Sunday, February 17, 2019


Sitting in Brass Tap, I heard the bartender call out to play music. The trivia contest had just ended and the music that went with it left, along with a good number of patrons, leaving a vacuum. Like an empty noise bubble.

"Turn on the music," she shouted to the other bartender. Then, I heard, "Beat It." I thought she wanted to hear some Michael Jackson. Then, I heard a chant rising up from the remaining few in the bar, getting louder and louder. "Beat It!"

But, wait. Were they saying "Phoenix"?  Yes, that must be it.

After a while, the chanting stopped and the bartender came to check on us. Meanwhile, the music started to play and not only was it not Michael Jackson, I couldn't figure out what the song had to do to Phoenix. "What was everyone chanting?" I asked her.

"Penis. Don't you know that game?"

Well ... no.

"Remember how embarrassing that was to say in middle school, penis? Now it's just funny. One person says 'penis' and then the next guy has to say 'penis' only louder. On it goes so that the last guy is shouting it. Penis!"

Sounds more like middle school to me but whatever.

There were no more chants of "penis" before we left which was fine by me. As we neared the door, I called out to the bartender, "Thank you!" but she didn't hear me.

So I said, "penis" and before the door closed behind me I heard her shout, "Penis!" I guess she heard that.

Penises aside, it was a fun joint. Lots of taps to choose from and if you're in the Mesa area on the 25th, Northwest Brewing will be there from the Pacific Northwest with some of their brews. Northwest Brewing has undergone a bit of a revamp lately so their website doesn't have a lot of information but you can find them on Facebook or on Untappd.

Also, it's trivia night.

Also, penis.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Catching Up

Almost every traveler I know drinks when they travel (but I'm a drinker so it's equally possible that I only know other drinkers). It's not a requirement, drinking in airports, although it will certainly kill the time between passing through TSA and the jetway. Fortunately for us, Portland International Airport is Beervana - Willamette Week:
"Nearly every corner of the H-shaped concourse hosts some member of the state's thriving beer industry."
If you want to appear responsible, don't book your air travel for before noon. (At least.)

The hottest topic, however, in the local news of late seems to be BridgePort Brewing, a onetime Portland ale mainstay, to close - KGW8 :
"In 2013, BridgePort was Oregon's fifth-largest brewery based on barrels produced."
If you're planning on heading over for one last pint, do it soon. They close their doors on March 10.

In California, 'America's first craft brewery' attempts to unionize - Los Angeles Times:
"Although many of the country’s largest breweries are unionized — workers in the American facilities of Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are represented by the Teamsters or United Auto Workers, for example — unions are practically nonexistent among smaller, independent and craft operations."
Is it ironic that United Auto Workers represent beer producers?

Meanwhile, a looming federal shutdown has implications for the local beer scene with Federal workers on shutdown watch - The Columbian:
"Bryan Shull, co-founder of Vancouver’s Trap Door Brewing, told The Columbian on the one-month anniversary of the shutdown that he was struggling to obtain federal approval for new beer can labels. Although the government has reopened, at least temporarily, the backlog is still so bad that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau functionally feels closed to craft brewers trying to get their packaging OK’d. . . .
"In order to cross state lines, beer labels need to be approved by the federal agency."
This brings us back to travel. Remember, not only is it illegal to cross state lines with marijuana, it could also be illegal to cross state lines with certain beer cans.