Ale Watching

Portland Beer Update:  we’ve definitely caught the craze of trying as much of the recent batch of Fresh-Hopped beers that are pouring currently all over town.  The clear winner, for us, at the moment, is Alameda’s Failing St. Fresh Hop.  The experience is a total rush of floral flavor and refreshment.  Refreshment!  Where the fresh becomes re-freshed.  Taste and you’ll believe too.

Something we were not that into: Bridgeport Black Strap Porter.  Don’t get us wrong — it’s good.  Screwing up beer in Portland is kind of like screwing up a plate of fries for someone who is hungry: you kinda can’t do it.  But compared to something like the Deschutes Obsidian Stout, which we had poured for us from a nitro tap, well, there’s really no comparison.  Where the Black Strap is dark and strong and good, the Obsidian hits you with an actual black strap of chocolate, coffee, toffee — all those words you see bandied around when it comes to stouts but which you kind of tend to shrug off and think, um, like a Guinness?  No not like a Guinness.  More like: like you mean it.  Really mean it.  On a crisp October night at Bailey’s Taproom, the lights of Broadway zoomin too and fro outside the big glass windows, relaxing after a long day of Pacific beachcombing and roadtrip tunes through the pines, we were ready for something hearty, something warming, and something good.  Our expectations were high; suffice it to say, the Obsidian Stout surpassed them.

Not impressed: the Bear Republic Racer X.  It’s a Double IPA, so we expected something a little intense.  We got intense, but it wasn’t an interesting intense.  Super tangy/bitter like grapefruit juice and not that easy going down, it’s too strong with not enough good reason to be so.  We’re not saying we’d deny a Racer X if you handed us one, oh heck no we’d say cheers and hopefully you’d enjoy one with us, it’s just that after all the triumphs we’ve tasted as of late, we’re spoiled.  And we’re saying that’s a good thing.

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