Hopworks Urban Brewery
Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RedDiamond:
4.38/5 rDev +4%
Hopworks' opened to much fanfare and endured an intial popularity crisis that produced large crowds. This has since tapered to a more collegial neighborhood brewpub vibe, but it can still be challenging to get a table here during peak hours. And for good reason: the beer, food, and atmosphere are superb.
Beer offerings are kept to a streamlined taplist of six regulars, two seasonals, two casks, and no guests. Thus far, the lineup has consisted mostly of customary models brewed to high standards of drinkability, though the 7-Grain Survival Stout showcases exotic grains such as kamut and quinoa. All beers are brewed with organic ingredients. Quality ranges from very good to exceptional.
Food items largely conform to brewpub standards such as hot wings, sandwiches, and pizza. But quality exceeds typical bar fare by a wide margin and ingredients tend to be free-range, organic, or otherwise blissful. Menu items include grilled portabella mushrooms, vegetarian calzone, apple crisp a la mode, and homemade potato chips. Prices are quite reasonable, but I've learned to show up after 9PM when happy hour menus feature bowls of minestrone or Caesar salads for as little as $1.75.
The expansive floorplan accommodates dining, gaming, and imbibing in a variety of formats. There are two outdoors seating areas, an upper gaming loft, booths, a plush sofa beside a gas fireplace cut from a fermentation tank, and a large, winding bar festooned with a bicycle frame sculpture that somehow resembles the skeleton of a prehistoric snake. There's even a private booth inside an actual vault invoking Bob Dylan's edict, "I would not judge nor put fault / on anyone who dines in a vault." (Not an exact quote I know, but it works well enough after your second beer.)
And as if the things you eat, drink, and see weren't enough, Hopworks also went the extra mile for ecological sustainability in the form of homemade biodeisel, native vegetation, and a host of energy efficiencies that make the HUB among the greenest of brewpubs anywhere. My only complaints are that the traffic on Powell Boulevard can be a bit unnerving if you're sitting near the street (so don't sit near the street) and the urinals are in plain view of the hallway when the men's room door opens. (C'mon guys, no one likes an audience.)
Hopworks has quickly established itself as a destination brewpub and sets a high standard for excellence in beercraft, sustainability, and informal dining. Strongly recommended.
10-01-2008 02:41:29 | More by RedDiamond
More User Reviews:
Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, OR
93 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.