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Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Find, November 2nd

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

This week is a little different.

At some point, within my lifetime, the term, "urban legend" became code for "elaborate bullshit story."  I don't remember exactly when this happened, but I do remember a time when elaborate stories were simply referred to as "bullshit", and not the stuff of legend.

Perhaps the first such tale I recall being exposed to was the idea of some jackass putting razor blades in candy around Halloween.  I was a kid back in the 80s and this was before both Myth Busters and Snopes.com and so I couldn't just Google it. Like all urban legends, everybody knew someone or had a relative to whom this happened, but no one had direct first hand experience. The ironic thing is, according to Snopes, is that there is one actual case of this being documented and it involved a very sad and pathetic 49 year old Minneapolis man who put pins in Snickers bars and then handed them out to kids for Halloween in the year 2000. That's like going out and shooting someone with a musket today, talk about old fashioned.

Generally though, most urban legends are either straight up nonsense or the result of a hoax.  The most famous of all such hoaxes, now the stuff of legend involved two Canadian brothers, one named Doug and the other named Bob, McKenzie was their last name.  Bob and Doug McKenzie, in an effort to get a free case of beer placed a baby mouse in a beer bottle, fed it a bit so that it grew and then turned this "mousey beer" into the Elsinore Brewing company. The adventure that followed involves an evil, murderous Brewmeister, a mind control plot to destroy all of Canada, or at least those who drink Elsinore beer and mind control driven violent hockey.

Today's Friday Find is a beer not a wine. Don't worry, we're still a wine blog.  Caldera Brewing down in Ashland Oregon is one of the Northwest pioneers in canned craft brewing, and here's the thing, they weren't doing it to be trendy. Ashland is an outdoors enthusiast's paradise, not to mention an epicenter of Southern Oregon wine, but with kayaking, mountain biking and a litany of other outdoor options, you can't take bottles of beer safely or responsibly out into the wild with you. They're heavy, relative to cans and they might break. Not a problem with cans.

The Caldera IPA, in a six pack of cans for somewhere in the neighborhood of $9.99 is a perfect break from all that red wine you'll likely drink this cold, dark Northwest winter. Remember folks, we had one helluva a summer so no complaining. It's a classic embodiment of the IPA, super hoppy, loaded with citrus and pine. IPAs are said to have been traditionally made a bit higher in alcohol, and that was so that the British could ship it over to India. You get thirsty colonizing the world. However compared to porters of their time they were on par in terms of alcohol and really the big alcohol IPAs, or Double IPAs were actually created here in the US&A.  This Caldera beer is not high in alcohol but the use of the whole flower hops by the people making it results in a great full flavor beer with less bitterness than might usually accompany an IPA. I enjoyed the heck out of it. Load up on this palate cleanser, I know Whole Foods has it, and Pete's in Eastlake will gladly order it for you. Don't worry there's more wine coming folks.


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