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<i>Brooklyn</i> Is Unapologetically Sentimental, in the Best Way

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Oregon Craft Beer Month: the "Marx Brothers & IPA" Cure

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 11:52 AM


Yesterday, for the first time, my tasting notes had nothing to do with aroma or mouth feel or finish. Actually, even the term “notes” may be a misnomer. I didn’t actually take notes. That’s not to say that I wasn’t true to my mission. I did enjoy a unique Oregon craft beer, albeit a ubiquitous one.

This last week has been a rough week. It’s been one of those weeks where nothing particularly unpleasant or terrible has happened but, never-the-less, the bullshit of the world seems to pile up, darkening every nook and cranny of life. It’s as if some field-walking beast with filthy boots were shadowing your every step. You turn to look. You try to find it. But the damn thing is more nimble than you, and its boots caked in so much bullshit, all you can do is just sit in the mess and grumble. It’s been that kind of week.

There was only one thing for it: a Marx Brothers’ movie. So the wife and I packed some portable camping chairs and headed for the Northwest Film Centers Top Down outdoor film fest. They were screening Duck Soup. It was a soup we both desperately needed.

There was a bit of panic on my part. What about my daily beer month beer? What if they didn’t have beer to drink? I’d be stuck rummaging in my fridge and cranking something open at 11pm, too tired to concentrate and give the beer its due.

Then, in a rare fit of positive thinking and manifestation, I thought to myself, “No. Oregon craft beer and I are now connected. If I don’t find it, then it will surely find me.”

Thank goodness for Bridgeport IPA, the city’s go-to art event tap. I think that after years of attending roof-top shin digs, and warehouse parties, and pre-event mixers, and artist’s receptions, I can pretty much spot the Bridgeport IPA tap handle from a mile away. Last night, it was a welcome sight.

By the time Kitty and I sat down, each with a hotdog and a plastic cup filled with IPA, I’d honestly forgotten all about tasting notes. I only wanted to drink and eat. Which, I did. Happily. Joyfully. So although I gave a cursory sniff of the beer and rolled it around in my mouth before swallowing (force of habit), I did not actually let anything sink in.

But I will say this for the Bridgeport IPA. It was just about perfect for the situation: complex enough to be interesting, but no so complex as to slow someone’s consumption. It paired exceedingly well with the hotdog, the kettle corn, the Marx Brothers, the parking garage, and the cooling evening. It aided in the growing sense of ease and contentment. The creamy head provoked smiles as it left little beer mustaches on our upper lips. Its aroma was all summer. I could not have wished for anything better.

As the week winds to a close, things are looking up. Here are a few of my favorites from the last week:

Favorites! After the Jump!

Hopworks Seven Grain Survival Stout: This is a breakfast beer, and as such, I implore you to buy a pint tonight and pop it open tomorrow sometimes before 10 am. Coffee, maple, grain… Your pint glass wants to meet your cereal bowl… and make-out with it.

Cascade Lakes Pine Marten: At last weeks BBQ my friends and I agreed that this was our favorite beer of the tasting. A beautiful, bright, complex ale.

Golden Valley Brewery Geist Bock: I love this beer because it reminds me of a sour cocktail. Call it daiquiri, call it whiskey sour. I want this bottle to take up permanent residence in my local dive bar.

Alameda Brewing’s Klickitat Pale Ale: Ned Lannamann really likes this beer. That should be enough for you. But I’ll add that I also really enjoyed the balanced strawberry and malt tones and honeydew finish of this beer. Drink it while listening to the Aquarian Age’s "10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box."

Stay tuned through the weekend. Updates are posted daily. As always, let me know your favorites in the comments. Better yet, give me a suggestion for what I should try next week.

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