Keep Portland Beered

By Alan Weltzien

So why not pedicabs for hire

east of the River, circuit of up to

nine stops in a town boasting

dozens of craft microbreweries?


Two cabs, two young beer experts

quick with local history and opinion

pedal five of us from one brew pub

to the next as my desire races ahead


of my belly. After our first table

I switch from halfs to flights

and I fly over ranks of brews,

my eyes glaze hundreds of bottles,


my tongue discovers farmhouse ales,

Belgian style, I sigh and smack lips

as I lose track of names, gradations of

hues and hops. My mouth clenches


against sour beers, too much for sour me

and I watch thin patrons, regulars

who, Melinda says, bike everywhere

rain or shine and whose waists,


therefore, don’t spread despite their loyalty.

By the fifth station I droop,

my palate dulled and body sodden

with suds. All those beers beyond reach,


those releases awaiting my mouth

and enthusiastic reviews. If there were

world enough and time. . .I swim out

of the ocean and we repair to an Ethiopian


restaurant to float food atop liquid middle earth.