There aren't enough moments like this. It's about 9:00 on a Friday night. There are three musicians in the house, playing sometimes separately, sometimes together. Unlike many nights when there is live music at the pub, there are actually people listening and enjoying. There is a boisterous pool game going on on the other side of the partial wall, seen through the windows from where I'm sitting way in the back by the office. Off at the end of the bar are some lively conversations. There are a couple of ladies dancing in the parlor, seen through another set of windows. The Cranium game in the Henhouse has been going on for hours, and is still going strong. And as I continue scanning this unlikely public house in the middle of timber country, I see tables covered with Imperial pints of locally brewed cask-conditioned ale, the overwhelming beverage of choice. There aren't enough moments like this.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
One must get out once in a while, for the sake of sanity, well-being and a proper recharge, so fortunately there are festivals and tastings coming up. Tomorrow I haul a cask up to Belmont Station in Stumptucky for the opening of their 14th Anniversary weekend. I jumped on the opportunity when asked. So, Friday I get to draw a firkin of Quid Hoc Sibi Vult, as well as sampling the other interesting wares. Going up on a Thursday to get the cask settling means I have an evening to spend at the Highland Stillhouse on St. Patrick's Day. I'll be good.
There are other escapes in the works. The 4th Annual Firkin Fest at the Green Dragon is coming up on the 16th of April. Looks like the offerings have crept up to 30 breweries. I'm betting I'll be bringing the ale with the lowest ABV.
The beginning of May marks the advent of the first Eugene Beer Week, culminating in the annual Sasquatch Brew Fest. I don't know if I'll be at Sasquatch, as it's hard for a brewery of my size to attend festivals that expect donated beer, but there are some rumblings about some firkins being liberated at 16 Tons. It's nice to see the Southern Willamette Valley making some noise. Why should Portland get all the attention?
Another interesting invite this year was the 5th Annual Festival of Arts and Wine .... and Beer! at the Mount Angel Abbey in June. I tried to pencil out how I could attend, but this is a limited attendance event and I had doubts that 3 oz. servings for 500 to 700 people would be sufficient to drain two casks. It would've been more for my own benefit in engaging in a breather, and, from what I was told, the interest and benefit of the monks who have a certain fondness for their ale of a traditional nature. A shame, that is; I would've liked to have spent a week in their library.
Now as the pub is winding down on a quiet Wednesday night, I'm scratching this entry out between casks on the cask washer for a filling early tomorrow morning. Then a quick packing up of the portable real ale kit and I'm on the road. I'll be missing the festivities at the pub tomorrow, what with the St. Patrick's Day release of the last, six month old cask of Tanninbomb, but I can at last test it out tonight before wiring it up to the pumps. It's up to you to have a pint tomorrow, so don't be a slacker.