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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sasquatch Redux

To Hopworks last night for a tipple of the new Sasquatch Strong Ale, a revival of Glen Falconer's old recipe from the now-defunct Wild Duck. It is exactly as I remember it--which I recognize isn't the same as saying it's exactly as it was. Many years intervened between the two most recent pints. I recalled it as being burly, resinous, but welcoming, like a slap on the back from a good friend.

I have to say I was filled a bit with melancholy as I drank it, though. The loss of good beers is sad enough, but the loss of Wild Duck and Glen Falconer are far worse. In the six plus years since his death, what might Glen have brewed? How might his brewing have evolved. In a way, Sasquatch is a beer from another time--it was rivetingly strong in the late 90s, but now in the age of gigantism, seems quaintly gentle. I was surprised to see the bartender pull a full pour, but in fact, at 7%, it's hardly a monster. Just a regular IPA these days.

Glen had incredible range. When I visited Wild Duck in the summer of 1998 to do a story on Eugene breweries for Celebrator Beer News, he had a peach ale that was something like Ron Gansberg's Apricot ale--the fruit was perfectly fresh and fragrant and present in the beer. It was a very light summer beer--the opposite of Sasquatch--but perfectly brewed.

For those of you who remember this beer, I do recommend the trip down memory lane, but be advised--it's a little bittersweet.

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