No Bagpipes
I know there are many haters of bagpipes.  But I, for one, like a little bagpipe at my beer fest.  'nough said.

In Retrospect
I look back at what I've just written and can't help but feel that I've been too negative.  At the end of the day, OBF was a reasonably well-run, affordable, accessible, comfortable beer fest.  It was a good time and I drank quite a few tasty beers.  But it lacked the overall level of excitement and beer-dork ambiance that I'm used to having at premier beer fests.  Given the abundance of beer fests in Portland, I'm hopeful that we'll find some that provide the atmosphere we're looking for.  But as long as we've got good beer to drink, I think we'll be okay.

The New Beer Fridge

You’ll notice that the beer fridge has a new look. It’s shinier and it’s black, but it’s also smaller. We were here less than a week when we realized that it’s simply impossible for us NOT to have a beer fridge. Even a small one. Small or big, it still does one of the most important jobs in the house.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cool Can Answer

Deano has tried it and liked it; here's my take on the beer in the cool can.
Out of the can, the amber brew poured fairly carbonated so I let it sit a couple minutes.While I got the can shot posted the head had a chance to recede a bit and it was time for the sniff test. The result was a slight hop aroma...promising.

Now the taste test.Well, first swig says…have more! They didn’t hire a graphic artist first and a brewer as an after thought. This is actually a tasty beer. The gamble paid off.

I won’t say this is the best ever IPA, and I might even lean a little more toward pale ale than IPA (but that might be because there’s rarely a “too hoppy” beer for me). But it’s a solid beer that you could have a few of without burning out your palate.

So in the end, cool can, good beer, and well, it's in a can, which is a big plus if you're going to be somewhere with a "no glass" policy or you don't feel like doing the heavy lifting of carrying around bottled beer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cool Can

The question is, did they blow their wad making a cool can and forget that what’s IN the can is ultimately more important?

Let me know if you think:

1)Cool can but the beer is swill


2)Cool can and the beer is actually worth drinking, too

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jumped the Gun, But Not the Shark

Ok, so in retrospect, I jumped the gun with the last post. After feeling like the grass was greener on the other (not Blogspot) side of the fence, we've decided to jump back into familiar pastures.

Word Press may be cool, and maybe we'll end up permanently moving the site there in the future, but it's also not nearly as user friendly. So for the foreseeable future, we'll stay planted here at Blogspot. We might muse about some Minneapolis-St. Paul beer (hint, hint McG's), but mostly we'll be talking all things beer in Portland. So whether you just like checking in on our most recent ramblings or you're coming out this way and want some insight on beer out here, we hope you'll stick with us.

I'll also be reposting the posts that went up on the new blog in case you need to catch up. Be patient if you've already read about Cool Can, Cool Can Answer, and The New Beer Fridge. And if you commented on any of those, sorry, but I'm pretty tech stupid and am not sure how to carry your comments over.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We've Moved, So Too Does the Blog

We've been in Portland a couple of weeks now and although we love blogging about beer in the Twin Cities, there will be a lot less of that and a lot more blogging about beer in Portland for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, we're trying out a new blog with Word Press. It's a work in progress, but if you'd like to see what we're up to lately, come on over and bear with us as we work on the site itself.

Click here to get there.

As soon as we figure out how to let you follow us there, we'd love to have you. Until then, patience. We're beer drinkers, not computer programmers. Just bookmark the new blog and have a beer.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Best Walk Ever

Having lived in the ‘burbs for the past 10 years, walks have been relegated to the “to do” list, something necessary to keep Cleo’s energy in check and therefore keeping the humans sane.

One of the things I was looking forward to about our move to Portland was living somewhere that walks could be more meaningful. Maybe to the grocery or other such errands, or maybe to an even better destination…say a good bar or brewpub.

As it turned out, our new home is .97 miles from Hopworks Urban Brewery. Although we pulled into town on Monday afternoon, a few days went by before we were actually able to embark on The Best Walk Ever.

Yesterday, however, there were no obstacles in the way so out the door the three of us went. A mere 20 minutes later we were seated on the HUB’s patio, the first round of beers in hand and Cleo trying to decide if she was thirsty enough to have a drink from the communal water bowl.

A few hours and a few pints later, a little buzzed, we retraced our steps. The only thing missing was a sugary, luscious donut from the joint across Powell, Acme. Oh well, there’s always next time…

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good Beer - Find it Around Every Corner

We survived our cross country drive and have officially landed in Portland. Like any new home, there are plenty of mundane settling in tasks. However after living under the tyranny of Minnesota law for the last 10+ years, the usual trips to the gas station, Target, and the grocery store have taken on a new shine. You guessed it – much more liberal laws give these stores the ability to sell beer, and not just that 3.2 stuff, as well as the delightful availability of many coveted beers not available in Minnesota.

At a gas station: Stone, Alaskan
At Target: pretty decent variety for a national chain, including the very tasty Deschutes Inversion IPA
At Safeway (grocery): plenty, but I restrained myself to only picking up Stumptown Tart, one in Bridgeport’s Big Brew series, which is 50% ale aged in oak barrels and 50% ale brewed with raspberry

Here's a look at Safeway's "good beer" selection. Yes, it's not huge, but it's the grocery store.

The next two are things I wanted to pick up, but figured I'd better wait until we purchased a dedicated beer fridge or in no time there wouldn't be room for food in the fridge.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yeah I Get It But I Don't Have To Like It...Or Do I?

'Twas out with some beer drinking friends about two weeks ago doing what beer drinking friends do best, namely drinking beer and talking at an unreasonable volume about inappropriate things, when I came across Something Curious. Now, those of you who've made a go of it behind a bar may have seen This before and probably didn't think much of It. Frankly, the concept behind This makes a lot of sense from a business perspective. The Curiosity in question is a "leave-behind" produced by a brewery and likely provided by a distributor to a bar owned by a friend. I'll remain silent on the brewery and the bar. I took numerous pictures of said Curiosity, but alas, only one picture survived my ham-handed attempts.

The Item was a Little Guidebook on serving beer. Sorry, my photo sucks. The section in this Book that caught my attention was about how to manage the foam levels in a beer in order to enhance profits. By pouring a pint glass with 1" of head, versus no head, you can get 145 16 oz. glasses of beer out of a keg. With no head, you can only get 128 16 oz. glasses of beer from a keg. Assuming you sell one keg of beer a week, this can result in about $3,500 extra gross profit to a bar per year.

Now, to be fair, this book did explain the virtues of head. Namely, foam is an important aspect of the presentation, releases aroma and helps with the overall tasting experience, and also apparently helps drinkers from getting a "filled up" feeling (no, the brewery was not MillerCoors). But given that the title of this section was "Foam and Rising Profits," I can't help but feel that these benefits were provided simply to assuage any guilt that an honorable barkeep might have regarding purposefully pouring a heady beer, a 1 inch heady beer at that, and possibly causing a patron to grumble about getting shorted a bit on the product for which they are paying.

I'm a bit torn. I like a bit of head on my beer. But I also like the places I frequent to profit from my being there. I guess I just don't like thinking that my bartender might be pouring my beer with head so as to eke out that extra $68 of gross profit per keg and not because he/she wants to ensure I have have an enjoyable product. I think seeing this Little Book was akin to Dorothy's seeing that man behind the curtain. Gah, what a hypocritical, fantasy-dwelling rube I am!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

To Muse or Not To Muse

Our impending move to Portland is fraught with anxiety and uncertainty.  The decision to "go west, young man," was indubitably sound in the midst of a Minnesota winter, but now that we're in the balmy throes of spring with summer 'round the corner, the logic begins to look suspect.  Does it make sense to leave friends and family behind, some of whom we may not see again?  Certainly, career-wise and financially the move doesn't make sense.  We've got a pretty nice thing going, socially, in the Twin Cities.  Those bridges aren't burned, but they currently smolder.  Pardon my mixed-metaphor, but the siren-song of the greener grass over yonder fence beckoned…and thus we go, for good or for ill.


Ours is a household where practicality and logic reign (or so we like to think).  And yet this decision, based strongly on emotion and hope, is contrary to our natural inclination.  As much as this might be a warning sign of a regrettable decision, I think this may be cathartic, in a way.  Life is short and, I suspect, the list of regrets may be long by the time the wife cashes my first life insurance check.  I hope that on the tally of my life, the box titled, "made stupid/ill-conceived, emotionally-driven, financially-ruinous yet ultimately fulfilling decision," is not unchecked at the end of the day.


These thoughts are a bit contemplative and sobering on a Friday morning.  We'll see how they play out on a Friday evening with a few belts under my…er…belt.  And at the end of the day, and at the western edge of our nation, I'm sure Portland will provide as many catalysts and causes for beer musings as the Twin Cities have.  And while the observations may focus more on my fleas, the homeless, the crazy hippies and those d-bags from California, I'm sure the irreverent tone and sophomoric content will remain the same.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kris Will Miss: The Beginning

With our impending move quickly approaching the two week out mark, the things (and people) I’ll miss pop to mind around every corner. I don’t know that I’ll get around to all of them before The Moving Day, but here’s one to start it off.

The Blue Door Pub
They haven’t been around long but they’ve made a huge impression both on beer lovers and burger lovers. Being both, I can’t get enough of this place.

Last week we went and I knew I had to try out the Gatsby. It was yummy. But so was the Oatmeal Stout from Summit; somewhat “out of season” by some standards but for the stout lover, it’s always welcome. And the Furious. Can’t go wrong with a Furious.

This week, “dragged” along by the Shervey’s I had to revert to my personal favorite, the Jiffy Burger. Peanut butter, cheese, mayo, pickles, bacon, beef – someone had a revelation of deliciousness when they thought this one up! I also greatly enjoyed the Latin Kisses, fresh jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in thick cut, caramelized bacon. The beers this time were closer together and a bit more seasonal – Summit Horizon Red and Bells Oberon – but none the less tasty.

As an aside, something that I won’t have to miss, and I must give tons of credit to for helping me remember what I drank a month, a week, or possibly a day ago is HopChart. You’re awesome and we’ll be keeping in touch as I drink down the beers in Portland.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beer & Cheese

My favorite beverage and quite possibly my favorite food, they go together so well. And finding a place that serves quality offerings of each, well, that’s about as good as it gets.

There are a few places in town, Buster’s on 28th and the Gnome pop to mind first, that carry excellent cheese and excellent beer. But did you know Faribault has a place, too? It’s The Cheese Cave, a retail cheese shop that also has a demonstration kitchen AND serves beer.

Last night was celebrity bartender night and since Mag is friends with one of the folks that would be pouring, we hopped in the car and headed down 35 with the McG’s. Bellying up to the bar behind the retail section of The Cave we found a great selection: four Summit brews on tap (Oatmeal Stout, Horizon Red, Maibock, and Extra Pale Ale), four Odell brews in bottles (5 Barrel Pale Ale, 90 Shilling, St. Lupulin, and IPA), and to appease the non-craft crowd, bottles of MGD. That’s a pretty good line up for a small place anywhere, much less in a town of less than 15,000 people.

I started off with the Oatmeal Stout – oh, the creamy goodness! But since the rest of the group was drinking Odell brews I finished my pint of creaminess and followed the herd. That was the right choice as I haven’t been to the liquor store since they hit the Minnesota market and I had forgotten just how much I enjoy their beer. The IPA particularly hit the spot (maybe it was the bitterness of the day) and who doesn’t enjoy a bucking elephant?

As would be expected from a place named The Cheese Cave, they have excellent cheese. They serve as a retail outlet for the Faribault Dairy Company (ya know, those folks who make St. Pete’s) but also offer a wide variety of cheeses from around the region and across the country. We got two of their cheese plates – one with three blue cheeses and one with, well, three other cheeses. Don’t get me wrong, the three I can’t remember were really good, too, but they were all white and since I didn’t lift one of their menus on the way out you’ll just have to trust me that it was worth getting.

I’ll beat you to the punch and apologize right now for writing as much or more about the cheese as the beer. And for not having any pictures. I know you like to look. Anyway, if beer and cheese is your thing, too, the short drive down 35 should be on your to do list.

Friday, May 28, 2010


No…not my estimated blood alcohol for the weekend.

No…the ABV of a Miller product.

The answer is the distance between our Portland apartment* and one of the many brewpubs in town. It’s not exactly stumbling distance but it is a pretty straight shot so as long as I get myself pointed in the direction, it shouldn’t be half bad.

*In case you haven’t heard (we have been keeping it relatively quiet so don’t feel bad if this is how you find out), we’re moving to Portland, OR at the end of June.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

32 Beers

32 beers on tap and I had 2. Yup. That sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? I mean, how often does one get the chance to have nearly the entire line up of a brewery on tap at the same time?
Last night Stub & Herb’s hosted this amazing opportunity as part of the Minnesota Craft Beer Week festivities. Flat Earth loaded up their taps with a combination of standards, specialty beers, and infusions. And as much as I have loved some of those infusions, the two beers that captured and kept my attention for the night were Rode Haring Flanders Red Ale and Extra Medium.
For those unfamiliar with the beers, Rode Haring is a blend of Extra Medium (American wild ale) and Biere de Garde. It’s aged for over a year so once a batch is gone there’s going to be a bit of a wait until the next batch is ready. I finished my last bomber from the previous batch around the first of the year and have been thirsting for the new batch ever since. And rather than quenching that thirst, last night’s pints of these tart and kinda funky beers only primed me to get my hands on more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May Beerfest #2: Bazaar

Two beer festivals within the span of two weeks is a pretty good pace, especially considering that we haven’t even hit the height of beer festival season. Blog and Mag conversed about the first, Arborfest, and they’ve kindly agreed to let me fill you in on the Stillwater Brewers Bazaar.
Like Arborfest, this is a “different” festival. What I mean by that is that although I end up running into a fair number of people I know, there is a pretty high percentage of people that are not your typical beer fest buddies. Both are fundraisers so it’s likely that there will be people who are more interested in supporting their respective organization than the beer that’s being poured. On top of that, for the Bazaar I get the feeling that there are plenty of walk-in/local folks who hear about an event that’s right in their town and decide to show up.

Surprise beer of the fest: Schell’s Stout
I would have thought somewhere along the way I would have tried this beer, but I will swear to you, the flavor was not familiar at all. It’s a great, easy drinking stout containing plenty of the coffee flavors I love.

Best brewery location of the fest: Lift Bridge
They made sure to show up early and were rewarded by what was probably the best spot for a brewery to set up shop. The top deck was the only open air deck and it was a perfect day to enjoy it.
Best part of the fest: Drinking great beer with a bunch of fellow beer geeks on a beautiful spring day.

Best story from the fest: Ask Mag
It involves a drunken guy in the bathroom and a disturbing picture.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Get Your Condoms and Beer Here - Arborfest Review

Hi! I'm Blog. I report all the happenings for the two fleshbags that created me. I don't get out much myself, so I'm pretty reliant on second-hand information from the aforementioned fleshbags for any juicy news I post. I asked the chubby fleshbag if I could interview him for a piece I wanted to write about last night's 10th Annual Arborfest. He agreed to share his thoughts with me as long as I refrained from innuendo, snarkiness, perversion and torturous grammar in my reporting. I readily agreed, of course. What a sucker.

Blog: So, fleshbag, tell me about Arborfest but don't bore the shit out of me.

Chubby Fleshbag: Uh...okay. Arborfest is a beer event put on as a fundraiser for Family Tree Clinic. It's actually a pretty great event. The $50 ticket is also a contribution to the organization. The event is a classy affair, without being pretentious. And the event, to all outward appearances, runs like clock-work; very well planned. They have a fine selection of local craft beer offerings, a smattering of wineries, ample food to enjoy, and music. Unlike many other beerfests, this one doesn't get over-crowded and the...

Blog: Booooring! Let's move on. Did you get yourself all blotto?

Chubby Fleshbag: Nah, but there were quite a few interesting beers. Most breweries don't roll out tons of special offerings for this event like they do at some other beerfests, but there were still plenty of solid, familiar beers and some newer, great beers.
  • Rock Bottom had a very solid line-up, but the highlight was their vanilla-infused stout. The vanilla was balance just right so as to not overpower the beer itself and the aromatics were fantastic and improved as the beer warmed up.
  • Bob at Great Waters was sharing Myna Bock which I really enjoyed. That's worth a trip to GW this weekend to get some more.
  • Another beer that I found interesting was Vine Park's IPA. It's an all-Fuggles IPA, which gives it very different aromatics and flavor than most other IPAs I've had.
  • But the hightlight of the night for me was Schell's Schmaltz's Alt aged in pinot barrels. I saw this beer aging at the brewery a few months ago while on a tour there and I've been itching to try it ever since. I love Schmaltz's Alt to begin with, so this was a treat for me. The pinot-barrel aging added a subtle aroma to the beer, more redolent of wine than of wood. The barrel's imparted a slightly sour flavor to the beer that was quite enjoyable.
Blog: Yeah, well, if you didn't get blotto and act like an ass, then I guess I just don't care. I live vicariously through you, you know. So, you need to start stepping up your game otherwise you need to find a new blog to hang out with; maybe one interested in gardening or talking about feelings.

Chubby Fleshbag: I think the fact that you live on the internet has corrupted you. You've been surfing too much pR0n and TMZ, haven't you?

Blog: Hellooooo! It IS the internet, you know.

Chubby Fleshbag: Touche.

Blog: Let's get into the dirt. Anything about the shin-dig annoy you?

Chubby Fleshbag: Honestly, not really. Last year the live music got a bit loud and the event planners trying to hush everyone in the middle of the event to present some stuff and that put me off. This year the music wasn't live, so the volume could be moderated better. It got a bit loud at one point, but they addressed that quickly. Overall, the event was very well done in my opinion.

Blog: Jesus, dude. I much prefer hearing your take on events when you've had too much to drink and your head is throbbing, hands are shaking and you're sweating like a whore in church. What else you got?

Chubby Fleshbag: Hee hee, a couple of gals working the Barley John's table had a cask explode through the bung hole. The wall behind them was sopping and they had a nice puddle of beer under the table. Unfortunately, the beer was a loss.

Had quite a few good and interesting conversations last night too. But none of them were inappropriate, so I guess you're not interested in hearing about them.

Blog: Correctamundo! Tell you what, fleshbag. Brewer's Bazaar is next weekend. Why don't you try harder at that event to get me something juicy that I can work with. Don't eat that day and bring a tazer with you or something.

Chubby Fleshbag: Well, I guess I could tell you about my Thursday night at the Twin's game. I didn't think I'd make it to Arborfest last night because of.........