Monthly Archive for November, 2006

Squash! My wife; Spiced Ale on tap

I did keg and carbonate my squash ale in time for Thanksgiving, and I’m quite pleased with the results. A little more spice than i like, but quite nice. Full body, enough sweetness to compliment the buffet of pie spices, and just a tad dry.

R&R – a fond farewell

The Rose & Raindrop is going to be closing in just over 1 month. As such, I’ve been twice in the last month to enjoy it while I can. Tonight Joe and I met to sample some fine cask ales – the dregs from the Portland Cask Ale Festival – and shoot the breeze. The previous visit, they had no cask ales… for shame!

I like the Rose & Raindrop. It’s in a gorgeous building (which is a curse, as it turns out), it has more history than you want to shake a stick at, and it has a robust selection of craft beers – including several cask ales. There are other “draws” that I don’t quite get; wireless internet, raw oysters, the TB clinic… but there’s also the smoking thing. R&R is one of the few great beer bars that allows smoking. As such – it’s bound to skank up anything you bring in to the bar. The skank can be so repelling that I only go maybe twice a year. And half those visits are for the cask ales.

Of the four places you can get a good real ale in Portland, half are in smoky bars, and the other half are Bridgeport(s). If you’re not a cask fan, fine; but the gentle body, sligthly less edgy flavor and wonderful overall sensation are hard to pass on. So much so that I’ll give up 24 hours of smell just to enjoy it.

If you’ve not tried a cask ale, or not been to the Rose & Raindrop – I highly recommend visiting before December 31st. And if they have the Mt. Hood Hogsback Oatmeal stout on cask – get it. And savor it. It’s not that easy to find, and it’s as perfect an ale as I’ve found so far.

Concordia Zoo

Concordia Ale House is still my favorite haunt, but damn are there a lot of kids there. The last couple times we’ve been (earlier than before Ella), there have been a number of 30ish parents with kinder in tow, and while it doesn’t bother me, it seems like it is changing the atmosphere of the place. Plus, it seems like it’s even more stressful for the wait-staff than your typical leering male clientele.

I’m being quite hypocritical myself – We’ve now taken Ella there a dozen times, but she’s quiet and may as well be a beer gut while she sleeps in the sling. That’s going to change though, and I hope we don’t ruin one of the best watering holes in Portland.