On Thursday Andy and I attended the first day of the Oregon Brewers Festival. Each year they kick off the festival with a big parade through downtown Portland.
All the breweries in the region send their own group of representatives.
The 'monks' from Rogue
The 'Hammerheads' from McMennamins
Most of the brewery reps just wear shirts though.
There is a speech and then the official keg is tapped. All the attendees are welcome to sample the keg. Each year, Fred Eckhardt presides over the festival.
Fred Eckhardt and Aleta
We try all sorts of different kinds of beer and take funny photos.
Last night I went to see the Avett Brothers at the LB Day Amphitheater in Salem, OR. I went to get a beer and was absolutely stunned. My choices were Pyramid and Coors Light. Where was the Deschutes? Where was the Widmer? Hopworks? Full Sail? Rogue? BridgePort? C’mon!!! You gotta be joking me? My two choices are out of state beers? I am in Salem, Oregon the capital of Oregon and these are my beer choices.
Shame on you LB Day Ampitheater. You should be offering native beer. Period. End of story.
In continuing with our yearly tradition, Andy and I attended this years Oregon Brewer’s Festival. If your not from Portland or have hid under a rock, OBF is a huge beer festival held the last full weekend in July. It’s fun and exciting. I think I truly love OBF because its one of the few times I plan an entire day (or two) around beer. Please see my previous post from 2009 for more information.
Oregon Brewers Festival
I'm patiently waiting..
Didn't like that beer..
What does this one smell like?
Saturday afternoon crowd
One last beer and we are homebound
Last night Andy and I attended the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese and Cheese event held at Kell’s. We met up with our friends Irik & Amy. The event is to judge which macaroni and cheese dish is the best. It is free to attend. You get a couple of beers, little buffet, and an opportunity to sample each of the recipes in the contest.
Us at the Event
It was great to hang out with Amy and Irik. The majority of my coworkers also attended. It’s always nice to see such hardworking people take some time to enjoy themselves. But I don’t think this is the event for Andy and myself. First off, you only got 2 small beers. You couldn’t purchase anymore in the tent. 3 hour event with food on a Friday night? You could leave the tent and go into Kell’s to purchase more but couldn’t bring them outside into the tent. Second, the samples were cold. So it was hard to tell how good the macaroni and cheese really was. Third, only one of the six recipes didn’t have meat in it. So Andy was bummed. And fourth, it was really loud in the tent.
Keegan Gerhard, host of Food Network’s Food Network Challenge was the emcee of the grand finale cook-off. He was pretty entertaining but didn’t know anything about beer. He said that Widmer’s Drifter Pale Ale (which was being served at the event) was a “Very German Beer”. No, it wasn’t. Please don’t come to Portland aka Beervana without a fair amount of beer knowledge.
Andy and I ended up bored and thirsty so we headed into Kell’s and had a beer. Next year I think we’ll give it a miss. Cheers!
**Please note: photo of Keegan Gerhard was taken from the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese and Cheese site.
Each time I go back home to New Mexico, I have such mixed feelings. On one hand, I absolutely love the food, my family, the scenery and usually the weather. But then on the other hand, I dislike the fact that the mass transit system is relegated to Greyhound and a few city buses in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The poverty in New Mexico is not only staggering but sobering. You can’t help but feel privileged when you see the large hungry eyes of small children clad only diapers on a cool day.
Living in Portland, Oregon has changed me in many ways. My views on animals mirrors organizations like PETA (I know my father would cringe if he read this), I eat things like TVP and drink microbrew beer. I haven’t carried an umbrella in over ten years and don’t run inside when it rains anymore. Summertime now is an exhausting couple of months filled with as many outdoor activities as I can fit in. My skin has turned a lighter side and is now prone to peeling sunburns. But I love it! All except I cannot find good spicy New Mexican food.
My recent visit to New Mexico was a mixed bag of sadness and joy. As most of you know, my Nana has been diagnosed with ALS and its marching through her body quickly. My nephew Trenton said that her muscles were broke which is the best description I can think of. I used to think the worst part of getting older was gray hair and wrinkles. Now I know its watching your loved ones suffer from a disease in which there is no cure and virtually no treatment for. All you can do is try to make them comfortable. I tried to be strong the first morning I went to see her but you know me…I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Gone was the vibrant, out going woman who has had such a huge impact on my life. Instead she was replaced with a little old woman who couldn’t talk. She put her head on my shoulder and allowed me to cry softly into her hair. I was happy to get to tell her that I loved her.
Nana and Trenton
After that my brother Jimmy took me on what I initially thought was a 20-30 mile bike ride. It turned out that it was 50 miles. I’m still very surprised that I was able to finish the ride in one piece. My legs were shaky afterwords and I think I told my sister-in-law that I loved her. She picked me and my brother up rather than having us ride an additional 12 miles uphill!!! You’d love her too! My brother Jimmy took me for a beer and wings while my sister-in-law got her nails done. That Fat Tire and barbecued wings were the best things I had consumed in a long time!!
My dad and I hung out on Friday. He took me to two museums (New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology) and to get the worlds best beef jerky. We don’t get to spend a lot of time alone which is unfortunate because we are very similar. We both like striped shirts, BBC, history, and making fun of people. We met my mom for lunch at Blake’s where we all enjoyed green chile burgers. It was a good day!
I had a good time in New Mexico but am happy to be home with Andy and my cats. I must say that I did enjoy having Jimmy’s dog Bodie sleep behind my knees.
Posted in Aleta 2.0, Beer, New Mexico, Travel
Tagged Albuquerque, Blake's, Family, Fat Tire, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Nana, New Mexico Museum of Natural History, OR, PETA, Portland, Rio Rancho, sunburns, TVP
On Saturday Andy had his last brewing class which ended at Bridgeport Brewery. I was in the midst of scrubbing floors on my hands and knees when he called asking if I’d like to come pick him up and maybe have a pint. The only word I really heard was pint so before you could say Spic-n-Span, I stuffed my sweaty, unwashed hair into a hat, washed my smelly hands, and was on my way. (Please note: my plan had been to clean the house and then take a shower however Andy called me about an hour before I anticipated so I wasn’t finished with the cleaning yet.) This is also the reason why is are photos of Andy but not me. No one really wants to see you when you’ve been cleaning.
Nothing tastes better than a pint of good beer after you’ve been cleaning your house. That amber tasted like nectar from the gods. I did get to meet one of Andy’s fellow students; a nice man by the name of Cliff. Cliff was fairly excited that the class had been let out earlier than he anticipated so this gave him time to drink beer and chat with adults about beer. And his wife wasn’t expecting him home for awhile so he could do this guilt free.
We drank our pints and then went home to enjoy the french onion dip I had made. Neither of us eat a lot of chips but something about the Tim’s Low-Fat chips with some homemade french onion dip just shouted “Happy Hour!”
Well, time to go make some tacos and get ready for Fox on Sunday night line-up. Cheers!