KillerBeerFest 6 Epilogue: The High Kaliber Revenge

Angelo the Mad Schemer
Angelo the Mad Schemer

By Michael O’Connor

If you’re reading this, I’ve done it. I’ve successfully hacked into Brewpublic’s website and posted this report from the frontlines. I know what Angelo is doing and I need your help to stop it… although it may already be too late.

My name is Michael O’Connor. You probably know me in my role as contributor to the Internet’s actual best beer news website, The New School (that’s strange, the hyperlink doesn’t seem to be working…). You might also be familiar with me from not visiting the Internet’s least read website, OCONNOBLOG (but you really should visit it… like, seriously).

As many of you know, Angelo De Ieso II, the founder of Brewpublic, recently wrapped up his KillerBeerWeekAndAHalf by arranging 10 days of nonstop imbibing and drunken tomfoolery. If you attended one of the events, congratulations. You probably just wanted to get a beer at your favorite local beer bar and instead had to wait in line for twenty minutes to get an overpriced taster glass of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sour Imperial Stout w/ Pumpkin and Every Hop That Starts w/ The Letter ‘C’.

Somewhere in between you standing in line waiting for that beer and you standing in another line waiting for another beer, you probably saw Angelo working the crowd, shaking hands, kissing babies and pickpocketing fools too drunk to notice. But just maybe you caught a look of malign intent in his eyes. Just maybe you caught the foaming drool collecting around the corners of his mouth as he gazed upon your sample glass of fermented ambrosia.

Spoiler warning! Ever since Angelo contracted an inoperable brain tumor, he can’t drink alcoholic beverages anymore. That’s right. The guy you’re trusting to curate your favorite bar’s festival with beers that are so KILLER they have their own rap sheet is stuck drinking Kaliber and Clausthaler and insisting, “Aw, you know, they’re not really THAT bad.”

Let’s face it. Between you, me and the closest mash tun, Kaliber is about as KILLER as a blind, newborn puppy playing with a plush penguin toy that squeaks baby farts. If Kaliber ended up wrongly imprisoned in a state penitentiary on trumped up charges of involuntary manslaughter by a sadistic DA it wouldn’t even get to finish making its bunk before being sodomized in its NA bottle cap by a gang of tribal tattooed skinheads.

It may sound downright masochistic–and maybe even a bit noble–to organize and attend a ten day beer festival comprised of amazingly delicious beers that you can’t drink and watch everyone without inoperable brain tumors enjoying said beverages and the inevitable inebriation that follows. But if you think Angelo doesn’t have a plan, you haven’t been paying attention.

Angelo always has a plan, and thank the Beer God I’ve been able to expose his nefarious schemes in the past before it was too late. If I hadn’t, we’d be living in a world controlled by a Cylon Mitt Romney while Angelo stabbed a resurrected Jesus Christ in the back with a broken beer bottle and craft brewers were sold into forced labor camps to faithfully reproduce the recipe for Schlitz Malt Liquor until the end of time for the hopeless, defeated masses of humanity. Or something like that. I don’t know. What else have I accused him of in the past?

The truthiness of the matter is this: Angelo is using the funds generated by KillerBeerFest to finance more breweries, beer bars, and growler stations to open in Portland.

Da-Da-DUMMM!!!

“Wait? That’s it. That’s the big EVIL scheme?! That’s awesome,” Spill Sperminhand, bartender at Bailey’s Taproom told me when I revealed what I’d learned. “I have to walk like fifteen minutes from my home to get to a brewery. That’s way too long to not have a beer in my hand. If my taste buds aren’t drowning in alcohol, how do I know I’m making rational decisions?”

“Hey! I’ve got a dangerous thirst that needs slaking,” Kooky Paisano, another Bailey’s bartender, yelled at me from across the bar. “Can we get some rum and bourbon up in this bitch too? Shit, I’m in the mood to start partying. Oh, it’s ON!”

Then I dropped the motherload on them. The twist you’re not expecting. The it’s-that-dude’s-twin-brother-and-he’s-not-really-dead reveal that gets you to go bug-eyed and look at the person sitting next to you and silently mouth the words “HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS JUST CHANGED MY LIFE” (or HFSTJCML for short).

Angelo’s master plan is to bring in so many breweries, beer bars, and growler stations into Portland that it overwhelms the city, breaking down the infrastructure, depleting resources and bursting the craft beer bubble like a loaded fermenter without a blowoff tube. New businesses hawking pints of frothy, hoppy ale are going to spread like ebola, only instead of affecting places we don’t give a shit about, like Africa or Texas, it’s going to hit us where we live, cuz. It’s going to put a stranglehold on our way of life here in the Northwest.

Just imagine: what happens when there are so many breweries that you can’t finish a three block brewery crawl without ending up in the ER? And then you get to the ER and they ask you if you want a pint while you’re waiting.

Where will the firefighters keep their firepole when Firehouse Brewing opens and starts churning out Inferno IPA and Yellow Hose Lager? Will they have to share it with the strippers?

What about the municipal government? How will they overtax us and then still not have enough money to fix our barely paved third world country style roads if they have no conference room space in which to endlessly deliberate because someone had the “brilliant” idea to install thirty taps and a cooler for beer cans?

How will the cops electrocute 15-year-old black kids if there’s no spare energy left to charge their tasers overnight because the entire electrical grid for the Northwest is feeding breweries’ temperature controlled mash tuns?

What will happen to our E. Coli & fluoride infected water supply (c’mon, you know they added that shit when you weren’t looking) when the breweries drain the reservoirs to pump out imperial stouts and hoppy red ales?

What happens when the farms can’t meet demand for hops and a mass shortage results in brewers forced to churn out only gruits for four to five years until—

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop right there,” Spill Sperminhand interrupted me. “I need my Mosaics. I can’t get out of bed in the morning without three shots of espresso, a jigger of bourbon and a Mosaic hop bomb ISA blended with my breakfast orange juice. This is serious shit. This madman has to be stopped.”

“I’ve got knives,” Kooky Paisano offered.

But there are signs that it’s already too late to stop Angelo. Just last week, I encountered an intruder in my kitchen who was malting barley and another in my basement who was trying to cultivate new yeast strains. “Where the fuck else are we supposed to do this?!” they screamed at me as I chased them out of my home with a mash paddle. “Do you know how expensive real estate is getting in this town!!!??”

And new breweries are popping up faster than anyone can properly name them. Just last week, construction began on a brewery across from Ex Novo called Why Yesvo. Upright Brewing is experiencing a similar problem near the Moda Center with a new rival dubbing itself Downwrong Brewing. And between Breakside and Burnside Breweries, there will soon be Blockside, Brokeside, and Bluntside (pending the passage of Measure 91, that is).

“It’s getting out of control,” Ren Bledmunds of Breakside Brewery admitted. “A new brewery is actually opening up inside our Milwaukie location. I don’t know who signed off on this or how it’s going to work to be honest with you, but they’re bringing in their own fermenters and mash tuns and already told us they’re not interested in collaborating on anything.”

So what does Angelo get out of this besides sweet, sweet revenge, watching Portland glut itself on beer until barley, hops, yeast and water supplies are completely exhausted, pandemonium breaks out in the streets, and everyone’s chugging back cheap adjunct lagers and foreign exports, the tears rolling off their face in between each vomit-inducing sip?

“Isn’t that enough?” Angelo confided to me, a sinister grin cracking his evil bearded face. “And you’re too late to stop me this time! Suck it, O’Connor!”

And with that, he unleashed a spine tingling cackle that split the air and echoed its mad ringing long into the dark, yielding night.

Michael O'Connor & Angelo De Ieso during Killer Beer Week (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Michael O’Connor & Angelo De Ieso during Killer Beer Week (photo by Cat Stelzer)

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