Why Hello There, and welcome once again to Kitchen Catastrophe’s ongoing alcoholic odyssey, The ADVENTURES IN ALCOHOL. So far, our trips have taken us to Bainbridge Island, and Silverdale, but now we come ashore at fertile Gig Harbor, so named because of all the touring rock bands of the high seas. (Actually, a “gig” was a small boat used by the Captain for non-emergency purposes. The man mapping the coast of the Oregon Territory just parked his in bay to avoid a storm for a while. This would be like if there was a town in Western Oregon named “Latrine” after Lewis and Clark desperately needed a rest stop.)
BUT ENOUGH WHISPERED NAUTICAL HISTORY, It’s time for bad decisions! Last weekend, I made a quick trip out to Gig Harbor to see several of my friends in a play at the Paradise Theatre. My mother and I, in a situation that is frankly becoming worryingly common, realized we hadn’t really eaten that day, so busy were we attempting to keep the house organized, make food for my father, and plan for my mother’s trip this week. As in, at 5:30, I realized I had a bowl of cereal at 11, and an egg salad sandwich around 3. Now, the show started at 7:30, so I’d want to be at the theatre at 7:15 or so, it’s about a 20 minute drive from my house to the Theatre, it was currently 5:50. That meant the odds of me getting a reasonable meal in before the show were…sketchy. I would have to walk into a restaurant on a Saturday night, and be served, eat, and pay in about 45 minutes. So we said “Eh, guess there’s no time to eat before the show. So let’s just do a beer tasting at 7 Seas Brewing, which is literally part of the same building as the theatre.”
Now, if you read the last Adventures in Alcohol, you may recall that I, by the end of the 13 samples we had there, we were becoming overwhelmed. In a twist that should surprise no one, given my self-destructive tendencies, we ordered SIXTEEN samples this time, and each sample was actually an ounce larger than they had been at Cash Brewing. So we were drinking MORE of MORE Beers, in LESS time. By the time we arrived and had ordered, I had roughly 30 minutes before I had to be at the theatre. 16 beers, 5 oz samples, that equates to 80 ounces of beer, or 4 IMPERIAL pints (5 standard pints). So I had walked into a bar with 30 minutes, no food there or inside me, and tried to slam back 3+ pints in 30 minutes on my own.
Things… go astray.
Firstly, let me apologize: in our haste, I totally forgot to take pictures of the first 3 beers, so their summations will sadly be solely prose. And, as ever, the opinions of individual participants will be marked with their initials, in this case N for Nancy, and J for Jon. Alright? We ready? Let’s get drinking!
Water Chopper Gose
ABV 4.8%, ~7 IBU
N: *flinches* Woo-hoo-hoooo. That is definitely a Jon beer.
J: Yeah, Goses (pronounced go-suh) are kind of weird. They’re sour ales. I do happen to like them. This one is…pretty standard, Sour, but it doesn’t make me curl my toes like some do. I’d call it a good intro gose.
5.6%, 12 IBU
N: Now that’s pretty good. Pretty smooth, pretty mellow.
J: Smooth’s a good word. I think it’s done a disservice by its placement: after the sharpness of the gose, it’s almost flavorless to me.
5.2%, 24 IBU
N: *considers for a moment* …It’s a pilsner. *shrugs*
J: It’s slightly sharp on the nose…It’s a little piney for me. And that’s worrying. Pine is easily my least favorite flavor in IPAs, so if the pilsners are piney, how bad are things going to get?
British Pale Ale
5%, 24 IBU
N:This is nice. A good summer beer, when you’re out mowing the lawn. Nicely balanced.
J: It’s quite crisp, I would say. It somehow feels colder than the others. But yeah, a summer picnic or yard party.
Cutt’s NW Amber Ale
6.2%, 44 IBU
N: Yuuup. I get those extra 20 IBU. It’s got a back of the throat coating effect.
J: I get a hint of coffee. *N shakes her head*
N:Not a mocha coffee. Not a Stout coffee.
J: No, just that like, residual bitterness on the tongue. I don’t like it in coffee, nor particularly here. Which is weird, because I order Cutts fairly frequently.
Chinook Single Hop Pale Ale
5.6%, 55 IBU
J: *squints one eye shut, his face contorting and his body shuddering* …”Smooth”
N: I don’t get 55 IBU out of this. You’re overreacting.
J: It’s just sharp on the tongue. I got shocked.
Reign Man ESB
5.1%, 45 IBU.
J: *drinks* I should not have started this with such a narrow window of time. It’s been 12 minutes and we’re not quite half-way. ...Anyway, it’s alright. The bitterness is ‘slow’, if that makes sense.
N: I like this one. The bitterness is lower than some of the earlier ones.
Red Rye Lager
5.4%, ~16 IBU
N: No way this is a 16.
J: It’s kind of meh. It doesn’t blow me away, but it doesn’t blow, either.
N: I don’t know that I would specifically enjoy 16 ozs of it, though.
Until this point, every sample was consumed in full. As such, at this juncture, Jon began to deflate on himself, the weight of his bad decisions pressing on him.
Broken Mast Brown
5.1%, 28 IBU
N: I like this, but I am the Queen of Brown Ales. It’s very smooth, very easy to drink.
J: This isn’t my favorite brown ale in the world, but it’s solid.
5.8%, 35 IBU
N: Hmmm. There’s a coffee note here, but it’s short. No back note.
J: *tries the drink, nearly recoils off of his bar stool* That is not a coffee NOTE. That is a coffee CHORD. An ARPEGGIO. Oh, and it’s gone. So yeah, pretty short.
6.8%, 40 IBU
N: That is a hearty beer. There’s an aftertaste I don’t quite like, though.
J: I don’t get any aftertaste. This is pretty fine.
Cascadian Dark Ale
7%, 65 IBU
J: Don’t Hmmm again. I’m not ready for another “hmmm.”
N: It’s got a surprising flavor.
J: Not comforting. *drinks it. Flinches, then double takes*
N: See, the color says “stout, but the flavor says
J: It’s not a bad flavor, it just surprised me.
The closing quarter of the taste sampler were all IPAs. Neither my mother nor I are particularly fans of IPAs, so take our judgments with some salt here. Also, understand my opinions came with salt here, because of a stretch of 4 IPAS in a row. Also, it’s taken about 14 minutes to push through the last 5 beers, so time is becoming an ever-pressing factor. It’s 7:10.
Life Jacket Session IPA
4.7%, 45 IBU
J: You know, for an IPA, I really like this.
N: Yeah, this is another “hot day of yard work” beer.
J: Why do you keep using that scale?
Rude Parrot Single IPA
5.9%, 75 IBU
J: I know Dad likes this one. (In order to psych himself up, and to minimize his guilt for the amount of beer being left behind in their rush, he drinks from the Cascadian, having forgotten already how abusive that relationship was)
N: Yep, That’s what Rude Parrot tastes like. I always get a fair amount of Juniper from it.
J: *Drinks, pauses, thinks* I am actively in pain now. This was a bad idea.
N: It was your idea.
J: Most bad ideas I get involved in are.
Ballz Deep Double IPA
8.4% 84 IBU
N: Oh. Uggh. I still hate this. It definitely lives up to its name-
J: (interjecting) Gross.
N: I mean, it hits hard, and has a LOT of flavor.
J: *tries it* Honestly, it’s not that bad. It’s mildly better than some of the others.
Trident Triple IPA
10.8%, 92 IBU
N: This has a surprising taste as well.
J: Oh god why? Don’t say that to me! …Huh.
N:Right? It’s sweet. Got like a Vanilla
J: Yeah, sweet orange and vanilla kind of flavors.
N: That one is dangerous.
J: I concur. I Also DEFINTELY need to leave.
Jon walked out into the cool spring rain, hiccupped beer foam into his mouth, and spat it into the street. He maintains this was not technically vomiting. And therefore, the evening was a success.
Oh, and the play was fine too.
NEXT TIME: JON WILL BE MESSING WITH MEAT AND BONES, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.