Thursday, April 15, 2010


I can't remember if it was Steven Wright or Gallagher who posed the question, "Why does cargo go by boat, and shipment go by plane?" Regardless, I have a car, specifically a 1993 JEEP Grand Cherokee with broken overdrive clocking in at 257,000 miles, with five firkins of fine West Coast cask ale and three beer engines, along with all the other bits and pieces necessary to make it work such as rubber mallets, ice quilts and jackets. This is true and valuable cargo. Two of the casks are mine; the other three belong to the Eugene City Brewery (Rogue), Oakshire, and Block 15. I have spent the last month or so cultivating the myth that I will be taking their scrummy product to the 3rd Annual Firkin Fest at the Green Dragon in Portland, and that I can be trusted to treat them with the utmost care that they are due. Little do they know that I have a campsite out in the woods, a guitar, a stack of good books, a crate of Cheetos and a cooler full of frozen pizzas.

Not a particularly realistic scenario, as even I can't drink that much cask ale in four days.

So my second choice is to actually drive up to Portland and spend four days NOT AT THE PUB, if you can imagine such a thing, working with real and faux real ale, schmoozing, visiting pubs in YOUR neighborhood, and trying to catch up on what needs to be done. The latter hopefully involves tinkering with my blogging and working on a menu revision for our wee community public house. I have great expectations. I may even have an original thought.

As for blogging, you're reading it. I'm sitting at Block 15 right now having a pint of Alpha IPA on cask and a very nice cilantro and pepper oriented Southwest Salad. I'm also thinking about how I'm not really a businessman and about how I need to get out more often. This is all a good thing. I sometimes forget who I am, and am often reminded by friendly patrons that I'm looking a little harried, with bouts of pale and wan.

These next four days should be a lot of fun, if I can let it sink in that I'm not working but yet am working. I have one of the remaining casks of the KLCC collabrewation beer with me to display at the Firkin Fest, for all of you who are too lazy to drive down to Oakridge for a sample. This is that mutant Belgian Cascadian Dark Rye that I've blogged about previously. I had intended to bring a session ale, but this stuff is just so good that I had to bring it. The other casks mentioned above in my fanciful episode of improbability are under my care, and I am hoping that the Green Dragon will allow me to have enough free reign to see them handled with the delicacy that they deserve. Three of them are fined, and I will be setting them up with pumps and handling the tapping and venting tomorrow.

Another little venture this trip is a rare and probably unique Meet The Brewer event at the Belmont Station. I've been avoiding these things - philosophical issues and so forth, but Carl has been trying to talk me into it for over a year. I will be up there Friday night from 6:00 to 8:00, and have a cask of "This Time For Sure", a hoppy pale ale that wrangles with subtleties of not trying to overdo the hop bit at cellar temperature.

See ya at someone else's pub.


Andrew Self said...

I'm really looking forward to having your beer again. My fiancee and I discovered it last year at Firkin Fest and haven't found the time to make a pilgrimage to Oakridge in the last year. We'll be at Belmont Station Friday night to get proper pint-sized helpings and then probably again at Firkin Fest. Cheers!

Jeff Alworth said...

Does this mean you will be in physical, corporeal presence at the Firkin Fest? As I failed on my effort to get down to Oakridge, I have really been looking forward to the FF as a stopgap in my quest to try your beer. Meeting you would be a nice bonus. I'll be at the first session.

Although I must confess some disappointment that you didn't steal those kegs and go on holiday. Now THAT would have made for an entertaining blog post.

Christi said...

Just as long as you've not become too pasty and fevered. Ahhh...Block 15, I remember it well.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

I'm TRYING to be in physical corporeal presence at the Firkin Fest. I was just trying to drop off the four casks there and decided it might be best to just come back later tonight. If I can't get in tomorrow early to let them settle, then I might just find myself a campground, etc.