society. This is an organization built on re- spect. Respect for the customer, respect for the creators, respect for the crew. From the communal tables in the pub (at which one will often find Cruz perched, bantering with diners and friends). and process she would impart on our ale, as- cribing personality to the malted grain, the sweet sugars we were readying to be con- sumed by the yeast, the hops that would give it its bittersweet end-of-summer character. Every single brew we tasted at Against the Grain was thoughtful and adventurous— wild, salty, sweet, wide. The pub’s menu— most notably the smoked brisket and Brus- sels sprouts—was balanced, straightforward and straight-up delicious. The artwork on the cans, the sense of adventure—this is true to life, it is living a simple dream, it’s real lives unfolding in real time, with shamelessly un- selfconscious visions of one more beer. “We put our own twist on it,” says Amelia, “brewing it with 100 percent Mandarina Ba- varia hops for a floral, fruity and crisp pro- file.” “We’ve never been drawn into brewing stan- dard, tasteless beers,” adds the brewery’s marketing director, Katie Molck. “We cham- pion the belief that the world deserves more than the mainstream.” It’s an ideal that doesn’t just get lip service from the Against the Grain crew. Above, beyond, below and all the way back around to the hair on donkey’s tail, it’s the way they treat everyone within their simple Taste. It’s wrapped up in the conversation hovering over the food. It’s the laughter un- der flattering lights. Taste is knowing that the barback isn’t being treated like shit. Taste is putting money on the table with undiluted satisfaction. Because if we’re supposed to belong here and really be able to believe it, we all have to belong. Beauty, warts, beer, blood and all. No matter what anyone says, no matter what goes in or out of anyone’s mouth, the way it tastes comes from the inside-out. Taste is built on the way we stay true to ourselves and the ones we love. Peace, you beasts. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2017. All rights reserved.