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Tugboat Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tugboat Brewing CompanyTugboat Brewing Company
BA SCORE
78
okay

47 Ratings
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 17.74%
Active Beers: 5
Beer Ratings: 25
Beer Avg: 3.6
Taps: 15
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

711 SW Ankeny St
Portland, Oregon, 97205
United States
phone: (503) 226-2508

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Operation Hours:
Mon: 5-10pm
Tue-Thu: 4pm-12 midnight
Fri - Sat: 4pm-1am
Sun: closed

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%

This place is super smokey on weekend nights, but otherwise has a good atmosphere, really dark and dank, walls lined with bookshelves stuffed with old books and odd photos, a tiny corner stage that usally has some spacy atmospheric type jam rock or jazz muscian/band. The bar is small and most of their beer is pretty bad for the most part. They usually have a handful of local guest taps which are always a better choice, as well as a few macro type euros. Service is just one bar tender but usually not a problem. Selection is ok, usually low on their on beers but no worries because the guests are always better. The food is not to hot, not a great selection either (5-6 total things, usually 1 entree, no real kitchen), although last time I was there, we had a cheese and fruit tray that was much better then the thai chicken skewers we had the visit before. Pretty cheap prices though, but cash only. Worth a quick duck in for the atmosphere if your looking for some live music but the real beer is next door at Bailey's.

ccrida, Jan 29, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of JC271
2.3/5  rDev -29.7%

Feels like a dive bar that decided to make beer. Beer tastes like it is brewed in the back of a dive bar.

JC271, Saturday at 07:59 PM
Photo of anteater
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

anteater, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of South2NW
2/5  rDev -38.8%

South2NW, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of dunix
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

dunix, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of atpca
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

atpca, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of SickBrew
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

SickBrew, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Quentin33
4.68/5  rDev +43.1%

I usually agree with the Beer Advocate reviewers (indeed, I depend on their reviews and often base my visits on them), but I totally disagree here - the Tugboat is one of the most attractive bars I've been in: inviting, warm, comfortable, and with tons of board games available, too. It also has an extremely savvy selection of Oregon craft brews. Yes, it's quiet (no TV, some nice soft music, bluegrass-southern rock when I was there), yes I suppose you could call it somewhat a coffee house atmosphere, but I and everyone I brought there (I was in Portland for a Bar Mitzvah) loved it. I've gone to 15-20 Portland places over the years, and most are great, but this would probably be the first I'd re-visit.

Quentin33, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of slavall
4/5  rDev +22.3%

slavall, May 15, 2014
Photo of jtosch
2.75/5  rDev -15.9%

jtosch, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Gig2828
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Gig2828, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of Hobbit
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Hobbit, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

jaydoc, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Pearlstreetbrewingco, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of Sicem99
4/5  rDev +22.3%

Sicem99, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of fitius5150
3.5/5  rDev +7%

fitius5150, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of DavidB123
2.93/5  rDev -10.4%

First place me and my buddies stopped at while in Portland looking for something that was the "IT" place . Atmosphere is cool, dim lighting and books line the walls.. looks more like a cafe though. The bartender was the also the owner/brewer and she was friendly. Other than service and atmosphere the beers are average, there beers on tap along with a few other micro brews.

DavidB123, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of KDawg
2.75/5  rDev -15.9%

I dropped in here on a saturday night while bouncing around Portland. It had a pretty laid back vibe, but there was barely anyone there. I don't mind a laid back vibe, but it felt more like a coffee house than even a brewpub. Not a full negative for me, but I did notice it.

There weren't that many beers on tap. I think there were like 6 on the night. What they had was pretty decent, but there wasn't that much available.

The service was on the surly side. There weren't that many people and it would take a bit to get a beer. The food was solid. Nothing spectacular, but being hungry and having drank a bunch of beer, it more than did the trick.

Tugboat is 'aight. It's proximity (ie being right next to) to bailey's will mean that I come back and re-evaluate at a point in the future.

KDawg, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of GreenCard
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%

This one had been on my to-try list for a LONG time and I finally made it happen not too long ago when a friend from high school was in town for a conference. We decided to meet up there because it was near one of the conference venues. Haven't seen this guy in over twelve years and it turned out to be the perfect place to spend a couple of hours catching up because the decor was a lot like the coffee-houses we used to hang out at back in high school. The low-key lighting, lots of dark wood surfaces, books and board games, etc. Though it was a Friday evening, it was relatively quiet, so there wasn't a long wait to order at the bar and we didn't have to shout to be heard. Not sure if the place ever gets to that level of noise, but since it's so small, I imagine it could.

The nachos were pretty good. The beer was decent (I only tried their house beers), though I did NOT like the strong stout. I know it was supposed to have a bit of a tang to it, but it just tasted wrong and smelled like the rubber floor mats behind the bar. Having said that, I would like to go back there again solely for the ambiance and vibe.

GreenCard, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of miserableassin
1.83/5  rDev -44%

I think this is the worst brewpub I've been to in the U.S. I've visited three times, hoping my previous experiences were one-offs. Their beer is consistently off: sour, bitter in all the wrong ways, and with a terrible aftertaste. Worst of all, they consistently refuse to exchange or even taste it. The food is mediocre at best, all microwaved, and the atmosphere, which has potential given the decor, is impaired by the asinine comments of the bar staff when you try to complain about the beer.

If you have to go here, try a guest beer, then head over the road to Bailey's Tap Room, who acknowledge the benefit of picking up pissed-off Tugboat customers. I have no idea how they made it into Willamette Weekly's bar of the year list in 2010, but they are an embarrassment to the city.

miserableassin, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev +7%

A: Different. Walked in and it was pretty busy. We found a small table upfront by the bar. So much talking we could not hardly hear ourselves talk. Pretty "radiant". Almost looked like an old bookstore.

Q: I ad the Chernobyl Stout and I thought it was better than the ratings reflected

S: Not bad. I walked up got a beer, not slow, no attitude so I was happy

S: Could not recall how many beers but i thought maybe 8 to 10?? A range of Stouts, IPas and usual suspects. nothing to mindblowing

F: No try

barleywinefiend, May 17, 2011
Photo of DigitalEye
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%

Tugboat brewing doesn't really fit the brew-pub mold. In fact, the best way I can think to describe it would be "brew-dive", a cross between a brew-pub and a dive-bar. But at the same time, that's what gives it much of its charm. It's a hole in the wall with no big flashy sign and no glass-walled brew rooms, it's a dark and cozy library with a small bar that smells like beer and a bit like cigarettes. I love the walls of books and the "stuff" everywhere and I especially like the sparse lighting fixtures with bulbs hanging at the end of long swirling stalks of conduit.

This place isn't trying to impress anybody its simply a low-key place to disappear into and have some decent well-made beers. They specialize in English style ales and the ESB I had was quite nice. Their motto says it all Tugboat: Small, Strong and Hard-Working (or something like that).

DigitalEye, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of plaid75
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%

Located directly across the street from Bailey's.

Upon entering, it is clear that this is a unique place. The decor is an eclectic combination of antiques and garage sale salvages with the random bookshelf and beat up piano.

The bar itself was very small, with a half dozen or so seats.

The beer list was limited, and there were only two house beers pouring at a time. I get the impression that the brewer brews as his schedule permits.

The bartender was very nice and talkative and there was free popcorn at the bar!

plaid75, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of shivtim
3.84/5  rDev +17.4%

This laid back little place is right across the street from Bailey's Taproom.
It's like a small old library in an old woman's estate. Wood shingles, bookshelves, small lamps on the tables. Cozy. The bar is tiny - seating for only 4 or 5 people. They had 6 on tap brewed by them, plus 13 others, mostly from Oregon. Decent selection.
The bartender was friendly and sometimes talkative, but seemed somewhat disinterested. He didn't really know too much about the beers they had available.
Very cheap happy hour beer - $3 pints of anything.
Nice stop, especially when combined with Bailey's.

shivtim, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of gxm99
2.8/5  rDev -14.4%

With Bailey's right across the street, why would I ever go here again?

I went in the afternoon with some friends. 3 of their 6 house taps were offline, so I tried their "Trip Bock", and so did my friend. I would have rejected the beer the server handed my friend, it was so murky. A "Bock", even when brewed as an ale, should be clear. I was happy that mine was just cloudy, and cheap at $3.
I was told this was a 12% beer by the somewhat annoying server. Bullshit. I know what a 12% beer is, and there is no way this was a 12% all malt beer. It *might* have been 8-9%. I also know this beer wasn't tasty. It needed to age at least another month, both to clear up, and to remove the young off-flavors.

We tried all 3 house beers, and all agreed that none were worth the $3 price. I did order a thoroughly tasty Warsteiner Dunkel. An excellent beer, well worth the $1 premium over the house swill.

gxm99, Mar 08, 2010
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Tugboat Brewing Company in Portland, OR
78 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.