“I don’t mess with Angelo anymore,” Bailey’s Bar Owner/Slave Driver ‘Jeffrey Philippe’ says. “I’ve seen too much. Recently, I was heading to the bar to oversee how things were going on a keg of Pliny the Younger we’d just tapped. I was walking down from where my yacht is docked after a rigorous afternoon clubbing baby seals on the poop deck, and when I get there I see Angelo behind the bar, filling up two growlers of Younger. Normally, I wouldn’t let anyone do that, but I wasn’t about to argue with Angelo.
“Anyway, the keg blows, a scant 22 minutes after we tap it, and there’s still this long line of people snaked out the door and down the block and around it and trailing all the way back to where I keep my other yacht docked. Well, the guy who just missed getting his taste of Younger is just a kid really, I mean just this doe-eyed, little guy, no more than 23 or 24 years old with a Pliny hat and a Russian River t-shirt and a “Craft Beer Revolution” belt buckle. Just adorable, really. And he sees that he’s just missed his one opportunity in this lifetime to ever experience Pliny and I can see all his youth drain out of him like blood from a clubbed baby seal.
“His disappointment is palpable, heartbreaking even. So Angelo sees the kid and takes him under his wing, puts an arm around his shoulder, and says, ‘Hey, bro, don’t be sad. I’ve got plenty of Younger right here.’ And the kid, he just lights up, this big stupid grin dividing his face in two.
“And then Angelo says, ‘Did I say I was going to give you any, motherfucker?’ and proceeds to dump out the entire contents of both growlers onto the floor, laughing maniacally as all the Pliny fiends drop to their knees and start sucking concrete in a desperate attempt to get just a molecule of that hoppy masterpiece on their taste buds.
“But the kid, he just stands there in utter bewilderment and shock for a good minute. And then he starts bawling, the alcohol tinted tears just flowing down his greasy, prepubescent face. It made me feel just awful… I mean, it was a real mess; that was a helluva lot of beer to clean up.”
Bailey’s Technical Guru ‘Dick Streams’ was there as well. “It was fucked up,” he says. “I knew Angelo could be a dick, but dude. Wow. Yeah. That’s—” He trailed off, shaking his head.
Convinced yet? I’ve got pages of this kind of testimony. I could keep going, but if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably just wondering, “when the hell is he going to wrap this up? This is already a two-and-a-half pages longer than it should be, and I’m supposed to be working right now.”
In all seriousness, it’s going to be tough to say goodbye to our buddy Angelo. That dude lives and breathes beer, he’s got it running through his veins… and that’s not just because he’s drunk all the time. He’s one of the nicest, most humble, genuinely warm people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in Portland, both inside and outside of the craft beer scene, and he will be missed.
So do yourself a favor. Come on down to Bailey’s this Sunday and raise a pint glass to him, wish him a fond farewell, and remind the bastard that if he starts up “KillerForniaBeerFest” down in San Fran, the entire city of Portland is going to find him and kick his ass.