Why hello there, and welcome to Kitchen Catastrophe’s Adventures in Alcohol, where Jon talks alcohol. Not all of our series are named in a particularly interesting fashion.Today, we’re going to be talking about a couple beers from a local brewer, and what we think of them. And while the beers are certainly interesting, you’ll also be surprised at how the post at all exists by a twist of fate. So let’s get that narrative out of the way first, so we can focus on drinking.
Stumbling Drunkenly Into Ideas
Today’s post is something of a minor miracle: As I noted at the end of Monday’s post, I was in a pretty weird place, and I took Tuesday to kind of breathe, and set aside site stuff to calm myself down. Mostly. One thing I DID do that was Site-related was work on a project that’s been hugely delayed for Patreon supporters: a hour-long video discussing various food magazines, how they’re constructed, and what they include that interests me. The project stalled for a long time, because, frankly: I don’t know how to video edit. Eventually, I watched some tutorial videos, futzed around on progams, and got it sorted out, but over the last week, I’ve wasted damn near 8-9 hours of effort on the SAME issue: the video is edited, I just need to export it. Convert it from the raw data to the finished video. Which is a lengthy process: it’s not uncommon for exporting a video to take longer than the video itself. Every time I tried, the process told me it would take 2-3 hours. And it always FAILED 2 or so hours IN. This was…not conducive to calming me down.
So I tore out the heart of my PC and put in a bigger, stronger, heart.
Though technically, the Processor’s more the “heart” of the PC, and the Hard-drive is like…The stomach?
I tore out my PC’s guts, and gave them a bigger beer belly.
Fixing the problem required I have a bigger hard-drive, (for a technical explanation you can skip if you don’t care about computers: It turned out that, while I was saving the files on a different drive, the TEMP files created by the exporting process were filling my C drive. IF that’s confusing, I’ve come up with this mildly wrong but useful analogy: I was trying to build an IKEA bed, for my bedroom, in my living room. Yes, there was plenty of room in the bedroom for it, but that only mattered once I finished BUILDING it, and there just wasn’t enough space in the living room to do it without moving furniture.) which required that I clone my EXISTING hard-drive, and install the new one, a process that ate up another hour or so.
On top of that was the lost productivity of the emotional difficulties: I had no plan, and hadn’t come up with an IDEA of a plan while trying to relax and shouting at video editors. I was pretty ready to chalk this up as my first sick day in a while, and just relax and recuperate, when, in the middle of a completely unrelated household chore, the answer fell into my lap. Almost literally. I was shifting around boxes, as my mother is buying more wood for her hobbies this weekend, and we’ll need more storage space, when I found a single slip of paper in the area I was shuffling boxes in. I flipped it over, and it turned out to be a list of beers, with several circled. And I remembered I’d ALREADY MOSTLY WRITTEN A POST. One that would perfectly fit this week, since we just covered alcohol on Monday!
One man’s trash turns into that same man’s treasure.
Because, for Nate’s Birthday weekend back in April, we ended up going to a brewery after dinner on Friday, and I wrote out our tasting notes. Well, I say ‘Ours’…You know what, let’s let Past Jon Cover this
NARROWS BREWING COMPANY FLIGHT TASTING
Past Jon: We’ve come here because it’s literally between the restaurant and our car. I’m not super happy, because it rained today, and there’s a hole in the bottom of my shoe. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I didn’t get those shoes replaced for another 5 weeks.) So now my sock’s wet, and no one’s going to help with this flight.
I didn’t know that when I ordered the flight. But Mom’s not feeling super-well, and Nate is already being a dick about it being his Birthday Weekend. Me, I get ONE day of Birthday acknowledgment, but Nate gets a WHOLE WEEKEND. (Editor’s Note: we would go to a restaurant of my choosing literally the next day. Nate was just lucky that his Birthday this year was ON Easter, so he was taking advantage.) Big Ol’ Birthday Butthole, I say.
Alright, I warn you all, I’m not going into this with a clear palette. Palate. The other one’s for paint. The Point is that I had a couple drinks at dinner, as well as fried Jalapeñoes, and a French Dip. So maybe my taster’s a little off, but I’ve never claimed to be an accredited scientist. I don’t think Scientists are accredited. Credentialed?
Nothing Rice Lager
When the beer is NAMED “nothing”, the visual gag really writes itself.
22 IBU, 4.7% ABV
This…tastes like someone cared while making Coors Light. It’s easy, not a TON there, but enjoyable. Kinda like the Coors Light play I EXECUTIVE directed back in college. Well, right AFTER college, in my case. Anywho. Next beer.
When the hops tank’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’
15 IBU, 5.2% ABV
If you’re not from the area, let me tell you: Galloping Gertie is a historical thing in the region. There’s a strait outside the city of Tacoma called the Tacoma Narrows (I’m not the only one who gives things unoriginal names), and back in the 30’s, we built the nation’s third largest suspension bridge across the gap. Which immediately started rolling in higher winds, earning it the name. It eventually tore itself apart, 2 years after construction, because of high winds. The event was so shocking, caught on camera, and spread around the world, that it actually changed how suspension bridges were built. It fucked up so bad, the STUDY OF ENGINEERING reacted. We later built another, sturdier bridge across the same gap, and then another one, which haven’t had any issues since, unless you count the thousands of people who bitch about the cost of the tolls to pay for the second one.
Anyway, this beer is super mellow. Postively unremarkable, by which I mean “unremarkable, in a positive way.” Like a soft beige towel, it doesn’t draw much comment or attention, but it does the job in a pleasant manner.
Peanut Butter Cookie
My pics get progressively blurrier, as I get progressively drunker.
15 IBU, 5.2% ABV
This smell is pretty dead-on for the name. This smells like a peanut butter cookie. Though there’s something…darker in there too. Coffee, maybe? Molasses? I don’t know, but I am digging this smell. If there was a scented candle of THIS, I’d probably buy it. I buy an unreasonable amount of scented candles. Because I don’t like, USE them all that often, but I love having them, and THINKING about using them.
This doesn’t taste as close as it smells. It tastes more like…BURNING. No, sorry, that was unclear: it tastes like burning cookie. That smell, it’s not a coffee smell, it’s when you’ve let your cookies go like, two minutes too long, and the bottom’s starting to get REALLY brown, and maybe char a little at the edges. That effect is stronger on the tongue, with a sort of mix of burnt flour and sweetness. I forced Nate to leave his game of shuffleboard for a minute to try it, and he agrees. He also doesn’t like the beer, but I’m not completely against it.
Pastels 1.0 Sour IPA
Close up photos of beer lose a lot of visual appeal once the head’s foamed off.
60 IBU, 7.2% ABV
Just from the name, I was interested, because that is a very interesting idea. And, luckily(?), I don’t hate the implementation. This tastes mostly like someone tossed like, a quarter cup of orange juice into a pint of IPA. There’s an interesting tang, apparently from Lactose. (or, I guess, Lactic Acid, maybe? Does lactose ferment like that?) There’s a smell of peach, which is listed as a fermenting ingredient, but not so much that I’d call it a peach “flavor”.
Nate helped me formulate the “orange juice and IPA” designation, having been convinced to stay and try the other beer that interested him, but now he is departing to play more shuffleboard, and some game that looks like Darts, but is too far away for me to make out clearly. Apparently it’s called “Hookie”. Hooky? Neither of those are particularly enjoyable spellings. I’m being told it’s “Hookey”, which is not better, since it looks like Hooey now.
This IPA has what I think of as the classic Sour beer problem, what I call “the Turn”, which is where the initial flavor profile of the beer gets washed away by the acidity/tang of the ‘sour’ nature of the beer after like, a second. And honestly, I like the first flavor profile enough on this beer that it’s kind of a pity.
I’ve actually swum near an octopus before.
Little dude, luckily, because those guys can fuck you up if you scare them while scuba diving.
72 IBU, 7.2% ABV
You know, I expected this to be much worse, at 72 IBU. This is coming across as pretty smooth, though maybe that’s more a matter of it being smoother than the Sour. Technically, Nate also tried this beer, but that’s because when I ordered the flight, he ordered a pint of this, so I guess I’m invading his space.
Nate also notes that the Giant Octopus is a beer he keeps ordering, and is disappointed by, because it’s his Great White Buffalo of beers. (If you haven’t seen Hot Tub Time Machine, and therefore don’t get that reference, first off, maybe do so if you’re between like, 25 and 50, since it’s a movie fueled by knowledge of 80’s tropes, but is overall pretty good (I legitimately can’t think of a single actor I DIDN’T like in it, and it had some of my faves. Lizzy Caplan, Crispin Glover, John Cusack) . Secondly, it’s a term used to denote an elusive first love, “the one that got away”. )
Starry Starry Stout
Ooh, a different hue of brown!
30 IBU, 6.4%
I’m pretty sure this name is a reference to Van Gogh’s Starry Night, since I think that’s the label. Which is kind of a twist from the rest of their branding, but you do you.
This smells like coffee. Which, I guess, most stouts do.
This tastes like coffee. Which too many stouts do.
The mouthfeel is pretty solid, though. Stouts tend to have like, the reverse of “the turn”, where there’s a sharp initial edge, and then the smooth body behind it, and this one doesn’t have too sharp an edge, or too cloying of a body behind it.
Overall opinion: none of these beers offended my sensibilities. They’re all solid examples of their field, with some cool explorations. If they sound interesting to you, check them out. Honestly, I expected to be hurt worse in this process. So I’m calling this a win!
It’s been over 7 weeks, I can post these memes now.
As ever, check out our Patreon if you want to support the site, since now that I’ve fixed my hard-drive, I should have no trouble getting that video up within the next day or two. Or just spread the word and hit us up via social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
MONDAY: SHIT. I JUST REALIZED HOW CLOSE IT IS TO THE FOURTH OF JULY. UMMM. I WAS GOING TO MAKE KIMCHI FRIED RICE, BUT MAYBE I SHOULD PUT IT OFF? I DON’T KNOW, LET ME THINK IT OVER AND TALK THROUGH SOME OPTIONS. THAT’S GONNA CHANGE UP THURSDAY TOO.