Rainier Beer: Time tested, Chasse approved.
By: Chasse Gunter
I nearly decide against venturing out, seeing how I’m temporarily 86ed from my regular watering hole. Thought I’d been sensing a change of scenery was over due, changing homes away from home is so often so many more blocks from home. After thoughtfully finishing the wounded soldiers in my fridge and getting dressed in the wrong order, I give in to Saint Patrick’s Americanized ghost. I reluctantly open my front door to an uninviting Monday breeze and seven flashing police cars. Although not guilty of anything specific, I’d feel guilty if I turned and went back inside: adventure confirmed. I shuffle past them, then passed my old haunt. I reach blocks I’d never seen at night. I feel a little like Frodo Baggin’s heterosexual life partner Samwise as I enter a bar named after some bear hunting president.
Pour: or maybe the word is “poor.” It has a light yellow tint–as If to downplay its historical significance (I pour some out for the long deceased Edward Sweeney, who, at this moment, shares a corner booth in heaven with Saint Patrick, Samuel Adams, Mr. Busch and–that’s all I can think of right now…and their dd, Jesus. Thanks, bro.
Taste: I immediately taste the fresh, though deliberately aged glacier water with those familiar highlights of genuine Yakima Valley Hops. As it cascades down my throat with ease, these magic hops penetrate my blood brain barrier and I travel back to 1800s Seattle, when it was all gold, Brothels, glue fires and Rainier beer. Only two of which have stood the test of time. Remember to always time travel responsibly.
Final impression: actually, it tastes a little stale. And skunky–and not the classy skunk. I think this glacier sat out too long. Maybe some mammoth fur leached in during the last small Mexican town sized super batch. But I’ll lay this claim–no two piss beers taste the same. They are as distinguishable as two craft beers, or snowflakes, or plates of caviar. Before I sipped craft beer from flutes and pints and crystal shoes, I sipped Rainier, PBR, Olympia, and Colt 45 from cans, bottles, mugs, and regular shoes. Just kidding about the regular shoes, but you get the idea. Seemingly obvious beer proverb: no two different things taste the same–humble or craft. And, while timeless and delicious aren’t synonymous, it’s comforting to know reliable will always be on tap–no matter how many uprisings, glue fires, prohibitions, economic down (or up) turns, or craft beer revolutions try to tear them down. This proverb just turned into a prayer, but may there always be gravel below me, mountains to my right, an ocean to the left, a sky above me, and if civilization becomes unable to privilege me with micro beer or sanitary water, may Milwaukee (and Cali) eternally brew Washington’s most reliable alcohol-tinted beverages. Amen to Rainier! (And it’s adopted parent since 1999, Pabst Blue Ribbon). In entirely opposite news, stay tuned for my coverage of the Hopscotch Beer and Scotch Festival–in Fremont, Seattle’s naked painted brother.