Friday, May 20, 2011

Since Everyone Else is Doing it

This week has been brought to you by the word “rapture” and the phrase “end of the world”. And although I’m not one to jump on most bandwagons, today I am in need of something to occupy my mind and time on this gorgeous, warm, sunny day in Portland until I can actually break free of  the chains of my desk. So, yes, Mom, I’ll jump off the cliff just because everyone else is doing it and give you my picks of beers to drink before the world blinks out.

Years ago, when I was a newbie beer geek I was visiting Mag in Scottsdale, AZ and we went to Papago. Nestled in a strip mall it wasn’t much to look as we parked and walked up to the door but once inside, it was a whole different story. Coming from MN where such a thing is verboten, this was the first bar and bottle shop I’d ever been in. I’m sure I drank a handful of beers there but to this day it is their hazelnut beer that stands out in my mind. I’ve tried others, searching for that elusive flavor. Unfortunately, most I’ve tried I couldn’t even call good, with Rogue’s version coming in the best, but still a distant second. I might not feel the same way today as my palate has changed considerably so I want this beer to taste to me the same as it did that evening way back when. (I mean if we’re talking about rapture and all, is this any less far-fetched? I think not.)

Summit Brewing Oatmeal Stout with Brett
As far as I know, this was a one-off beer, or at least one of their first attempts at it, served at The Happy Gnome’s Firkin Fest. This was back when people still asked what a firkin was and was also near the start of, or maybe the impetus behind, my infatuation with Brett. It had a funk that earned it a place in my mind forever as “the cheese beer”.

Yes, there are many other sour beers that are better, that in fact I prefer if sour is what I’m in the mood for. Once again, though, the reason for the selection of this beer is not based on the beer alone. The additional reason is the inside joke that “it’s all downhill once The Duchess comes out”. Many a nights we probably should have been settling up the tab but instead, one of us, usually followed by a couple more, ordered her up. So if I’m going out, I’d like to go out in the happy fog The Duchess has become synonymous with.


  1. Sunday felt like what some might call Rapture with the tornado in Minneapolis...I really don't understand that whole issue. Greg and I were up there in search of a craigslist item when the sirens sounded. Ugly times. I'm curious about the hazelnut. Wonder if I could find it here.

  2. I don't believe Papago bottles any of their beer, but I think you should be able to get Rogue Hazelnut in MN. Check with Cellars, Blue Max or the like.