Portland Beer Bars

20 Sep

This is the final writeup from a weekend trip to Portland, focusing on our favorite beer places (Part 1: Portland Food, Part 2: Oregeon Brewers Festival). I half-wrote this right after the trip but hadn’t got around to posting it.

Bailey’s Taproom (SW Broadway and Pine, downtown)

A great place to taste beer– an informal space with plenty of seating and a rotating selection of about twenty beers on tap, including a lot of Oregon beer. For just $7.50 you can get a sampler of any five of your choice. I liked the Avatar Jasmine IPA (very faint hints of jasmine), but can’t remember what else we had (a scotch ale and one of the Upright beers, but I don’t seem to have notes).

Upright Brewing (on N Broadway, in a tricky-to-find location near freeway offramps and overpasses, in the basement of the Leftbank building)

We tried all nine beers they had on tap. My favorite by far (and one of my favorites of the trip– I brought some home) was the unusual Flora Rustica— it had some slightly vegetive flavors and an interesting faintly-bitter herbal taste (they said “spring yarrow” is one ingredient), as well as a bit of hot-pepper-like spiciness. It’s hard to describe but very worth trying [edit: the bottle I brought home didn’t have the same spiciness and wasn’t as strongly flavored]. Also exceptionally good was the Alphaphylactic Hop, not your typical hoppy beer. It had a slightly savory-vegetable-saute flavor, a light sweetness, a bit of hoppiness… and a taste that went on for a while and kept evolving (either as I got used to it, or as it warmed up).  The Four was a very well-done saison-style ale with a slight orange flavor and a floral/honey smell. I also wrote down that I liked the Five but can’t remember the details. The Six, Seven (more of a cream-style ale), Weisse, and Engel Pils were also all good. I didn’t like the hoppy Leafer Madness as much.

Horse Brass Pub (SE Belmont & 46th)

A great English-style pub, with cozy dark wood, plenty of tables, many cask beers (hand-pumped, light carbonation, served closer to room temperature) and a wide selection of non-local beers as well. We had a few beers, including a good cask-conditioned version of Racer 5 IPA, but the highlight was the truly amazing Hogs Back Stout (cask): hard to describe, but slightly “chewy”, slightly coffee/oatmeal flavored, rich, not especially sweet or dry… “balanced”? The best stout I’ve ever had and one of my favorite beers of the trip.

Ignore the excessive foam in the photo below– we got a second round of the Hogs Back, but the cask ran out while pouring them, so we got these heady half-beers for free.

Amnesia Brewing Company (N Beech and Mississippi)

A pleasant brewpub for a beer at on a sunny day, with a big outdoor patio and indoor warehouse seating near the brewing apparatus, with a slight smell of grain in the air. We all liked the Plum Founded, a mild pale ale aged with… plums. The ESB and Cream of the Crop (a beer made with flaked corn and a hint of creaminess) were also both good, and refreshing on a sunny summer day. None of these were our favorites of the trip, but all of them were better than most beers we had at the OBF.

5 Responses to “Portland Beer Bars”

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  1. Deviled Eggs, Pickled Fennel, Kale, Squash w/ Sage Butter « The Robot Must Eat - November 11, 2011

    […] to love), La Fin Du Monde (a belgian-style tripel / golden ale), Upright Flora Rustica (from a Portland trip, saison-style but slightly vegetative and strange, in a good way), and La Trappe Dubbel. And […]

  2. Portland (Maine) Beer « The Robot Must Eat - November 26, 2011

    […] I’m going to rave about great beer in Portland Oregon, I should check out the beer in the original US Portland (which, for your local history tidbit of […]

  3. Homemade Wild Boar Salami, Beer « The Robot Must Eat - February 10, 2012

    […] crossed with a stout) and the Speakeasy Butchertown Black (hoppy and dark) were the favorites. The Upright Flora Rustica I’d liked so much in PDX was no good at all– sour and […]

  4. Portland Food & Beer Recap #3 | The Robot Must Eat - April 29, 2013

    […] year, another weekend trip to Portland to see friends, eat, and drink beer. Getting up early and going to sleep late– less to take advantage of the nightlife and more […]

  5. Portland Food & Beer Recap #3 | The Robot Must Eat - November 24, 2013

    […] year, another weekend trip to Portland to see friends, eat, and drink beer. Getting up early and going to sleep late– less to take advantage of the nightlife and more […]

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