Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.
Each hood offers distinct characteristics and charm. So in order to give each neighborhood their 15 minutes of fame, I will focus on one at a time.
Tonight: Phinney Ridge.
I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:
Phinney Ridge is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, USA. It is named after the ridge which runs north and south, separating Ballard from Green Lake, from approximately N. 45th to N. 85th Street.
I know for those of you who are not from Seattle or do not live in Seattle, the above quote means little to nothing. Phinney is a quaint neighborhood, very residential with your random spurts of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Ballard’s subtly hip vibe seeps into Phinney, yet Phinney remains the more reserved, less frequented of the two. Here you will find beer.
If you read Beer Blotter, then you have heard of The Dray, located on NW 65th right off of 8th and across the street from a massive Goodwill. This bar has so much to offer on any given day. First off, their “brand” is a squirrel, so expect to see some taxidermy on the shelves next to epic and rare Hair of the Dog and Dogfish head bottles.
This tiny space is decked out in wood with slabs of polished tree trunks acting as your bar and table tops. On a cold winter’s night, you couldn’t be cozier. On a warm, sunny summer’s day you are guaranteed a breeze through the open garage doors/windows. The Dray molds to the weather outside; its like some kind of vortex.
Food options include some paninis, landjagers and pretzels with amazing stone ground mustard. I still haven’t figured out if you get charged for the pretzels, but I really doubt it.
But we also go here for beer- 12 taps at any given time. Yes, there are times I have stopped by here and been slightly disenchanted by their beer list, but 9 times out of 10, they will have something unique, something seasonal and something that your heart desires.
Off hand, Ommegang Zuur, New Belgium Love, Dogfish head Immortal Ale and Cascade Apricot come to mind as beers I enjoyed in the past. For that one time out of ten, The Dray has an impressive (and reasonably priced) bottle list, so be sure to check it out!
A gem of a bar, a comfort zone and a beer lovers day well spent.
Every time I walk up to Sully‘s it reminds me of a lodge at a mountain resort in the Alps. With a pitched roof and a Bavarian facade, it couldn’t be more welcoming. Inside, it is a dimly lit, eclectic place with quirky decorations, as well as your quintessential Irish pub signs regarding how drunk, humorous, silly and stupid people get. This is another venue where I can spend an entire afternoon shooting the shit over a few pints of beer.
Like The Dray, Sully’s offers limited menu options. The items they do have include grilled cheese sandwiches, random snacks and some damn good chili. Other than that, throw a buck in the box and grab a bowl of peanuts.
You can always count on Boundary Bay IPA to be served on cask here, as well as several Deschutes taps and a decent IPA selection. I wouldn’t go here if your looking for a unique or rare beer, but quality brews such as Victory Hop Devil and New Belgium Ranger IPA have graced the stage here at Sully’s.
I remember sitting at Sully’s, drinking Boundary Bay IPA with the other 2/3 of Beer Blotter – we were sitting in a booth by the window and it started to hail, hail the size of golf balls. Just a sign from the gods that it was time to order another pint.
Directly across the street from Sully’s, The Park Pub took much longer to get on our beer radar then the previously mentioned joints. This bar serves as a place to listen to live bands, play pool and grab some dinner.
Overall the ambiance is less comfortable and intimate but one glance at the tap list and all is well in the world. Arranged in a half circle, the taps glisten behind the bar.
Note worthy beers currently on tap here: Boundary Bay IPA, Avery ‘Maharaja’ Imperial IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Lagunitas ‘Lil Sumpin Sumpin’, Laurelwood ‘Hop Monkey’ IPA, Deschutes Organic Amber, Double Mountain Kolsch, Big Time Black IPA
and Rodenbach Grand Cru.
I would recommend this place for a Friday or Saturday night hang out session with a group. Good beers, music, activities and once in awhile, the neighborhood magician will amaze you and stick a card to the ceiling. Take a look next time you are there.
So that’s Phinney Ridge’s beer scene in a nutshell. I have many fond memories and have drank damn good beer at all three of these places. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up: Ballard.
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 email@example.com!
Week 21 of 52
5316 Ballard Ave
Seattle, WA 98119
Type of Establishment: Beer Bar with an added sophistication
Visit: Wednesday, June 23, 2010. A visit with friends for a few cocktails. Sole purpose was to catch up with friends and have a chat.
BEERS ON TAP —>Served in 20oz Imperial Pints unless otherwise noted
|Double Mountain Molten Lava (17.5 oz)||Double Mountain Brewery|
|Agate Pass Amber||Hood Canal Brewery|
|Evo IPA||Two Beers Brewing Co.|
|Boddington’s Pub Ale (Nitro)||Anheuser-Busch|
|Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (17.5oz)||Dogfish Head Brewery|
|Diamond Knot Brown Ale||Diamond Knot Brewery|
|Red Barn Saison Ale||The Lost Abbey – Port Brewing Co.|
|Fox Barrel Black Currant Cider (17.5 oz)||Fox Barrel Cider Co.|
|Victory Prima Pilsner||Victory Brewing Co.|
|Guinness Stout (Nitro)||St. James Gate Brewery|
|Double Mountain India Red Ale||Double Mountain Brewery|
|Laurelwood Organic Red||Laurelwood Brewing Co.|
|Magners Irish Cider||Magners|
|Mirror Pond Pale Ale||Deschutes Brewery|
|Eel River Organic IPA||Eel River Brewing Co.|
|Spire Mountain Dark & Dry Cider||Fish Brewing Co.|
|Terminal Gravity IPA||Terminal Gravity Brewing|
There are also plenty of wines by the bottle and the glass.
FOOD OPTIONS: This is the perfect place to grab a drink and snack on some delicious cured meats and cheeses. Pick and choose your delicious plate. Fill it with hot coppa, salami, procuitto and various artisan cheeses. Light and delicious sandwiches are available as well as a few dessert options.
BAR OPINION: Noble Fir is the new kid on the block with so many great restaurants, bars and boutiques on Ballard Ave. I glance up at the sign, a single evergreen tree. The Noble Fir is a western North American fir, native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of extreme northwest California and western Oregon and Washington in the United States. This bar was opened by Rick and Ellen, after 10 years at REI and 10 years working as an attorney respectivly, they decided to combine their love of the great outdoors with their love of food and drink. Noble Fir was born.
This bar brings the great outdoors in. Large windows welcome the sun light as it streams directly into the bar, coating the patrons. Slick wooden booths with a long wooden bar and a bookcase full of travel books, I am ready for an adventure. I immediately grab the beer list. My eyes light up, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey’s Red Barn and Port Brewing/Lost Abbey’s Wipe Out IPA (not listed above) are both ordered and savored over the course of an hour.
A pre-dinner drink and appetizer plate would be the perfect complement to a night out. This bar has a pretty damn good tap list with a range of styles and a lot of love to West coast brewers. We only had an hour of so that night, but this bar is worth a trip back and several after that.
A quote from Rick and Ellen:
Together, we hope to bring a festive approach to your enjoyment of some of the best things the Pacific Northwest has to offer – hops, barley, fermented grapes and miles of trails…
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
We are neighboring states, we enjoy beer together and make good beer together, but tonight at Elysian Brewing Co.’s Capital Hill location, Washington beers will be up against Oregon beers at Seattle Beer Week event, Firkin Firkin. All beers will be in cask conditioned firkins.
Drum Roll Please: the Firkin Firkin match ups are…..
Look out for the top competitors from both states (Pelican Brewing Co.- go there someday; Black Raven Brewin Co- WA Rookie of the Year; Double Mountain- quality brews and Fremont Brewing Co.- the Center of the Universe)and no matter where you are from, remain unbias- good beer is good beer!
May the best city win!!!
Tonight Beer Blotter hangs with some of the best brewers in the USA at East meets West– more on our encounter with beer royalty later!!
2 of 52
1800 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214
Rank: #1 of 2
Type of Establishment: A public house with a full menu complemented by bar and table service
BEERS ON TAP—-> 16 rotating taps! You can always check their website for a picture of their updated tap list, but to name a few on at the moment…
FOOD OPTIONS: EastBurn’s owners and the head chef, Jeff believe that “Great Food Deserves Great Beer” and vice versa. This motto has led to an amazing menu full of choices beyond your average “beer bar.” Although we did not get the chance to indulge in one of the chef’s creations, here are a couple spotlight items: for dinner- Slow Braised Wild Boar Paprikash (wow), for lunch- the Über Sondvich – Char-Broiled Carlton Pork Medallion, Potato Pancake, Scallion Sour Cream, Caramelized Onions and Bourbon-Apple Chutney on Grilled Ciabatta and when its getting late and your hungry yet again- Grover’s Mackin’ Cheese- Mackin’ with Pepper Bacon and Roasted Tomato. The EastBurn has plenty of options for vegetarians, beer and wine lovers alike. 5 delicious options (including smoked trout cakes) are available for $5.00 between 3 and 6Pm and 10PM until 2AM EVERYDAY!
STAFF OPINION: We had the pleasure of finding a bar seat next to executive chef, Jeff Pagel who has been with the restaurant since 2007. He was informative in explaining the goal of the restaurant: preparing delicious food for beer and wine lovers (can’t go wrong with that). Our passion for beer and his passion for this public house/restaurant was a match made in conversation heaven. The bartender was very attentive to our drinking needs and informative about the selection of taps.
AN AFTERNOON AT THE BAR……
We had a plan – make it to the Blazers v. Cavs game at 5:30, just before tip off. The Cleveland Cavs were in town for a sold out showdown with the suddenly injury prone Blazers. But, with the game not beginning until 6:00 PM – we had some significant time to scour the Northeast neighborhoods of Portland.
After grabbing a breakfast at Horse Brass, a long trip to Upright Brewing for a bottle release event, and a brief tour of Green Dragon Bistro for a Calapooia Simcoe IPA – we headed back down to Burnside. Heading east on Burnside, we sought out this intriguing establishment. We had read several wonderful reviews about the atmosphere, comfort and exciting tap list at this bi-level bar and bistro. It was time to make a stop.
Upon entering, you are greeted to the left by swing chairs – a novelty – but very cool addition to the front of the bistro-themed upstairs. This area screams amazing people watching. We headed to the bar to check out the tap list. After being in PDX for a couple of days, we were already in tune with many of the beers on this list. To our delight, the bartender informed us that the basement portion of the establishment had its own independent tap list, filled with 8 different brews. We B-lined.
After tracing back to the entry, we found a set of stairs to the basement which was a masterpiece. A dark yet comfortably lit space filled with ample bar seating, ski ball and a projector television made us feel right at home. On the tube, the Packers and Cardinals were winding down what would finish as one of the best playoff shootouts in recent years.
The bartender is a good man. Though he is from Boston, he actually agreed to serve my Yankee accomplice. After busting her balls (or whatever she has to bust) a bit, she was served with a Alameda Black Bear XX Stout. This is one of our faves, though we hadn’t sunk our taste buds into a batch of this year’s offering. I took way too long to order – this is a good thing, as choosing between several options was a quandary. After sifting through my palette, I settled on a Deschutes Hop Henge – its just too damn good and with a return to Seattle in the cards, I might not see too much more of it.
We settled in, tapped glasses and turned our attention to the surroundings. Fortunately, our timing was impeccable, as we had situated ourselves next to Mr. Jeff Pagel – the executive chef. Jeff was a native of Seattle and so we had much to reminisce over. We also talked about our love for New Orleans and its wonderful food culture. Much to our delight, a flavorful gumbo makes a regular appearance on the menu!
The crowd at Eastburn was incredibly welcoming, overtly happy and comfortably communicable. Besides our Boston bartender, another regular Yankee fan hopped on the Boston-bashing that my companion boozer had begun upon our arrival. It was a smile from start to end.
After watching Aaron Rogers toss away the game on overtime’s second play, we were able to really soak in Eastburn. We liked it – we liked it a lot. This is the type of place that I could see myself regularly visiting. The tap list includes brews from Cascade Brewing, Lucky Lab, Vertigo, Terminal Gravity, Fort George and other smaller circulation Oregon breweries, while also harboring Firestone Walker, Dogfish Head and other micro favorites.
We want to go back. We need to catch a “recess” – Eastburn’s version of happy hour. On Tuesdays, Eastburn has $2 beers – everything on the list!
EVENTS ON THE HORIZON
We are definitely returning for the next Beer Belly event. What is Beer Belly? Its a 5 course meal, cooked on the outdoor grill, enjoyed on the 4 seasons patio – centered all around beer! (5 brews to be exact) Each month Eastburn works with a brewery to bring a Beer Belly event, which includes copious amounts of grog from the local brewer. Next on the docket: an evening with Full Sail, and their brewer John Harris. The event begins at 6:30 on February 12, 2010. You can obtain tickets online here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Eastburn is throwing a benefit to raise funds for the people impacted by the recent disaster in Haiti. The “Weekend for Haiti” event begins this weekend, with proceeds favoring MercyCorps. The event includes brew specials, live music and a charity auction – all to raise funds for the people of Haiti. Go if you can.
To sum up – we love this place. Its warm, welcoming and overall – simply a good time.
If you have anything to say about Eastburn, leave us some notes below!!!