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Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

YOUR RATING = None |
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & BrewpubCascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

7424 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
Portland, Oregon, 97225
United States

(503) 296-0110 | map
www.cascadebrewing.com

Notes:
Hours:
Dining Room:
Mon-Sat 11:30am - 10pm
Sun 11:30am - 9pm

Den:
Mon-Fri 4pm -11pm
Sat 10am - 11pm
Sun 10am - 10pm

Added by sinistersteve

BEER STATS
Beers:
124
Reviews:
2,360
Ratings:
12,906
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
93
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
103
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
4.52%
 
 
Taps:
16
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Floydster
5/5  rDev +19%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I do not even know where to start with this place, Drake and I were complaining about how long of a rail/bus ride it was from where we were staying in Portland but none of that mattered by the time we left here, just to give an overview of what this place is like, the eating area and bar is upstairs, the brewing area is downstairs with a den-style bar outside of it as well, they sell bottles of Cuvee, Apricot, Blackberry, Kriek, Vine, and Sang Royal currently, they have an awesome outdoor area with a bunch of tables, grass area, and barbeque pit, you cannot beat the atmosphere here, I will start off by saying that Ron and Curtis are two of the funnest brewers to be around of all time, as well as being very generous and inviting, we got here around 11:30 am and did not leave until well after 6:00 pm, that is saying a lot for how short of a time slot we had for the trip, this was hands down my favorite beer stop in Oregon, and perhaps ever, I went here with the expectation of trying a new beer or two, not a couple dozen, Ron came out of the brewing area to greet us, then we sat down at a small bar and some of the famed Mouton Rouge, great sour by the way, we started talking and soon realized that his daughter goes to the same very small school Drake and I graduated from, quite the coincidence, we had a few more beers there including a Belgian porter called Bain de Brugge and then Vienna Delight, then we "angered" Ron and he took us into the barrel room where over one hundred and thirty oak beasts currently reside, plans for three hundred total in the future, we grab a snifter and start tasting stuff straight from the wood, one of only a few times I have ever done this anywhere and it was simply awesome, we tried several things that have not been released yet and might not ever will, after that we made our way into the freezing cold storage room where I tried my favorite beer of the whole trip called Gold Yeller, wow that is an amazing sour and will sure wow people when it is released, we had some other great things in there like Nightfall and their Saison as well, later on we went outside and talked about our beer experiences and opened some vintages of his Apricot and Vlad the Impaler which I had enjoyed previously at last year's Strong Ale Festival in Carlsbad, later on we went back inside and had a bottle of a 2005 vintage barleywine that Drake and Ron had grabbed out of their storage room, we had a few more beers and some food, talked some more, and then were on our way, I could not even believe what we were able to see and do here, their beer is absolutely amazing and it frustrates me that it does not get the respect it deserves yet, give it time though as people will start to figure out how good this stuff really is, they do not use brettanomyces in their beer but the lacto they use gets better results in my opinion, it is also easier to work with and allows to experiment more and more, I expect huge things from this brewery in the future and hope I can keep in touch with these guys, I can go on and on and on about how much of a blast IO had at this place, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit

 3,157 characters

Photo of benito
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I'm shocked that this is the first review of this place in over four years. It is, or should be, something of a topic of conversation in the Portland beer world.

Really, Raccoon Lodge should have two separate reviews: one for Raccoon Lodge the brewpub and one for Cascade Brewing, the ambitious side project of 'chief imagineer' Ron Gansberg, whose quiet opposition to the 'hops arms race' in favor of ambitious, barrel-aged sour fruit beers and blends ought to earn him a place alongside Tomme Arthur at the forefront of vanguard American craft brewing. In fact the recent, awkward designation of "Raccoon Lodge/Cascade Brewing" in Portland beer blogs is suggestive of the irreconcilable divide between the two. I'll stake out a guess and claim now: in the coming years, Cascade Brewing will emerge as one of the most buzzed breweries in the US, and they deserve it.

So, Ron's Cascade beers include the (pricey) bottled releases: Cascade Kriek, Cascade Apricot Ale, and Cascade Blackberry. The 2008 Kriek, Apricot, and Cuvee are really exceptional: they carefully balance sour and fruit flavors in a way that is remniscent of New Glarus' ales. Divine, Cascade's new grape ale, is even more exceptional and offers something wholly uncommon.

As for Raccoon Lodge, some of the magic spills over into this oversized McMansion of a brewpub. They've had a Flanders red, sour blueberry wheat, rasberry wheat (on a berliner weisse base), and "double Flanders red" with Bing cherries on from the Cascade line, while also offering more traditional English style ales. The recent winter warmer and autumn IPA were both passable, if unexceptional, as were the blonde bock and (restrained) Cascade IPA. They also keep an amber, a light lager, and a stout on tap.

The brewpub has two floors: the "den" downstairs is a dark sports bar adjacent to the brewery with a larger TV; the upstairs dining room also has its share of TVs as well as lots of wooden booths remniscent of a hunting lodge. Though, as RedDiamond pointed out, this isn't the kind of 'lodge' that you can stay in. The size is a little impersonal and the goofy cartoon-style logo of a raccoon really doesn't fit.

The food is standard pub fare.

I've always had excellent and fast service; the bartenders in particular, have been knowledgable and eager to please. So, it's not that the brewpub is disappointing, it's just that it's so humble. (Maybe that's the point. And Gansberg, when I spoke with him, said that while he was proud of his beer, he knew that "if we weren't humble, we wouldn't have anything." Still. How can such an average place house one of the most creative and ambitious breweries in the country? The dissonance is tough, but I'm happy to ponder it at the brewpub so long as they keep at least one of those crazy Cascade specialties on tap.

 2,820 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3.4/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The Raccoon Lodge is not a lodge as such, for there is no actual lodging. The original plan called for guest suites but apparently local zoning regulations nixed the idea. The "Lodge" itself consists of a restaurant / lounge upstairs and a full service sportsbar downstairs. There's also a balcony overlooking the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, and a secluded back patio and beer tent.

The upstairs restaurant has lodge-like decor with a casual ambiance that is tasteful if you don’t mind lots of dead animals mounted on the walls. Also displayed are photos of boys’ sports teams that the lodge sponsors. The Raccoon either doesn't sponsor girls’ teams or prefers not to exhibit their photos.

It would appear that the owner of the place is a gun enthusiast. That would explain the animal heads and the Smith and Wesson memorabilia. Some people will find the mounted brass placard of the second amendment of questionable taste.

Downstairs is a full wet bar with two pool tables, video gaming machines and a large screen television. An enormous plate-glass wall allows viewing of the adjacent brewery. There’s one real dartboard, one real piano, no neon, and several dysfunctional air filters that fail to clear the air of cigarette smoke. I have it from a reliable source that the owner won’t replace the filters and prefers to pressure wash them at infrequent intervals.

I happened to have met a patron of the Raccoon who does occasional work for them. He gave me a complete tour of the brewing facility and spoke very highly of the brewer, a man named Ron Gansberg. To hear my cohort tell it, Mr. Gansberg is quite a renaissance man. He not only brews beer but designs and engineers brewing apparatus. He also does all the on-site welding for which I can attest he possesses considerable skill. I'm also told that Gansberg used to make wine, speaks three or four different languages, and plays a toe-tapping mandolin.

So, how is the beer? Most of the beer at the Raccoon Lodge is passable but not exciting. Mr. Gansberg has a passion for occasional excursions into the territory of strong, well-aged, and barrel-conditioned beers of bold dimensions and ambitious character. These efforts are not always successful, but I can’t help but admire their intrepid determinations. It’s like a quarterback who’s not afraid to throw deep: greater risk, greater drama, and occasional payoff. I had a fine cask conditioned imperial IPA on one occasion, but most other beers failed to stir my imagination. The beer lines at Raccoon must stretch at least eighty feet from the cold storage room to the tap. Eighty feet can make a strong beer tired. The drinker’s best bet is one of the rotating seasonals. As for food, the wings I had were greasy but I’m sure the restaurant has more appetizing offerings.

 2,818 characters

Photo of Thrasher
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Another good Portland brewpub, this one is on Hwy 10 just before you hit Beaverton. A large restaurant area upstairs gives the "lodge" its name, with high beamed ceilings, fireplace, etc. Beers are all good although none jumped out as truly excellent. They veer toward the light and drinkable end of the spectrum, rather than weighty, high-flavor high-octane superbeers. 5 regular beers on tap and 1 seasonal. Not a bad beer among the selection. There is a "den" downstairs, more of a regular bar with video gambling etc., with windows looking down on the rather spacious brewing facilities. Service is good and friendly. Food ranges from regular pub grub to more adventurous upscale food, all tasty. The real novelty on the menu is the fries: 5 kinds with 7 different dipping sauces. Part of the Raleigh Hills beer trifecta: you can hit this spot on a crawl that also makes stops at Dublin Pub and Raleigh Hills McMenamins.

 924 characters

Photo of Elemental
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is nice. Its got some really good beer like their Celtic Copper. The atmosphere is nice, I think its non-smoking or at least I haven't noticed anyone smoking there in the bar/eating area. Its not too loud and has a great atmosphere with a lodge type feel. Although there are animal heads on the walls, so if you are squimish about that sort of thing I wouldn't suggest going. There is also some pool tables and they often have live music outside along with a BBQ in the summer.
Bottom line: Good brews and good eats

 528 characters

Photo of freed
3.95/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Great fries and great beer. Hard to ask for much more. The upstairs resturaunt is quite nice and really give the "lodge" feeling they were going for. Downstairs is a small room with pool, a TV, bar, and a wall of glass overlooking the brewing equipment. This has been a great place to go with non-drinkers as well.

 314 characters

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Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub in Portland, OR
93 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.
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