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Upright Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Upright Brewing CompanyUpright Brewing Company
Based on:
65 Beers
3,627 Ratings
Place Score: 93
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: n/a
Taps: 9
Bottles: 5
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

240 N Broadway St, Suite 002
Portland, Oregon, 97227
United States
phone: (503) 735-5337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: msubulldog25 on 04-22-2009

The Brewery is located in the basement of the Hazelwood/'Leftbank' Building (its history includes a well-known early jazz club, Dude Ranch - an inspiration for the name 'Upright' - read more here:  http://leftbankproject.com/the-history/  ) and is Production-Only during normal weekday business hours.

A Tasting Room is open Thu 5 - 9 pm, Fri 4:30 - 9 pm, Sat 1 - 8 pm, Sun 1 - 6 pm, and prior to basketball games at the adjacent Rose Garden arena (Trailblazers only - check their home schedule). Food, when available, is basic: bread, an occasional charcuterie tray or sandwiches (provided by Grain & Gristle).
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.1/5  rDev -26.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

Wow, I am not hip enough for this. The pours are cheap and good, the "tap room" sexy (barrels and concrete, a fine view of the mashtun) and the selection reasonable. % taps, a small display of bottles, all above average beers but nothing that really shook my world.

But, in the end, I will just remember these guys for the snobby service and dickish attitude. Guy wasn't busy, just bullshitting with a buddy. I'm not a local, I don't know your selection, I don't know your beers. Don't be a dick when I ask a few questions about your beer. My two buddies, the locals, they are not coming back here, nor am I.

I'm sure the brewers are great guys, I'm sure they are fighting the good fight and all that jazz, but come on, your tap jockey is a prick.

Photo of Mothergoose03
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

This was stop #23 for my wife and I on a 21-day pub-crawl from Michigan to N. CA and OR. We stopped here on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy their beers. (Actually we had stopped out front the day before after driving around the building a few times, but did not realize it was the correct place and moved on to the next brewery, so the visit this day was a success.) The brewery is located in the basement of this large red brick building, but there is no brewery sign (or a building address number that we could see) other than a small sandwich board that they put out on the sidewalk in front of the entrance door when the taproom is open.

After winding our way to the basement we walked into an obvious brewery setting with equipment all around. In a corner was a tap arrangement with an employee who was the bartender that day. Five ounce, 12 oz. and pitchers are available, and the price is right at this brewery. Tables are spread out around the area where some brewing equipment is sitting, so you get a true feeling of drinking at the brewery in this place.

We ordered a sampler of 6 of the 9 beers that were available (a cider was also listed), and went back later to get samples of the other three. All of these beers are very well made, and we got bored assigning the same B grades to all of them, but it was an enjoyable ‘bore’ session. There are some packaged snacks available, but no food.

This was an enjoyable experience, and we’re glad that we tried again to find this place after using up so much of our drinking time the day before in our search to find this brewery. We’d come back again when we’re in Portland.

Photo of RedDiamond
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

In its first year of operation, Upright secured a welcome niche as brewers of traditional "farmhouse-style" beers. These Franco-Belgian-derived ales - saisons and bieres de garde - form the mainstay of their enterprise but otherwise make infrequent appearances on Northwest beer lists. Beers are treated to organic ingredients, open fermentation, saison yeast, and a frequent use of wheat. Most are available in 750 ml capped champagne magnums. Many are aged in oak wine barrels.

Guests may visit the tasting room on weekends and on game nights during basketball season when Upright's proximity across from the Rose Garden provides an ideal spot for a pre-game ale. The tasting room is a no-frills enclave adjoining the brewery in the basement of the Leftbank Building. The gray cinderblock environment dotted with small wooden tables amid racks of oak barrels may evoke a certain casual charm. Others might find it raw and confining. But the cellar atmosphere seems suited to the purpose of aging beers and the plates of sliced rye bread waiting for you on the tables complement the flattering simplicity of the saison style. Beer prices at the tasting room are charitable. Nine beers are offered, food is not served.

Though I enjoy most Upright beers I can't say as I'm enthralled with them. Saison yeast, bottle conditioning, and barrel aging are great ideas. But implementing these ideas into a product line evoking the measure of sophistication they imply is not easily done, and I'm inclined to say that while Upright beers have their merits, their best moments are perhaps yet to come. Meanwhile, best bets may be had in the form of their hoppier beers such as their seasonal saison/IPA hybrid Congo Pale or their regular hoppy saison "Five".

Photo of Gobzilla
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of atpca
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Well, easy enough to find the building...and bit tricky finding parking and then the actual brewery. Go inside, down the stairs (or elevator). It's a barrel room that serves beer. Fine enough

Small. Two picnic tables, a square table and small round top. No bar, just a register and taps with 9 beers flowing. Good local music playing on the old time stereo (alas, not on vinyl).

Service is one person and pretty good. Seemed a bit irked to be working on a Sunday. I don't blame him. Geeks like me seem to show up on odd days.

Beer is really good. I only had 3 tasters (at $1.50/ea) b/c I was driving. But did pick up some bottles.

Not a great destination, but if you like UR beers and want something not on shelves, hit this place.

Photo of squaremile
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This is the basement home for one of the best up and coming breweries in PDX. I have been there twice, the first was for Zwickelmania and they were pouring generously from bottles and the firkin. The second time was before a Blazers game and the atmosphere was somewhat different but still fun. The basement makes you feel like you're in some kind of secret club. There is one guy associated with this place that has the worst attitude I've seen in the beer community, you'll know who he is, and it unfortunately puts a damper on things a bit. It's also cool checking the open fermentation tanks. Their beers are all over the map but stay with the Five, Billy, and Late Harvest and you should be OK.

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Gig2828
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of djbreezy
3.79/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

It's a really rad experience to hop down on the elevator to the basement. The open fermentation tanks are cool and the taps and everything else are pretty sweet. It's cool how exposed everything is and it's nice that you get to go into the place where the beer is brewed to taste it. A comfortable setting.

I can partially agree with the reviewer below. I've had mixed experiences with the staff. However, I recently spoke with the owner at Farmer's Market where he was staffing a tent and he was very receptive and courteous to my questions. Seemed like a good dude.

Photo of TreeBear
3.83/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Photo of almostjay
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Definitely a departure from the typical Portland brewery experience. Upright is tucked into a basement room in a mixed commercial building. It's a cool building, one that I wouldn't mind working in, but definitely different than your typical brewery space and on kind of an island in Portland, albeit and island well connected to public transit.

The place was somewhere between slow and kinda busy on a mild afternoon in January. The quiet, intimate space was livened up by a man playing a hollow body guitar. Thank goodness for him, because otherwise the silence (or maybe the quite, polite separate conversation) would have been deafening.

In the end, this place is worth visiting if only for the fact that it is unique in the busy Portland brewing scene. The fantastic beer is the icing on the cake.

Photo of Eternal218
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of yemenmocha
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Cold basement location was interesting, and probably provides the most authentic brewery feel of any place I hit on my Portland visit. Once you actually find this place it's nice if there's a place to sit (we had to stand for awhile first) but then the range of samples are fairly good, with several very good beers. Prices were reasonable, and I apprecaited the free bread crumbles for palate cleansing & munching. Their hours are a bit restrictive, which is a pain. Not far from bus stop & train stops either, and not a long trip from downtown by train.

Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

Just my opinion, but I really don't see much point in this place being on beerfly. The tasting room is tiny, has no food (despite what the BA info says... maybe I was just here on an off day?), and just a couple of tables (some with chairs, some without). Nothing wrong with the layout I suppose, but it's really not all that conducive to hanging out and having a beer or three.

Have to confess I'm a pretty big fan of Upright beers, and across the board the quality is pretty high with all their beers. Had a redwood lager and a five when I was here, and both were excellent. Otherwise, this day they had 4 regular selections, three seasonals, and one guest beer (the Walking Man brown... for the life of me I can't fathom the reason for having the walking man beer available).

Service was good I guess. Aside from myself, there were 7 or 8 other patrons, and the brewery had one staff member standing by the tap handles, pouring sample trays and 12 ounce glasses for customers. He wasn't all that communicative, but would answer any questions you had, and seemed fairly pleasant otherwise. As one might expect, he was pretty knowledgeable when it came to Upright beers or the PDX beer scene in general.

Prices were good I thought. 12 ounce glasses were $2 for the regular line-up, and $3 for the seasonals and guest beer. Got a 4 ounce sample size glass of the lager and that was $1.

I can see where someone might stop by for a beer before a blazers game, but otherwise I can't see any reason to come here again. Really like Upright beers, but for the most part, they're available all over town. At least that's my impression based on a single visit, but hope to make it here some time when there's a one off or some other rare beer on tap (today it was the fresh hop and redwood lager listed as speciality items.... nice beers, no doubt, but as already mentioned, both can be found around town).

Edit from 2/14. Still don't come by here all that often (for the reasons noted in my original review), but they have expanded the space somewhat, and so now there's a bit more room for hanging out and having a few of Upright's excellent beers. Quality has never been an issue or concern here, but lately their special release beers have been so outstanding, I feel as if I have to give my original quality rating a bump as well. As before though, unless you're in the area for a Blazer game, or unless there is some special, limited release going on, there's really little reason to stop by the tasting room (IMHO).

Photo of DrMindbender
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of artoolemomo
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of jbaker67
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of bumchilly25
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ToddO
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

On a recent "beercation" to Oregon and happened to be in Portland for Uprights release of Jeux d'eau.

Enjoyed the new beer as well as a couple others on tap. The tasting room is literally in the brewery. Its in the basement of a multi story building and makes you feel special, drinking a beer right in the vary room its made in. I may be crazy but I thought it was pretty cool.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

In its still fairly brief existence (opened Spring 2009), I've been to Upright at least a couple dozen times - so I feel safe in finally passing off an honest review of the place.

Hidden away in the basement of what's now known as the Lefttbank Building (an odd name since it's eastside location places it, geographically, on the RIGHT bank of the Willamette), a place that has served its time as a hoppin' jazz club, an amalgamate of a plastics factory/showroom and varying functions between, Upright's modest brewery seems a fitting step in the further evolution of the block. Down the elevator, to the right and through a pair of modest wooden doors one goes to enter; caution: this is brewery first, tasting room second. During afternoon hours (when open), a jaunty daylight may filter down through street level grating - otherwise expect an aesthetic that's spartan, still industrial. Of course, people add to the atmosphere; whether it's the humming pre-game for a Trailblazers game (my most frequent visits), the bustle of a special release event, or the quieter laziness of a weekend folksy jam, Upright covers its bases and draws its varying crowds. See the above info for dates/hours when open to the public.

To enter Upright's tasting room is to enter the guts of the brewery itself: immediately to the right are stainless fermenting vessels, straight ahead is a room for storing malted grain, to the left is a small area of benches, stand-up tables and tap handles mounted to the walls of a cooler, all surrounded by aging barrels in varying degrees of distress. On tap there's a bare minimum of 6 beers a-flowing; often add 1-3 more special one-offs, creative concoctions brewed with yeasts strange and familiar, adjuncts from ordinary to absurd. Never once have I visited the taproom and NOT been surprised by at least a couple of their quirky tap handles.

You can't beat freshness, and no fresher Upright taps can be found in Portland. Nos. 4 - 7 are always on, and a variety of seasonals and experimental beers fill other handles. Prices are an absolute steal here; for 8 oz. pours, standards are $2 and even the rarest and oddest of the lot are $3. Samplers are available and so are growlers, all at fair prices. 750 bottles are there, too, priced lower (thanks to avoiding the middle man, I guess?) than anywhere else.

I've read a gripe or two about service, but I've hardly ever had less than 'good'. Ezra (a fine BA and a skilled craftsman when it comes to label design) tends often - not only is he quick to point out favorite pours, but he has an excessive knowledge of and passion for beer. Chat him up, he'll serve you right.

Usually little/no food to speak of, besides the occasional basket of bread or rare homemade charcuterie, so I'll defer giving a score... hint: watch for new restaurant "Grain & Gristle" in NE Portland, an upcoming venture shared in by brewer Alex Ganum...

All in all, one of my favorite 'hidden' beer spots in Portland for any number of reasons. Visiting? Mark your calendar for the days/hours that Upright is open and go... I hope you enjoy like I do.

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

basement, pay-to-park, cash only (ATM was broken)

Very interesting place - limited seating, amongst the tanks. Some vinyl playing in the background (of course, portland), a one-man operation slinging 10ish taps and a selection of bottles including 4 sole comp's on this particular day. Upright kind of does their own thing - much of it is very quality, though some is a little lackluster. All of the sole comp stuff i've ever had has been mostly great though.

I'll be back, not so much to hang out there, but to grab bottles and go hang somewhere a little more inviting.

Photo of dmgnyc
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is 'friggin cool. Stopped in on a Saturday afternoon a month ago on a PDX beercation, right across the street from where the great Bill Walton once injured himself. Easily accessible from the light rail, plus a 10 minute walk.

The "brewery" is located in the basement of an eco-friendly office building...you'd have no idea it was located there if not for the small folding sign outdoors. Inside, a cardboard sign tells you to ride the elevator to the basement for the brewery, and despite the rest of the building being completely desolate on the weekend, you take it on faith, and step into the elevator.

Downstairs you'll find a room with three picnic tables, a wall of taps, a beer fridge, a turntable playing 70's Herbie Hancock (on this day anyway), and a bunch of brew kettles not far away. Imagine drinking in Walter White's meth lab in Breaking Bad. It's very DIY, very Portland, and very cool.

The tap lineup consisted of Upright's numbered stand-by saisons, and a few exclusive creations, like the "Reggae Junkie Gruit," a very tasty summertime gruit similar to a berliner weise, and proving the all time adage that there's no reason to open a brewery unless you can name your creations after Ween songs.

I seem to recall a generous flight of five large tasters was a mere six bucks, standard for the area, but a goddamn bargain where I'm from. Service was very friendly/knowledgeable, and all of the saisons were delicious. I didn't see any food, but unlike with, say, Deschutes, you're not here to eat. A unique spot worth visiting.

Photo of portlandjeff
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Once you find upright brewing, it's pretty sweet. Buried in the basement of a somewhat empty newly redeveloped building in north portland (which, for out-of-towners, is different from north EAST portland - an important fact to keep in mind when looking for the address...) upright is the epitome of working brewery/barrel aging facility type tasting room. It's not a bar, it's a brewery, and you're in it. Despite that, it's quite accommodating and attractive for anyone with a passion for beer. Refashioned oak barrel tables, full barrel's everywhere, and tons of shiny brewing equipment. On top of that, there's the open fermentation room, which you can safely view through a glass window installed in the side - pretty unique!

The quality here is really good. These are among the most unique beers in the city, and they're very distinct and well executed. This is not a big place, and you get the feel that the people that serve you there are "part of the family", not just employees. This is evident in the pride and knowledge everyone has in the beers.

Service is good. It's kind of tough to rate compared to other places. This isn't a brewpub or bar; it's a brewery that has someone available to answer questions and pour beer. There's no table service, and not much for the staff to do to serve you, but I wouldn't expect more, and everyone does what they're there to do, and they do it well.

Selection is really good. They generally have their standard core line-up of beers available on one list, plus a nice selection of special beers on another which might be seasonals, or special one-offs, who knows! The neat thing here is that NOTHING that upright makes is replicated anywhere else, so everything is unique compared to what other breweries offer. These are almost always belgian/french farmhouse inspired beers, but the range of beers they manage to produce within this criteria is still wide, and interesting for BA's that try several of their offerings.

No food at upright, but sometimes they have bread to munch at each of the tables. Eat somewhere else. Come here to DRINK.

I think one of the great things about upright is the value. Drinking great, rare, unique beers here is cheap. Also a great value: park nearby for free, drink a few beers here before a blazers game, and then walk the short distance to rose garden and laugh at everyone that's showing up sober, paying $20 to park, and $8 a plastic cup of thunderhead when they get inside.

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Upright Brewing Company in Portland, OR
93 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.