Last weekend, as you know from my and Timperial’s 52 Weeks articles on Hair of the Dog’s new taproom and Cascade’s Barrel Room, we journeyed to Portland. 1 woman, 2 men and a whole lot of beer stops. Now, we have all made the 2.5 hour drive on several occasions and every time we go, we make it a point to stop at places we have yet to try (at least one of the three of us, anyway). This weekend, we spent approximately 8 hours mapping the city for amazing beer and cool venues. We were successful.
We arrive at 11:30AM and decide to grab something quick, but delicious to eat before consuming gallons of high ABV beers. Portland has this awesome food stand lot (SE Hawthorne Blvd and SE 12th Ave) which will fulfill almost any craving with a Mexican taco truck, a Creperie, a potato/french fry stand and a Southern food vendor. The highlight was a $6.00 crepe with chevre cheese, lemon curd and fresh black berries. This fruit filled, slightly sour and sweet lunch was the perfect opener for the Cascade Barrel Room.
Now, I won’t go into too much detail. Interested? Then read Timperial’s review. All I can add is this is a must stop not only for sour beer fans, but for those beer drinkers who appreciate innovation and variety. Cascade offers up mainly sours consisting of fruit infused sours, barrel aged sours, blended sours and sour stouts. The House of Sour, as locals call it, also has a Dry Hopped Porter, Summer, Winter and Autumn Goses and an amazing Rye IPA and even more. Even on a gloomy day, the sun seemed to shine through the large windows. If you live close, I suggest coming here often, to try all of the beers, of course.
Here you will find an extensive tap list, home brewing, a knowledgeable bar staff and a versatile space. Beers on draft range from local favorites such as Lucky Lab, Cascade (they even had a beer that Cascade didn’t currently have on tap) and their own home brew line. The Oregon Brew Crew has been brewing at the Green Dragon on a one barrel Nano-Brewing system for the last year and a half and have been consistently putting out a new great beer every week. Some of the beers created include: Alpha Dragon IPA, Chocolate Reign Stout, Golden Dragon Ale and most recently, the 5-Point Exploding Palate Technique. I wasn’t going to say it, but this is Rouge owned. With one Rouge beer on tap, this large brewery makes it a point to keep the integrity of the venues and breweries it buys and promote craft brewing!
Again, we already sang our praises of this place. Did you see that amazing picture of the taster glasses? Epic! Check out the article here. This is a place I could hang out all day at due to the amazing beers on draft, the killer, vintage bottle list and the overall edgy yet welcoming feel that Alan Sprints new taproom/bar exudes. So, drop what your doing and spend a productive afternoon with Fred, Adam, Greg, Ruth and other HOTD brews.
Located about 2 miles away from Hair of the Dog, this tiny brewery has caught our attention. Back in January we stopped in for a release party in their modest space in the basement of a shared commercial building. The space, upon entering has the brewery to the right and their tasting room to the left. Today we each got a beer (a farmhouse, a fresh hop which is their farmhouse beer with nugget hops and the SEVEN saison), sat at a tree trunk table top and listened to a duet play folky blues. A great vibe with great beer. Don’t over look this place.
Our favorite New Old Lompoc location, SideBar was closed today (Sunday) so we stopped by their original brewery. A great outdoor area and an Irish pub motif, this place houses the equipment that started it all. 1 C-note and 2 Centennial IPAs were ordered. Unlike the SideBar which offers up exotic barrel aged beers, at this location, you will generally only find their regular rotated beers. One of the employees was nice enough to give us a tour of the brewery which is small, but well oiled and efficient. New Old Lompoc is a staple in the Portland craft beer scene, therefore, visit one of their spots!
Like New Old Lompoc, Lucky Lab has a local brand you can’t ignore and several locations to enjoy their beer. We have visited two of the four locations and from what we see, we like. The two spaces are gigantic warehouses, open spaces with large, family style picnic tables eluding to the community essence that is the Portland beer scene. Two beers are ordered, their Porter and the Super Dog, a single IPA. Both are very credible and go down easy. Lucky Lab is a great place to get a sampler tray of beers and a snack (or a pizza if your starved).
Even on a Sunday, all of Portland flocks to this restaurant/brewery. Maybe its their award winning beers or their extensive, delicious menu options. Either way, no matter how many times we visit Portland, we always end up here. This time, we had a goal in mind. First, we had heard Black Butte XXII was on tap. It had kicked the day before, damn. However, we were able to indulge in the Mirror Pond Fresh Hop and had a growler filled to bring back North. Yes, you will wait 20 -30 minutes to get a table here and yes, it doesn’t give you that hole in the wall, charming “mom and pop” feel that I love about microbreweries BUT Deshutes does deliver high quality food and of course beers, every damn time.
There are still so many more places you can visit in Portland. But on this day, with all three Beer Blotter writers on the road to find beer, we chose these places, not randomly but for specific reasons. If you have a favorite spot in Portland, leave a comment- let the world know!
You know how we roll at Beer Blotter- in and out of cities, embracing and experiencing as much beer as possible. We have day jobs, its just the way it is.
So in light of our upcoming weekend, where we plan on spending 24 hours in the Southern city of Portland, these are our recommendations. For argument sake, I am staring from the morning and ending at your bedtime…and its a Saturday.
Rise and Shine, its VooDoo Time
22 SW 3rd Ave.
This isn’t your ordinary doughnut joint, with a range of doughnuts topped with your favorite childhood cereal, a maple frosted doughnut with fresh strips of bacon and my personal favorite the chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos and peanut butter drizzle. OH MY GOD! Its always a good idea to get some thing in your stomach to soak up the booze. See that is me being a responsible drinker, live and learn.
A Walk Through the Market
It might still be a little early to hit your local watering hole for some beers, so stop by the Saturday Market. Positioned along the Columbia River and centered in Portland’s historic district, this market is full of local artists, cuisine and flair.
Its 12:00 Somewhere: Horse Brass
4534 SE Belmont St.
Horse Brass is the perfect place to start your beer consumption. For one, they ALWAYS have Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA and Fred on tap. Their tap list is amazing. An English style pub, share a few Scotch Eggs with the group.
You are in Portland, bring something back to your friends: Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St.
Just down the block from Horse Brass, this bottle shop is so much more than just that. Split into two rooms, one glorious room is full of bottles. Although their selection is eclectic, inspiring and worth the visit, it is on the pricey side. What makes Belmont a must visit is their tap room. While you shop, sip on a beer and surround yourself with locals who love beer as much as you do.
Go Rogue: Green Dragon
928 SE 9th Ave.
“Yes” Rogue is a large microbrewery and “yes” they buy out small microbreweries and small beer bars, BUT they do make an effort and succeed in maintaining the integrity of these places. At Green Dragon, a Rogue owned establishment, during our last visit, there wasn’t even a Rogue beer on tap. You know what was on tap, a ton of amazing beers, many from Oregon. The bartender and waitstaff here are ridiculously informative and friendly. A wide open space with a funky, slightly psychedelic aura, a visit here will get your buzz going for sure. Did I mention, a cab from Broadway Cab service or a DD would be a good option for this day???
Its time for your first Brewery of the Day, but not your last: HUB
2944 SE Powell St.
Just a quick mention to Hair of the Dog Brewery, as they are not open on Saturdays. In a few weeks their tasting room will be open on the weekends. But back to things within our grasp and one of the best up and coming breweries in Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). With bike frames hanging from the bar, this sustainable brewery is Portland at its best. Grab one of their amazing organic brews and a bite to eat. If your interested, inquire about the brewery. Its just down stairs and worth a peek!
A Trip to Portland Wouldn’t be complete without it: Beer Mongers
1125 SE Division St.
Beermongers is a bottle shop that has a wide variety of beers at a very reasonable price. The owners of this bottle shop take great pride in educating the public on brews. Weekly event are held here featuring various breweries. Like Belmont, its a great place to sip on a beer and peruse the collection.
4:15 New Old Lompoc
1616 NW 23rd St.
This area is full of breweries. Did you know that Portland has the most breweries per capita than any other city? New Old Lompoc has several locations in the city including their tasting room, Sidebar which serves up barrell aged goodness. This location is in a beautiful neighborhood and has a very relaxing atmosphere. Grab a Centennial IPA or C-Note Imperial Pale Ale and enjoy the summer breeze on the back deck!
2327 NW Kearney St.
Laurelwood Public House- I like that. It sounds straight out of the Wild West. Located in a house, you walk onto the porch and through the front door, a wooden staircase to your left and several dining areas to your right. You feel right at home. If there isnt room outside, I suggest making your way to the bar in the back. You can grab a tall table and sit by the window. The Workhorse IPA is a must try but if you are looking for something different, check out the Tree Hugger Porter.
5:45 Lucky Labrador
1945 NW Quimby St.
Super Duper Dog. If its on tap, get it. Their double IPA will not dissapoint. It is bitter, but herbal and sweet. Whenever we stop here, a sampler tray seems to be the way to go. A dog friendly establishment, their spaces are wide open warehouses and packed full of happy patrons.
6:30 Deschutes Brewing Co.
210 NW 11th Ave.
Granted we have been here at least 6 times, but for those of you who are Deschutes virigins, GO HERE! A long tap list of all their amazing beers will be there to greet you. You never know when Dissadent, Hop Henge or Abyss will show up. Their food- I had an amazing experience with Venison Chili and medicore experience with a chicken sandwhich. All in all a great place to grab dinner and continue your consumption of beers. Located in the Pearl District, Deschutes is close to several other beer establishments including Rouge and Bridgeport.
8:30 Henry’s Tavern
10 NW 12th Ave.
Now that you have statisfied your hunger, its time to head out for the remainder of your night. At this point, you are probably tired and tipsy, so Henry’s is the place to wrap it up! A young crowd is always there and their back patio is strug with white lights. Day or night, this place is great. The wait staff will walk over and hand you a GIGANTIC menu full of beers, most on tap. Its obscene in the best way possible. Their list is so extensive that I can’t help but glare at those around me sipping Mai Tais.
The next day, you wake up, thoughts of beer still overcome your ability to move. If you are staying in the downtown area, make your way to Whole Foods for an amazing bottle selection and some nutritent packed food. There are still so many places to visit in Portland, the city of beer. If you have your own beerxperience in Portland, leave us a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Events for Week of April 12, 2010
Hope its sunny where you are and that you are drinking good beers this week. Where can you enjoy a brew this week? Well check it!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Speakeasy Pint Night: Oakland, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Barclay’s On College
Speakeasy Brewing Co., located in San Francisco will features the following beers on tap: Big Daddy (single IPA); Double Daddy (Double IPA- hop monster), Prohibition and Scarface Stout.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Nogne O Tasting: Indianapolis, Indiana
4:00PM-5:00PM @ Khan’s Fine Wines and Spirits
Ok, a free tasting of this killer brewery, Nogne-O– cancel all and any plans you might have tonight to join brewer, Scott Larrick for some samples. Tiger, a Tripel just arrived and will be featured along with the Mikkeller collaboration brew, IPA, Winter Ale, Pumpernickel Porter (just arrived) and their barleywine, among many more.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Ballast Point Brews, Burger and Beats: Alhambra, California
7:00PM-1:00AM @ 38 Degrees Ale House and Grill
Ballast Point Brewing Co. from San Diego is the main attraction tonight. Order a Ballast Point flight of tasters or a pint and keep the glass, also try the brewery’s very own gin, “Old Groove.” The Draft Lineup looks a little like this: Ginger Big Eye, Yellowtail Pale, Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Porter, among several others. You basically get to try an array of style and see where the brewery’s strong points are. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Cooper’s 8th Annual IPA Fest: Seattle, Washington
11:30AM-11:30PM @ Cooper’s International Ale House
First, let me rave about the wings at this establishment- so good. With a variety of sauces, chipotle maple, hot buffalo, garlic…you cant go wrong. What better way to complement your wings than with an IPA? I know, exactly my point. Over 50 IPAs will be poured during the fest which runs for the entire month of April. The first week featured only Washington state brewers, so they are onto nationwide breweries. Call ahead if you are looking for something specific.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Chocolate Yeti and Dunkel Weiss Release Party: Denver, Colorado
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Great Divide Brewing Company
Both of these beers are scheduled to appear on shelves for all consumers to enjoy TODAY. So kick off the celebration and fork over $15.00 to enjoy three drink tickets and food pairings.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Third Annual Firkin Festival: Portland, Oregon
11:00AM-2:00PM AND 3:00PM-6:00PM @ Green Dragon Brew Pub
Here are the details: great space, $30 ticket will get you 8 6oz pours, 2 food tickets and a commemorative glass. This festival will feature a mix of cask conditioned beers from Oregon breweries. Tickets to the event are available in advance and can be purchased in person at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub; or by phone at (503) 517-0660. Tickets for both sessions are also available online at http://rogue.com/store/.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Seriously Slacking on Sunday (not much on the docket)
Go to Beveridge Place Pub to try out there IPApril, which features a plethora of IPAs on tap all month.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy – throw something on the BBQ and crack open some special beers.
If you know of something to do on Sunday or any other day for that matter, please leave a comment or email us at email@example.com! Cheers!