Half Bassed

IMG_1870Found this li’l 25-cl beauty in an Italian beer bar. Does that make it a nipolo, a nipello, or perhaps a nipini?


Dare. Risk. Nip.

We sat down with Rogue Ales prez Brett Joyce this week and toured their offices catty-corner from their pub, The Green Dragon, aka their brewpub Buckman Botanical Brewery. Any company with the motto, “Dare. Risk. Dream.” has gotta be a fun place to work; there’s skeeball (yes, on free-play) and a yellow, tubular, spiral slide lest taking the stairs be too taxing or dull. There’s also a museum of sorts, not replete with all Rogue breweriana, but dang near every beer they’ve bottled. Behold, some of the nips.


From the defunct XS series in 250 mL pocket rockets


I’m your private label. A label for money. And any old beer will do.

Though discontinued, for what it’s worth, Brett said he’s One of Us. He loved ’em. But they couldn’t source more of the glass. And retailers hated them. Said they got stolen a lot. Guess that’s why one of nips’ nicknames is Pocket Rocket.

For fans of expensive sours

We’ve grown to appreciate sours and expect to pay dearly for them. (Side note: we recently picked up 3 bottles of Cantillon in BC for $25/apiece and noticed a bar here in Portland has the same 3 for $75/each!). Even at the cheap-o Canadian rate, for a 750mL bottle, that’s a buck an ounce. Better still, a supermarket in our hood glowed from the light of 375mL bottles of the Gueuze priced at only $9, or $0.75/oz.  And while 375s aren’t nips, we love ’em anyway.

Fans of acetic acid, one of the souring agents in Cantillon and other Lambic beers, always fill their snifters with straight balsamic vinegar. That stuff’s acetic to the hilt! And the same neighborhood upscale supermarket pedals the aged stuff in what we’ll call Imperial Nips: 3.4-ounce portions. Get a load of those prices: $100, $125, $150…up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS per 100mL bottle of 30-year Leonardi Tradizionale Balsamic Vinegar DOP(virtually $60/oz). If you’re buying, bet you’re glad these don’t come in bombers.

Mama mia that’sa expensive