Not My Father’s Beer Adventure in PDX!

When Leslie of Not My Father’s Beer asked me to, effectively, write a guide for beer tourists in Portland, Oregon (PDX) I nearly laughed right out loud. First, it has to have been done before. Probably a bazillion times. And second, I had just barely moved here! What’d I know about the Portland beer scene, other than it’s reputed to be fantastic?

A shaker pint with an image from the old video game

I didn’t come for the beer, but it sure doesn’t hurt!

Then I “well actually”ed myself. I just moved here and I do know a thing or two about beer. I am basically a beer tourist in my own town right now, but I’ve been here long enough to lay down a few roots and get to know a few people, and I’m starting to get it moving.… Continue reading →


Science to Start Your Week!

Walking trees. In all serious, trees that can move a couple centimeters a day ON THEIR OWN. That is all.

As a beer geek, I almost exclusively think of barley in terms of what it takes to brew beer. I rarely consider that it is and has been a staple food for a number of people. That, however, is a big part of the impact of finding ways to breed drought-resistant barley. While this is kind of the opposite of what U.S. barley growers needed last year, I am confident it will matter in the long term.

A tealight candle nestled into a jar half-filled with barley, for stability.

Ever heard of zonulin? I hadn’t, until I’d read this NPR “The Salt” piece about it and gluten sensitivity. I also didn’t know that “no human being completely digests gluten” according to gastroenterologist Alessio Fasano (quote from the story).… Continue reading →


Soured on the Kitchen

Somehow, I had two lemon halves, plus a wedge, in the fridge. I knew about one of the halves, but when I went digging for it, I suddenly realized I had a second. That was kind of embarrassing, because it meant I’d cut open a whole new lemon when I needed a half and had a half ready to go.

A close up of two half lemons and a lemon wedge in a plastic container. To their left is a baggie of carrots.

This is kind of the story of my kitchen functioning right now. It’s low. Very low. Some of it is the recuperating I’ve previously mentioned and some is the fact that occasionally I sleep for more than 10 hours in a night. Unfortunately, some is just a complete lack of want to do things in the kitchen.

Bill and I both get this way sometimes.… Continue reading →


Eight Things I’ve Learned at My New Job

I think it was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, but it might have been as late as during my senior year of high school that my then-best friend had the idea that we should spend the summer before college in Santa Monica, California waiting tables and hanging out on the beach. I thought this was a great idea, and then she told my mom about this idea.

A pile of one dollar bills.

A fat stack, indeed. But of singles. It only adds up slowly.

Yes, my mom shot the idea down. No, she didn’t do it the way you think she did. There were no words like “absolutely not!” No, my mother simply laughed.

She might have been crying she laughed so hard.

When she finally caught her breath, my mother (MY OWN MOTHER) told my friend that she thought it sounded fun and was totally sure that my friend could do this thing and do it well.… Continue reading →


Cozy Up to Some Beer Reading!

Since my friend JP introduced me to the idea of hygge a few years ago, I’ve enjoyed it in theory, but never really embraced it day to day. Oddly, in Chicago, it seemed to just come naturally. Possibly, if JP’s musings on baltic porters are correct, I had access to plenty of “liquid hygge” in a way I don’t have here in Portland. Perhaps it’s because no one’s figured out that while the winters are less snow-filled, they are much darker and therefore more in need of hygge? The world may never know.

So, Goose Island (the big one, not the brewpub I used to hang out with) is offering refunds on it’s Coffee Bourbon County Brand Stout. This, while interesting, wouldn’t really be worth noting on this list except that most of us beer folks are going to focus on bacteria or something else.… Continue reading →