Tuesday, June 12, 2012

LC's West Coast Adventure, Part 2

OK, so I'll admit that a west coast trip with an infant wasn't as easy as I made it sound in part one. I only touched on his problems adjusting on the night we arrived. Well, there were a few more instances of the effect of jet lag, but for the most part he was a trooper and handled the change in his schedule pretty well.

But, as KJ has reminded me on several occasions, it's the return trip back east that's the real challenge. So, since we've been back home, the boy is really experiencing some jet lag. All the more reason I should have gotten started on part two while I was still on vacation.

Anyway, where did I leave off? When we stopped off for the growlers at Migration, the idea was to have an empty one (or two) on hand at the in-laws' place so we could fill it (or them) with fresh beer from various breweries during this and future visits. I was pretty sure, but not 100% certain, that any area brewpub would fill any growler, no matter where it came from.

I'm not really sure why I ever doubted that would be the case. I haven't purchased too many growlers in recent years, mainly because most of the brewpubs in and around Boston are nothing special, but also because I don't often find myself in the situation where drinking (or even sharing) a gallon of beer in one sitting is realistic, believe it or not. I suppose my brewing pal and I could handle it without much problem, but we're usually drinking our own beer while "working."

While it's certainly possible that some New England brewpubs would frown on the idea of filling a container with a competitor's label on it, Portland breweries were happy to fill any growler, of course. In fact, on Monday, after an outing to the Portland Zoo*, we attempted another brewpub drive-by (so to speak) only to find out Coalition Brewing is closed on Mondays. But, as it turns out, the sole employee (brewer? owner?) working that day was more than happy to fill my growler, after offering me a couple quick samples.

*I'm really looking forward to when LC appreciates this sort of thing, and so is KJ, especially since she's expressed on several occasions her desire to take him to Disney World. In fact, we've had numerous conversations about how we're really looking forward to living vicariously through our son by taking him to places we have fond memories of via our own childhoods.

The beer I opted for was Coalition's Apollo Creed CDA. CDA stands for Circadian Dark Ale, but I was told it's basically a black IPA. It was good, but I'd rate Migration's offerings a little higher, especially their signature brew, MPA (Migration Pale Ale).

As expected, this trip wasn't the usual brewpub crawl that previous outings to Portland were. Actually, the first one was, with subsequent visits being progressively less beer-centric.** This is probably a good thing, although to me the ultimate vacation involves lunch brews at the expense of nighttime drinking.

**The afternoon spent at the Oregon Brewers Festival being the exception.

We did make it to four new (to me) brewpubs in all, with the fourth being Rogue Ales' Northwest Portland location for a late lunch on Thursday. My choice of their XS Imperial IPA was a good one, except it made me a little more tired than I wanted to be on a day LC needed a little extra attention. My bad, of course. Another good choice was a bomber to-go of Rogue's Maple Bacon Voodoo, which survived the flight home—despite our luggage being temporarily lost and finally delivered to our home about 30 hours after we returned—to be shared with my brewing partner, and compared to our I've Seen All Good Maple Bacon Porter, of course.

The flight home went as well as the trip west, as far as LC was concerned. I fully expected KJ and I would split the duties of being a pillow for the little guy, but my better half stepped up on both occasions, allowing him to continue to sleep undisturbed in the position he fell asleep in. This meant she barely moved for the duration of each 5 1/2 to 6-hour flight and, of course, is part of the reason she's one of the two best moms ever, in my not-even-slightly biased opinion.

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