Welcome to the Northwest Porter Companion: Everybody’s Brewing Pucker Huddle. …
“I’ll start off with a Pucker Huddle, please.” Of course, it’s probably obvious to everyone, including the Everybody’s Brewing bartender, that I’ve “started off” a long time ago — like around 1981 — but that’s beside the point, isn’t it? She seems quite pleased with my order as she spins around to pour me the brewery’s flagship porter.
I watch the pint glass fill with pitch-black delight and a cappuccino head. Mr. T also watches as the foot-tall version stood watch over the taps, naturally.
The White Salmon, Washington brewery is packed, both inside and outside on the deck with Mount Hood welcoming everybody. A loud, constant roar works to stay above the steady string of grunge-era hits on the hi-fi. “We were country, when country wasn’t cool” states T-shirts darting back and forth on the staff’s backs. Other taglines exist but it’s Memorial Day weekend and taglines only last a second as the staff darts by. Patrons press their faces against the large back windows praying someone will vacate their deck seat. As giant red tapestries roll in the wind above deck drinkers it could be a scene from Burning Man, except everyone is clothed — barely for a few. It’s the Gorge. It’s an adventure land for beautiful, super-fit windsurfers, paddlers, hikers and skiers. Pucker huddle is a fantasy for the few middle aged, out of shape folks in such a landscape.
My Pucker Huddle doesn’t smell of adrenaline and lilac but rather pleasing dark, roasty malt with chocolate and coffee.
I am just as confused about why anyone in the lively taproom would want to order anything else than this delicious porter as I am about this guy who just walked in wearing a tie. It’s Saturday night during Memorial Day weekend in the Gorge. Who the hell wears a tie? I take another sip of this bittersweet, sweeten coffee porter. The alcohol hides beneath the roast, chocolate, toffee and coffee, unlike Tie Guy. Oh, Tie Guy. How can I describe him? Let’s just say that he’s the Caucasian Wesley Willis. He really wants to be a part of it. He lounges in very precise and practiced positions, striking just the right pose and trying to come across as cool. He strikes up conversations with several Girls’ Weekend. He’s lost in many ways.
Also lost are the hops in Pucker Huddle. It’s well balanced with low bitterness.
“I’ll end with another Pucker Huddle, please,” I reply to the inquiry. I step outside and become lost in the view.
Pucker Huddle Porter
5.5% ABV, 35 IBU
151 E. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon, Washington
(509) 637-2774, everybodysbrewing.com