Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Beer Goddess to Read at Willamette U Bookstore Thursday

Need some bibulous bibliographic bliss?

Join the Beer Goddess for a reading at Willamette University Bookstore on Thursday, December 1st, at 3:30pm!

From the release:
Lisa M. Morrison
Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

The Beer Goddess, a.k.a. Lisa Morrison, is a Portland-based beer writer, author, and host of Beer O’Clock, a radio program on Newsradio 101 FM KXL. Each week, Beer O’Clock connects beer lovers in Beervana (Portland, Ore.) and around the world to the best in great beer through exclusive interviews, brews news, event listings, and tasting notes and a lot more. Unlike most radio programs, Morrison personally buys the air time for Beer O’Clock and uses sponsorship to pay for it.
Morrison also is the executive director of Barley’s Angels, a nonprofit organization focused on helping women learn more about craft beer and brewing so they can chart their own course of beer discovery.

About the Book:

Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest is the first book in more than a decade that brings beer lovers the very best insider information on the best places to source Northwest beer. This book is a suds-soaked adventure through the northwest, with 18 mapped-out pub crawls, listings, labels, photos and details on more than 115 different places to have a great beer, and a great beer-experience in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
The New School has a nice interview with her here.

(Image of Morrison from the interview.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LifeSource adds Beer Steward and Expanded Selection

If you don't shop at LifeSource, here are three excellent reasons to check out the store: A beer steward, an expanded beer case, and a weekly blog update with the new beers!

They have a special focus on single bottles and encourage sampling. With the cool storage, you are more likely to have a pristine bottle. Win all around!

This weekend's update includes, for example, a couple of bottles from Portland favorite Upright.

This is great to see! Thanks, Liam and LifeSource!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Fancy Salem Thanksgiving a Century Ago in 1911

Chateaubriand of Moose or Saddle of Alaska Antelope? Here's what your Thanksgiving might have looked like at the Hotel Marion in 1911.*

(click for larger menu)

Holy Cow, that's a lot of meat!**

Any culinary historians out there? Perhaps you can mine it better for bons mots or discern curious habits. This was not, needless to say, a proletarian plate. Even so, New York or San Francisco could bury it in excess. So this was Thanksgiving for the Salem gentry and their visitors, such as they were.

For an assortment of historic images of the Hotel Marion, see here. It was located where the Conference Center is today. A history here.

*Reposted from a year ago.

**No wonder Syrup of Figs, Fletcher's Castoria, Paine's Celery Compound, and a ton of other patent medicines attended to the needs of the constipated, who must have been many, judging by the frequency and number of ads and mentions of digestion.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Sumerian Saloon: Gilgamesh to Pop-up in Reed Opera House

Tomorrow your options for holiday respite and relief will get a little bit better in downtown Salem!

From the facebook:
Gilgamesh Brewing Co. will open a pop-up shop on the Court Street side of the Reed Opera House on November 23. The shop will sell Gilgamesh brand merchandise, including new holiday packs. We will release seasonal brews (including a new winter ale), fill growlers, and welcome those who want to escape the holiday shopping and come in for a pint. The shop will be open through the holiday season.
In the 8 taps, they'll also have some new beers:
the Blitzn-Prancer, a winter ale made with molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove, and limited-release ABandon Brew, a brew aged in pinot noir wine barrels for more than a year.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

It's been a while since there was a regular saloon in the Reed! Here's one from back in the day. You'll recognize the location on Court street next to the alley. Note how the storefront system has changed from the narrow brick arched windows to large picture windows.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turkey Day Beverage Delight: Abyss Vertical and Wine Country

Last year at New Years Venti's basement bar had the 2010 Abyss, and it looked to us like the best toast in town.

This year, a little earlier, they're doubling down: Perhaps in a new Salem institution, much like the mythic and epic annual verticals at the Woodstock Wine and Deli, Venti's is squirreling away kegs of Abyss and cellaring them for holiday tastings. At the Taphouse on
Monday, November 21st at 4pm... [the 2010 and 2011] beers will be available, side by side only, two six oz. pours, until the kegs are gone. What’s more, in subsequent years you may look forward to a two year vertical tasting again in 2012 and a TRIPLE VERTICAL in 2013!
A big tip of the pint!

Wine Country Thanksgiving

Beer is great and all, but if you have read CT, you'll also know that we recommend taking the holiday weekend to go wine tasting.

Vineyard managers and winemakers just finished the latest harvest in Oregon wine history, and a mostly dry October meant that many of the wines look like they will be elegant and especially lithe and lovely. You won't be able to taste from the 2011 vintage, but wines from 2010 were also late and show some of the same possibilities.

Don't miss our amazing proximity to wine country!

So mix it up, and try to take a day to head into the hills.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Corvallis looks to hit another Home Run

Though Les Caves in Corvallis been softly open for a while now, the grand opening is this weekend. The menu and beer list for the new restaurant associated with Block 15 founder and brewer Nick Arzner looks tremendous!

Here's the taplist:
We will begin Saturday morning with the first listed beers and them move on to the “on deck” as kegs empty.

Block 15-2009 Pappy’s Dark
Cantillon- Vigneronne 2009
St. Bernardus- 2010 Christmas Ale
Cascade- 2009 The Vine
Banhof- Berliner Style Weisse, Brettanomyces Lambicus Special Edition
Upright- Barrel Aged Four with tangelo & organge peel and rose petals
Hair of the Dog- Cherry Fred from the Wood
Ninkasi- 2010 Conventionale (Imperiale)
Oakshire- Bourbon Badger (Nitro)
Harviestoun- Bitter and Twisted Zymatore (Gin Barrel Aged)
3 Fools- Cider matured with Brettanomyces Lambicus
Great Divide- 2010 Chocolate Oak Aged

On Deck:
De Struise- St. Amatus
Great Divide- Yeti 2009 Oak Aged Yeti
Boneyard- Femme Fatale
Flat Tail- Double Dry-Hopped English IPA
Jolly Pumpkin- 2010 La Parcela
And here's the opening tasting menu. This is some serious food-n-beer matching!
Available November 19 & 20th 4pm-10pm
$45 with Beer, $35 food only

House Charcuterie
Venison salami, rabbit pate, apple butter, pickled beets, torn bread
~Upright Brewing Pinot Noir barrel matured Four

Moroccan Vegetable soup
Candied lemon
~St. Bernardus 2010 Christmas Ale

Seared Breast of Duck
With Pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli and browned butter
~Cherry Fred from the Wood, Hair of the Dog Brewing

Belgian Chocolate Terrine
Hazelnut, Framboise sauce
~2009 Pappy’s Dark, Block 15 Brewing

The menu proudly features local goods from: Gathering Together Farms, My Pharm, Freddy Guys, Denisons, & Evergreen Creek Farms.
The New School had an October preview.

If you're looking for something out of town, head south!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Second Oregon Returns from the Spanish American War

Veterans Day didn't exist in 1899 when the Oregon Volunteers came home from the Spanish-American War.

Here's Charles A. Murphy. (Image from the Oregon State Library.) He was born in Salem, survived the war, was warden of the Penitentiary during World War I, and died in 1945. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. When he died, one of his nephews was a POW held by the Japanese.

The Second Oregon was the first regiment to return to the US, in July of 1899. From San Francisco on August 9th they took the train north. Here are two images of their return to Salem, on August 10th. The images must be taken from what is now the Tokyo International University. They are of course from before the 1918 Beaux Arts depot, and may show the old wood freight depot.

(Second Oregon, returning from Spanish American War, August 10th, 1899.
Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

(Second Oregod, returning from Spanish American War, August 10th, 1899.
Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

Here's the area around the depot in a 1905 birdseye map. You can see the field where the camera must have been located. Mill street doesn't go through. The woolen mill is to the left, and there are canneries where the Willamette soccer field is now. 14th Street no longer aligns with the railroad, but has been realigned to meet what is here 15th. Yew Park School is at Mission and 14th - and Mission Street has been very much changed.

The returning veterans even had a song, "Hail to the Second Oregon."

Salem basically shut down for the train.
It Proves to be a Pleasant and Patriotic Occasion
Crowds Are Large, Good Natured, and Joyous Over the Second Oregon's Return

Showers laid the dust. The clouds cooled off the day. The sun burst out at last. Old nature made the greeting perfect.

All day people rolled and rode in to the city from all directions. Early the streets and walks were crowded. Thousands of bicycles were on the streets. It was indeed a public holiday. Carriages fluttered with flags and many business places were decorated. At 10:30 the Salem Military band, heading a procession of the Grand Army marched up State street to the depot, playing military airs and the column took a position east of the track.

THE FIRST SECTION pulled into the station at 10:40 and immediately the gun-powder began to boom. The Southern Pacific train gave the double toot and all the whistles and bells in town began to blow. There were eight coaches and out of each window stuck a flag. The depot grounds from the water tank to the bridge was a solid mass of rejoicing people. The train had not stopped when the boys in brown uniforms began to pile out and greet friends.

At 11 a.m. the Salem National Guard company with roses stuck in their muskets countermarched past the first section and joined the Salem Grand Army escort that headed by the Salem military band formed the special escort of honor for the occasion.

At 11:30 the guard of honor of Union veterans led off with their corps flag, the Relief Corps banner of silk and the tattered battle flag of the Second Oregon at the front, followed by the first battalion of the regiment.

The second seciton pulled in at 11:20 and was soon followed by the third, containing the Salem company when the cheering was renewed with further explosions of bombs and fire works. This was the climax of the whole occaions.

The Second Oregon are a fine appearing body of men physically, but few showing the effects of their hard campaign. Their only careworn look was occasioned by the loss of sleep and continual feasting since landing in Oregon.

[The story continues with the usual kisses between soldiers and sweethearts, with swooning "Salem belles," and with politicians and pageantry.]
For a different take on return, here's Captain Timothy Kudo, writing as part of an ongoing series in the New York Times, Home Fires, which features "the writing of men and women who have returned from wartime service in the United States military."
Only the dead have seen the end of war. This is a maxim that has been used to illuminate humanity’s propensity for war, but it is also an accurate reflection of many veterans’ experiences. The war not only came back with us, it was here the entire time, experienced by orphans and widows. It was experienced by the widows from my unit who were unable to cook a single meal for their kids since their husband’s death. During a memorial a few weeks after our return, families of the dead collapsed grief-stricken in front of their loved ones’ pictures as a thousand Marines solemnly bore witness. When an officer went to the house to check on one family, the littlest one told him matter-of-factly, “My daddy is dead.”
After coming home, our commanders told us we earned glory for our unit, but I know it’s more complicated than that. War has little to do with glory and everything to do with hard work and survival. It’s about keeping your goodness amid the evil. But no matter what happens, you never work hard enough, people die and evil touches everyone. Our lives will go on but the war will never go away. That’s why it’s not simply good to be back. I thought my war was over, but it followed me. It followed all of us. We returned only to find that it was waiting here the entire time and will always be with us.
Here are the Official Records of the Second Oregon and an oral history from 1939. For more, see the PBS Series "Crucible of Empire," Wikipedia on the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, and the Library of Congress on the Spanish-American War. The headlines from the war in the Philippine Islands (going to 1902) sometimes seem an awful lot like the headlines from the past decade.

Monday, November 7, 2011

U Think Wednesday on the Invention of Jesus

Who would want to be limited to a single beer, brewed to the specifications of 3000 BCE, 1300 CE, or whatever model you might choose for the Ur-Beer?+

Nope, we celebrate the fecund excess of styles and variations today! There's never been a better time for beer.

In religion it's often the opposite: We mourn the loss of unity, worry about all the denominational variation, and long for a return to a moment of pristine origins when everybody was presumably on the same page.* The Truth is supposed to be one.

On Wednesday at Brown's Towne Lounge U Think features "the Sage of Galilee" and the latest scholarship on His foundational role in Christian origins.

It's timely since the presidential campaign of 2012 has put the origins of religion in the spotlight. How to explain this movement called Christianity and some of its descendents? And how should these movements inform contemporary politics?

Digging for the Truth

In a fabulous bit of cross-linguistic word play, the discovery of a Christian relic was called in Latin the invention of a relic. In-venio means to come upon, to find or discover. For us moderns the word "invention" points up the anxious matter of authenticity. Debates over golden plates and spectacles are far from new.

Here's the way one of the illuminators** of the Milan-Turin Hours envisions the discovery of the True Cross by Helena, Constantine's mother. She really found that cross. It may not be modern archaeology but the idea of digging was understood to lead to truth.

Nowadays digging also operates as a metaphor for textual interpretation. In post-Reformation Christianity, the text of the Bible, and not a relic or ritual, is the guarantor of authenticity. Scholars dig through layers of textual tradition in the Bible, in hopes of finding the foundation layer of Christian origins. The origin is assumed to be normative, the most authentic layer and commanding our assent. This leads from the Christ of Dogma to the Jesus of History.

About this, Albert Schweitzer wrote in The Quest of the Historical Jesus:
There is no historical task which so reveals a man's true self as the writing of a Life of Jesus. No vital force comes into the figure unless a man breathes into it all the hate or all the love of which he is capable. The stronger the love, or the stronger the hate, the more life-like is the figure which is produced. For hate as well as love can write a Life of Jesus, and the greatest of them are written with hate : that of Reimarus, the Wolfenbuttel Fragmentist, and that of David Friedrich Strauss. It was not so much hate of the Person of Jesus as of the supernatural nimbus with which it was so easy to surround Him, and with which He had in fact been surrounded. They were eager to picture Him as truly and purely human, to strip from Him the robes of splendour with which He had been apparelled, and clothe Him once more with the coarse garments in which He had walked in Galilee.
Though it's a totally different kind of passion than Jesus', the feelings behind Jesus research have been passionate indeed.

The torch-bearer of the modern quest is the Jesus Seminar.*** The Westar Institute runs the seminar's meetings, and just a few years ago they relocated to Salem, on the edge of the Willamette campus.

U Think catches up with the latest Jesus research on Wednesday!
Willamette University’s U Think series will feature Stephen Patterson, professor and historian who specializes in the origins of Christianity. He will present “The Historian’s Jesus: What scholars say about the sage from Galilee" on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Brown’s Towne Lounge.

“Long before Jesus became the Christian savior he was a Jewish sage who provoked the masses and drew a crowd,” says Patterson. “Beggars loved him, and Romans feared him. In the end, he was executed for sedition. Historians now think they know why.”

Patterson is the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the director of the Westar Institute, where he chairs the Jesus Seminar on Christian Origins. Patterson’s many books and essays address various aspects of the historical Jesus and Gospel of Thomas, among other biblical scholarship.
+ Or maybe like Pilsner Urquell. Biblical scholarship also has its Quelle, the Q-source.

* It's the old chestnut of the One and Many. The difference between hedgehogs, who know one thing, and foxes, who know many things. Or the difference between Athenian and Mancunian science, the difference between the physicist's search for a unified field theory and the biologist's search for new species.

** If you're into art history, many scholars have conjectured that this image is by Jan van Eyck.

*** Here's the Jesus Seminar Drinking Game™:

In the past, the Jesus Seminar voted on the sayings of Jesus, trying to determine whether they were authentic, similar to something Jesus said, inauthentic but related to something He really said, or totally inauthentic and from a later tradition. They used red, pink, grey, and black beads.

U Think can turn this into the best parlor game ever! If U Think the saying is real, you must finish your beer! If U Think it's similar, you have to drink half your beer. If U Think it's inauthentic but related, you have to take a sip. And if it's fake, you don't have to sip.

You will know the skeptics by their sobriety! And the enthusiasts will be rolling wholly on the floor.