My daughter and her boyfriend Jon came up to Portland for the weekend, and the biggest event was a brew pub tour run by a guy named Jim, who calls his tour the "College of Brew Knowledge".
After he collected our money and everyone was strapped into his vehicle he gave us our first bit of knowledge: There are five enemies of beer. One is light, which is why most beer sold in bottles are sold in tinted bottles. Another enemy is oxygen, which is why beer goes flat. That's my daughter Robin studying hard at the Beer College.
After that the enemies list of beer started getting blurry over the course of the afternoon. I think heat was another enemy. But people need light, heat and oxygen.
The first place we went to was the Hopworks Urban Brewery. A brew master named Walker gave us lots of information about hops and grains. Hops are citrusy, and a two other varieties. I forgot.
As we went through the different beers we were supposed to write down our impressions of each beer. For example, I found Hopworks' Crosstown Pale Ale "sweet and piney". Oh yeah, "piney" is another category of hops. We had six different beers at Hopsworks. Each one tasted better than the last one.
Above is where they make the beer. The put it in one big container and do something, move it to another big container and do something. Then they move it to another big container and it sits around until it's ready. They have pipes that run from the basement where the beer is made upstairs to the pub where the beer is drunk. They had a great men's room with great lights hanging over the urinals.
Then we went to Amnesia Brewery. On my way out of the van I landed funny on my bad knee. It hurt some, but luckily the beer seemed to help the pain. We had their ESB (English bitter using British hops), which was good. Their Copacetic IPA was good too. And their Desolation IPA was good too. Jim stopped asking me for my opinion because I seemed to like every beer he brought.
Between breweries we drove past Potato Champion, where I got my first taste of poutine. That was cool. I still don't know my way around Portland very well, so when I see something I recognize I get excited.
I don't know about enemies of beer, but one enemy of beer drinkers is bladder capacity.
Next we went to McTarnahan's which either does or doesn't have a relationship with Pyramid Breweries. I didn't get that straight.
Here's a picture of Jon waiting for beer. The guy sitting in the background ordering the garlic fries is the tour guide Jim. Their Apricot Ale was "A-OK!!" The Hefeweizen was light. They had a Smoked Lager which I found "weird", and a Goose Bump Bourbon Stout which I didn't like. It tasted like bourbon. But we'd been drinking all afternoon and it was getting dark and their garlic fries were fantastic.
Here is a huge copper kettle that the McTarnahanistas use for making beer:
It was dark by the time we got to our last brewery. I thought it was the Hair of the Dog Brewery, but it was actually the Lucky Labrador Brewery. Forget the enemies of beer, I didn't know where we were. This painting was hanging on the wall there:
We had something called "Crazy Ludwig" which I described as "good, bitter, light bite". I have no idea what I meant. Then we had something else.
After the tour Jim dropped the three of us down at the kids' hotel. We staggered around and had pizza and then they poured me into a cab to go to Joan's house. The smartest thing I did on Saturday was rely on others to drive me.
Joan missed the day because she's a doula and a baby arrived two weeks early, so while she was toiling over a new mom and a new baby we were toiling over pitchers of beer.
It had been a beautiful day on Saturday but Sunday returned to normal Portland weather. Lots of rain. Joan and I had breakfast at The Cameo Cafe (I think its name is). Great breakfasts. The serving of hash browns is so big and so hot that they glow. When you squirt catsup on them it bubbles. And they're nice and creamy too, like the center of the sun.
We met up with the kids and went over to my place in Beaverton, because Robin wanted to see what it looked like with stuff in it (she'd seen it when I first rented it). After playing with the cat we drove out along the Columbia River Gorge.
The above is Multnomah Falls. It was raining and there was lots of water in the waterfall. There was lots of water everywhere. I got a coffee mug in the gift shop, and I put a penny in one of those machines that mash it and make it a trinket.
We came back to Joanie's, where Robin played with Gilly and Sully for awhile. Then we went over to the brew pub across the street (they're all over the place) and had dinner and took them to the airport. A fine weekend. Lots of fun.
Beware of the enemies of beer.