It's a sad time to write. After the tragedy in Orlando, it seems wrong to tally up beers drank, fun times had.
50 people wanted to have a fun time Saturday night and won't ever do so again. And it's not enough to say that we must continue on, we must soldier forward, we must have those good times again or The Fear has won. It's not enough.
No other country has this problem. Whatever your politics and reasoning, whomever you find at fault, really at fault here, we must admit that this is a serious problem in America.
Serious problems get serious attention. Hearings on the Hill. Stump speeches. Bills. Gun control platform candidates. Groups with acronyms. Hash tags. Togetherness. Plans.
Because this episode will be called an incident of global terrorism by some, and an incident of mass killing with a legally bought gun in another, togetherness going forward will be tough. That's happened with every mass shooting -- we fracture into discussions about mental health services, blame dispersal, security for whom, and personal rights. It's that fracturing that keeps us from getting anything done.
So I think the main question that should be at the center of this going forward is simple, clear, and with a definitive answer in my mind: "Is there a gun violence problem in America?"
I can't imagine saying no to this question. And everyone that says yes therefore has a duty to do whatever they can in order to solve that problem, because the ramifications are not limited to any sort of person or location. There is no Not In My Backyard with this one. If you say yes to that question, you have a duty that includes listening to all sorts of opinions on the subject, while bringing everyone back around to the central problem, even as our differing opinions bring stratification to the table.
How do we lessen gun violence in America? That clear question may not have a clear answer, but in the clarity of the question we should find a rallying cry, an obvious problem that deserves the attention and energy that is required to solve it. There are 50 new reasons to soldier on in the fight against this scourge.
Stone Enjoy By 7/14
The 4/20 Enjoy By had AHTANUM, SUPER GALENA, SIMCOE, AMARILLO, DELTA TARGET, CALYPSO, CASCADE, CITRA, GALAXY, NELSON SAUVIN, MOTUEKA, & HELGA hops. This one has NUGGET, SUPER GALENA, SIMCOE, DELTA TARGET, AMARILLO, CASCADE, GALAXY, CITRA, NELSON SAUVIN, MOTUEKA, & HELGA hops. And yet I taste a difference. I thought it was more Simcoe. It could have been more simcoe. Or less Calypso. Not a fan of Calypso.
Also, kudos to Stone for not only pushing the envelope on freshness, but also hopping the hell out of these beers, with expensive, scarce hops. I don't love everything Stone does, but I do love this series.
High Water Hop Riot
Modern Times Infinity Beach
Cellarmaker Hop Making Sense
High Water makes a great Smores stout, and that's the one you have to get. But if you can get the Hop Riot, I recommend it. Lemon, grapefruit, floral notes, and a strong malt backbone -- this one is a West Coast IPA without being boring or old.
The Infinity Beach was sold to me as a grapefruit IPA, so I took a big old gulp of... a super sour peach beer. Not that I didn't like it, but it took a few minutes to reacquaint myself with the beer I was drinking. It very much tasted like an old-school Almanac sour -- very tart, limited fruit -- and my drinking partner felt there were some flavors there he didn't love, but I'd still drink this one again. My first MT sour!
Cellarmaker is the bomb. Hop Making Sense wasn't one of their hazy NEIPA types -- this one was clear and fresh and lighter -- but it was still a little grassy and a lot fruity. One of their best, and their lineup is amazing. I'll be bringing some Cellarmaker to me when I travel East. Hopefully the growlers survive the flight.
Hop Valley Citrus Mistress
Port Brewing 10 Year Anniversary Ale
Crooked Stave Persica Sour
Too much citrus! Hop Valley in Oregon used citrussy hops, and then added grapefruit zest. It's too much. I didn't hate drinking all six, but I wouldn't buy it for someone else.
Eh. I think Port's best beers these days are their stouts. I had a Bacon & Eggs that I really liked at their Ocean Beach location. Some of their canned session beers are okay. This one was super sweet, super malty, and that malt backbone is overdone in their DIPAs, according to me.
Crooked Stave! What is up! I never thought you were enamel-peelers. The Stave seems to have one class of sours that are dank and thick and lovely, and another that are just straight fizzy teeth killers. Really felt my teeth softening as I drank it, no kidding. It started with so much peach aroma that I was excited, but it was so wour that I couldn't taste the peaches.
Founders Mosaic Promise
Transmitter Brett Golden Ale
Founders is fine, not at all offensive. The Transmitter was its opposite, if not completely offensive. It was super... bold. So much Brett in that Brett Golden Ale that it was like a pepper lemon punch to the face. Later on, it got easier to drink, but I didn't really want to drink a ton more. Later, I almost liked it. But it's sort of like the cigarette solution: oh you like Brett, do you, here's ALL OF THE BRETT YOU COULD EVER HANDLE.
It actually ruined me for the evening. I was going to have another Crooked Stave sour but lost my stomach for it and just had another Citrus Mistress as a night cap. Needed something more refreshing.