Best Care Package Ever

It turns out that one of my good friends from school celebrated his 21st birthday today, meaning that he can finally get his own ass over to the beer store. Unfortunately, he lives in New Jersey, which lacks the quality and quantity of craft beers that Portland has to offer. Luckily for me, the birthday boy lives within 15 minutes of Matt and Dave, who are good friends, beer geeks, and B.E.N. club members. Being the supreme beer geek that I am, I can confidently say that I corrupted Matt and Dave to the dark side of craft brews. At the start of freshman year, dearest Matt didn’t even drink beer, and over the next four years went through several transitions. He went through the “I like beer, just not the dark kind” phase, to the “I just wanna get drunk” phase, to the “I like really obscure beers that you will never hear about” phase. I’m proud of you Matt, I really am.

As for Dave, he was my prodigy, meant to take over B.E.N. club after I left, but instead he decided to become a president to some random fraternity that has a bar room that smells of skunked natural light…which is somewhat contradictory to his love of bourbon barrel aged beer. To be honest though, I think he just likes the bourbon barrel part. If someone put a shoe inside a bourbon barrel for a year, Dave would definitely be all over that.

Well anyways, since Mr. Birthday boy, Dave, and Matt all live close together, I get to bundle a birthday present and two care packages into one big package!

Yahtze!

 

I wonder what could be inside?! Some of the beers are shown in the beer haul post, but a few others are goodies that I snagged from my cellar.

Buying Beer is Hard Work

The title says it all, selecting and buying all of the beer shown in the previous post is draining work. So in classic Asian tradition, I re-energized by feasting on fried rice and a particularly delicious American ale. Hair of the Dog Brewing is one of my favorite breweries, and they manage to keep thousands of beer geeks happy and buzzed despite only having a staff of around 6 people. Known for their bottle conditioned beers that improve with age, Ruth is one of their more normal beers, which should be consumed as quickly as possible after bottling. Smells like hops and pine, and tastes strongly of hops and citrus, this beer is more similar to a typical IPA than an American ale in my opinion. It was a great beer to have with my several bowls of fried rice, but for those of you who do not have instant access to fried rice (that’s you, white people), I would try and pair this beer with a creamy cheese such as brie, grilled whitefish (swordfish, snapper, etc), bbq, or anything spicy.

Beer: Ruth

Brewery: Hair of the Dog

Location: Portland, OR

Style: American Ale (I call bullshit, IPA)

ABV: 5.6%

BA Grade: B

My Grade: B+

Here’s what it looks like in my favorite drinking glass (Deschutes 16 oz. snifter)

Gotta love spending monies at the bottle shop

Day 2 of jet lag, so I woke up at the not-so-awesome time of 7AM, so I decided to run over to Powells Books, and then over to Belmont Station, my favorite bottle shop, and one of the best places to buy choice brews in the United States. This beer haul contains brews that I will consume and review over the next few days/minutes and a few that I plan to send to some friends who live in the terrible, awful, smelly cesspool known as New Jersey.

w00t w0ot!

First brew!

So the first brew on the blog is Hopworks Urban Brewery’s IPA. This IPA comes out of a tiny little brewery in Portland that offers a large variety of organic beers. This particular brew uses 3 different hops and several organic malts to achieve a relatively sharp, citrusy and refreshing taste. A rather interesting characteristic about this beer is that it lacks some of the floral notes that is expected of this type of IPA. Overall, I would give it a B+ on the grade scale. As a reference, Beer Advocate rates this beer as an A/A- beer. I usually rate my beers similarly to Beer Advocate, but I guess I punished this beer for its lack of floral notes. Below is a picture of the beer itself in one of my favorite glasses (HOTD 12oz tulip).

And so it begins

Today is my first day back to Portland, OR after graduating from Bucknell University. So naturally, the first things I do is eat lunch, unpack my computer, and buy some beer. Over the life of this blog I plan to simply share my experiences trying new beer while making all of my beer-loving friends jealous of the fantastic beer-centric city of Portland. While these two photos aren’t recent, they represent the kind of thing that I’ll be doing as often as humanly possible.