Booze

The Kommie, the Yank, and the Holy Gose Ale

I am a former Soviet, smuggled over the Iron Curtain in my parent’s gonads like some Cold War technology and assembled in the USA. The other night, I was at the Alberta Street pub, listening to the musings of local Slavic rock band Chervona. I should have been drinking vodka. Instead, I was slowly nursing a New Belgium 1554 Black Lager for a period much shorter than my own gestation but surely a longer process than usual. It was like reading a fine book. Each sip was a page revealing another character. In a moment of emotional flavor, at only 5.6 ABV, I could feel the warmth of the beer moving slowly through me. Its nutty taste made me happy, and its chocolaty aftertaste gave me the feeling of being privileged, decadent, and pampered. Soon my bar stool buddy and I were having an intense discussion about the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. You would think that when two former Soviets discuss history, things might turn crazy quickly. But, since we were drinking craft beer and not vodka, the conversation stayed nice and calm. It dawned on me that the craft beer I was drinking is revolutionary in itself and that drinking…

Beer: Near and Dear

With over fifty microbreweries within PDX city limits and dozens more minutes away from the epicenter, Oregon has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. These myriad choices can be dizzying. PDX Magazine is here to help our readers with semi-regular feature articles exploring some of the area’s greatest breweries. We start our adventure with Baerlic Brewing (pronounced bear-lick), which is located just up 11th Avenue from the PDX offices. They’re one of the newest breweries in town and they preach a mantra of keeping their beer “near and dear,” sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. And so, less than a football field away from our headquarters, we step into the world of Portland craft brewing. From the moment we walk through the door at Baerlic, our senses are bombarded with moist and mouthwatering aromas of mystical mash concoctions created by the bustling brewmasters and sud savants. The sudden departure from the typically crisp Portland night air as we enter the warm and tastefully barren establishment causes the palatable aromas, such as wheat, barley, and yeast, to be all-encompassing and tantalizing, leaving we patrons focused and determined. Approaching the spigot-forged wall of delicacies, we take in the colorful contrast between the chalk-lined reader…