ORIGINAL DRAFTS: LAURELWOOD WORKHORSE IPA

ORIGINAL DRAFTS: LAURELWOOD WORKHORSE IPA Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The man, bent at the waist, puts one foot before the other. He is a beast of burden and his burden is the presumably full cask or keg of beer, strapped to his back, that he, through his hard work, brings to us all so that we may enjoy a fresh, foamy draught pint of India Pale Ale. Or so tells us the image on the tap.

Because while some men in starched white shirts have long-enjoyed enjoyed long, 3-Martini lunches, beer has always been the working man’s drink after a hard, physically punishing day’s work.

But according to these fine ladies, what most of us don’t realize is that for a long, long time, beer wasn’t a man’s drink. It was a woman’s drink. In fact, women only recently relinquished their brewing roles during the Industrial Revolution, when they turned the keys to the globe’s newly minted breweries over to the boys, effectively eliminating their own positions and putting the menfolk in charge. But, they did so only on the following condition: the boys could have their breweries and their brewpubs, but no women, under any circumstances, were to be permitted on the premises. Keep the ladies away, they thought, and the men’s eyes won’t stray.

But that was a long time ago. And, at least in this country (well, at least here in Portland), we’re all modernists now, which means that every man and woman is free to enjoy a nice, local hand-crafted brew anywhere they please, and at any time they choose.

And if Portland has a civic drink, it’s almost certainly beer, and among the many beers our brewers craft, the IPA is undoubtedly our beer of choice.

Laurelwood’s Workhorse IPA was the first beer crafted by the brewery’s head brewmaster Chad Kennedy, and it remains to this day his favorite recipe, with good reason.

Burnished and rendered a coppery orange color, this IPA is made from a blend of four regional hops and is brewed in that familiar, hop-heavy Pacific Northwest style.

And at 7.5 percent ABV, the Workhorse IPA ranks high on bitterness (80 IBUs), but you might not able to tell, because it tastes surprisingly tamer and goes down a lot smoother than your average IPA.

So ladies, continue reclaiming your rightful place in the global culture that is beer. Besides, we can all agree that we’ll always have minors against whom we can discriminate.