Friday, October 30, 2009

Fresh Hop Ales & the There There

Over at the Ventiblog, if you haven't been reading it, Jack is really getting into beer! He's got a terrific post about the fresh hop beers on tap, and if you are wondering what the fuss is about, Venti's has you covered!

CT is still working on figuring out fresh hop ales, and finds they vary widely. In some cases other brewing components overshadow the fresh hops, and at least for this taster, in a blind tasting it would not be easy to discern them as fresh hop ales. Others taste remarkably different from beers brewed with dried hops.

If you want to get in on an emerging style, one with great quirks and unevenness and occasional brilliance, and one that is almost uniquely suited to NW brewing, this is the thing to explore! It points, in fact, to one way that beer can successfully mimic wine: terroir & the expression of place. In the best fresh hop ales, you can begin to get a sense of the there there. For they just couldn't be brewed anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rampaging Roosters, Horrific Hens: Fowl Fear

The chicken here, rendered in stark black, appears ready to pounce. It is in the attack posture. In a self-consuming frenzy, it will become a mini-berzerker, drawing blood and lacerating flesh.

Some time ago, an urban anthropologist and folklorist suggested that one of his chief informants, Tommy Elliot, might have collected ballads, songs, or other sayings about chickens. This cannot come soon enough. For a poetics of poultry is urgently needed.

Still, until we can get a more definitive reading, it seems clear that Visions of Wasting and Apocalypse lurk behind the urban chicken. Adding to a newspaper piece this morning, one commenter wrote:
But what about our race to embrace Third World cultures?
Affluence could hardly be more anxious. Get these people a beer!

Update:Over at DSS, Emily has turned up some rooster rhymes! They're a little bawdy and the first stanza starts like this -
It takes me back to the good old days
when chickens ran the yard.
My cock would come out every morning
and stand up straight and hard.
Head on over to read the rest!

(Chicken in Bush's Pasture, circa 1900 - Salem Library Historic Photos Collection)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brewers Bash at Brown's this Saturday

Information's a little scarce right now, but this Saturday at Brown's Towne Lounge will be a brewers festival. From the Salem Monthly Calendar:
1st Brewers Bash
4:00 pm- 10/10
Six local brewers bring their brews for tasting. Ninkasi, McMenamins, The Ram Big Horn Brewery, Seven Brides, Callapooia and Oakshire are all in attendance. Live music with Andrew Hussey presented. Guests must be 21 and over. Free.
Located at: Brown's Towne Lounge, 189 Liberty St., NE Suite 112, Salem, 503.391.9977
I like this a lot. The brewers are local, and we'll get to see perhaps some unusual or seasonal offerings from Thompson's/McMenamins. It's also manageable - a person could actually have a taste of all the beers without getting schnockered, and maybe even have room for a pint of your favorite.

Nice going Brown's!