A Refreshing IPA at a Chinese Dive Bar Under a Seattle Overpass
By: Chasse Gunter
After a very long drunken conversation at an undisclosed Seattle location on the subject of certain privileges being impossible to comprehend without being born with those privileges–which is impossible for those born with certain light and/or masculine shades–without an expensive disguise kit applied at birth. Or something. Privilege, like freedom, can only be defined by those who don’t have it. Which makes a paradox, as far as drunk political conversations go. Me and my friend twice removed eventually agree to agree and arrive instead on a privilege equation, that would be offensive to anyone eavesdropping on any part of it. We agreed that an upper-middle-class white woman and a lower-upper-middle-class half white male have equal privilege in the U.S of America. But then we started to factor in two versus four year college degrees, credit-scores, and criminal records into the equation and whether you were raised in one-street town or booming city by a happy family or stay-at-home step-dad–my head began to hurt. I decided I needed to find a less intellectual bar before last calls, so I made my polite liberal good-byes and made like other peoples’ babies and headed out. I opened the door to discover bright day light–and it was a scorcher, too. Day drinking can really screw with the internal clock. I walk about ten blocks in the apparently burning sun and see no pubs or dives in sight. A homeless man asked me what he could do for a dollar and thirty cents–as if being an exact dollar amount away from the next crack purchase will make me more likely to help him “catch the bus.” I told him I’d give him a quarter if he told me where the nearest bar was–hey, pull tabs don’t grow on trees (well, paper comes from trees, but whatever). Though obviously annoyed by the deal, he points up ahead to an overpass about five blocks ahead. I smile–a bar under a highway, sandwiched by hotels with weekly rates–this is the bar the doctor ordered. The bar looks like what would happen if a dive bar and a Chinese restaurant had a hung over baby under a bridge–perfect. The bar is inhabited by a strange mix of pacific islanders and rednecks, and though there’s an anti-panhandling sign, the bartender looks and (admittedly) smells homeless. I attempted to hide in a corner to write, but he quickly spots me and asks me what I want. I ask him what he has that’s local and he says all they have is the Evolutionary I.P.A which was brewed a good stone-thrower’s throw away from here on Capital Hill–by Two Beer’s Brewing Company. Though not an I.P.A fan, I decide to take my chances.
First Impression: Initially, I feared I had made a bad decision. One of the redneck women puts a song about easy drunk girls, which puts an odd spin on the building suspense.
Pour: It’s a surprisingly light golden wheat color and pleasantly aromatic.If the taste overpowers me, at least it looks and smells nice. It’s almost citrus-y and floral; enough to overpower the local tavern scents.
Taste: The first sip is refreshing. The hops aren’t over-powering or lingering which is why I typically avoid India Pale Ales. Apparently the I.P.A has finally evolved away from it’s bitter routes. I was very pleasantly surprised. I ordered fried Mac-‘n-cheese balls to celebrate–they were awful. I would highly recommend the beer though–even to those who aren’t traditionally fans of the pale ales. I overhear a bar patron say that there’s always something off about attempted country bars in big cities. I smile at his straight-forward observation, finish my beer and end my night early.