It’s another leisurely start to the day. I quick continental breakfast downstairs followed by some lazing around my hotel room. I’m such a slob.
I’ve arranged to meet David Hauslein in the early afternoon at BeerMongers. It’s a combined bottle shop and bar in a light industrial building. David’s already there when I arrive and recognizes me. Maybe it’s the box of books I’m carrying. We cosy up to the bar and set about the serious task of getting some peeve down our necks.
It’s not a huge place. A few tables, some seats at the bar and fridges full of beer lining the walls. A smattering of customers here and there. Today’s event – at Hair of the Dog – isn’t until 4 pm, leaving me time for a decent session beforehand. Possibly too much time.
On the TV Holland are playing Mexico – and losing. Everyone is a little bemused at why I’m so happy Holland are getting stuffed. I’d even want them to lose if they were playing Arsenal, and that’s saying something. Because, to quote Terry Collier, “I hate Arsenal”.
After a couple of hours of beer and beery chat, David drives me over to Hair of the Dog. Where Alan Sprints, who’s organised the event, is waiting for me. It’s another industrial type building, half of which is dedicated to the tasting room, the other half to the brewery.
Alan gives me a spin around the shiny thing room. Though it’s not as full of those things as many breweries I’ve been to recently. No, here there are loads of wooden things. Quite a large number of oak barrels, most of which seem to be filled with one form or other of Fred.
There’s a wide variety of barrels, all around hogshead size. What look like second-hand wine or bourbon barrels, Aardbeg ones from Islay and even brand new ones stamped with the brewery’s logo. Barrel-ageing is obviously a big deal here. And by here I mean both Hair of the Dog and the USA.
Snuggling up to the oak casks are piles of dull and dented golden gate kegs in a couple of sizes. I’ve seen a lot of them this trip. I suspect that they’re being used as firkin substitutes.
The line up of beers for the event is pretty impressive:
1804 Barclay Perkins TT
1848 Barclay Perkins TT
1931 Ushers Brown Ale
2014 Blue Dot
1839 Reid’s BPA
1846 Truman XXXXK
1848 Younger 100/-
1916 Whitbread KKK
1860 Truman XXX (on cask)
All but the Blue Dot are from my book. Which I’ve started selling even before my short, impromptu talk.
It’s another decent-sized crowd and they seem to enjoy my historical blether. Not sure how long it lasts again. I can keep on going for hours if no-one stops me. I love the chance of speaking uninterrupted. I rarely get that at home.
I shift most of the books I brought. It’s a nightmare estimating how many to bring. I had to order an emergency extra box to be delivered to Vancouver. Took a bit of a hit on the shipping cost, but that’s better than running out of books with a couple of events still to go.
I hang around for a while to chat and drink. Obviously the latter. When else will I get a chance to drink KKK? I never dreamt anyone would make a commercial beer called that.
Things are getting blurry. At some point we had back to the city centre, to Bailey’s Taproom. I’m beginning to regret my early start. I polished off two bombers in my hotel before setting out. That may have been a mistake.
I suppose I walk home. It’s not far.
No need of a Laphroaig eye-closer tonight.
Tomorrow I’ve a short flight to Vancouver. Hope I remember to wake up.
Intrigued by my book? Then buy the bloody thing.
The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.
1125 SE Division St,
Portland, OR 97202.
Phone: +1 503-234-6012
Hair of the Dog
61 SE Yamhill Street
Portland OR 97214
Phone: +1 503-232-6585
213 SW Broadway,
Portland, OR 97205.
Phone: +1 503-295-1004
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