I also survived the week without drinking alcohol or eating meat. It wouldn't normally be such a big deal, but things were certainly a bit stressful and a celebratory beer would have been excellent. But, I held out. On Sunday we celebrated the end of the religious observance, the birth of our daughter, and a beautiful summer day by heading down to the waterfront. A fresh hop Lupulin ale from Full Sail Brewing at the Pilsner Room was a great welcome off of the wagon.
The Lupulin was tasty but not as good as past years. I am not sure which hop variety I was served (a week ago I would have had the energy or interest to inquire, but on this day I was just content that it was a beer in my hand!). I had intended to follow that up with a Hop Harvest from Rock Bottom Brewery but service was a bit slow (which was just fine on such a beautiful day) and I ended up having a second Full Sail beer with my cheeseburger. The Malt Bomb lived up to it's name - a nice hit of chocolate, roasted malts. Perfect for sipping slowly while watching the dragon boat races in the river below.
The plan for this week is to catch up on more sleep. I have a few days off this week to help at home and bond with our new addition. I also plan to sneak out and grab a few of the fresh hop beers that continue to pop up around town. In addition to the Hop Harvest at Rock Bottom, I hope to get my lips to the King Cone at Deschutes, the Oakshire Harvest currently on tap at Apex, and the release of Bridgeport's Hop Harvest on Thursday evening. I recommend you bookmark Bill's 2010 Fresh Hop Map which will be an invaluable tool in the next several weeks.
I hope everyone that attended MusicFest NW concerts had a great time. Unfortunately, I was a little too busy to make it to any of the shows. I was really hoping to make it to The National concert on Sunday night but was just too exhausted. I want to draw attention to a great band playing Friday night at The Wonder Ballroom. Cloud Cult is a phenomenal band out of Minnesota that plays atmospheric, experimental indie rock. Cloud Cult releases great albums (including a new album Light Chasers due out this week) and play amazing live shows. Plus, the Wonder is a cool venue with good beer. A recipe for a fun time on Friday night. If you see me sleeping standing up during the show, give me slight nudge to wake me up.
Also playing the Wonder is Local Natives on Saturday, September 25th. Local Natives was playing when our daughter was born (Alexi Murdoch was playing when our first daughter was born) and I am hoping my wife will be able to make it to that show. Finally, a quick note that NPR Music currently has some great albums available for streaming as part of the First Listen series. This includes yet unreleased albums from the likes of Mavis Staples, Blonde Redhead, Of Montreal, Superchunk, and Robert Plant. Head on over and give them a listen.