M Bar is basically my favorite place to have a few pints. They only have three taps, but they rotate regularly, daily almost. For six months out of the year they pour the best Guinness in town on the nitro tap. They spend the proper three minutes to make sure it’s all settled and ready to drink. The rotating taps all come from smaller Oregon and Washington breweries. I’ve been introduced to a few breweries like Boneyard and Walking Man via the three taps at M.
Today was another great example of an interesting, yet familiar trip to M. I started out with a Kolsch from Occidental Brewing, which hit a lot of the notes I love in a Kolsch: light, crisp feel and nice malt flavor. I thought it had a little too much hop flavor for my taste, more like a classic pilsner than a bready Kolsch. I missed the saltine cracker flavor I tasted at Pfaffen. I was reminded more of the Früh Kolsch; the Occidental left a sort of oily tongue coating. Still a solid choice for a sunny day on the patio.
I followed with Hopworks Secession Cascadian Dark Ale. I think they stopped making it for the summer, and this tasted like an older keg. It was a lot darker than I remembered but still hoppier than a porter. The aroma of the hops has faded, but there is still a bit of grassy flavor. The overall flavor was dominated by a smokiness. The finish is smooth and dry. And unlike many stouts or porters, the body was still relatively thin and crisp. Overall not entirely unwelcome.
As the weather warms and the nights lengthen you can count on M to bring out some very nice, crisp, tasty beers.
Amnesia ESB More bitter than the British version. It’s Still dry but not sweet. This ESB is more like a pale ale.
I had a pint of Hopyard Dog from Salem’s Pale Horse Brewing. It tasted like an apple that you took a bite out of and then dropped into a plastic bag for a few days. It tasted like a very brown and bruised apple with a bitter hop after taste.
Then I had another pint of Upright #6. The second one in two days. This beer is my kind of thing. Tangy Belgian yeast, spicy rye malt.
I drank some Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome, and it’s all malty and red. It’s a winter warmer with a low alcohol but a bold taste. The gnome is not as sweet as the other winter ales I’ve tried, but it is pretty tasty.
I followed that up with Breakside Brewing’s IPA which is super grapefruity but backed up with a hefty bitterness. The citrus flavor is nice but maybe a little over powered by the lingering bitter aftertaste.
Another happy hour at M and I’ve found a few more interesting beers. I had Everybody’s Local Logger Lager which was surprisingly woody. At first I thought the keg might have been oxidized or something. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but it was pleasant if a little light for my taste. I followed that up with a pint of Boneyard’s RPM IPA. It tasted resiny with sticky hops like a pine needle covered in sap but very tasty.
At M waiting for Sarah. Drinking Hale’s Super Goose IPA. Last week I learned that Guinness should take 3 minutes to pour. If it’s not on nitro, turn that shit down. This IPA is pretty good, nice and hoppy. It sticks to your tongue. I’ve been off IPAs for a while, too bitter. But I’m back on the wagon. I love the floral hops. It’s almost like jasmine, like drinking a load of perfume. In a good way. You know what I mean.