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Portland, Oregon Brewpubs

According to Wikipedia, a brewpub is a pub or restaurant that brews beer on the premises.

A brewpub is a combination restaurant and microbrewery that sells the majority of its beer on premises. The first American brewpub was Grant's Brewery Pub in Yakima, Washington, which opened in 1982. According to Merriam-Webster, the term was first used in 1984.

In spite of this fascinating history, I will also be including sister taverns and bars that are supplied craft brews even if they are not brewed on premises. This includes organizations like the New Old Lompoc and the Laurelwood.

While many people enjoy McMenamins, I am not mentioning them here, other than mentioning them. They are all over town with over 24 pubs, many with movie theatres and concert venues and meeting rooms and motel rooms.

brewpubs

Alameda Brewpub
4765 NE Fremont
Good beer, good food, popular space.

Laurelwood Public House
1728 NE 40th
282-0622

Good beer, good food, and believe me, everyone knows it. At least, when I was there, it was so loud that I couldn't hear anything my companion said. And, if you don't like kids, really lots of really little kids running about willy-nilly, don't bother.

McMenamin's
(they're all over the city -- they're a chain)
Not always consistent with their beer from time to time and location to location. But generally, comfortable, decent pub grub, and they always have a lot of choices -- say, 10 of their taps, 6 of the competitors, and Bud Lite. I kid you not.


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September 1, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amnesia Brewing

832 N Beech St (at Mississippi)
(503) 281-7708
googlemap
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dog-friendly brewpub with wifi

Amnesia Brewing
interior of Amnesia Brewing
More pictures of Amnesia Brewing
We've had some good Amnesia beer on tap at some other taverns, and decided it was time to revisit the mothership. Amnesia Brewing is a smallish building filled with picnic tables, but most of the seating area is outside under the heated tent where dogs and smoking are welcome. Like the rest of Mississippi, there's wifi. There's not a lot of bike parking, but most folks chain theirs up to the railing around the tent.

Looking out upon Mississippi Street, there's some good people watching. It's an unpretentious place to sit and have a beer. They have seven taps plus cider, with their Desolation IPA, Dusty Trail Pale, Slow Train Porter, and the ESB usually on. When we visited, they also had two seasonals (Copacetic IPA and Belgian Dubbel Whammy), and Caldera Pils filling out the beer menu. Pints are generally $3.50, with 50 cents off during happy hour (4-6 Monday-Friday).

They also have some food, which is pricey and underwhelming. But they do all their cooking on the grill under the tent; in fact, the smoke and charcoal-starter fumes was so thick that I couldn't even drink my beer—which is pretty darn thick. Obviously, the tent is wheelchair accessible, but I'm not sure about the pub itself. And, there is table service, but it's a bit 420 affected.



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March 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Broadway Grill & Brewery

1700 NE Broadway
(503) 284-4460
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You know, there are some addresses where you just think, oh g-d, what rubbish is here now? You know, addresses that are cursed? The former location of Epicure, La Prima Pizzeria, Irvington Corner Table, Rustica, and probably a half-dozen other places whose names I've blocked out because it was such an underwhelming experience, is now the locale for an underwhelming brewpub. Or it will be a brewpub once they get the brewery properly licensed.

If you are familiar with Old Market Pub, and/or like their beer and food, well, there you go. I'm told that the menu is the same at Broadway. I'm not surprised at all that places like Old Market Pub survive on the west side; the west side is so underserved for any type of edible inexpensive food that places that have no excuse for surviving hang on for years.

The space is dotted by big screen TVs and has the ambiance of a bus station; except in this bus station, there's lots of unfinished wood.

Let us begin with the menu. Appetizers and the beer list make up the front page. There is an artichoke-spinach-cheese dip, onion rings, 2 types of fries, 3 quesadillas, hot wings, and nachos. Prices range from $3.95 to $9.95, with most things, including the corn chips and salsa, ringing in at $6.95-$7.95.

We didn't order the $6.95 corn chips and salsa. There's TOFTT and then there's sheer stupidity.

Soups & Salads range from $3.95-$9.95, that lowest price being a cup of pub-made soup, the latter being an entree caesar with a 1/4 pound of shrimp. Are they cocktail style or deepfried, prawns or bay shrimp? Who knows?

Entrees vary widely. There's a pasta ($12.95-$13.95), gyros ($8.95-$10.95), chicken fingers ($9.50), 10 inch pizzas ($9.95), fish-n-chips ($9.95-$12.95), burgers ($6.95-$9.45), and sandwiches ($8.60-$9.90. Vegetarian options (a garden burger, 3 veggie pizzas, and the gyros) are few and far between. Just about everything comes with potato chips, and there are up-charges galore: to sub in fries, to get dipping sauce, to add salsa (!) to your nachos.

Broadway Grill has about a dozen taps of Old Market Pub beers. We asked our teenage waitress for her recommendation, and that worked about as well as you might expect. We ended up with a couple of lackluster beers. Then we ordered food.

Now, honestly, I hadn't heard anything good about this place, but I was hoping in the way that I always do, that this would be a good place to get dinner. So with that inherent, unproven optimistism...

I had the "1/2-pound beer-battered fish & chips", halibut with the shoestring fries. The fries were okay, but the fish, yikes. It was an awful grade of halibut, if it was halibut; it had no taste, and a distinctly wrong texture. Halibut is a firm white meat fish with a fine texture. It should flake into chunks when you cut it, or put it in your mouth, and it should have a sweet mild flavor. The deep-frying and beer batter were adequate. Wait a minute, scratch that. At 12.95 for a half-pound, what a rip off!

My companion got a "big corned beef reuben" ($8.95), which he described as the worst reuben he had ever had. For one thing, it wasn't big. The sandwich had too little corned beef, and what little corned beef it had wasn't very good. It wasn't bad, it was just something you'd expect in a Denny's reuben, if they served reubens (do they? I have no idea). The overall sandwich was greasy. Well, at least we had our fries.

What I don't get is that when we were there, the joint was jumping. Lots of folks there, eating and drinking. Is NE Broadway this starved for pub grub? I guess so.


filled under restaurants in NE Portland, Brewpubs
December 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Clinton Street Brewing

2520 SE Clinton (at 26th)
rubbergashproductions.com/pub
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Oregon's smallest operational commercial brewery.


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June 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Karlsson Brewing Co. Brew Pub

35900 Industrial Way, Suite 102 (near Champion Way, right off 26, behind the Fred Meyers), Sandy
(503) 826-8770
karlssonbrewing.com
googlemap
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"is now open. It is a non-smoking environment for adults to enjoy a nice Craft Brew and even some English style food. "
4 of their taps, 4 or 5 guest taps, and limited food (with no kitchen).

Haven't made it there yet—I'm interested to see what you all think.


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January 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lucky Lab III: The Lucky Labrador Beer Hall

1945 NW Quimby
(503) 517-4352
luckylab.com
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art on a dog theme
the bike rack INSIDE Lucky Lab III
the beer hall of Lucky Lab III
The Grand Opening isn't til Friday, but Lucky Lab No. 3 is open now and they're lonely. They have this big ole kitchen and no one to make sandwiches or bento for. Many taps, but no one to pour for. Won't you help them?

No really, we went last night and the manager begged us to tell everyone we knew. Okay. It's a cute former industrial building, complete with interior garage doors and a hoist(!). It's funky and wide open and loud like a bus station, and just dripping with that Lucky Lab je ne sais quoi. The 5-ton strong ale is worth going out of the way for, even if they do only serve it in an 11oz glass. Multiple garage doors, and a partially enclosed outdoor area are going to make for a great place to be in good weather.

And, some of the light fixtures are made from kegs. Beat that! Sorry about the fuzzy pictures, though.


filled under Brewpubs
March 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub

915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
(503) 236-3555
luckylab.com
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Lucky Lab stained glass
Lucky Lab interior
more pics of the Lucky Lab here
I admit being slow to come around to the Lucky Lab. But now that I'm round, I can't get enough. They feature 12 taps (11 of their own, plus a guest) plus a cask and a nitro tap/engine/thingee. When we were there last, they had two types of homemade pop on tap as well—the traditional root beer, and ginger ale. They have some tasty beers, 4 wines by the glass, cider, mead, and some lunchie type foods (bento, soup & sandwiches for less than $6.50, my favorite being their embellished grilled cheese, the meltdown, which is really good).

So the pros are good beer, large space, some food, a heated, covered back porch for smokers and dog lovers, and good bicycle parking (and a small auto parking lot—street parking is very easy in this area). Miser Monday is a happy day all day long. And they have wifi. The cons are that the space can feel like a bus station when it's hopping, and the food—nothing fancy. And if you don't like dogs, you might not want to sit outside.


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January 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mactarnahan's Taproom at Pyramid Brewing

2730 NW 31st
(503) 228-5269
macsbeer.com/taproom.php
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the taps at Mactarnahan's TaproomFancy this: it's Saturday afternoon. You go into MacTarnahan's Taproom, and while there are only a couple tables occupied, there is a Wait to be Seated sign. The beautiful porch overlooking industrial NW Portland appears closed in spite of it being a nice spring day. We are seated and given menus, listing all sorts of pretentious sounding food. We order some beer (an imperial pint is $3.50) and some fries ($4). They do have all their beers on tap, and the room is both airy and Germanic with wood and beer signs, and the taps at the bar are beautiful. The fries are very good.




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May 8, 2006 | Permalink

Mash Tun Brewpub

2204 NE Alberta (entrance on 22nd Ave)
(503) 548-4491
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Monday-Friday, 4-midnight
Weekends, noon - midnight

Mash Tun is just a little brewpub, just a little off Alberta, behind Office. It has a nice little bar, a small room, and a nice covered patio which easily doubles the space. In addition to brewing a few house beers, they have a nice, concise selection of craft beers and imports, and they offer food: not the best food, but the sort of stuff that can prolong your drinking.

Now, brewpubs or taverns that offer undistinguished, inconsistent food isn't that unusual, of course—it sadly seems to be the law (with exceptions like Widmer). But how many of them offer vegan options next to their more meaty third-cousins? I can think of only a handful of places, but Mash Tun is one.

On tap, they have 2 house beers, 3 imports, and 7 craft beers. They also have a handful of things in bottles and cans (brother, clap your hands). None of this is terribly cheap: for imperial pints, the house ales are $4, craft beers are $4.25, and imports are $4.50, with non-tap options ranging from $2.25-$4.50.

I haven't been so crazy about their house beers, but they are very drinkable. The tap selections rotate, so there is always something good on. Last night, for example, there were 4 or 5 different craft beers that I would be very happy to drink. Nice!

In recent times, the place has changed up a little bit. You can still smoke at the bar, or outside, but you have to vacate outside by 10. The jukebox is still there. But the pool table has been replaced by table-tables. I don't know about the wi-fi, but I hope it's still there. We got there shortly before 6, and the place was pretty full.

The new food menu is about a month old, and made up of appetizers, a small collections of soups and salads, and pub grub (which means sandwiches). No more of their wildly erratic fish and chips. Appetizers range from $2.75-$7, with all of the usual deep fried subjects. Tots and fries can come cheesy if you like. There's also vegan red lentil puree & tempeh things, and nachos.

They offer house, caesar, spinach, and a roasted beet salad, a soup de jour, and a chili con carne, $2.95-$7. And for sandwiches ($7.50-$10), they have a burger, and a variety of other things that are served on rolls. Vegan options include a vegan burger & a BLATO (fakin-lettuce-avocado-tomato-onion with veganaise), and there's falafel and roasted eggplant for veggies.

We tried to order cheesy tots, but alas, no tots this evening. So we ordered a cheesesteak and a meatball sandwich, both with their hand-cut skinny fries. And both sandwiches were very edible. The cheesesteak had a nice balance of cheese to meat to cooked yellow onion, and came with a side of good, but not great marinara. The meatball sandwich was dosed in both marinara and melted cheese, but the meatballs were plentiful, tender and tasty. Unfortunately, neither of the rolls the sandwiches came on had been toasted, and the fries are soggy and greasy. Why do some taverns insist on hand-cut fries?

So. Nice patio, nice ever-changing selection of beers, and deep-fried appetizers rock... unless they're fries.


filled under Restaurants in NE Portland, Portland, Oregon Brewpubs
January 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Philadephia's

6410 SE Milwaukie Ave
(503) 239-8544
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June 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Raccoon Lodge

7424 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy (Raleigh Hills)
(503) 296-0110
raclodge.com
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Michael Rasmussen took me to task about the Raccoon Lodge:

Raccoon is not a chain, it's the castle of Art Lawrence. He was one of the founders of Portland Brewing and is now the principle behind the Oregon Brewers Festival

The lodge looks generic, like it oughta be a chain, and is probably not some place to take your animal activist friends. But the beer is good, even if it's only theirs (actually, they do have Oly, Hamms and Coors light, but you pay for the priviledge). They have 8 taps devoted to their own.

Their claim to fame has been their fries with multiple dipping sauces—go during happy hour when you can get them for half price. You have your choice of sweet potato, yukon gold, shoestring, ale battered steak or tater tots, and 8 different dipping sauces—skip the sauces, they're a waste of time and money. Other food items were pricey.. But we had no complaints about service—the manager comped us our first beers when it took a while to get them to us, and the food we had was plentiful. And my goodness, the steamer clams looked so good!


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March 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rogue Ales Public House

1339 NW Flanders St (at 14th)
(503) 222-5910
rogue.com/locations-portland.html
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Don't go to Rogue for the food. Yes, they do have a kobe beef burger, and yes, I suppose if you're really hungry, you should eat, but there are better—dare I say it—non-kobe burgers in town.

Don't go for the non-smoking section. I've had three visits to Rogue and twice the non-smoking section has been closed. Isn't that illegal?

Then why on earth should you go to Rogue? Oh, yeah, the beer! Over 28 microbrews on taps, with generally only a couple guests. Last night those guests were Guinness and Coors. Which means there are a lot of beers to try. If you're new to these beers, you might want to get a taster tray, where you select 4 beers to try. Or be sure to pester your server or barkeep. These beers are all over the map, and very tasty. A full bar means your drinking friends can join you, as well. Oh, and they have a distillery.

They also have a private conference room.


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December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Roots Brewing Co.

1520 S.E. 7th
(503) 235-7668
rootsorganicbrewing.com
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Oregon's first and only all-organic brewery. They brew for their own brewpub and produce some kegs for other establishments as well.

  • Island Red (Red Stout)
  • Pond Turtle Pale Ale
  • Woody I.P.A.
  • EXXXcalibur Imperial Stout
  • Burghead Heather Ale
  • English Strong Bitter


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June 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tugboat Brewing

711 S.W. Ankeny
(503) 226-2508
http://www.d2m.com/Tugwebsite/home.htm
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This tiny space is the "only fully owner-operated brewery/pub in the
western world" per their very engaging web page, and it is full of books, which I always think is a plus.

That said, ask what's selling well, and order that, or get a taster before you order. They have some fairly consistent infection problems that cause their slower-sellers to sour. And, stay away from the food. You're really not that hungry.


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March 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Widmer Brothers Gasthaus

929 N Russell
(503) 281-3333
http://www.widmer.com/gasthaus.aspx
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This gasthaus is more of a restaurant than a brewpub, but it's the only place to try their excellent seasonals and brewers' picks.

The standards include:

  • Widmer Hefeweizen
  • Drop Top Amber Ale
  • Broken Halo IPA
  • Alt
  • Widmer Root Beer

Kurt and Rob Widmer, brewers, owners (Anheuser-Busch is a minority owner)

More about the food side....


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August 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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