Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why I love Eyeluvbeer & other out of this world musings

 You gotta check out my buddies blog post today over at Eyeluvbeer, it made me laugh out loud (sorry, I can't physically make myself type 'LOL'). I totally love them and their goofy weirdness, my kinda peeps through and through. You can check out his other posts and rad merchandise here, after you're done reading. Might as well read on and enjoy!

Meet 0101110, Our New Friend

Hi, I'm 0101110
Greetings Earthlings. I have been deployed from the planet Bräuzeer contained in the UDFj-39546284 Galaxy, which is approximately 13.2 billion light-years from Earth. We are fluent in 10,126 languages, including English. My planet Bräuzeer is interested in a liquid you create called beer. Where I'm from no such thing exists. We used our recently developed Hopdar Sensor Technology (HST) and have found the Pacific Northwest produces some of the best beer in the United States. After careful analysis we have chosen Oregon as our test site; Portland to be exact. Bräuzeer was amazed when they looked at their radar findings and saw 47+ breweries in the metropolitan area. Fascinated by this enormous number they have sent me, 0101110 to explore the love you humanoids have with beer. Oh, and don’t worry, we aren’t going to try to take over your planet like those Hollywood movies want you to believe.

Bräuzeer as seen from your crappy Hubble Space Telescope

My space craft was programmed to land at 45° 33' 7.2'', -122° 40' 32.2''. As it turns out, this was the exact coordinates of what I have become to know as Bridgetown Beerhouse. I made it, but was in bad shape from a very rough landing. Almost unconscious outside Bridgetown’s entrance, I was scooped up off the ground by a scruffy looking human who was headed out the door. I noticed one particular article of clothing the earthly being was wearing had some strange symbols on it; one I recognized was the state of Oregon. Below it, in tiny letters was some text. It read Eyeluvbeer. I would call this Earthling, Eyeluvbeer.

Eyeluvbeer, put me in his pocket and we traveled by foot to the place he calls home. So far, I have been on Earth for roughly two weeks. In that time, I have consumed a number of beers and have begun to see why you humans love it so much. It's certainly delicious, there seems to be a style for everyone’s liking and more importantly, it brings people together. I have met some really great beings in Portland while out sipping a pint. They think I look a little funny at first, but they figure I’m just keeping Portland weird.

Eyeluvbeer bought me a nice
HUB Galactic Imperial Red.  It was out of
this world!
Eyeluvbeer has promised to take me out more and more. He said he’d be happy to have me as a guest blogger or at least contribute somehow to the beer blog he maintains. Eventually I will have to return to Bräuzeer to report my discoveries. Until then, I hope we cross paths and can enjoy a pint together.

Happy St. Patricks Day,

You can check out Eyeluvbeer's other blog posts and rad merchandise here, they are definitely doing their part to keep Portland weird. Thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tacoma Drinks WA Beer Week - We did it!

I recently went on a fabulous trip through Washington. A trip solely experienced by my mouth hole that resulted in many a night spent ingesting Washington brewed beers. Tacoma Drinks Washington Beer Week is a collaborative event put on by the Red Hot and Parkway Tavern, 2012 will mark the 2nd year they've done this and I was stoked when I heard it would be going on again. Resulted in a big 'ol happy dance and a game plan, as a matter of fact.

The challenge is simple enough: Pick up a bingo-style beer sheet, get a stamp for every WA beer you drink during the designate time (both places dedicate all of their taps to this event so there were lots of options) and hopefully fill out the sheet to win a commemorative growler. Although I found absolutely nothing wrong with how this event played out in the Fall of 2010, some obvious improvements had been made. Only 20 pints (19 plus a free space) needed to be downed for completion, versus the 25 (24) of last year. Both places made sure to have multiple kegs of some of the harder to find beer, that way I didn't have to worry about making it out every single night just to ensure I don't miss a beer that might run out quickly.

Last year, if I remember correctly, a keg of Fish beer was only served the first day or two at Red Hot and if you didn't happen to get it at that time there were no other options during the event to do so. It left quite a few people (including both MGD and myself) with almost filled out beer sheets and no way to complete the task. Red Hot was great about getting another keg at the end of the event to sort everyone out and a couple days before this year's event ended, they did a shout out on Facebook to see what beers people still needed to drink for stamps. Brilliant.

The beer sheet also had special events listed for the duration (like Harmon brew on the Randall at Parkway and the release of the Wingman/Airways collaboration brew at Red Hot) which I found immensely helpful in our overall game plan. From previous experience, we knew to drink the 'hard' beers first and then drink whatever from there.

While there was oodles of WA beer to try during the event, here are some of the ones that MGD & I drank:

-Wingman Stratofortress
-Fish Mudshark Porter
-ABC Blonde on Randall
-ABC Scotch Ale (It was American Brewing Company brewers night at Parkway and this was my fave of the night. The Scotch Ale is terribly delicious!)
-ABC Oatmeal Caboose Stout on Nitro
-Elysian Heather Ale 
-E9 Pilsner
-Harmon Old Stock Ale
-Boundary Bay Inside Passage Ale (I think this is the full pint I spilled all over MGD while gesturing wildly during some excited story telling. The story was good so I think his dry pants were a worthy sacrifice, MGD may feel differently.)

Before I dumped the Boundary Bay IPA (pictured on the right) all over MGD...
After said beer dumpage. This was my cheesy "You still have to love me even though you're a victim of my clutsyness!"look. We were long overdue for a beer spilling anyways.
-7 Seas Port Royal Stout
-Snoqualmie Black Frog Stout on Nitro
-Black Raven Trickster IPA
-Big Al Poppa Charlie's Pale Ale
-Schooner Zythos

Big Al Poppa Charlie's Pale Ale & Schooner Exact Zythos
 (We spent the Saturday evening at Hops and Props in Seattle. Had a blast and on the drive home our conversation went something like this: MGD: "Parkway for the win?" Me: "Cha, you know it dude.")
-Silver City Wine Barrel Black Kolsch
-Diamond Knot IPA
-Pike Old Bawdy Barleywine (It was bloody brilliant to make our winning beer a barleywine at the end of an already long night of drinking. All I remember after imbibing the Old Bawdy was proving to MGD that I can throw popcorn and catch in my mouth with a 99% success rate and a hilarious comparison of our house to the Galapagos Islands. So in other words, we had a fab time.)

If you did the math and realized that 17 beers doesn't equal a full sheet then you get a sweet little head pat. In reminiscing about Tacoma Drinks WA Beer Week last year, I decided that MGD and I would only work on one beer sheet this time. We already have 24 growlers at home and 3 in my trunk (I just flitted downstairs to do a head count), winning only one would do us and our space issues just fine. Plus the lovely stomach issues I've been having lately don't make drinking (or eating for the matter) especially fun, and definitely not drinking every night for a week. So I put the limit to one growler and informed MGD that he was going to be doing most of the hard yards.

We started with 2 beers sheets, just in case, but focused our energy on completing one. So there are quite a few beers that we each had a pint of, hence the less than 20(19) beers. Plus we had friends 'donate' pints to our sheets, which I'm morally torn over. I won't go into my neurosis as to why but just know that MGD & I could have easily each completed our own sheets if we wanted to, we did 2 full ones last year.

So my whole 'one growler & you do the drinking' song and dance changed as soon as I saw that the commemorative prize growlers were the small medicine bottle style ones. I absolutely adore those little guys and if you want some explanatory logic, it would take roughly 3 of them to equal the space that one full sized growler would take up. Plus, while at the American Brewing night at Parkway, we had a fabulous time hanging with friends and our buddies from both Airways Brewing and ABC. I should have known, I get really excited about themed contests. Next year I will keep my trap shut and just go drink my little Washington heart out.

Winning combination at Parkway (and also the last we saw of Sheet #2)
MGD photographing me photographing the winning combination
This is one of those 'I hate this picture because I look like I have down syndrome but MGD likes it so that's the only reason you are seeing it.' pictures.
MGD hops behind the bar at Parkway for a photo op of our winningness with Sean Jackson
After party celebrations took place behind the beer sheet
While we 253ers are already pretty big cheerleaders for local beer in and around these parts, I think this event is a great one. Not just for the obvious reasons but it also gives people an opportunity to try some beers they haven't had before from breweries they already know well. I hope that the Parkway and Red Hot work to make this an annual event, it's one of my favorites of EVER.

Tacoma drinks Washington.
Washington loves Tacoma.
Well done guys, well done.

Photography by MGD

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tacoma: The Gritty City I heart and it's love of drink.

If you haven't already picked up your copy of the latest issue of Tacoma's Weekly Volcano (and hightailed it straight away to see what wittiness the new PSP ad has to offer then immediately started working up a word storm on the crossword puzzle like I do) then you need to get on it!

The featured article is all about the history of libations in the city of Tacoma and the impact that drink has had on our community image through the years. There is such a drink-centric history here that I was astounded to learn of. Here is an excerpt:

"Regardless of whether you work at a desk or in a labor job you want a beer after work," says Thoburn. "Beer tastes good. It makes you smile and if you're having a hard time smiling, chances are having a beer with your friends will help. I think it's good for Tacoma to stick with the working class image, because it's honest."

Ken Thoburn of Tacoma's current-day Wingman Brewing had the following to contribute in the article: "I started a brewery in the historical brewery district because I want to recharge this industry in Tacoma, beer is in our blood," Thoburn continues. "Regardless of whether you work at a desk or in a labor job you want a beer after work," says Thoburn. "Beer tastes good. It makes you smile and if you're having a hard time smiling, chances are having a beer with your friends will help. I think it's good for Tacoma to stick with the working class image, because it's honest."

Click here to read the article in its entirety, you'll be happy you did and hopefully be a smidge more educated as well. Cheers!

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