Archive for August, 2008

We’re Open on Labor Day

August 29, 2008

Labor Day, Schmabor Day. Beer doesn’t rest, so why should we? We’ll be open this coming Monday at the usual hours. Celebrate your right to sit around and be lazy by making us work harder!

Kegs Keep Blowing!

August 29, 2008

A couple of fresh kegs are waiting for you folks today. The Lucky Lab 5-Ton (whiskey barrel aged) has replaced the Stone 12th Anniversary and the Green Flash Hop Head Red is subbing in for the Anderson Valley Brother David’s Triple.

How many more kegs will blow tonight?

Beer Update

August 28, 2008

Alright, so with Geoff out of town, the website and its beer menu isn’t getting updated. Tough noogies. And all you Twatter people (misspelling intentional) are just gonna have to deal, cuz I don’t know how to update our account. So, if you want to know what beer’s on, you’re just going to have read this blog. (Ha! My hit count’s going to reach double digits today!)

Here’s the current lineup, as of Thursday August 28th:

  • Cask- Fish Tail Wild Salmon Pale Ale (NEW!)
  • Nitro- Lompoc Proletariat Red
  • Stone 12th Anniversary
  • Hale’s Rudyard’s Rare Barleywine (NEW!)
  • Pike Kilt Lifter
  • Bear Republic Jack London ESB
  • Bear Republic Black Mamba
  • Fort George South
  • Pelican Doryman’s Dark
  • Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (NEW!)
  • Full Sail Dubbel
  • Lucky Lab Cherry Flanders
  • Ninkasi Tricerahops
  • Roots Gruit Kolsch
  • Elysian Immortal IPA
  • Eugene City Honey Orange Wheat
  • Full Sail Top Sail (NEW!)
  • Mt. Shasta Weed Amber
  • Butte Creek IPA
  • Southern Oregon Porter
  • Anderson Valley Brother David’s Triple

I’m in Charge

August 28, 2008

“Have a great trip, Geoff! I’ll take care of everything while you’re gone. Don’t worry about a thing, dude.”

…Is he gone yet? Jeez, I thought that guy would never leave! Alright, yeah, he’s definitely gone now.

Which means…

PARTY AT BAILEY’S!

What? Oh yeah, it’s a bar. So, that’s pretty much redundant, isn’t it?

Then how am I supposed to recklessly abuse my newly acquired powers? Switch out all the CO2 taps with Nitros? Retire the stormtrooper for a Jar Jar action figure instead? Tap all those special kegs Geoff’s been hoarding in the back? Empty his MP3 collection of everything but Everclear songs? Pass around Geoff’s personal stash of Fred from the Wood, refill them with PBR, and then re-cap them? Cover the Bailey’s sign outside with a Tugboat 2 logo? Replace all our games with Sorry!, Candyland, and Popomatic Trouble? Swap out the bottles in the window with empty cans of Stroh’s? Upload bestiality porn to the main website?

…karaoke?

Hmmm… Naah! As tempting as it is, I just can’t betray Geoff like that. I’m honored that he trusts me enough to hand over his baby to me. So for this week, I’m going to treat it with complete and unwavering respect. I’m going to treat it like it was my baby and I was pregnant with it for nine months.

But the next time he leaves town… hoo-boy!

Return of the South…

August 27, 2008

…and a few other old faves

Kegs have been blowing left and right. Since Monday night, we’ve put on eight new beers, and while there are several newbies worth checking out, I’m probably most excited about the return of some old favorites.

I had to fight that beer-hoarding boss of mine to put on the Fort George South, but the bruises and broken nose are worth it. If you missed out on this bizarro-styled beer last time, don’t make the same mistake this go around. It’s a Belgian styled sour ale with a Wit yeast that’s been aged in barrels with raspberries. Needless to say, it’s an insane beer, but it’s also remarkably approachable for the style. And after a snifter of it last night, I’m convinced that it’s even smoother and more delicious than it was before.

IPA-wise, we’ve got a couple of old reliables back on. The Elysian Immortal and the Ninkasi Tricerahops are two of my all-time favorite northwest IPAs. While I haven’t had a chance to revisit the Tricerahops yet, I did have a pint of the Elysian and was very pleased with it. It’s got a solid body for the hops, a nice sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm, and the hops are strong and present all the way through.

Meanwhile, the Tricerahops is a much bigger beer, being an Imperial IPA, but from my memory of it, it’s so insanely smooth and well-balanced that you won’t even notice the 9+ ABV. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it fares on the taste buds this time around.

Porter vs. Schwarzbier, Round 2

August 26, 2008

I’m confused.

Back in July, you might or might not remember that I was talking about the Heater Allen Schwarz and how it tasted almost exactly like a porter. This was mind-boggling at the time, as the two styles depend on entirely opposite kinds of yeasts to ferment them (lager for a schwarz, ale for a porter) and are quite different stylistically. Whereas a traditional schwarzbier starts with an initial hint of roastedness, it’s supposed to quickly fade and finish fairly clean, while a porter is far thicker, darker, packed with ample chocolate and coffee flavors and has a far more bitter and fuller finish. The Heater Allen was a beer that, had I not known it was supposed to be a schwarzbier, I would have guessed was a porter with a slightly funny aftertaste.

Alright, so confusion aside, I moved on with my life and reconciled my differences with that delicious beer by drinking a lot of it. “Isolated incident,” I tell myself. “It won’t ever happen again.”

Then along comes the Southern Oregon Porter. I take a sip of it. Something’s off. I take another sip. Then I realize: it tastes like a schwarzbier.

GAAHHH!!!

Alright, so yeah, there’s more coffee in the SOP than would typically be in a schwarzbier, but I found the roast to be less than the Heater Allen, the body to be more in line with a schwarz, and the lager finish to be far more prominent. And according to the brewer, this beer IS actually a lager, not an ale. The lager yeast was just fermented at ale temperatures, which means that it’s a schwarzbier trying to be a porter but not pulling it off, whereas Heater Allen’s beer was a porter brewed with a lager yeast but called a schwarzbier.

Now you’re confused, too? I think the only way to deal with this problem is to take a page out of the Heater Allen playbook and drink a whole lot of the Southern Oregon Porter until we can all come to terms with it. Crazy bastardized beer though it may be, it sure does taste good.

Roots’ Gruit Kolsch Healed Me!

August 21, 2008

It’s a miracle! I went to Bailey’s the other night to try and catch up on some of the beers that had left me in their dust, and after a single sip of Roots Gruit Kolsch, I was feeling better already. Some of you doubters (i.e. doctors) are just going to say it was the alcohol numbing me, but that’s far too logical a theory and doesn’t support where I’m trying to go with all this. Which is… that this beer is delicious and can cure you of anything. Measles, ebola, cancer, a rocky marriage… you name it.

But what the hell is it, I hear you ask? For those who left their beer dictionary at home, here’s a quick breakdown on what gruit and kolsch mean (you should already know what Roots means—it’s that organic brewery over on the east side). A gruit beer is one in which there are no hops, but instead, a mix of herbs which differs depending on the brewer and is used to flavor the beer and add complexity and preserving qualities to the otherwise all-malt mixture. Before hops became all the rage, all beers were gruit beers.

Kolsch, meanwhile, is a style that originated in Cologne, Germany and lies somewhere between a Helles and a Pilsner in the sweet-to-hoppy ratio. It’s hoppier than a Helles, but not as hoppy as a Pilsner. The other big difference is that it happens to be an ale instead of a lager, even though it shares the light-bodied flavor and yellow color of its compatriots.

For a gruit beer, Roots has knocked it out of the park. It’s sweet and fruity but clean with no bite and very little aftertaste. The carbonation is quiet with tiny bubbles and the flavors evoked are that of white grapes and just a hint of orange citrus. According to Roots’ website, they used hand-picked lavender and chamomile from their gardens when devising their gruit mix recipe, which would account for that clean but fruity and smooth taste.

Of course, as a Kolsch, this isn’t very authentic at all. A Kolsch is supposed to have a pronounced hop flavor, but this beer doesn’t have ANY hops! So calling this beer a “gruit kolsch” is really an oxymoron. It’s also far fruitier and more flavorful than a typical Kolsch. I’m assuming that Roots is using “Kolsch” in the loosest sense of the word: an ale so light, you might confuse it for a lager. They probably decided that for people looking for a light, summery beer, it was important to add the more familiar word, “Kolsch” to the less well known “Gruit.”

Regardless of what they’re calling it, this beer is another delicious addition to a summer full of great light beers. West coast breweries have really been stepping up this season with a number of variations on styles that normally bore me to tears. Now there’s even a cure for that!

I Miss Beer

August 19, 2008

I’m curled up in a fetal position crying uncontrollably right now, because I haven’t had a full pint of beer in over a week. Gaaah!!! It’s been awful. You see, I’ve been a little under the weather, never really sick, mind you, but just feeling like on the brink of it, teetering on the edge of sickliness. My girlfriend managed to get a cold in August (somehow) and I’ve been doing everything I can to keep well. Popping Vitamin C tablets, consuming mass quantities of zinc, and getting ten hours of sleep every night isn’t so bad, but giving up my favorite beverage? Torture.

I’ll admit that there’s been a little cheating along the way. A sip here, a 10 oz there (I couldn’t miss out on last week’s cask porter, after all!), but no full pints and no beer that isn’t being diluted by a glass of water twice its size to accompany its descent down my throat.

This beer deficit to my system may be great for my liver and my chances for staying healthy, but it’s killing my morale! And it also means that my Herculean feat last Monday of catching up on all the beers at Bailey’s has been invalidated by the fact that there are a number of new beers on that I haven’t been able to try yet. Let’s go through the list: the Roots Gruit Kolsch (what the hell is a Gruit?), the Lucky Lab Super Dog and Speakeasy Double Daddy (both of which, to be fair, I’ve had plenty of before), the Lompoc Extra Special Pale (is that a combination of an ESB and a Pale Ale?), the Weed Amber (this one LOOKS delicious with its deep crimson hue) and the Hair of the Dog Ruth (which is one of those beers I wished would never blow the last time we had it on).

And on top of all that, I hear that we’re putting on Beer Valley’s Leafer Madness this Thursday on cask! Cask! An Imperial IPA on Cask is like an Imperial Stout on Nitro. It just cannot be missed.

So I’m asking for your help, loyal beer fans. Please drink these beers for me. Let me drink vicariously through you. And please pray to whatever god, gods, or extraterrestrial overlords you believe in that I’m back to 100% soon.

Secrets of the Taproom

August 15, 2008

Part 6: “TK-421! Why Aren’t You At Your Post?” (Because He’s At Bailey’s!)

In honor of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which hits movie theaters today, I thought it would be a good time to finally unveil the secret history of the stormtrooper commonly seen lurking around the premises of Bailey’s Taproom. As any of our loyal regulars know, he may be tiny at just 3 and 3/4 inches tall, but he doesn’t tolerate any drunken rowdiness or Rebel sympathizing… and he’s always on the move. You may see him hanging from a rafter at one minute only to find him inspecting the stereo equipment or perched atop an empty beer bottle the next time you look.

While there’s a nasty rumor going around that he’s just some silly action figure that Geoff (who was well over the age of eight-years-old at the time) sent away for in 1996, with two proofs of purchase off a Fruit Loops cereal box, the truth is far more complicated and much better suited for a lucrative film adaptation, comic book spinoffs, fast food chain marketing campaign, and action figure line all its own (GL Baby: Have your people call mine!).

The truth started when-else and where-else but a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

A fourth-generation clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett, TK-421 was born in a test tube on the planet Kamino where he was trained as a soldier for the Republic and given growth acceleration treatments to move him into combat more quickly. Dispatched to the front lines of the conflict on Mygeeto, he was one of the troopers who turned against their Jedi General Ki-Adi-Mundi and gunned him down when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s Order 66 was activated. Although he did not hesitate to pull the trigger, TK-421 spent many a sleepless night afterwards silently anguishing over the action.

After the last remnants of the Separatist movement had been extinguished and the Jedi purged, TK-421 spent the next eighteen years (or 36 years in growth-accelerated clone time) attempting to preserve the peace in the first Galactic Empire. For several years, it was easy work, putting down an insurrection here, a protest there, gunning down activists and traitorous politicians who dared to question the Emperor’s directives. But then the Rebel Alliance sprung up and proclaimed war against the Empire.

As TK-421 watched his old comrades being phased out of action to be replaced with new clones or fresh recruits, he endured. Though going on 54 in clone years, TK-421 was still considered one of the best troopers in the Imperial army and a better shot than most of the new recruits, who couldn’t hit the broad side of a bantha. But when he was stationed on the Empire’s new Death Star, his slower reflexes caused him to be caught off guard by a scruffy smuggler and a farm boy from Tatooine who were hiding in the hidden smuggling compartments of the spaceship he and his partner, TK-422, had been assigned to search. Knocked unconscious and left in his undergarments, the trooper was humiliated before his commanding officer and immediately kicked out of the Empire.

Spared a soldier’s death when the Death Star was destroyed soon after, TK-421 found himself on Coruscant, alone and purposeless, wearing a spare stormtrooper uniform he had stolen after being discharged. Wandering from cantina to cantina, the former trooper found comfort in various forms of ferment from Bothan brandy to Sullustan gin until he discovered the joys of a good ale. Spicebrew, Corellian ale, Phibian beer, Altorian milk-ale, it didn’t matter… with each new brew, TK discovered that he could enjoy something besides punching and shooting and stabbing.

Deciding to open a brewery of his own on Bespin, TK-421 bought a ship and set off for the planet. But unfortunately for the trooper, he had purchased it discount from a former Gungan Representative’s starship depot. That Gungan, who shall remain nameless, was about as good at designing starships as he was at being a politician or a general, which is to say, he wasn’t very good at all. When TK punched in the coordinates on his Nav computer, he and his ship shot through hyperspace and several dimensions all at once, but instead of ending up on Bespin, he and his ship were shrunken down to kid-friendly, easily collectible size and deposited in our galaxy, on this planet, directly into a full pint of Imperial IPA (speaking of which, the Speakeasy Double Daddy Imperial IPA happens to be on tap right now!).

Literally drowning in beer, TK-421 pulled himself through the foamy head and out of the pint glass, soaked and sputtering. But as the delicious taste of Earth beer slid over his taste buds, he was shocked to find that it was the best tasting stuff he had ever had. It had sublime malt sweetness, huge bittering hops, and the kick of an Ithorian Reek all in the same swallow.

Ever since, TK-421 has agreed to keep guard over Bailey’s Taproom in exchange for his weight in beer… which is really a pretty great deal for us. Offer up a salute the next time you drop by and you’ll see that he’s really not such a bad guy for being, well, a Bad-Guy.

Belgian Summer

August 13, 2008

Is it just me or does it seem like Belgian-styled beers are considered summer seasonals for most breweries? Case in point: currently, we’ve got six such beers on tap: Golden ales like the Lazy Boy Belgian and the Hopworks Diablito, a Dubbel from Full Sail, a Trippel from Anderson Valley, a Cherry Flanders from Lucky Lab and a Witbier from Pelican.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining about the beers. They’re great! What’s a shame is that I know all this Belgian stuff is going to come to an end when the summer’s over. For some reason, most breweries only churn out these styles three months out of the year and leave us thirsty for more for the other seasons. Maybe a fruity, spiced, light-bodied drink is ideal for when it’s hot outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious when it’s raining and cold instead. If I can drink a stout in August, I can certainly put down a Saison in February.

Here’s hoping that there will be plenty more Belgian beers to sustain us for the rest of the year… but just in case that doesn’t happen, you’d better grab these six while you still can.