Normally, I just write whatever comes to mind, quality be damned. Now that I have a paying job to write a column for the Northwest Brewing News, I’ve find myself actually contemplating the words I expect the public to see. So facing the first deadline of my “career,” I have found little time to actually devote to my loyal readers. In response, I’m going back to my roots, with a stream of consciousness type post. Enjoy!
• Currently, I’m reading Man Walks Into a Pub, and I found a bit that will most likely give me nightmares for years to come. To sum it up, Pete Brown painted a rather grim image of post-war Britain where consolidation among breweries and the tied house system lead to what could only be described as “the worst thing ever.” Big brewers bought small brewers and automatically took over their taps. Imagine walking into your favorite brewpub and asking for a malty, hoppy, flavorful beer and instead being greeted with Hop Hound Amber. Not only that, every other pub in your neighborhood, and county, maybe state, has been stricken by the same fate. Like I said, the stuff of nightmares.
• Tried the Lagunitas Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Censored Brown Shugga Stout on cask today at the Toad in the Hole. It was a hot day with temperatures above 90, but theres was something about this bourbony, chocolatey beast of a beer served at cellar temps that proved to be incredibly refreshing. The blend for this beer was 70% Imperial Stout aged 7 months in a bourbon barrel, 20% Brown Shugga aged 6 months in a bourbon barrel and then topped off with fresh Censored. The discusion at the bar was, “How strong is this thing?” My guess, 10%+ as 90% of the base beers are in the 9% range, add in bourbon barrels and extra time to ferment and the strength is going to go up. I’m sure you’re wondering about the beer and how it tastes. Well, it’s real, and it’s fantastic.
• During this recent heat wave, all I wanted to drink was a pilsner. Lately, I’ve been appreciating the world of lager more and more, but this was an odd craving for me. I even hit the beer store twice for supplies and what did I come back with but IPA, Double IPA, and just hoppy beers in general. When I sat down at the Toad this afternoon, my heart wa set on the Scrimshaw Pilsner, but we all know how that ended.
• I’m second guessing this stream of consciousness thing. I was never a fan of On the Road and here I am bastardizing the style.
• Did that Lagunitas description leave anyone confused? I always assume people get Seinfeld references but sometimes they don’t. Plus, I thought the “real” reference to real ale was rather clever. Don’t worry, I won’t pull anything patting myself on the back.
• Finishing a bottle of Green Flash Le Freak. I opened this while typing for my deadline. Odd, I’m writing a column that used to be written by my friend Bill Brand. Bill and I shared this beer the first time we met at The Trappist in Oakland. I reached for this in the fridge each of the past two nights but for some reason, put the beer back each time. Here’s to you Bill, sharing one more beer.