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Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Oregon Craft Beer Month: Thoughtful BBQ's Suck

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 11:07 PM

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You might think I’m having a great time this month… And, I am. I’ve tasted more unique Oregon beers in the last few days than I have since moving here 15 years ago. When I tell people about this project, and about how much beer I have in my fridge, the response is often, “When are we going to drink beer together?”

Here’s the thing: You do not want to drink beer with me. It will not be fun for you. We aren’t going to have some awesome drinking session where we talk about work and chicks and how much we like beer. We aren’t going to hang out and pull beer after random beer form the icebox and drink until we can’t stand.

I should have told this to my BBQ guests this weekend. Imagine their surprise when they discovered they would only get to have around 4 ounces from each of the five beers I’d selected for us. Worse, while they were tasting I continually harassed them about aroma, and strange concepts like “mouth feel.”

Thankfully, they were champs. Even better, they had the foresight to bring enough cheap lager with them they did not have to rely on my precious stock of beer to keep themselves socially lubricated. In some ways, I feel bad for making them drink so thoughtfully. But at the same time, I enjoyed the power of their palates.

Our favorite beer of the night turned out to be Cascade Lakes Pine Marten Pale. In the glass it was a dark yellow that my wife referred to as “daffodil,” and had a nice hoppy grapefruit aroma with a slight malty undertone.

This was a nice, dynamic beer with a zip that we were all very fond of. In the mouth it had a nice body that carried a sharp hit of grapefruit that transitioned quickly to hazelnut. The hazelnut notes were drawn into the finish while allowing a distinct hoppy drying sensation to seat itself on the side of the tongue. If you sat with it long enough, a subtle hint of grapefruit would re-emerge.

We decided it would be a great beer with fish tacos considering how the citrus tones would play against the fish while the onions and cilantro counteracted the nutty malt.

I’ll post the rest of our tasting notes tomorrow, but I’d like to know how people feel about this kind of thoughtful drinking. Do you do it often? Does it help you find beer that you like? Or are you content to just pick a tap at random? Tell me about it in the comments.

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