Upright Brewing Company

Upright Brewing CompanyUpright Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar

240 N Broadway St, Suite 002
Portland, Oregon, 97227
United States

(503) 735-5337 | map

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).

Added by msubulldog25 on 04-22-2009

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 95
Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
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).

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of squaremile
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
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".

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Photo of spointon
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I visited the Upright tasting room on 3/26/2010 while in Portland on business.

First of all, I enjoyed this place tremendously! The tasting room is basically the corner of the brewery, and the brewery is in the basement of an old brick building. Thus, the whole thing reminded me of going to college kegger parties in the basements of rental houses just off campus. But I digress...

There were a couple picnic tables and some folding chairs, but not nearly enough seating to accomodate the people who showed up for the tasting room's limited hours. Many people just stood around, but that added to the "party" atmosphere.

We got a couple of beer sampler trays, which included everything they had on tap at the time. They also had 750s of some of their other beers, t-shits, etc available for sale as well.

The beers were innovative and well made. I can't say I loved them all, but I could tell someone with skill and care is making those beers. The standouts for me were the saison and the oddly named turkey on rye.

Prices were fair (cheap) and the smell of hops being added to whatever they were brewing in the brewhouse that day added just the right vibe to the whole operation. Really a fun experience and one I would repeat often if I had the opportunity.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.16/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place had a fun little feel to it. The wife and I entered from the street and rode the elevator down to the basement. There were nine beers on tap and we were able to try tasters of them all for $9. A full glass was $2 or $3 depending on what I got. I also picked up a bottle of the Oyster Stout to go for $8. I didn't know it at the time but my twitter update from them said that Portland's Mayor Sam Adams (yes that is his real name), was there the same night.

High quality beer, exceptional value, and a fun happy hour. Check this place out for some terrific saisons.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of jdense
4.36/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited several times, most recently last weekend.

Located in the basement of a historic building just north of the Memorial Coliseum/Rose Garden complex, Upright Brewing is one of the newest members of the Beervana beer scene. Owner and brewmaster Alex Ganum honed his craft at Ommegang, so his devotion to Farmhouse style ales should be no surprise.

The tasting room, open weekends 1-6 pm and approximately two hours before home Trailblazer games, has attracted a devoted following in its short history. Several handmade tables and benches, along with barrels turned into tables, make for a funky and cool atmosphere among the numerous barrel aging beers. Six regular taps, featuring the base offerings (Four, Five, Six, Seven) and two rotating handles, have been recently supplemented by a small 3-tap cold box. Recent seasonals and one-offs on tap last weekend included Congo Pale Ale, a pepper-infused Four, and a home brewed imperial stout. All the beers are of outstanding quality, and each has its own devoted fans.

The beers are a particular good value, with $2 12 oz. pours of the regular offerings and $3 for the seasonals. A six-pour of 4 oz. samples is an exceptionally good value at $5. Better yet, bottles and growler fills are available and a good value compared to some of PDX bottle shops. I scored a vertical of all the base beers and a couple of bottles of Billy the Mountain for my cellar last trip.

There isn't much food to speak of, though there are usually some nice bread plates to cleanse your palate between beers. There is a small meat plate available, but with the lack of a kitchen, not much in the way of food offerings.

Service is always good and especially friendly, Alex is usually on premises, ready to answer any questions and greet you with a smile.

The packed premises last weekend testify that the Upright tasting room is no longer a secret. With beer of this high quality, the sky is the limit for Upright. Highly recommended.

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Upright Brewing Company in Portland, OR
3.95 out of 5 based on 4,311 ratings.
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