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June 9, 2010
PNW Trip Part V: Portland, OR
Our biggest beer destination on this trip was definitely Portland, Oregon. Neither of us had been there before but we knew it'd be chock full of great craft beer. We got there late in the day and had to immediately ready ourselves to see Jónsi at the Roseland Theater. We made it with just enough time to stop somewhere for a pre-show beer. As we were walking to the theater we stumbled upon Bailey's Taproom (rated A on BeerAdvocate). Of course, a beer geek's perception of a beer bar is always relative to the geek's home selection, but immediately my face lit up upon seeing Russian River Pliny the Elder on tap.
Of course, having already been to Russian River AND seeing so many other breweries beers on tap that I had not even heard of, I had to try something different. But luckily, the girlfriend picked up the slack and ordered a Pliny so I could at least have a few sips. I got a Walking Man Imperial Porter (which I can't even find a record of online anywhere) and it was very good.
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Walking Man Imperial Porter
Bailey's had a good selection of bottles too and I could easily have spent a few hours there, but we had to be on our way to the show. The tap selection at the Roseland Theater was pretty decent too and I was excited to find Deschutes Black Butte (which I didn't know what actually pronounced "beaut" as in "beauty" instead of "butt" which is what I asked for) and Mirror Pond. Deschutes is a great brewery and we'll visit its Portland location in a little bit.
The next day we explored The Pearl District of Portland and this is when we realized that you basically can't throw a stone without hitting a brewery or brewpub. Just walking around we passed a bunch. We decided to stop in at Bridgeport Brewing Company for lunch. The interior had a very cool old factory feel and it was pretty gigantic.
I had their IPA and it was a strong example of the style. I wanted to try their barleywine but they were out of it that day.
Just a few blocks away is the Rogue Distillery & Public House. Having just come from Bridgeport, we just took a brief look inside. Seems like a good place and I wish I could have sampled one of their spirits, but we had plenty more to see.
Next up we stopped in at the Whole Foods right down the street and man did my jaw hit the floor when I saw the beer aisle. It was pretty overwhelming seeing SO many beers that I've been dying to try but don't have access to in NYC. I grabbed as many as I could and we brought them back to the hotel to later ship back home.
Our final Portland beer stop was my most anticipated, Deschutes Public House. We came in for a late dinner and a few of the best beers I had on the entire trip. Now, the full production brewery is actually in Bend, OR but here in Portland they do brew small batch brews as well.
The bar here has windows into the small brewing area with copper brew tanks behind it.
Back by the restrooms you can peer into where they create some of this wonderful stuff. Looks a little tight back there.
Sacks of spent grain sit bagged up waiting to be picked up by local farmers to be used as feed. Hooray for sustainability!
Right before you walk into the restrooms you see a bunch of beer medals on the wall. You can't quite tell in this photo, but the medals go ALL THE WAY TO THE CEILING. Crazy.
Hop in the Dark and Mirror Mirror were among the beers had with our dinner. Both were outstanding.
I was even intrigued by the signs in the restroom.
Cheers. Next up is the final installment: Seattle.