I had some extra time this week and decided to start in on my goal of visiting as many Portland breweries as possible.
This week, I visited six Breweries in Portland.
1) Stormbreaker Brewing
They have a large outdoor sitting area filled with picnic benches. Careful about sliding left or right though, you may get an unwanted splinter. You know, one that’s big enough to cut through your clothes. The decorations insider were nice. A very indie outdoors-y feel. I ordered their standard IPA, and it was nice for a summer day.
2)Hopworks Urban Brewing
My second stop was Hopworks Urban Brewing, or HUB. I did not even realize I was close to this location until I tried to pull up my next stop on Google Maps. With a bit before happy hour anyways, I decided the best way to kill time was to walk the six-ish blocks this way. This space was fun – bike frames lined the area above the bar and there were a whole lot more options at this brewery than any of the others I have been to so far. I ended up getting the standard IPA on the bartenders recommendation. It was nice and smooth.
3) Ecliptic Brewing
This brewery is located in just the right place to see much of downtown over the Interstate 5 interchanges. The location is big enough, it is obvious the proprietors expect a significant amount of growth for this still-relatively-new brewery that opened this past October. And with good reason, as the head brewery has a resume that stretches from Deschutes to Full Sail. One of his creations at Deschutes was their well-known Black Butte, and he refined many of the processes at Full Sail.
All the brews at Ecliptic are space themed, and the regulars at the bar are all wonderful. I had a saison, but the bartender gave me a sample of another brew that was out of this world. Not only do they have good beer, but the bartender said they are trying to produce food that is quality enough for them to make it on the next Top 100 Restaurants in Portland list. Since I did not eat food on this trip there, clearly I have to return and eat there. Also; try more beer.
4) Widmer Brothers Brewing
At Widmer, my last stop on Monday, I had a White IPA, which was alright.The environment at Widmer was completely different from the environment at the other breweries I visited Monday. Given that it was the only national brewery that makes sense. There was a lot more of a fine polished corporate feeling. The beer was good, but nothing special. I suspect that had I tried one of their more notable brews – Ginger Brrbon perhaps – I may have felt differently about the beer. I have had many of their beers in the past and enjoyed them a lot.
5) Rock Bottom Brewery
I went on Tuesday, in the mid-afternoon. The place was mostly empty, as it was past lunch-time but too early for happy hour. I tried a white pepper saison, which was tasty and had just enough spice on the aftertaste to be noticeable, but not so much as to overwhelm the drinker.
6) Lompoc Brewery
Their location on Northwest 23rd has $0.50 wing night on Tuesday, so I called up a buddy and we went out. I started with the Red Ale, which was a nice but unnotable drink, then eventually ended up with a Belgian IPA that was alright. The wings though, those were pretty great. They had a buffalo wing that came with a bleu cheese dipping sauce that was just absolutely fantastic. The location is a bit smaller, but they have a handful of locations all over. Great outdoor seating, but with the sun setting on our faces, and the spice of the Caribbean Jerk and Sesame Ginger wings, it was a bit too warm so we moved inside.