Happy Mother’s Day, with beer
Stefanie had to work today, and my mom isn’t in town for her visit yet (she arrives Wednesday), so Mother’s Day was a muted affair. I helped a friend with her computer while she played with Alex, I mowed the lawn and watched a movie. We ate leftovers. Nothing special that is until after we put Alex to sleep. Then we took the bus to Crazy Town and went to Thompson Brewery and Public House, our favorite South Salem pub, for a beer and tater tots. Can’t stop us. We’re too CRAZY.
As any parent can tell you, all time spent out of the house without children is great. We could have been cleaning public restrooms and it would have been a nice break. But we weren’t. Instead we had beers and tater tots.
First some background. McMenamins, the company that owns Thompson and a bunch of other pubs around Oregon and Washington (we were married at McMenamins Edgefield, which is still our favorite), restores old building and houses and turns them into pubs that serve consistently good beer and better-than-average pub food. Our favorite beer is the Ruby, a light beer with a slight raspberry flavor (nothing too girly). It is an excellent summer beer — light, refreshing, great flavor and not at all bitter.
But tonight we tried the taster’s selection, basically double shot glasses filled with different McMenamins beers. Usually all but two are standard fare — porter, Terminator Stout, Hammerhead IPA, wheat, Ruby — and the two are a special and a “guest” choice. We convinced the server to substitute several beers for us. Instead of the porter, he brought us their special chili porter (as in chili peppers). Stefanie loved it, but I couldn’t imagine drinking an entire pint of it. Still, it was good. He brought us the Dr. Who, a nutty brown ale on nitro, which I loved but Stefanie hated. But I like brown ales, and she isn’t a big fan. For the special, he brought us their red ale. I liked it, but Stefanie didn’t.
But the best beer by far was the last one, the vanilla stout. It was fan-freaking-tastic. Probably the best beer I have ever had. It was a standard stout — dark and heavy — but it had a great (but subtle) vanilla flavor and an incredibly smooth finish. It was so good that we bought a quart jar to take home. (Yes, I said a quart jar. That’s how McMenamins sells its brewery special beers because they don’t have bottles.) The server said the beer should last three days in the fridge, but I don’t think it will last that long.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone, but especially my mom, my grandmothers and, above all, my lovely wife. Let’s celebrate with beer again next year.