Tuesday, March 31, 2020


I went to purchase some sandwiches today at a local deli/bottle shop and saw a bottle of Deschutes Old World Abyss (10.8% abv) in the fridge for eight bucks. I now understand why I have so many barrel aged stouts lurking in my closets. I resisted the temptation to buy it, for now.

Monday, March 30, 2020

No Frills Stout and Porter

"Though their life was modest they believed in eating well; the best of everything: diamond bone sirloins, three-shilling tea and the best bottled stouts." James Joyce's The Dead, in Dubliners
At the start of this stay-at-home period I did an inventory of the beers I've bought over the years and stored in my closet and in the back of my fridge. I did not realize I had so many high abv barrel aged stouts. I found beers with abvs of 10%, 11%, and even one with 13% abv. I managed to hoard for an apocalypse, not to kill time on a Tuesday watching Jeopardy!. I don't know why I have collected so many barrel aged stouts, and worse, I don't see an occasion - because when you open an 11% beer it is an occasion - where I will dig one of these beers out of their quarantine.

I did find two excellent dark beers, but they were not in my ad hoc cellars: Eppig Brewing's Sinister Path Export Stout and Pizza Port's One Pint of Plain Irish Porter, which was brewed with South Park Brewing and Half Door Brewing. The two beers were made with skill, not additives. Neither beer is juiced with the likes of vanilla, coffee, fruit, or coca nibs, neither spent time in a barrel, and neither has a lobotomy-level abv. Eppig's Sinister Path is a 7% stout. It is creamy and deep roasted, which brings out coffee and chocolate flavors. It has full body and a sweetness that would make this beer fine as a dessert by itself. I have gushed about Eppig's beers before, and Sinister Path is another masterpiece.

Pizza Port's special release, timed to match St Patrick's Day, is a 4.8% porter. It is a straightforward porter. It does not have the body or the sweetness of Sinister Path, which makes Plain Porter great with food, like the corned beef we had it with on St. Patrick's Day. Plain Porter is a dry beer, one of the driest I have had in recent years. This is not an impediment and another reason why it pairs well with food. You could drink this beer several times a week and not get tired of it.

I appreciate these two every-day dark beers.

Monday, March 23, 2020


You did not come to this sight to read my opinions on leadership, or lack of leadership, in a Coronavirus world. Instead, I point you to this notice posted by Bagby Beer Company this past weekend. It is as courageous as it is heartbreaking.

Ten days into stay-at-home, I remain optimistic for craft breweries, restaurants, and other small, local businesses. I want to believe this outlook is not misplaced. Bagby Beer Company is going to be one of the first places I visit when the pandemic passes. I have wanted to visit since it opened, but the distance has always been my excuse to push off a trip to next week, or next month, or next time I am in Oceanside. Next week never comes.