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Portland Megatapped Taverns to watch out for

Walking man's Knuckle Dragger

Portland, Oregon Taverns with Megataps

While Stan Hieronymus and Daria Labinsky (authors of The Beer Lover's Guide to the USA: Brewpubs, Taverns, and Good Beer Bars) refer to mega taps as taverns with 80 or more tap handles, we are defining mega taps as 20 or more tap handles of micro and craft beers.

These are places where you can expect a wide range of beer varieties, and output from many different breweries. Some of the beer menus stay relatively static; others, like Concordia, change every time a keg blows.

If you are visiting a tavern with a lot of handles, like Henry's, it's wise to ask if the beer you're interested in is fresh. Or ask for a taste.

Concordia Ale House

3276 NE Killingsworth Street (at 33rd)
(503) 287-3929
get there via trimet
find a bike route

Drunken elephantsMy favorite mega-tapped tavern is the Concordia Ale House. However you've got to get there, it's worth it. They have 22 taps, and they have a really interesting selection of regional and international beers that you're not likely to have had on tap before. They also have the best pub grub in the city. It's nonsmoking, the wait staff know their beer and are free with the tasters.

Concordia is great, absolutely great, for us beer dorks. And, they have a weekend breakfast that's very good.

They have 20some taps—and they have nothing commonplace on those taps. You know, the stuff that's on tap consistently around town - Widmer, Full Sail, Deschutes - you won't find it at Concordia. But there is this constantly turning over selection of really interesting things. They almost always have a double IPA, a cream ale, a weizen, a couple strong beers - really interesting stuff! There have been times when there hasn't been anything on the menu that I've tried before!

Another great thing is that they give you a draft list, which gives you the name, the style, the brewery, the country. The wait staff seem really into the beer, so they can give you a good description but it's nice not to have to guess from the name. They are also very free with the tasters.

In the cooler, they have over 100 bottled beers, also described in some detail in the bottled beer menu.

Their prices are really pretty reasonable for what you're getting, and you can choose a glass, pint, imperial pint... I love that you can specifically order an imperial pint.

They also have pool tables! It's kinda noisy at times, but gosh, it's awfully good.

filled under Taverns!, bars, Taverns with mega taps
October 1, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Henry's 12th Street Tavern

10 NW 12th (12th & W. Burnside)
(503) 227-5320
get there via trimet
find a bike route
opens 11am everyday til 11pm weekdays, 12pm weekends

the icy layer that keeps the beer coldWhen I heard about Henry's the first time, I thought, right, 100 beers on tap—how likely is that? I had all sorts of expectations that it would be suburban and sportsy and not serious. And you know, I was totally & completely wrong.

The bar has several different levels, including a lovely outdoor patio. You can watch sports on the huge flatscreen tvs, or, you can sit so you don't even know that there are giant flatscreen tvs. The volume is on mute, anways. It's a classy place, and hooligans are asked to leave immediately. Really. I saw some guys come in who were obviously already inebriated, they treated a waitress badly, and several managers went over and helped them out.

You can sit well away from the bar, but if you're serious about beer, you want to sit at the bar. They have a cool ice ring to set your beer on, and their bartenders know the beers well and serve them in appropriate glassware. (The wait staff haven't a clue).

Be sure to ask if the beer is old, and if you can have a taste. Somethings don't move so fast at Henry's.

For your friends who don't get beer: there's mixed drinks. Though I wouldn't know anything about that.

I wouldn't expect a lot from the food (this is a Pacific Coast restaurant, so solid but unexceptional chain fare), but if you order during happy hour, at least it's cheap.

filled under taverns, bars, taverns with megataps
September 26, 2006 | Permalink

Horse Brass Pub

4534 SE Belmont
(503) 232-2202
get there via trimet
find a bike route
lunch and dinner daily, weekend British Breakfast

If you look at the microbrew movement in Portland, Horse Brass is right there at the beginning. According to their website:

Established in 1976, many of Oregon's own craft brewers have been regulars here, enjoying the likes of Guinness and Fullers ESB well before the craft beer movement.

It's a British style pub with 50-some odd beers on tap and a full bar, including single malt scotches. They offer a british pub menu including full breakfast on Saturday and Sunday (9-noon). Smokey doesn't begin to describe it.

The food menu is stocked with sausage plates, scotch eggs, ploughman's lunches, fish & chips, and pasties, all of them good.

Terran writes,

I think the Horse Brass deserves a listing in food as well under beer - their Bangers & Chips is one of my favorite low-budget lunches in town. Two tasty sausages dipped in sweet hot mustard with greasy potato chips, and a pint of hard cider on the side...mmm.

The breakfasts, particularly the english breakfasts, are a groaning board of food. They do offer American breakfast as well as everything ala carte, but if your cardiologist will allow, do try the full traditional english breakfast with its fried eggs, Irish back bacon, baked ham, English banger sausage, Heinz beans straight from the can, tomatoes, fried potatoes and fried bread.

They pull out the big screen to show English Premier League Soccer live.

If you're a craft beer lover, you've got to go to Horse Brass. Unless, of course, you can't stand smoke.

filled under taverns with megataps, bars, taverns, restaurants in Southeast Portland
April 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moon & Sixpence British Pub

2014 NE 42nd Ave
(503) 288-7802
get there via trimet
find a bike route

photo, Watching England vs. Paraguay at 7 AM, by Audrey Eschright
Watching England vs. Paraguay at 7 AM, by Audrey Eschright
On first impression, darkness, smokyness and continental service (read, leisurely) mark this british style pub with full bar. But the Moon and Sixpence is a very pleasant combination of british style and portland stylee with a huge open back porch, fun music, board games and darts, and even, perhaps best of all, bicycle parking inside. I love the fact that people bring their bicycles into the bar in inclement weather, and through the bar to the patio in nice weather.

Like a real British Isles public house, the M&S is really visually interesting. Or overwhelming. I prefer to think the former. Beer signs elbow photos elbowing bookcases and chalkboards and beer towels.

They have wine, and obviously the full bar (specialty drinks are $4.75-$6), but this place is about the beer on tap. Though the last time I was there, there was a large group of guys drinking Kokanee ($2) from bottles.

There are 20 taps, served generally in imperial pints. These are listed on a chalkboard behind the bar with name and alcohol by volume. Here's what they had when we were there.

  • two Belgians (Lindeman's Framboise and a rotator, $5.50 a glass)
  • 2 casks (North Coast's Red Seal and a rotator, $4.50)
  • imports ($4.50)
    • Smithwicks
    • Bass
    • Newcastle Brown
    • Stella Artois
    • Strongbow Cider
    • Boddingtons
    • Guinness
  • and of course micros ($4)
    • Terminal Gravity IPA
    • Deschutes Inversion IPA
    • Boont Amber
    • Mirror Pond Pale Ale
    • Anchor Steam
    • Elysian ESB
    • Amnesia Porter
    • Pelican Cream Ale

They also have bottled beer, sorted by style, ranging from $2-$12.50, including 22 classic belgian and farmhouse ales, and 6 trappist ales.

They do have food here, but it's british pub food, and not gastropub food by any means. Things like the fish and chips (these being not-quite steak fries) and sausage rolls are reliable and tasty. Snacks are under $5, cold sandwiches under $7, entrees under $9.

filled under Taverns with Megataps in Portland, Taverns in Portland, Bars in Portland
April 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)



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