Beerchaser Miscellany – April 2014

Mansfield in a margarita toast to the 95 Theses at Church Bar
Beerchaser regular, John Mansfield in a margarita toast to the 95 Theses at Church Bar

 Thebeerchaser.com 

Views of this blog have now exceeded 26,000 since its commencement in August 2011.  Average views per month during the last year are about 1,200 and there are now 53 Followers – folks who get an e-mail automatically every time there’s a new post.  If you want to be in this esteemed group, click on the little black box in the bottom right of the screen and put in your e-mail address.

And one reason for getting more views – amazingly from all over the world (today there were hits from Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands and Greece)  – is the “tagging” in each post.  For example, I tagged “Portland lawyer John Mansfield,” in my last post and several persons searching for him on Google came across his name and clicked on Thebeerchaser.com – something I’m sure that John appreciates as a marketing opportunity for his intellectual property law practice!

And since the blog’s statistics page showed that someone had searched on “Don Williams Drinks Beer,” I tried it myself and the screen came back with 3,260,000 potential hits – and “Don Williams Thebeerchaser” was first on the list.   A lot of them were links to the country-western singer by the same name, who is also referred to as “The Gentle Giant.” 

Not the Beerchaser, but The Gentle Giant probably also likes beer....

Not the Beerchaser, but The Gentle Giant probably also likes beer….

Some of these links were kind of interesting – like the one on page 10:  “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy.”  It was about hazing at Dartmouth and Williams College.   (To clarify, I was an Ag College Frat Boy.)   Another hit was entitled, “Hops in Beer and Estrogen Level…..”

 Lists…..Who cares!!???

I’ve always wondered about awards naming “the best” or lists with rankings – they are very questionable.  Part of the skepticism is Thebeerchaser’s own example – named as “Wittiest” in 9th grade and “Most Likely to Succeed in High School” – no further evidence needed to affirm this theory….

The Bar at North Portland's Saraveza

The Bar at North Portland’s Saraveza

For example, this blog, while making very positive comments about Saraveza (reviewed in March 2014) – one of the five Portland bars again making Draft Magazine’s Top 100 Beer Bars in the USA, questioned the criteria and the same issue was raised by another repeat 100 Best Bar – Portland’s Bailey’s Taproom.  

My recent visit impressed me with Bailey’s outstanding selection of beer and the expertise of the staff; however, the only food available had to be ordered from the restaurant across the street.   

Bailey's Taproom - another one of the five Portland beer bars in Draft Magazine's Top 100

Bailey’s Taproom – another one of the five Portland beer bars in Draft Magazine’s Top 100

That same day, I went back to Crackerjack’s Pub, a quaint neighborhood dive bar in NW Portland, which is one of my all-time favorites since Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland Bars, Taverns and Pubs commenced.  

Could it ever be a Top 100 venue?  Stay tuned for reviews of both of these establishments.

Not in the Top 100, but an outstanding bar (review coming soon)

Not in the Top 100, but an outstanding bar (review coming soon)

 While lists may not be valid for some purposes, they are interesting.  For example, as reported in an October, 2013 edition of The Week magazine, residents of North Dakota consume more beer than any other state – an average of 46 gallons last year, which is an increase of 9.5% and exceeding the 44 gallons of New Hampshire residents – No. 2 on the list.

West Linn – One of America’s Safest Cities

Not to belabor the point, but The City of West Linn, where I reside, was recently voted the 31st safest city in the US and according to Neighborhood Scout – a real estate service (which obviously is a credible source….) the safest city in Oregon. 

Again, it raised question as to how this ranking was determined.  Any doubt was laid to rest, however, when I read a few  actual excerpts from past West Linn Police Reports in the West Linn Tidings.   See below and you may also agree that “safest” may be synonymous with “boring” or perhaps in a few cases “crazy:”         

City of West Linn logo

City of West Linn logo

1/10 – Someone wrote “vulgar” in the dirt on a vehicle in the 1700 Block of Willamette Drive.

11/29 – A caller was frightened by a “round, bright, white light shining through the trees.”  It was the moon.

11/29 – A suspicious man with a gas can asking for gas in the 4600 block of Elmran Drive really was out of gas.

8/26 – A man eating a bowl of cereal while driving ran a stop sign in 22900 block of Willamette Drive

8/26 Two suspicious men with a basketball were seen entering Midhill Park.  Officers found them playing basketball.

10/26 – What appeared to be a severed leg in a driveway in the 19200 block of View Drive was really a Halloween decoration.

12/31 – A man walking  out of tall grass near northbound I-205 at 10th Street seemed “odd.”  In reality, he had run out of gas and was retrieving some.

At least one word of advice – “Keep a full tank of gas when you are in Oregon’s safest city!”

 And for the curious, the safest city was Franklin, Massachusetts and the most dangerous, East St. LouisLake Oswego ranked number 84.

And speaking of weird headlines, I found the following in my collection:

“West Linn Man Cited for Hanging Dead Squirrel” The Oregonian

“Death of 105-year old Milwaukie Man Investigated as Suspicious” The Oregonian

 

Resourcefulness and Beer

A liquid with multiple vocations....
A liquid with multiple vocations….

The off-duty Houston firefighter was returning with his wife from a car trip when they spotted a large truck on fire – not a big fire but one that could spread. The truck was hauling beer.

The small fire extinguisher on the truck was not enough so they started “shaking and spraying cans of beer on the blaze and the fire went out.”  This refutes the quote by the 19th century German who opined, “Beer that is not drunk has missed its vocation.”

 

The Plover by Brian Doyle

The recent Beerchaser of the Quarter, Portland author, Brian Doylealso the editor of the wonderful University of Portland’s Portland Magazine, with whom I recently had the pleasure of raising a mug at his favorite pub – The Fulsom Brew Pub, just had his most recent novel published.           

Brian Doyle at The Fulsom Brew Pub

Brian Doyle at The Fulsom Brew Pub

The Plover, is a nautical tale and the following reviews indicate that those who enjoyed Mink River or his wonderful short stories and essays, will be in for a good read:

“A rare and unusual book and a brilliant, mystical exploration of the human spirit.” Kirkus Reviews

“Doyle has written a novel in the adventurous style of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson but with a gentle mocking of their valorization of the individual as absolute. Readers will enjoy this bracing and euphoric ode to the vastness of the ocean and the unexpectedness of life.” Library Journal

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