Father’s Daze

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Alrighty, beer fans, so I’ll admit I kind of left you folks in the lurch last week. But before you take up your pitchforks and torches, you should know that I didn’t just waste away the whole week leaning back in a comfy chair and lazing about the apartment. I was out there, in the field, collecting beer experiences to share with all of you loyal blog-reading, beer-drinking patriots.

You see, The Dad was in town for one week and I owed him a full tour of Oregon’s beer bounty since the last time he was out here was over a year ago and we spent all our days in Targets and Goodwill stores getting me moved in. This visit, he was going to need a beer or two… or seventy.

For an east coaster like him, it was something of a culture shock. While he’s had the occasional west coast beer in his time, he really had no idea what he was getting himself into. Out there in the boonies of beer civilization where he lives, there’s the occasional pint of something tasty pouring in some secret backwater, but for the most part, you’re in Macro Land, doomed to settle for Sam Adams Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. So I plotted out a daring path that would send us to breweries near and far, styles familiar and unheard of, and schemed a programming of increasingly better beers to disillusion my dear old dad’s opinion that “Leinenkugel really isn’t all that bad.”

We hit breweries Double Mountain, Rogue, Deschutes, Pelican, Amnesia, New Old Lompoc, and Full Sail. We swooped into restaurants serving Mt. Hood, Siletz, Trumer, and Bridgeport. We attacked the North American Organic Beer Festival and indulged in some Roots, Hair of the Dog, Hopworks, Laurelwood and too many more to name. And we arrived at Bailey’s… over and over and over again. And it was at Bailey’s that we dug deep and confronted the insanity of beerdom head on, tackling pint after pint from a variety of breweries: Ninkasi, Pike, Hale’s, Beer Valley, Bend, Green Flash, and Alameda (again, just to name a few).

When the dust cleared, Beercation was over and it was time for my dad to get back to the harsh summers of the east, with its oppressive heat and drought of draught options. But before he left, we both vowed a short fasting of beer, so that we might share one final pint together, on the 4th of July at opposite ends of the country… and also because, well, our livers could use a little vacation, too.

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One Response to “Father’s Daze”

  1. Paul Says:

    Michael has learned well the columnist’s trick of using only the facts that support his argument while making the other guy pay for his own ink to tell his side.

    So, here’s dad’s side of this story:

    Yes, I did say that Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat “really isn’t all that bad.” But the comment must be understood in context. In North Carolina, it gets to be 100 on Friday summer afternoons with 200 percent humidity. At a fairly good beer bar, The Flying Saucer, Leinenkugel sold for $2.50 a pint all last summer. It is in that context that it isn’t all that bad.

    Next, you folks in Portland don’t understand your bounty of riches. I can’t believe all of the GREAT beers you have out there. Nonetheless, if any Bailey’s clients ever get here to old Raleigh, please do try some of our better North Carolina beers.

    My favorite everyday, or session, beer is Carolina Pale Ale, which comes from a small brewery in Holly Springs. If you’re here on a Saturday, head out for the weekly tour which is an all-you-can-drink-for-free deal for about two hours. It’s a great party. Check to see if the tours are still being given. I don’t know how they can afford to give away that much free beer. The IPA is good, too.

    Other excellent NC beers are:

    * Anything from Foothills Brewing Co. of Winston-Salem.

    * Endo Pale Ale and Frostbite Ale from Mooresville.

    * Highland Brewing Co.”s Scottish Ale and, better yet, Oatmeal Porter. The porter is especially good at Carolina Hurricanes games. We may not have as many good beers as Portland, but we’ve got an NHL team. (And for the last two years, we really needed a lot of porter just to bear to watch them play.)

    * Duck Rabbit Milk Stout.

    * Big Boss in Raleigh is producing some nice beers and there’s the new Triangle Brewing which is coming along quickly, also.

    Now I just wish we had a Bailey’s here that would highlight the best of the local beers, serve them at the right temperature and through clean lines.

    You guys really are fortunate … except that you don’t have an NHL team.

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