Sunday, August 22, 2010


I grew up reading Richard Scarry. My kids were subjected to it as well. Under certain circumstances I can still happily leaf through a volume of "HUCKLE CAT'S BUSIEST DAY EVER". Just what exactly this has to do with this post is still in question.

Mountain Bike Oregon brings a lot of people to town. They like bikes. They like trails. They like beer. On Thursday, as they head to Greenwaters Park to set up camp and get oriented, they find themselves becoming hungry and thirsty. Fortunately, there is a nearby pub that offers solutions to both. And even more fortunately, as we are sponsors of the event, each rider, guide and industry personnel gets a ticket for a free pint of our ale. There IS such a thing as free beer. It's obviously the first introduction to some to the goodness that is real ale, so a brief explanation is often required. I had one person come back up to the bar and yell "this beer is warm", to which I replied "free, too". He did manage to get through it anyway. That's the good news. The bad news that's also good news is that we're running out of beer again. The pumps certainly have been busy. A cask of Union Dew (as dispensed at the 2010 GBBF) was dispatched in two hours on Thursday, and the hoppy amber died shortly afterward. I now have to get back to brewing, as the brewery is full of empty casks that need washing and eventual filling.

The sad part of the busy weekend was the sudden passing of Green Jeep. Green Jeep has been with us for 15 years, leaving trails of motor oil as it has delivered casks to remote backwaters such as Corvallis and Portland in the last few years. Chef, having borrowed my car, was coming back from Eugene with the food run for the weekend when he was hit by a driver trying to shave off a minute or two on his way to the valley. Just why these things happen, along with the death of the ice machine, on a busy weekend, I'll never know. He's OK, recovering from some injury to his hand, and will be back on duty by the next weekend hopefully. Green Jeep will need to be replaced with a new dray wagon once we find out if the money I've been paying to the insurance company for 15 years will pay off.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Superannuation # 2

It's been two years to the day since the pub opened. I don't really remember those first few weeks. I do remember working almost all the time after that, often until two or three in the morning, until October when business started really slacking off. I had never run a pub and brewery before. What I learned about it I picked up in a foreign land, brewing beer, working an English bar, fixing stuff, and finding out what really goes on behind the scenes. But we're still here - amazing considering the economy and the unusual weather this winter and spring. And I'd like to write more about this, but I have to work the bar at noon and it's already 11:35 AM. Come visit us today and bring presents.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Who has the time for this? It's the busy season - no time to sit in a corner with a laptop and dribble some drivel. However, a pint was sounding pretty good, so off to the couch in the front parlor of the pub for a typing session of random bits and pieces.

Bit # 1: It's been two weeks since I was up in Portland at the Belmont Station for the OBF Fringe Fest. I didn't go to the OBF, since it's just too big and impersonal for my tastes. Much more fun to pull pints for the punters and rub shoulders with brewers and so forth. Two firkins of real ale were drained by 3:00 on Sunday. I'd never seen so many tickers and notebooks in one place.

Bit # 2: I visited some new places and some old while up in Stumptown. As for the new, I tried Migration, Coalition and Apex. Portland definitely has an architectural obsession with the big shiny metal and brick box motif. I hope they do well, but I'm still looking for cozy and 6 pints of session.

Bit # 3: I often wonder how many brewpub owners in this state wash dishes, bus tables and work their own bars.

Bit # 4: The Great British Beer Festival was this last week. There is evidence that a firkin of Union Dew from the Brewers Union survived the rigors of a Trans-Altlantic journey. I really need to get back over there someday.

Bit # 5: We're running out of beer. I'm brewing twice a week now to make up for the increased traffic and to prepare for the onslaught of Mountain Bike Oregon. Low ABV cask ale does sell.