Thursday, May 18, 2017

The best beer I ever had

Portland, Oregon

The year was 1992. I was attending MLC in NW Portland and one day me and a buddy took a tour of the Blitz Weinhard brewery on West Burnside. It was like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the adolescent male. The shining steel vats that held the malts dazzled our eyes. We savored the pungent aroma of the hops as it assailed our nostrils. All the secrets that went into the crafting of the delicious nectar we loved were revealed! And then! Then, a creaking sound like some mischievous yet benevolent banshee called out to us. We turned to see two large oaken doors swing wide to reveal an inner sanctum. Into the shadows we stared. Could it be? Yes it could! The friendly staff beckoned us into the tasting room! The dark stain of the polished fir bar adorned with brass rails hid the spoils of the room like a pirate's chest overflowing with gold, but the treasure it offered was golden hops tailored to a tasty perfection! We had our pick of brews to sample. Henry's classic? Henry's Dark? What'll it be? Asked the bartender. We answered in the manliest voices we could muster....... Blitz, please.

We may have entered the brewery that day as boys, but when the exit doors opened onto West Burnside Street to reveal a rare glimpse of pacific northwest sunshine, we did not squint. We did not shy away from the light. We proudly strolled out those doors with our heads held high. We emerged as men!

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