Horse Brass proprietor Don Younger was an icon and
instigator, deserving much credit for putting Portland toward the top of
the American beer scene. Younger passed away in January, just missing
the chance to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his legendary Southeast
Belmont Street pub. One of his last pet projects was a beer to celebrate
that occasion, commissioned from California’s Russian River Brewing.
Russian River produces several of the country’s most sought-after
brews—Pliny the Elder, Supplication, Blind Pig—and the company not only
brewed Horse Brass the sort of hoppy, low-alcohol session beer Younger
requested but gave it an epithet echoing the Roman naming convention
reserved for its flagship. The brewer’s Santa Rosa pub and Horse Brass
are the only places to get a pint of this grassy and very still ale.
Younger was rarely spotted without a cigarette; a trace of tobaccolike
resin is a fitting quirk.