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Banging Bars with Travis McCabe: Blog #3

T-Mac Attacks The Belgian Classics

[Worthy Brewing is pleased to bring you “Banging Bars with Travis McCabe,” a blog written by Travis (aka, T-Mac). He’ll be sending us his reports from the racing action all over the world as a sprinter for the new UCI World Tour Team, Israel Start Up Nation. For us, T-Mac is the perfect spokesman for Worthy – he races hard, dreams big, and win or lose will always cap the day with a cold beer and a smile.]

…And the Belgian Classics Bite Back

Alright I’m writing this one while its still very fresh in my mind and hopefully it will be more of a journal that gives you insight into just how hard the racing is over here, because holy sh**! I don’t know if I’ve ever really raced my bike until now.

Here’s why. It’s not just one element, or two, or three that makes it difficult, it’s the entire 200+km of racing. Start to finish, 5 hours of physical and mental stress that leaves you in a state of exhaustion that I’ve only felt a few times. It’s really difficult to explain just what it’s like racing the classics, and since I don’t have a ton of experience; Het Nieuwsblad being my first on, I can only give you my perspective as an American Classics virgin.

I’ve thought about it a lot and I don’t know how much sense this makes but here’s the way I describe OHN (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad). Remember when we were all kids and you used to play “the ground is lava” on the jungle gym?  You would always be pushing and shoving for space that was the safest spot, and trying to maneuver around the gym, taking risks that you hoped would pay off by getting to a safer spot. Everyone was your enemy and there was only so much room on the jungle gym, and only one person could be the victor. That person had to be smart, crafty, patient, strong, and want to win more than anyone else. 

Who Shall Be Crowned King of the Jungle Gym?

Of course, this game of our youth was more cute than risky. If you fell, whatever, you would be out and then it would be onto the next game, so who cares. Well the classics are a lot like that, except the risks are very high, the rewards are big and tangible, and everyone you’re playing against is capable of winning, and wants be the last man standing. It’s the Jungle Gym Olympics and to the victor, goes the spoils!

I’ve thought about it a lot and I don’t know how much this makes since but the best way to describe OHN (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad). Remember when we were all kids and you used to play “the ground is lava” on the jungle gym? You would always be pushing and shoving for space that was the safest spot, and trying to maneuver around the gym, taking risks that you would hope pay off by getting to a safer spot. Everyone was your enemy and there was only so much room on the jungle gym, and only one person could be the victor. That person had to be smart, crafty, patient, strong, and want to win more than anyone else. Of course, this game was of a pretty low risk. If you fell, whatever, you would be out and then it would be onto the next game so who cares. Well the classics are a lot like that, except the risks are very high, the rewards are even bigger, and everyone you’re playing against is capable of winning, and wants be the last man standing. It’s the Jungle Gym Olympics and to the victor, goes the spoils! Before the races my director Dirk Demol said that it’s like going to war. You have no friends and you constantly have to battle. Now, obliviously it’s not war, but god damn it’s a non-stop 5-hour battle and tensions are high the entire time which means you have to be at your physical and mental best to even make it to the finish. Then you have to be smart about your efforts, know when to expend energy, as well as save energy. Which is a very, very tricky thing to do.

So a little history lesson now…

Omloop Het Volk

2020 was the 75th edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, formally known as Omloop Het Volk, and is also known as Opening Weekend, which is rapidly succeeded by Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne taking place on Sunday. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium is considered the first “real” race of the year. It’s held in high regards because it’s the first race to show who the favorites are to win the big granite trophies. The Belgians are hard boiled mother effer’s. Many Belgians regard the Classics as the only “real” races of the season.

I agree to an extent. The one day classics are like nothing else. Everyone cycling fan knows of Roubaix and Flanders, but not everyone in the US knows about the rest of the classics and semi classics. It’s really a full season of of brutal one day racing packed into a few months. And here I am, the fresh meat from the US getting thrown to the Belgian wolves!

Coming into Opening Weekend, I was pretty nervous about the racing. This would be my first time at OHN as well as KBK and I could only imagine how hard it was going to be. I watched previous editions of the race, combed through the race map, tried to memorize the cobble sectors, which helped, but it only goes so far.  The Belgian directors kept going on about how this year was going to truly be a classic and I could see why. The weather forecast was predicting rain and 50km/hr winds; cross winds of course; but on the bright side it would reach 10 C! So, yeah, I was nervous, excited, and anxious to finally experience the first “real” race of the year. It did not disappoint.

On the Point Taking Bullets

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2020 – 72nd Edition – Kuurne- Kuurne 201 km – 01/03/2020 – Scenery – photo Peter De Voecht/PN/BettiniPhoto©2020

After team presentation, taking photos, signing autographs and actually feeling like a professional athlete, it was was time to get the party started. The pre race anxiety had worn off as soon as I pinned on the numbers and I knew there was no turning back, it was show time. In the team meeting we discussed the tactics of the team, the race profile, and the most crucial sectors of the race.  I was designated as first worker, which meant it was my job to position the leaders, Nils and Mads, into position before the crucial sectors of the parcour. It was my job to use the expend the energy needed so they didn’t have to. This meant, its your responsibility to make sure the team, as a whole, is in a good position. 

It sounds easy right? Well, when you’re on the jungle gym with 160 other kids and you have to make sure you keep 7 others together, and away from the lava, it becomes pretty difficult. I’ll say it right now, I did a pretty shitty job that day. Actually, I feel like I didn’t even do my job. I could barely move up to the front, and the few times I did manage to touch the wind, it would only last about 5 minutes or less. Then I would find myself in the 3rd or 4th row of riders and somewhere in 50th-60th position with maybe one teammate around me. I learned pretty quickly what Dirk meant about war. In these races you really have no friends other than your team, and everyone is out for blood.

Moving Up

The 200km race kicked off true to Belgium’s norms, cold, wet, windy, and grey. It didn’t take long for the break away of 5 riders to escape because everyone knew it was futile. The first 30k or so was spent fighting each other on the jungle gym, trying to move up into position and preparing for the first sector of cobbles and crosswinds. I tried my best but could never get further than 50th position and rarely was able to link up with other teammates. (This is something I’ve realized that I need work on, its one thing to be up front by yourself, it’s completely different when you’re up there with a team).

We came flying into the first sector of cobbles, a 2km sector called the haaghoek which preceded a short punchy climb called the Leberg. We would hit this sector a total of 3 times and it was a crucial part of the parcour. I managed to come into it in 50th position onto the wet sector of cobbles. 50th might not sound so bad but when it’s single file and you see the front of the race is 80 meters ahead, you notice the difference.

Jesus Take the Wheel

I remember this section really well because we entered while it was wet and I heard someone ahead of me yelling, “DON’T BRAKE!! DON’T TOUCH YOUR BRAKES!” Which for me was a bit sketch because the first sector of Haaghoek is down hill and with wheels only 6 inches in front of you, you don’t have much wiggle room for a mistake. If the person in front crashes, your’e going down too. But I thought, fuck it, if this guy is yelling not to touch the brakes, than I’m not touching them. Jesus take the wheel! 

After 400 meters of pretty much ice skating down the descent, the cobbles pitch up and climbs for 100 meters, it then flattens out for the final 1,300 meters. The climb of the Leberg proceeds the cobbles and although its short, 1km, its punchy and drains the power out of the legs. So after the descent on the wet cobbles, I hear people yelling Go Phil Go! It took me a second to wonder who this Phil guy was, until it clicked. Philip Gilbert. Suddenly we are off the Haaghoek and entering the Leberg, and bam! Gilbert flies by me and up the climb! So I’m thinking, Ok, I’m not in that bad of position. Well then we turned right, straight into cross winds, the field is still single file and we are on a 3 meter wide road and the race blows up. I find myself in the 3rd group fighting to hold the wheel in front of me for what feels like an eternity.

Blown Out on the Trail

Eventually the field comes back together briefly until the next sector of either crosswinds, cobbles or narrow roads, and it happens all over again. From kilometer 30 to kilometer 160, where I finally fell into lava and had to settle for the groupetto, we raced. And raced hard. I can’t really say I was a factor in the race, more like pack fill, just trying not to fall into the lava, but none the less it was brutally hard, and I loved it. Maybe not so much in the moment, but the experience overall was awesome. It’s given me more motivation to race, and to learn what it takes to be good over here. It’s given me a new found respect to those like Gilbert, and Stuyvens, and all of Quickstep, who make it look so easy. This is real racing, and now I know why they call it the first “real” race of the season, because it is!

I finished Omloop 18 minutes after the winner crossed the line, but because 60 riders had also finished, the commissar (race official) decided that the race was over and left the 40 of us who were still pedaling into the finish. The roads were re-opened and we were left navigating our way through cars to the finish where all we received was a DNF. It would have been nice to have a finishing time by my name, but that’s bike racing. I’d live to fight another day and that day would come sooner than later.

Kuure-Brussels-Kuurne: The Fight Continues

The next day wasn’t a rest day, it was another fight on the jungle gym. Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, 200km long which typically is a bit easier than OHN and is known to come down to a bunch sprint. This year, the organization decided to make it more difficult than past editions and we found ourselves on tight narrow roads for about 80 % of the time. My job again was to be the first worker, and help put the guys into proper position, and after the dismal display the day before I was hellbent on getting it right. For 130 km I did everything I could to take care of Nils and Hugo and I actually did a pretty decent job. I felt much more confident in my abilities and wasn’t afraid to fight as much to hold the position. 

In the end I got caught behind a crash entering a climb and had to unclip. I was tired, everything hurt, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it back onto the field, so I abandoned. This time however I was able to hold my head high, knowing I had done my job as a teammate and it showed with an impressive 6th place by Hugo. I jumped in broom wagon, a rather nice, warm bus, and watched the last 60km of the race on tv. It was another brutal race but as a team, we raced much better as the day before and the results proved it. Opening Weekend was over but the racing wasn’t finished for me. I still had one more trip around the merry-go-round before I could call it a day.

Le Samyn – Victory!

Le Samyn is known as a Semi-Classic and is one of the harder one day races that nobody has heard of. Again, I was on early work duty and I did my job better than the days before. I didn’t make it to the finish, but I put Hugo and the others in position when they needed to be. Looking back I did the majority of the grunt work from kilometer 1 to kilometer 130 where I eventually came off. Three hours of a normalized power of 300 watts was enough.

In the end the team rode a fantastic race and Hugo, the hardcore Frenchie that he is, came away with the biggest victory in his career! It was an impressive win and I highly recommend you watch it. I’ll also post a link to the sectors of cobbles we did so you can get an idea of what these things are like. If you think gravel racing is hardcore, well come visit Belgium and try just one lap of Le Samyn.

After three days of being thrown into the deep end of Belgian racing, I feel like I came away a little beat up and emotionally tired. I was slightly disappointed that I only had DNF’s to show for my efforts on paper, but racing isn’t about what’s on the paper, and in the end I realized that. It’s a team sport, and I did my part as a teammate, and that’s where the results show.

We came away with a top ten and a huge victory and I’m proud to be a part of it. I came to Belgium nervous and weary and I left with tired legs, experience, and the motivation to improve! I’ll be back for another 3 day block of racing in a couple weeks and I hope you all continue to follow along. In the meantime. I’ll be trying not to catch Corona virus, training hard, and day dreaming of more Belgium races and beer!

Cheers!

Travis McCabe

Legs up in Belgium

March 6, 2020

Check out the wet cobbles of Le Samyn – can you believe we raced on this?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLsAQMAOX60&feature=youtu.be

Banging Bars with Travis McCabe: Number 2

[Worthy Brewing is pleased to bring you “Banging Bars with Travis McCabe,” a blog written by Travis (aka, T-Mac). He’ll be sending us his reports from the racing action all over the world as a sprinter for the new UCI World Tour Team, Israel Start Up Nation. For us, T-Mac is the perfect spokesman for Worthy – he races hard, dreams big, and win or lose will always cap the day with a cold beer and a smile.]

Summer Racing in January – The Vuelta San Juan

Holy smokes, is the 2020 season already here? Yup! 2020 is in full force and for me and five other teammates it started with a blast of summer heat in the San Juan region of Argentina. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it was a bit of a shock to the system coming from very moderate temperatures of Tucson Arizona to the 40c+ (106 F) degree heat of Argentina summer. Now, I’m used to the heat and don’t mind it being a desert rat myself, but it’s a shock to the system none the less. No amount of sauna training can prepare you for that hellishness. So, what do you do when you’re in an area that sees an average of 90cm of rain a year and average summer temps are in the 104 Fs? You suck it up, put on a lot of sunscreen, you race, and you look forward to an ice cold lager at the end of the day.

So, for many of the world tour riders and pro continental riders coming from the northern hemisphere, San Juan is the first big race of the new season. But for the smaller South American teams San Juan is seems to be the World Championships. For the locals, this is their big chance to strut their stuff. I get that. It’s what Tour of California was to me for so many years. If you look at the history of the race, this is where Fernando Gaviria first stormed onto the scene by whooping up on Cavendish and all the other WT sprinters. It catapulted him into the WT and onto a trajectory as the top sprinter in the world! So, yeah, it can change your life. And because of that it seems like a lot of riders just stopped giving a crap about their safety, let alone that of others. A recipe for mayhem!

This year’s race was exceptionally marred by horrific crashes. It seemed like there was a crash every day, with racers uncorking their inner berserker to do what it takes to “get a result.”  The pandemonium began right away with stage 1 seeing a number of riders hitting the deck. The nastiest crash happened within the last 4 km of the stage. Several big GC riders crumpled their carbon frames and lost a whole lot of skin. One of my ex-team mates was ultra-unfortunate and crashed twice! The first time he freaking dislocated his shoulder, and had to have spectators put it back into place before hopping back on the bike. Gnarly.  If that isn’t hard core, I don’t know what is. You might think road racers are semi-wussies because we wear spandex, and look malnourished, bony and breakable, but if you ever meet one of us, ask to see our road tattoos (scars). We’ll proudly share with you our best near-death experiences.

Ok back to racing, it didn’t help that I hadn’t raced since August, so I was a bit rusty when it came to the lead out and sprint. Fortunately, my teammate Rudy Barbier was a sharp as an Argentinian steak knife, slicing and dicing his way to a huge win on Stage 1. Rudy’s one helluva bar-banger. He racked up a 2nd, 3rd, and 6th on the other stages. It was rewarding to be part of his insane lead out train. 

Not only was this the first race for the riders, but it was the first for the staff, and for the Factor One bikes. I’ve been training on the F-One since December, but the training bike and the racing bike are just two different machines. It’s amazing just how freaking fast the bike is once equipped with the black inc race wheels, the ceramic speed jockey wheels and all the bearings. I mean, I feel like the results already speak for themselves but damn, it’s fast AF. I know equipment isn’t everything in this sport, but when it comes down to a 70+ km/hr sprint, aerodynamics matter, and having a fast, responsive, and trustworthy bike is the difference between winning and losing. So being equipped with the Factor One is a huge confidence booster and I’m so excited to be pedaling one of the fastest bikes on the market.

Alright, enough with the bike and gear talk. There were a few things that I really found interesting with Argentina and racing in San Juan. The first was the current state of their economy. It’s in the midst of a crisis. Since Argentina is so far down South, most Americans simply aren’t aware of its pervasive misery. I was there two years ago, and it was bad, but now it’s worse.  Within the last year the Argentinian peso’s value plummeted from 30 pesos:1 Usd to 60:1 with inflation rates at 30%. And the locals tell me we haven’t seen the worst.  I kept wondering, since the economy is teetering on the edge of collapse, where do they find the money and resources to put on a big international bike race that costs millions of pesos?  The race was first class – the organizers paid for just about everything: our international air fare, a private charter flight from Buenos Aires to San Juan, hotel costs for two weeks, food for two weeks, race vehicles, police escorts, a very elaborate team presentation, and then the cost of the actual race itself. They were truly generous.

Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition – 6th stage El Villicum – El Villicum – 175 km – 01/02/2020 – Scenery – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition – 5th stage San Martin – Alto Colorado 169,5 km – 31/01/2020 – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition – 1st stage San Juan – San Juan 163,5 km – 26/01/2020 – Travis McCabe (USA – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition – 4th stage San Jose de Jachal – 185.8 km – 29/01/2020 – Patrick Schelling (SUI – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition -2nd stage Pocito – Pocito 168,7 km – 27/01/2020 – Scenery – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020
Vuelta a San Juan 2020 – 38th Edition – 5th stage San Martin – Alto Colorado 169,5 km – 31/01/2020 – Travis McCabe (USA – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2020

I don’t know how what the total cost is but it wasn’t cheap. As I understood it, the government and the race promoters justified the “lavish” expenditure during a time of austerity as a gift of free entertainment for the people. I can say everywhere I went the locals were friendly if not ecstatic. Unlike the Tour of California, where you see maybe 1000 people at the finish of a mountain top, Tour of San Juan had entire cities out watching us from start to finish each day.  The races would start sometime around 3 pm and finish around 7pm and you could see that everyone was excited to have the teams in their hometowns.Tossing out a free water bottle or offering a selfie was a high commodity there and the locals made you feel like an actual superstar.

It’s hard to say if the public’s unbridled enthusiasm justified the costs, especially during hard times, but I can say that in even the most impoverished towns we were treated like kings. I’d like to think in return we inspired and entertained a lot of really strong and resilient Argentinians. I swear I saw more kids riding bikes in San Juan than I do in most major cities in the U.S, which is really special. Hopefully, a few of these kids will fall in love with the sport like I did when I was their age. And I hope it gives them something to dream about. 

I should also mention that although Argentina is well known for their wine production, it was also really good to see the emergence of micr- brewed craft beers popping up in Buenos Aires. Although craft is not as prevalent as in the US market, I was able to enjoy a few IPA’s from local breweries like El Fermentor! And they were delicious too! So, if you are looking to explore a new country and region, I would highly recommend Argentina to you. On a limited budget, you can feast on delicious, world-famous steaks drenched in chimichurri sauce, sip on a fine Malbec or enjoy a refreshing microbrew in a foreign and welcoming country. I hear they even grow hops south of Bariloche in El Bolson.

In summary, the first race of the season was a definite success for the team.  Immediately, the team picked up the chemistry we started at team camp in Israel. We scored big podium results and showed true team camaraderie.  It’s really a great feeling to be part of a new and exciting program with dedicated and graceful teammates. One of the best examples I can give to this is how we rode on stage 5. We all came together and gave a lead out for Rudy that showed our cohesion as a team. Even though we only came away with a 3rd place, it was still in our eyes a success, with proof that there are bigger and better results to come. 

So now, I just have to make it through another 24 hour travel day as I leave the desert sun of Argentina to the high altitude of air of Colombia. Personally, I can’t wait for Colombia, it’s one of my favorite countries. The food is incredible, the riding is breathtaking, the people amazing and beautiful, and they are in love with cycling. So here we go! More South American Racing please!!

Cheers!

Travis

February 22nd, 2020

Vuelta San Juan, Argentina

Banging Bars with Travis McCabe

[Worthy Brewing is pleased to bring you “Banging Bars with Travis McCabe,” a blog written by Travis (aka, T-Mac). He’ll be sending us his reports from the racing action all over the world as a sprinter for the new UCI World Tour Team, Israel Start Up Nation. For us, T-Mac is the perfect spokesman for Worthy – he races hard, dreams big, and win or lose will always cap the day with a cold beer and a smile.]

What’s up Fellow Worthlings!

Some you may or may not know who I am, probably not, and that’s totally fine, but my name is Travis McCabe and I am a 30-year-old professional cyclist. I began my pursuit about 10 years ago and have spent the last six racing professionally at different levels of the sport, but this year will be the first year where I’ve finally made it to the big league of cycling. Like, Tour de France level racing!

It’s been a dream of mine since I first discovered cycling at 18 and after many years of trials and tribulations, I have finally been given a chance with Israel Start-Up Nation. A new and emerging team that is also experiencing it’s first year at this level, known as the World Tour. There are currently 19 WT teams across the world and ISN is the first team to ever come from Israel.

Anyways, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with beer and Worthy Brewing? Well, there are a number of reasons why I’ll be writing a blog for Worthy Brewing. One is because Roger Worthington is a good friend and has been a staunch supporter of cycling for longer than I’ve been riding and has helped out numerous teams and riders.

I owe a lot to Roger, because without his support I don’t know if I’d even be racing anymore. He helped step in and sponsor Floyd’s Pro Cycling last year, which gave me a home after my last team, UHC, went belly up.

Secondly I’m an avid beer enthusiast who has this unique opportunity to not only race my bike in some of the hardest races in the world, but I also get to go around and have a pint of great tasting beer from all across the world.  From the Southern Hemisphere of San Juan, Argentina, to Belgium, France, Japan, Israel, and any were else my two wheels take me.  Contrary to the stereotype, while I have to be careful about my weight, I absolutely enjoy nursing a cold beer after a long day in the saddle. For me, a hopped up malted bevvie is both a reward and medicine!


And get ready because the 2020 season has kicked off and I’m currently working on my South American adventure as we speak! So with this blog, I hope to give you guys a little insight of what it’s like to be a professional bike racer, banging bars, and throwing head butts with the best riders in the world. I’ll do this while also sampling brews, having fun, and telling my stories along the way.  So I hope you sit back, crack open a Strata IPA (yes, Worthy sent me a few cases) and enjoy my adventures.

So Cheers!!!

Travis

February 11th, 2020

San Juan, Argentina

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World’s Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

On November 5th, Dr. Ripple’s new article was published in BioScience. Since then it’s received over 57 million hits and is being covered by leading international news organizations.

Politicians are starting to listen. When we hosted Dr. Ripple for the first time over a year ago and threw our support behind his research, we never imagined how quickly his message would spread.

We are so proud of Dr. Ripple’s research and are even more inspired to continue the fight!

Read the full article HERE

 

Operation Johnny Appleseed – We can, and we will, do this!

Catastrophic wildfires have recently destroyed millions of acres of Oregon forests. These unnatural fires leave hostile conditions for forest regeneration, and deprive us of a massive capacity to sequester climate-changing carbon.

Today over a cold Worthy beer we discussed with the Governor a Worthy Garden Club initiative to plant a million trees on Oregon burned lands, accelerating the restoration of habitat and putting these lands back into action as carbon sequestering, growing forests.

The Governor liked our plan, noting that it was similar to what was done after the catastrophic Tillamook Burn over 80 years ago when school kids and volunteers went out and planted trees, restoring the charred landscape.

EARTH FIRST. BEER. SECOND.

Earth First. Beer Second. Worthy’s Stance on the Cap & Trade Bill (HB 2020).

Fellow Oregonians:

Why do Worthy Brewing and Indie Hops stand behind their decision to join Oregon Business for Climate, a group of businesses that have been advocating in favor of sensible legislation to curb runaway greenhouse gas pollution?

We have been the target of attacks the past few weeks because of our support of the Cap and Trade bill (HB 2020). Farmers, truckers, loggers and others have accused us of trying to put them out of business. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are in favor of legislation like HB 2020 because it will grow our economy, reduce Earth- destroying greenhouse gasses, save lives, create jobs and help mitigate the damage already done to our great state and people from wildfires, floods, drought and air pollution. It’s a fair law that finally attempts to “price in” the environmental and social costs of burning fossil fuels, while at the same time accounting for the challenges faced by Oregonians who may be impacted financially.

The new program would generate about $500 million a year, largely collected from about 100 major industrial sources of carbon pollution. The bill explicitly exempts the forestry and agriculture sectors. And yet the revenues collected would be available to farmers, ranchers and loggers to help upgrade equipment, switch to renewables, install irrigation drip lines, build sea walls, and cover irrigation canals to mitigate water loss, among other things.  It would also provide technology assistance to our biggest polluters to help them clean up their act.

And, importantly, a companion bill (which was on the Governor’s desk and she was ready to sign it) would have provided for fuel rebates for eligible truckers and loggers if gas prices rose as a result of this new law. The BEAR Report, commissioned by Oregon’s bipartisan Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction to determine the impact of this cap and trade legislation on Oregon, forecasted 50,000 new jobs and a 2.5% growth in Oregon’s GDP by 2050. All of these reinvestments and more would help provide protections for our natural resource-based industries for the next generation, who will be navigating a vastly hotter, nastier and stormier world.

Over the past 18 months, the architects of this innovative bill listened to everybody. The loggers, truckers, farmers and ranchers, as well as our biggest fossil fuel burning industries, were all at the table. They were heard and that’s why the bill is so generous with its protections.

So, what does this mean for Worthy Brewing and Indie Hops, both of which I own?

We’d like to think we’re already doing our fair share to respond to climate change. Our pub buys most of its meats and veggies from local farmers and ranchers. We recycle, reuse and compost. We have a 50 KW solar PV system, plus a solar thermal system, which saves us thousands of dollars a year in electric bills and spares the air 100,000 pounds of CO2 annually. That’s the equivalent of planting 8 acres of trees every year. And we donate a meaningful percentage of beer sales to Earth-friendly non-profits.

Indie Hops, which I also own has, since 2009, made a sizeable investment in the breeding, cultivation, milling and storage of Oregon grown hops. Why? Because we believe Oregon has the best hop farmers in the world. We have contributed over $2.5 Million to OSU’s crops and soils research program because we believe, with our farm partners, that Oregon is the best terroir for growing high yield, disease resistant – and drought tolerant hops for the thriving craft beer market.

The point? We have skin in the game, and we would never support a bill that harmed farmers or our investment, which we expect to grow.

Our concerns about global warming prompted us to sponsor the work of OSU’s Professor Bill Ripple, who authored “Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,” which has been endorsed by over 21,000 scientists worldwide. His alarming treatise prompted Worthy Brewing to adopt the mantra “Earth First, Beer Second.” That’s not a marketing gimmick. We are gravely concerned that global warming is already contributing to human misery, that it will get worse, and that time is running out. And we will do our best to be part of the solution.

So, we have been proud supporters of Oregon Business for Climate because we believe with swift and fair action, we can achieve a green, sustainable economy. I grew up in Corvallis and marveled at strong and wise stewards like Governor Tom McCall, a Republican, who in the late 1960s championed the bottle bill, the beach bill, and efforts to clean up the un-swimmable Willamette River. We need leaders now like the Republican leaders I grew up to admire and respect.

If you’re reading this, do the right thing. Conserve and preserve our land, water, forests and air for future generations—and please do it, now. And join the continued effort to pass sensible legislation in Oregon. Because we’re running out of later.

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What Wolves Can Tell Us About the World’s Health

Tue, 29 May 2018 18:55:00

Fellow Worthlings:

On behalf of the Worthy Garden Club, you and yours are invited to attend this compelling lecture:

 

“What Wolves can tell us about the World’s Health: How the Yellowstone Experiment Led to the Second Warning to Humanity.”

Presented by Dr. Bill Ripple, Oregon State University
Sponsored by The Worthy Garden Club
Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 @ 7 pm
Worthy Brewing Co. / Bend, Oregon

The Worthy Garden Club is excited to sponsor the important work Dr. Bill Ripple,the distinguished professor of ecology in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. His latest research involves studying the conservation of megafauna (large carnivores and large herbivores) around the world.

​He recently published “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, A Second Notice,” which rapidly spread around the globe and garnered over 20,000 endorsements, the most widely supported scientific journal ever.

The overwhelming support led to the formation of the “Alliance of World Scientists.” The AWS is a new grass roots international assembly of scientists whose mission is the prevention of widespread misery caused by catastrophic damage to the biosphere through the adoption of eco-friendly and sustainable practices.

 

Dr. Ripple will present his work on how the re-introduction of wolves in the Yellowstone National Park impacted the health of the ecosystem. Ripple will illustrate how he transitioned from Yellowstone to other national parks in western North America and beyond to demonstrate both the benefits of large mammals and the costs of their demise.

He will disclose how his conservation research and general concern about the global environment and climate change led to him writing the ” Second Notice,” which follows up on the seminal work by Carl Sagan, E.O. Wilson et al in 1992. As a health check-up for planet Earth, this provocative article has reached millions of people and is one of the most widely discussed and endorsed scientific articles of recent times.

More than simply diagnosing the problems, Dr. Ripple offers numerous small to large scale changes we as individuals and a society can pursue now, immediately, in order to reverse the dismal trends.

Please join us.

CONTACT INFO:
Grant Tandy, grant@worthygardenclub.com
541.647.6970 ext 220
https://www.worthygardenclub.com/dr-bill-ripple.html

The Admission is Free.

By in Golden Birthday 0

It’s our golden birthday!

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:50:00

 

​Worthy Brewing turns four years old this February and to celebrate our Golden Birthday we’ll be offering special beers, food pairings, and commemorative swag all day on February 4th and 5th at our restaurant on Bend’s East side.Brewmaster Dustin Kellner and his team will be re-releasing our first ever beer, the GTX Go Time Xtra Pale Ale on the 4th, Worthy’s birthday. The next day will be pouring from our Heart & Soul pilot series a special pub one-off – Crashworthy Golden Ale.

“I am so proud of our restaurant and brewery staff,” glowed Roger Worthington, Worthy’s founder. “Through all the ups and downs, we’ve kept our eye on the prize – to bring our customers drink worthy beer, praiseworthy food, and an overall podium-worthy dining and drinking experience.”

“Our resilience reminds me of what Ma Joad said to her outlaw son at the end of The Grapes of Wrath. To paraphrase, nothing can whip us, wipe us out or lick us. We’ll go on forever, ‘cause we’re the people. Heck, we could drive this thing off a cliff, and our people would get up, dust themselves off and jump right back in the game. That’s grit. That’s conviction. That’s esprit de corps. And that’s what we have here. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Kellner describes CrashWorthy Golden Ale as a light bodied and crisp golden with a healthy dose of Crystal and Citra hops for a big floral and grapefruit finish. At 5.8% and 28 IBU’s, this is a well-balanced and easy drinking compliment to the GTX, which seems to get bigger with each anniversary celebration.

Customers can purchase a commemorative anniversary glass for $6, which includes one fill of any Worthy beer currently on tap.

To go along with the birthday brews, our Head Chef Dirk Baxter has prepared a special menu including Tex-Mex style nachos, a mouth-watering prime rib sandwich and a potentially life altering Lights Out Stout infused Beer-a-Misu.


By in The Litigator 1

On the Hop Docket – The Litigator Uncompromising Imperial IPA. Don’t Settle.

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 18:50:00

​    “The first thing we do, let’s love all the lawyers.”
William Shakespeare, Henry VI, 1591When you need a big and balanced Imperial IPA, don’t settle.  Reach for a bottle of The Litigator, Worthy’s Uncompromising Imperial IPA.Wait. The Litigator? Isn’t that a … trial lawyer? WTF? Doesn’t everybody hate lawyers?  They’re scum. Parasites. Bottom Feeders. Ambulance chasers. Paper pushers. Shysters. Stuffed Shirts. Pettifoggers. Sharks. Jacklegs.

They embellish the facts.  Hmmm. That quote. Did Billy the Shake really say that?

Ok, lawyers are an unpopular lot (until you need one). Granted, the name or label may not evoke the warm and fuzzy’s (although my strategically deranged colleagues will appreciate Mr. Smiley). But the beer. Is it any good?

On that count there is no dispute.  For this project, Worthy called out it’s Hop Bomb Dismantling Squad. The mission: big and bold tropical fruit flavor without the exploding your tongue to smithereens. We ladled in judicious amounts of all the goodies: Amarillo, Simcoe, Azaca, El Dorado, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic.

The verdict? You decide, but we think it’s a crushing win for life, liberty and the pursuit of hoppiness.  A respectable 8.1% ABV with a deceivingly pleasant 81 IBU.

So, at your next dinner party, when the food, drink and barbs are flying, hold court with a bottle of The Litigator. Since we know most reasonably prudent beer lovers hate lawyers, if you’re confident enough to want it, we’re going to make you work for it.  We will be offering The Litigator at our pub only.

But if you really think you can handle The Truth, we’ll distribute it to you on an invitation only basis. Please give us a ring at 541.639.4776. We will also be offering The Litigator at select bottle shops in Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Bend and Seattle.

Worthy will be donating a generous portion of any profit (hey, call me a dreamer) to a number of non-profits who serve the abused and betrayed.

May it Please the Court!

Roger Worthington, Esq.