Leapbeer Fieldtrip – Portland Oregon, Day 4 & 5
Our forth day in Portland was a Friday and the day that we got the infamous Pacific Northwestern weather. It rained a whole lot that day. We decided to keep most of the family activities to ones that are done indoors. There was some shopping and later a trip to the kids museum. If you have younger kids and are visiting Portland this attraction is great.
While the family stuff was fun, I was honestly looking forward to venture out with a local fellow beer blogger that evening. I met up with ithinkaboutbeer and we exchanged some beverages and set out on the town.
Our first stop was for a quick flight at Commons Brewery. I hadn’t tried their beers yet and was excited to give them a try. A quick look around and this is really reminiscent of what I call a ‘working brewery’. Not to say that other breweries don’t work, but Commons doesn’t have the pizazz of a fancy brewery/brewpub with seating. Just fairly operational with a nice tasting bar and a few barrels to congregate around while you enjoy your beer.
Img via Beerthirst Here's the taps and the tasting bar
Pardon the shoddy quality of my pictures, and my notes for that matter. I forgot my notebook for this brewery, so I don’t have tasting notes on their beers. They had 8 different beers on tap when we went, plus they had an open bottle for sampling as well.
From left to right these are the Urban Farmhouse (Saison), Pale Evening Ale (Belgian Pale Ale), Bene Tibi (Berliner Weisse) and Avant Flandre (Belgian Pale Ale)
This next flight is Enkel (Belgian Pale Ale), Blonde (Blonde Ale), Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weisse), and Fresh Hop Farmhouse (Saison)
And lastly they had opened a bottle of their Flemish Kiss, which is a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Brettanomyces. Of the Commons beers that I tried I remember really liking the Bene Tibi, The Berliner Weisse and the Flemish Kiss. The sours there were really quite nice.
After that we went out for some food. ithinkaboutbeer took me to this great eatery called Country Cat and we had some excellent grub. I also got to have a half pint of Widmer Brothers Brrrbon, a heavily boozy winter warmer. I don’t often get the opportunity to declare my love for the bourbon barrel aged beers (this trip was a treat for indulging my love of bourbon aging). Suffice it to say this beer was greatly enjoyed. It didn’t hide its alcohol (9.4% ABV) too much, but it really held up to the southern style food.
Next up for us was a trip just down the street to Roscoes a former dive bar that’s been revamped into a craft beer bar and sushi restaurant. We went there because they had a Fresh Hop Summit on at the time. Of the sixteen taps, only two weren’t fresh hopped.
My first paddle (the front one) there were Fresh Hop Vortex by Fort George Brewery of Astoria, Killer Green by Double Mountain of Hood River, pFresh Hop Belgian by pFriem of Hood River & Estate by Sierra Nevada of Chico. The big standout for me of this bunch was the Estate by Sierra Nevada. They call it that because everything that needs to be done for this beer is grown on site of the Sierra Nevada compound. They grow the barley there, malt it there, and then grow the hops there as well. It is a purely self contained Sierra Nevada entity, which I found really cool.
ithinkaboutbeer’s paddle (the back one) was Hopfenfrisch by Full Sail of Hood River, Fresh Hop Seizoen by Logsdon Farmhouse Ales of Hood River, Fresh Hop Pale Ale by Great Divide of Denver, and IPX Freshmaker by Hopworks Urban Brewery of Portland.
This was my second paddle was Smells Like Purple by Ninkasi of Eugene, Overcast Espresso Stout by Oakshire Brewery of Eugene, 825 State Stout by Epic Brewing of Salt Lake City and 100 Hops Pale Ale by Oakshire Brewing. The two stouts were tapped On Nitro.
The two stand outs from that night that I will be adding to the Leapbeer master list are The Bene Tibi (#273) by Commons Brewery and the Estate (#274) by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. My favorite of the night was definitely the Estate. The beer was well crafted, but the story about its being completely grown on site really captured my attention as well.
In a departure to my other posts about Portland I wanted to include the next day in with this one. Our plan was always to leave on the Saturday and visit people we knew in just outside of Hood River which is about an hour and twenty minutes out of Portland. I also thought it’d be a great chance to stop in at one or two of the breweries there.
Our first stop on out towards Hood River was at Multnomah Falls. The falls are a double falls, that are usually listed as 620ft. The first tier falls are 542ft and the lower falls are 69ft. It is just a short walk from the highway side parking lot to the falls.
Next we ventured in to Hood River to see if we could get in for a tasting at one of the breweries there. Our first stop was at Full Sail. While the pub attatched to the brewery there was minor friendly it also was very packed. I think the people where there watching a college football game as Oregon State was at BYU that day. It appeared like everyone there was intently watching the game. We only had a short amount of time, so not knowing how long there was left to play we decided to go elsewhere.
Just around the corner from Full Sail is the Double Mountain brewery, so we went there instead. At Double Mountain there’s a Bar Section (No Minors) and a Pub/Eating area (Minor Friendly). This venue was also packed. There was only stools at the bar, but that wasn’t going to work for us. Due to having to wait for a table we decided to continue on to our destination across the river at our friends house. I did manage to pick up a growler of the Killer Red, their fresh hopped India Red Ale, and a quick nip of the Ferocious Five, a Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale. Here’s a few pictures we snapped when we were there.
Stained Glass Double Mountain Hop Logo from the Window
And that concludes all my travels on the Leapbeer PDX trip. It was a lot of fun for all. I have places I really want to go back to and an every growing list of ones that I haven’t been to yet. I can’t explain how cool it was to be able to do a tasting while out for lunch with the family. I wish that BC had more relaxed liquor laws that allowed for this in my home province.
Stay tuned for some of the beers I picked up while I was away to be reviewed later in leapbeer. Also if you wanted to search my tweets for the trip, search the hashtag #leapbeerpdx as I tagged that during my trip.
Thanks for reading