Redhook Sunrye on the Fourth of July

Last night Felecia and I had dinner at our buds, Jen and Patrick's house on the hill. Patrick made some huge blue cheese and bacon stuffed burgers (one might call them a vegetarian Jew's worst nightmare), that I assume celebrate iconic American decadence on this religious-toned national jack-off fest; what we call the fourthofjUly, Independence Day. They were delicious.

And I have to say that I think America is the world's greatest nation, but we have some issues. We are leaders of liberality and innovation, our culture says "be an individual, like the rest of us." We proclaim democracy as a global agenda while installing, arming, and then provoking despots worldwide. Our country distrusts and exploits the weak, poor, and dark-skinned. Our capitalist marketplace revitalized craft brewing with an explosion of styles, new and revisited, but most people drink Coors light, or generally trust global conglomerates responsible for beer-hate, self-hate, fat people and foreign wars. ...and the greed...

These troubles and inconsistencies are difficult for secular, morally-minded, individualist, rationalist students like us, with incredible and historically unprecedented college debt loads, to make sense of. This rant is too wide ranging to ever find a conclusion except that the 4th is a day when I contemplate my country, my place in it and that brings up mixed feelings and bewilderment.

We washed down to cheese, bacon, and beef sandwiches with Redhook Sunrye. Patrick says every beer should have a story printed on the label, the Redhook label doesn't say anything very captivating, and certainly doesn't relate their affiliation with the 'Kin of Beer', though a trip to thier website reveals some AB marketing glam seepage. If it did have a story maybe it would go something like this...

"After stumbling through temperate beaver-filled Cascadian rainforests for weeks, Meriwether Lewis lifted a mossy rock and out poured what might be the world's most refreshing drink, a Redhook Sunrye. Lewis stoked some coals, cleaned the grill and laid on some pork chops while Clark, Charbenoue, Pocha-honda, and even little Pompe swigged the newly discovered Sunrye with great satisfaction. Ever since, no Northwest barbeque is complete without a little Redhook Sunrye. That's what makes Redhook Sunrye an authentic Pacific Northwest refreshment expirience."

Can one Redhook Sunrye really satisfy 5 fictitious people? Certainly, and it tastes good too. The rye gives this bitter, but not overwhelmingly hopped, beer an interesting, smooth spunk. The yeast matches well, lending Sunrye a light fruity palette. Pretty good stuff for a warm summer evening.

After a few we sat on the lawn and watched fireworks while Felecia and Patrick recited, with heart, various songs of American glory and allegiance; it almost brought a tear to my sunrye.


Deschutes Inversion v. Lagunitas IPA

I little while back Felecia and I rolled up our sleeves for a tough task inspired by Laurelwood's great drinker's choice IPA-off. We conducted a back to back comparison of those especially strong and hoppy IPAs from Deschutes and Lagunitas. Like the Special Olympics, there are no losers in such a contest, unless you spill. Inversion is slightly darker than Lagunitas and has a denser flavor of both malt and hops. The hops bitter is very similar, with a little more aroma from Deschutes. Overall I preferred Deschutes at the time of tasting, but this reflects my mood and preferences rather than quality. I enjoy a little hops receptor over-stimulation sometimes. Although Lagunitas IPA is not as explosive on the tongue, it's no less a fine beer. It's rich and satisfying in a more understated way, while remaining totally fresh and delicate tasting. Overall, the similarities between these brews outweigh their differences.

Felecia and I enjoyed a near perfect combination six-pack after a single night backpacking trip on the Salmon River trail near Zig Zag, Oregon this week. The combo is just three Deschutes Obsidian Stout and three Inversion IPA, two of the beers that make Deschutes stand out among the big Oregon craft breweries in my mind. It's hard to beat the over-the-top flavors combined in symphonic ratio in both of these beers.

Black Butte Porter is probably Deschutes' most well known ale, but its chocolaty perfection is thicker and meaner in the stout, which I would bet on in a knife fight. Inversion might be the grassiest hay-bail in a bottle to be so widely distributed; surely a service humankind.

Larry Sidor, I swear you're not a giant douche, that was crass, and mistaken.