Saturday, December 26, 2015

Quill's Bridge

December 21, 2015 was a very sad day for Natalie and I.  Our big, fat buddy, Quill, had to be put down.  

Quill's origins are a bit mysterious.  Our best guess it that he was a Siberian Forest Cat.  Tipping the scales at 16 pounds (he was once 18 pounds!),  he lived to the ripe old age of 15 years.  In fact, he may have been 16 years old.  We are not sure as Natalie acquired him from her piano teacher when he was five....or six....years old. We can't be sure.

We can be sure he was simply an extraordinary cat.  I know, I know, I know...everybody wants to say that their pet was the best one, but they're all lying. Quill was the best.  Anybody who met him was immediately captivated by his girth and his personality - both quite large.  Calm, affectionate, and simply awesome, he really was the best cat anybody could ask for.  That's a fact.  Snuggles were constant, his quirks were numerous, affection was a given, and his purrs were like gold.

Interestingly, he was not in perfect health.  About eight years ago, he was diagnosed as  a diabetic.  Now, I know some folks would have put him down right then and there thinking that diabetes in cats is somehow a horrible thing.

Nonsense.

Like diabetes in people, it is a very treatable condition.  A good diet and a simple regimen of insulin is all it takes.  

Well, not too long ago, he started to develop some kidney troubles. That can be addressed with diet, as well.  So we did it. Easy.  

All in all, I would argue that we took care of Quill better than most people take care of themselves.  

Sadly, despite our best efforts as cat parents, something diabolical was brewing in his noggin. This past Monday, two separate veterinarians diagnosed him with some sort of brain issue.  Tumor?  Lesion?  We'll never know.  The neurological impact was pronounced and frustratingly quick. His decline was over just a few days.  Further, something had changed in his body preventing his system from maintaining safe blood sugar levels. Despite the constant influxes of sugar, the levels stayed dangerously low.   

By Monday afternoon, arrangements had been made.  Quill was euthanized here in our home on Monday afternoon.  Natalie was holding him and I was holding her.  Needless to say, the whole situation was awful, but at the same time, it was comforting as we know Quill was no longer suffering from his brain condition.  

In fact, I would argue his last moments with us were, in an odd sort of way, grand.  

As a diabetic, high blood sugars would be a problem.  Sugary treats for him were out of the question.  Before I passed him to Natalie for the last time, he was literally swaddled like an infant and I held him like one.  The way he licked honey from my fingers is a memory this sappy cat-dad will have forever. The way he used his paw to pull my fingers closer  when I had shredded cheese bits made everybody present chuckle. His one last round of obnoxiously loud purring was wonderful because we knew he was comfortable.  

Popular culture now has a story regarding a rainbow bridge.  I honestly had never heard of it until friends expressed their condolences to us.   The general angle of the story is this: when pets die, they cross a rainbow bridge where they frolic and enjoy themselves in grassy fields on sunny days.  Upon the death of their owner, they meet again and continue on as companions forever...as it should be....

I'm sorry, but I have a problem with that story.

Rainbows are simply white light separated by a prism into its individual colors.  

You can't walk on a rainbow.  

But what if the bridge was made of cheese. Not just any cheese - sharp cheddar.  Natalie and I never had to sweep the cheese off the floor after a cooking session as Quill was always on the prowl.  

And what if, for a decorative flair inspired by the work of masons, his little treats were placed on the cheese bridge in a pattern called a Flemish bond.  Oh, and they're not just stuck there. They are mortared in place with his wet food.  Oh, and the wet food is something super-yummy and not his kidney-healthy wet food. After all, in Quill's new place, his kidneys and pancreas are perfectly healthy.  

Of course, if you have a bridge, there is often a body of water below it. A river or a stream.  For Quill, it's a river of milk.  But, not just  any milk.  It's the milk that's left over in the cereal bowl. You know, the super sweet stuff.

I have trouble, too, buying into the grassy fields thing.  During his supervised short forays outside (he was an indoor cat) he always tried to eat the stuff but never seemed to figure out that it made him puke.  Natalie and I had to watch that he never chowed on it.  

Hmmmm...what would be more to his liking?

Concrete.  No, seriously.  Concrete.  One of his favorite things to do on a nice sunny day was to lay on the warm concrete of the front walk.  Without a care in the world and his eyes squinted in the bright sunshine, he seemed like he could lay there for hours.  

And what might we find in the middle of Quills' concrete?  A couch. You saw that coming, right?  Specifically, a brown woven love seat, just like the one Natalie and I have in our family room.  It was certainly one of his favorite spots for his naps.  Not normally the frolicker, I suspect he would just chill for hours on his couch.

If he is really cool about it (and he would be because he was that kind of cat), he would lie in the middle of the love seat. That way, Natalie could sit to his right and I to his left...like it always was when we watched re-runs of the Big Bang Theory after dinner. 

I say "we", by the way, because it was the three of us together. Natalie, myself and Quill. Three peas in a pod. 

Thanks Quill.  You were the best cat.  If you find any grass growing in the cracks between the concrete, please don't eat it.  

(Special thanks go to Nat's mom for being a great part of Quill's time on Grosse Ile.  Thanks,  too, go to everybody who helped with Quill's cat sitting needs and his needs overall during the years - Nat's dad, my parents, and all the veterinarians and techs (Jess especially).  Thanks all....)













Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Detroit In Black and White

With Natalie working in Detroit, I enjoyed the opportunity to take her to work a few days ago.  My semester was largely done and I needed the day to enjoy myself.  With camera in hand, I opted to walk the town. I can't tell you how far I walked, but I enjoyed every minute of it. 

I'm not going to tell you where I was.  Maybe some you Michiganders/Detroiters can figure it out....









Thursday, November 26, 2015

Building A Mystery

A short distance north from Traverse City, Michigan sits the small hamlet of Greilickville (GRY-lick-ville).  To the tourists who flock the region during the summer months, it does not seem like anything more than a small extension of downtown Traverse.  During its heyday in the late 19th Century, businesses included a huge sawmill, tannery, brewery and brickyard.

Now, I suspect you think this post is going to be more blither about beer.  

Well, its not.  This mystery begins with the bricks... 

During my Historic Preservation and Tourism class this past spring, Natalie, Ken and I made the trip to Traverse City.  Lunch, however, was in Cadillac.  The Clam Lake Brewing Company comes highly recommended.   Both beer and pizza were quite good. But it was not the chow that grabbed my attention.


The photo above was taken inside the brewery.  A few things may catch your eye.  Notice the yellow bricks.  Yes, it is the same yellow from the State Hospital in Traverse City.   My last post highlighted some photos from the tunnel under the Hospital. In fact, bricks from all over the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula were made in Greilickville.  

Inconsistencies of the brick making process would probably explain the reddish brick in the center of the picture.  If you look closely, there are varying shades of yellow, too.

The real mystery in the photo would have to be the serrated edges on only some of the bricks.  As Ken and I walked the building, we noticed a scattering of them everywhere.  

A few weeks ago, I was in Traverse again for another class. The class, Adaptive Use of Historic Structures, had us investigating old structures that had been given a new lease on life. 

While enjoying lunch with classmates at Trattoria Stella, in the basement of the old hospital, what do I see in the wall?



You might be thinking "Oh...the same bricks!" That makes perfect sense, right? 

But they're not.

Note how the serrations are not as deep.  In fact, as I examined the wall, a complete evolution was noted.  Some bricks, like the above photo, had just nicks while other bricks were even more serrated than the ones we noted in Cadillac. 

Now, lets look at this a bit deeper.  

Are the bricks defective?  No. If so, the makers or the masons would have discarded them.  Note, too, that the mortar is in the cuts showing clearly that the bricks were serrated before they were placed in the wall (as opposed to some sort of chipping after they were placed).

Conversely, are the bricks somehow better?  No.  If they were, why don't all brick have these edges?  Sometimes, folks just blunder into better and it catches on. That does not appear to be the case here. Superior?  No.

Are the bricks decorative?  19th century masons certainly did things that make modern masons drool.  The effort was tremendous and final product was jaw dropping.  Clearly, jaw-dropping was not the intention here as the bricks were scattered about the walls at both Clam Lake and Stella's rather haphazardly. They are not structural (beyond their basic function) or decorative.  

The only thing that makes sense at this point is that the edges are a function of the manufacturing.  Frustratingly, if you count the nicks, they are not uniform on individual bricks or among different bricks.  It seems to me if there was a flaw in manufacturing, the problems would be consistent, right? The effect is the same, but the numbers are not. Odd.

I pursued a few folks regarding these bricks.  A few folks in the Historic Preservation department were stumped.  Bob, a former co-worker, collects bricks.  Yeah, I'll say that again - he collects bricks. After all, there are people who collect just about everything, right?  Apparently his basement has a collection with hundreds of samples from dozens of brick makers across the country.   He was not sure of what to make of this situation either.

That said, he put the word out with his collecting network. He even did a small piece for their newsletter.  Perhaps they can turn something up.

In the meantime, I'll continue to poke around and see what I come up with...

There may be be mortar to this story.....
 
 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Miscellaneous

Things here in the Cypher household has changed quite a bit in the last few weeks. Nat unloaded her only grad class and I unloaded one of mine. Further, my second class is already done as it met only twice in Traverse City.  So with only my third class still meeting, my school schedule is much lighter.

That said, don't think that I did not have the chance to sneak out and do some shooting.  The opportunity to do some sunrise shooting was quite nice.  Sure, it was my intention to photograph Great Egrets from the secrecy of my impromptu photo blind. Sure, said blind was  a complete disaster, but I won't tell you that part.  Hiking to a different part of the park, I met up with Natalie sitting on bench watching the sunrise. 




The Traverse City class investigated the concept of adaptive use.  In short, it's the idea of using old buildings again.  A leading regional example would have to be the The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.  Once upon a time, it was the State Hospital.  Designed under the Kirkbride plan, it housed the mentally ill. Now, shops, restaurants and offices are the norm.  It really is quite a place.  

A class highlight is always a visit to the tunnel that runs under the main passage.  While the building is over a quarter mile long, this tunnel is only (only!) 200 feet long.  Made with the beautiful Grielickville yellow bricks, it really is something to see.  Notice that the tunnel is basically two arches.  Very durable. After all, its been there since 1885.


That said, there is just something about black and white images and the "urban scene."  I honestly don't know which one I like better.


Keeping with the adaptive use theme, there remains the question of what to do with the old Leelanau County Jail.  Tucked away in what is now considered prime real estate, the question remains of what to do with it. Keep it? Move it? Demo it?  One  is for sure, you can photograph it....
 



So, with what I hope is a bit more free time in the coming days, perhaps I can get back to some photo stuff.



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy All Hallows Eve!

Happy All Hallows Eve!


Everything started fine around here.  Last night, Julia Child Natalie made pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese/maple syrup frosting. They are every bit as good as they sound. In fact, more!

We'll be at the Fort Street Brewery tonight around 9:00pm.  Join us for a pint if you're interested!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mysteries

It is hardly a secret that Natalie and I drink beer.  We travel for it.  We cook with it. We brew it home. I have a spreadsheet listing my beer conquests.  A week does not go by when we are not thinking about beer and all the possibilities that it brings.  

Imagine my surprise when I got home from work one night.  A bottle cap was on the counter.  I didn't leave it there from the night before.  The bottle opener was not hanging on the cupboard where we always put it.  Something was certainly amiss.

A short walk in to the family room and what do I see......


Apparently, Quill likes beer, too.  But mysteries remain....

...how did he open the bottle without opposable thumbs?
...how did he carry the bottle without spilling any?
...how long has this been going on? 

I'll try and keep you posted.
 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

365

It's hard to believe this picture was taken 365 days ago today.  Where did the year go?
 




I guess it doesn't matter, does it? It's more about who you are with....

Thank you to all who made the day memorable!


Awwwwww, you can all cry now in three....two....one.....



:)


 

Friday, September 11, 2015

August 31: Fallingwater and Drivinghome

1925 saw the opening of the Hotel Morgan in Morgantown, West Virginia. The wainscoting in the lobby would floor you. The old mailbox in the lobby with the chute that feeds in from all the above floors is the stuff of dreams. I’ve always loved that stuff.

During most of its tenure, the hotel did indeed house visitors.  At one point, apparently West Virginia University used it for student housing. I would bet vandalism and vomit suggested that was a poor idea.  It is now owned by Clarion. If you’re in the area and you dig old stuff, stay here.



Our final destination for our trip was basically placed on my “go to” list by my college advisor, Dr. Ted Ligibel.  Natalie wanted to canoe, hike, camp, watch whales, drink beer and sleep while I did all the driving. I was good for all of that, too, but this location was my “Hey, look, here is a great chance to do this. Dr. Ted said so.”

Fallingwater. (Note the lack of the space.  That’s being artsy, folks.  My spellcheck is screaming.)

Built in the late 1930’s by the intergalactically famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufman family (of Pittsburgh), this place will blow your mind.  Every organization or magazine claims this is a place that everyone should visit. I could not agree more. 

The amazing combination of horizontal lines with vertical lines and the fact that the home is functionally built from the bluff and is cantilevered over a waterfall is awe inspiring. Locally quarried stone and the combination of the rocks on site (some of which were not moved and are both inside and outside the home as the wall rests on the stone) provides a great melting of nature and construction. Overall, the attention detail is simply incredible.

 

Sadly, the home was not without its troubles. The elder Kaufman called the home, at times, Risingmildew, clearly noting the persistent dampness.  I can only imagine how the books fared. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the owners of the home, brought in a team of engineers and preservationists a few years back to repair the structure.  The terraces were sagging 7 inches over a 15 foot span.  Yikes!

That said, I could never live there.  The Kaufmans were clearly not tall. At 6’0”, I was uncomfortable in some rooms as my head was barely clearing the doorframes.  Another fellow, who I would put at 6’2”, had to duck multiple times.  Wilt Chamberlin would have been screwed.  The hallways were very tight. This was Wright’s attempt to force you out onto the terraces or perhaps the large central room.  Further, the humidity was high that day.  If you are one who needs central air, you’re out of luck. That said, I’m sure the winter was pleasant with the multiple fireplaces.

In any case, get there. Take the tour. Spend a million dollars in the cafĂ© (it’s not hard). Spend a billion dollars in the gift shop (it’s not hard). Support one of the most amazing places you’re ever going to visit.  Do it. 

For the non-photographers out there, the combination of the dark vegetation and the light terraces makes for awkward lighting.  If you meter off the building, the building will look fine  but the vegetation will be black. If you meter off the plants, the building will burn out and become white while they plants stay green.  Fortunately, when it came time for my photo, the clouds rolled in.  With all our frustrations involving clouds, fog and rain, this was one episode where I was happy to see the sun blocked.  The light was more even. My neutral density filters did their magic.  Silky water falls.  Ooooooooh.



If you want to buy this picture off of me, you can.  Actually, no, I’m kidding. I can’t sell it without the explicit written permission of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  If they find out I sold it, they will hunt me down and throw me off the waterfall.  Or perhaps they would embed me in concrete during the next round of rehabilitation. Worse yet, they may make me live there.

Sadly, and I mean sadly, we knew we needed to press on. Fortunately, we were able to stop at our other favorite brewery, the Great LakesBrewing Company in Cleveland. Check your maps. It makes good sense.  Pittsburg to Detroit is only 4 hours. The fastest route is via Cleveland. 

We were home by 9:30pm.

Statistics:
Miles driven: 3,490
Miles per gallon: 40.2
Average speed: 43.5
Gallons used: 86.5

States visited: 8
National Park Sites visited: 7

Beer sampled: 46
Breweries sampled: 17
Beer (life total): 1,634

Birds: weeeeeell, that’s a toughy.  As the trip moved on, our birds notes became less and less. I need to still update that info but I don’t have time do it here and now.  Maybe I’ll post an addendum in the future.  No new birds for me – that’s for sure.  The Great Shearwater was new for Natalie. We missed some boreal species that would have been new for her, including Boreal Chickadee.


August 30: Fighters and Floods

It might be worth mentioning that the entire day came together at the last minute. When Nat and I designed the trip, we opted to have an extra day to spend somewhere.  As the trip moved along, we never used it.  We could have gone home a day early, but what the hell fun is that?

You may be surprised to know that the National Park Service has quite a presence in southwest Pennsylvania. After a quick breakfast in town, we hit the first of three Park stops for the day. 

I don’t think I need to get into the details of the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001.  If you are like me, you are experiencing what physiologists call a “flashbulb memory.”  You remember extraordinary details of the when you heard what was happening – what you were doing, exactly where you standing, what you were wearing perhaps or even the song on the radio when the news broke.

To honor the individuals on Flight 93 (the flight that did not reach its target (likely the Capital building)), the National Park Service now oversees the Flight 93 National Memorial.  So you can honor those same individuals, you have to go. 

In what is becoming a trend in the National Parks, simple monuments (like the statues of Augustus Saint-Gaudens) are no more.  A significant artsy-sort-of-plan/interpretation is often used.  In this case, giant stone panels, each etched with the name of a passenger, are in place in an accordion-style wall.  The axis of this Wall of Names matches the flight path the plane took in its final moments and more or less points to the crash site. The crash site itself is accessible only to Flight 93 passenger and crew family members.


There are dozens of ways to correctly assemble a memorial. One way is not automatically better than the other. Different designers might offer different thoughts. That's just how creativity can work.  That said, I’m not sure about two things.  

A stone, which was not visible the day of the flight, marks the point the plane struck the ground. Apparently, it had to be added later to guide the eyes of the visitors who couldn't interpret the map.  With so much effort in planning, a giant stone, the size of a golf cart perhaps, just seems odd to me. A rock? That was the best they could do?

Second, the gate.  At the end of the Wall of Names, a gate prevents visitors from walking to the crash site.  To borrow a phrase from another website, it is “…a faux-wooden gate.”  Big beams.  Rather bland.  It just seemed out of place.  It looked more like something to keep back Nordic barbarians or cattle.  I don’t get it.  The gates at our National Cemeteries are immaculate.  Don’t the people of Flight 93 deserve something similar?  Did they not give their lives just like those we honor in Arlington?

Again, go.  Average people (if there is such a thing) stepped up to perform in an extraordinary fashion.  We owe those 40 individuals everything.  

Everything. 

Don't ever forget what they did.

If, by the way, you believe Flight 93 never existed so as to fulfill your needs to foster a story of a conspiracy, I would like invite you to go screw yourself at your earliest convenience.  You're idiots.  The interpretive center was not open at the time of our visit.  No outside interpretive panels addressed the conspiracy asshats.  Well done, Park Service.

Sadly, the event of September 11th is not the only horror story that unfolded in southwest Pennsylvania. 

Setting your time machine back, we could go to 1977, 1936 and 1889. What did they all have in common? 

Floods in Johnstown.  While all three episodes saw fatalities, the 1889 event marks the single largest loss of civilian life in the United State prior to 2001. 

It could have been avoided. 

The South Fork Dam held back the waters of the Conemaugh River (CON-uh-maw) creating Conemaugh Lake.  The lake was the playground for a hunting and fishing club whose members were, well, rich.  They retreated here from Pittsburgh when time allowed.

As time went by, the original 1853 dam was altered.  It was reduced in height and eventually developed a sag in the middle (the part that needs to be the strongest as it holds the most pressure!).  Stone riprap was poorly maintained, discharge pipes were not replaced and debris was allowed to clog the spillway.

Victor Heiser, a flood survivor, recalled “The townspeople, like those who live in the shadow of Vesuvius, grew calloused to the possibility of danger.” Club members assured the city of Johnstown, 14 miles downstream,  that they were in no danger “…from our enterprise.”

What club members didn’t realize is that the rains of May 30 and 31, 1889 were epic.  Inch after inch of rain dumped into the region. Modern meteorologists believe a storm cell basically parked itself over southwest Pennsylvania.

Elias Unger, the owner of the home in the foreground in the picture below and a senior member in the hunt club, awoke to see the lake swelling and knew the dam couldn’t hold.  Members of the club did what could be done to reinforce the dam but it was largely pointless. An engineer with the club thought that a strategic break along the edges of the dam might relieve some pressure, but he was worried about being blamed for the flooding towns downstream. He did nothing. The dam broke.



Over its 14 mile run, the flood, moving at speeds of 40 miles per hour, carried entire homes, trees, train cars, mud and anything else that was in the way.  The boilers of the Gaultier Wire Works, a leading manufacturer of barbed wire, exploded, creating what survivors called the “Black Mist.” Hundreds were tangled in the miles of wire and drown.  As debris piled up against bridges and viaducts, fires broke out and people were burned to death.  One pile of debris had a footprint of 45 acres (a football field is 1.32 acres).

2,209 people died.  99 families were wiped out while 98 children were left without parents.  The unknown deceased are buried in Grandview Cemetery.

The two abutments are all that remain of one of the world’s largest earthen dams (as of 1889). I added the white lines in the picture below to help you visualize the top of the damn. Lake Conemaugh would have been to the left.



Somewhat drained from the two visits, we opted for lunch.  At a small roadside restaurant, we enjoyed what might be the world’s best hamburger.  Holy cow were those good. (Yeah, sorry. Ha ha.). Sadly, service was a bit slow. It was almost as if we were waiting for the cow to grow up before they processed it!

By 3pm, we made our third stop for the day.  Fort Necessity was needed.  I wanted to re-visit the site as I was there in elementary school.  Natalie, with her new found appreciation of battlefields, was looking forward to it, as well.

The French and Indian War preceded the Revolutionary War. It was basically a conflict between the French and their Native American allies and the British in North America as they both felt they had a stake in it all.  Historians call it the Seven Years War as it eventually went global.

In May of 1754, a Virginia Militia unit, led by a guy named George, headed out to intercept a French military unit.  History is muddy and important details are lost.  The French leader, Jumonville (Zjew-moan-veel), was killed.  Some say in combat. Some say he was functionally assassinated after his capture. 

Fearing a huge French response, George retreated and hastily assembled Fort Necessity, complete with trenches, in a location called the Great Meadow.  Not much larger than a postage stamp, almost 400 soldiers were in or near it when the French attacked on July 3. 

George, lacking the ability to check the weather on a smartphone, found himself in serious trouble when persistent rains got his powder wet.  In short, when your powder is wet, your musket doesn’t fire.  You’re in big trouble because you can’t shoot back.

That night, the French sent George terms of surrender.  The papers, written in French and soggy from the rain, were misinterpreted and George unwittingly admitted to the assassination of Jumonville.  Upon George’s surrender, he and his troops were allowed to leave but the French torched the place. Tempers flared globally and the French and Indian War erupted. 



The fort is a reconstruction. However, its originally location and shape is now known. Once thought to be large and square, we now know it was only 53 feet across. I wasn’t kidding when I joked about a postage stamp, huh!?  We know it was make with split logs based on the archaeology of the site and recovered burned timbers. 

Interestingly enough, I distinctively remember those burned timbers from my childhood visit. My mom said we were going to visit a fort.  I had visions of a castle-sized structure. Imagine my horror when I found out the fort was fake and that all that remained was the same debris that one removes from a fireplace. Needless to say, my views have changed!



Sadly, the thunderstorms chased us out around closing time. Ironically, a storm on the exact same site almost 261 years before changed the course of world history when George signed the soggy surrender and the “admission.”

So what became of George? Oh, he went on to be the President of the United States. Yes, folks, it was George Washington. Fort Necessity was the only surrender in his military career (though he did lose a few here and there).

While we are on the subject of George, let’s take a moment and think something through.  Folks in the recent weeks and months have conjured a firestorm regarding the Confederate flag and what it means.  I have heard arguments that the Confederate States were basically traitors as they tried to secede from the Union. 

George Washington was a member of the Virginia Militia, a combat unit representing a British Colony,  fighting on behalf of the British Crown. Within a decade, he was fighting against the British. 

So help me understand something. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States is a traitor, but George Washington is a hero when they basically did the same thing.  What is the single most glaring difference? Jefferson Davis lost. 

I am not at all suggesting that George was a traitor and should never have been President.  I am simply suggesting that we need be careful how we describe certain people.  Ignorance of history might get you in trouble.

Our original plan suggested lodging in Pittsburgh.  However, believe it or not Morgantown, West Virginia was closer to our next day’s destination. That’s right.  Just a few days previous, we were a stone’s throw from New Brunswick and here we are now in the home of West Virginia University. Lodging was at the historic Hotel Morgan.

With Morgantown hosting the Morgantown Brewing Company, a 5 minute walk away from the hotel, dinner was a no-brainer.  The beer flight was huge, but small (lots of beer, small samples).  Alpha Blonde Ale, Two Week Lager, Old Morgantown Amber Ale, Pathfinder Ale, Coat City Stout, Saison, Oktoberfest, Kettle Bottom Brown, Eighty Schilling Scotch Ale, Zack Morgan’s IPA and the Jessico White IPA (#1623-1633) were offered.  The brown, the amber and both IPAs were well done.  4’s for sure. Sadly, the Scotch Ale was weak. Natalie and I both agreed on this one.  We had to score it a  2.