The Rest Stops from Tacoma to Portland, in Geographical Order and in Haiku

12 03 2012

Rest stop #1, ~ at milepost 94

Pee-pee stained heck hole?

No, I’d describe it like this:

Urine-soaked hell hole.


Rest stop #2, ~ at milepost 55:

Much nicer, but packed.

Toilets full–I, puzzled, think:

Poop at a rest stop?


Rest stop #3, ~ at milepost 13

Disinfectant here­–

Not pristine, though; not cherry

Blossoms on Fuji.


My Progress (Monday, pre-lunch)

27 02 2012

I’ll be able to get the Pike and the Harmon in the next day or two, and then it’s four beers. Any four Washington beers.

I’d like to thank Mr. Fuz, who has kept repeating “Eyes on the prize” as he quaffed beers with me this week.

My progress (Friday, pre-lunch)

24 02 2012

Boy, do I wish Elysian weren’t pushing their heather beer. I’m sure it’s cromulent, but I’m…not fond of heather. There, I said it.

It’s the bingo game I was meant to play, baby…

21 02 2012

/A line Troy McClure might have said, and which you would have remembered from such films as “Beers, Broads, and Bingo!” and “Would You B-9, Valentine?”

Like bringing a beet to a beer fight

13 02 2012

I’m at Brouwer’s the other weekend, and my first pick (Deschutes’ Stoic) was shot down. So I went with the Epic Beet Down.

Pour: Goldish-orange with a touch of red. Cloudy; definitely not a beer to take a picture through. No carbonation to speak of; the head lasted seconds before collapsing.

First sip: This is a really delightful shandy with a touch of honey. The pucker is strong, the effervescence is right-on, and the flavor dances across the tongue. That flavor isn’t well defined, beyond the lemon and touch of honey, except for perhaps a hit of earthiness.

Second sip-sixth sip: There’s beet in this beer. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Epic is very good at pushing limits with their concoctions, often taking some real risks in their adjuvants (shiitake mushrooms? spearmint?).

Here, however, the beet adds sweetness without in the end giving balance to the beer. And I wonder how they used the beets. Were they raw? Roasted? Pureed? Whatever the case, I feel as if the essential sweetness of the beet hadn’t been tempered, or that (perhaps) the beet sweetness feeds the pucker, rather than attacks it.

Seventh sip: This is still a damn good beer. But I don’t need as much of this beer as I’ve been given. This is a palate-cleanser, not a full pint.

Tenth sip: A roasted hint. But not enough. Curse this beer.

20th sip: Yuck.


50th sip: Fucker, you’re going down.

Gulp – gulp – glup

Winner. And still champeen. But at what cost?

($5.00. And intestinal fortitude.)


19 09 2011

A while back, I made snide comments about a local brewery. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t believe them to be true, just–snide, is all.

This last Saturday said brewery was sampling their wares at the Farmer’s Market in my neck of the woods, so I tried their IPA, and Mr. Fuz, their porter. While I was less entranced by the porter (I didn’t hate the sip I had, but I didn’t love it), the IPA was actually a solid brew.

Perhaps I should make time to re-evaluate their beers.

Ceci n’est pas un bière belge

12 09 2011

I’m at my regular, and the place is almost deserted. Which is good for me, because it means that there are few who might look askance at my request to watch tennis.

And I’m enjoying–really, truly enjoying–the Sound Brewing’s Monk’s Indiscretion. It’s bright and clear, a medium-gold color with a somewhat hefty body–not the body that I was expecting. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with a good chunk of citrusy hops that add a delightful fragrance.

But where is the Belgian in this Belgian beer? It took a while for me to come up with the answer, and–while it shouldn’t have surprised me, it did. The yeast was the thing that made this beer a Belgian. While the body and the nose gave me two different profiles, overall, the profile had that slightly saponaceous quality that I associate with Belgians.

A delightful beer for truth-telling and tennis-watching.

Sometimes when you ask the bartender to choose her “second-best IPA” for you…

2 09 2011

…you get a muddy, disagreeable beer.

It’s not muddy in an optical sense–the beer looks clear, but it doesn’t taste clear. It’s golden, yet tastes like dirt. And the back end is highly disagreeable.

Plus trop de terroir; il ne me plait pas.

(Note: I honestly don’t blame the bartender. I gave her certain specifications, and she met them. Still…)

A Review of Bailey’s 4th Anniversary Party

19 08 2011

First, I will give you a picture, and let me see if you can’t see something in it:


That’s right. Crowds. Mr. Fuz and I went to the 2:00 session of Bailey’s Taproom’s 4th anniversary party, lo these three weeks ago. The regular session opened at 4:00, was $15, and came with four tastes. The 2:00 session came with five tastes, but for the steeper price of $30. Was it worth it?, you ask.

What do you think?, I reply.

Now, for the beers, labeled F1-6. The beer nearest the camera is mine. The lovely Mr. Fuz is the backdrop.


F1 is the Fort George Bourbon Cavatica (Imperial Stout, bourbon barrel-aged), which I find abrasive at first. It’s got a strong whack of the barrel, followed by hints of strong espresso and sour cherry. There’s a drying effect immediately noticeable, coming from the sour components of the beer. Cavatica certainly becomes more subtle as it goes along.


F2 is The Bruery Cuir, a barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. At an astounding 14.5%, it’s the strongest beer on the list. But at first I think I’ve been served the wrong beer. The beer conveys perfume (by which I mean some sort of masculine cologne that Avon might have dreamed up in the 70s), black and green peppercorn on the nose, musk, wood, and clove. Was I served the Breakside Gin, I thought? There’s juniper in here, I thought. And again, as the beer warmed up, I felt the beer drop more into a style. Even though the alcohol wasn’t noticeable, this certainly was a strong beer, and a little went a long way. It was also exceptionally good, and I’d seek it out.


F3 was the Block 15 Golden Canary, which was a 4-beer blend sour aged in Pinot barrels. It poured nicely, with an excellent color and a good head. It came across as light, pleasant, and with a nice pucker, while hinting at the grape of the barrel. The beer didn’t hit the sour out of the park, but was still quite nice, and easily quaffable.


F4 was the Russian River ’10 Supplication, aged in pinot noir barrels. What can I say? It’s the Supplication; it’s a great beer. Though…perhaps there was a bit too much barrel?


F5 was, if anything, the disappointment of the day for me. The Lompoc sour Willy, a five-beer blend aged in merlot and port barrels, was not something I expected to be great. But you don’t bring a knife to a tactical nuke fight, and I felt that’s what Lompoc offered. It was buttery, but in all other senses mild and meek. This was the beer that R and I got through.

I’ve enjoyed many Lompoc beers in my time. But this was, I felt, a sub-par effort–though, again, I give them credit for reaching outside their wheelhouse to try something new.

F6, alas, has no picture. The Breakside Gin Barrel Double Wit was outstanding. It was buttery, herbaceous, citrusy, floral, with perhaps the merest hint of juniper. It was an exceptional beer to close the event.

Finally, one more great thing about the earlier event: there was a raffle. And I won this:

I won!

Thanks Geoff and crew. I had a great time, as always, even better because I could sit and have a nice conversation with Mr. Fuz while we drank.

Shameful prejudice

22 07 2011

As a non-carnivore, I find that I tend to judge places based on their name and marketing. There’s a tiny shop on 6th in Tacoma called Red Hot that I hadn’t seriously checked out. From the OnTap listings they always had a decent beer or five on line, but I couldn’t get past the name, and the concept it implied.

What’s a vegetarian going to do at a hot-dog stand? I mean, sure, I could drink beer, but I like my beer with some comestible, as a general rule, particularly if I’m drinking during the daytime hours. (Keeps the judgment down to acceptable levels).

But seriously, what’s a vegetarian going to eat at a hot dog place?

Plenty, it turns out, since the Red Hot has both veggie dogs and veggie brats. Now, mind you, I’m still not going to be able to order any of their bacon/chili combinations (though the Hosmer Hound, rhapsodized upon by my neighbor, looked awfully tempting), but the standard offerings? Not a problem.

The North End Not Dog was just like a Chicago, with a veggie dog instead of the standard beef offering. While the texture was a bit off (as is the case with most non-meat sausages), the flavor was nearly comparable to that of a beef hot dog. And the toppings were fresh, plentiful, and slightly painful (apparently, sport peppers are hot).

The beer? I went with the Boulder IPA, reasonably priced and quite enjoyable. Mr. Fuz had a pear cider. After I ordered, my eye fell to the Dogfish Head Burton Baton, which I had wanted to try. There was a discussion:

Mr. Fuz: “Are you going to get something else?”
Me: “Well, I’d like another beer–specifically, the Burton. But I’d only get something if you were having another hot dog. And I shouldn’t drive if I get the beer.”

Mr. Fuz waves the second hot dog off, then. Apparently, my liver is more important to him than a hot dog slathered in peanut butter and covered in bacon. That’s touching, in its own way.