Tugboat Brewing Company

Tugboat Brewing CompanyTugboat Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

711 SW Ankeny St
Portland, Oregon, 97205
United States

(503) 226-2508 | map

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 60
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.03/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

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.

 1,026 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of puck1225
4.06/5  rDev +21.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

I loved this place. Pleasantly dark and cozy, with a huge selection of good book lining the wall near the bar. The selection is limited but good quality. The afternoon I was there, there were only two Tugboat brews on offer, but the IPA I had was great. Food was good and the service was comfortably grumpy but efficient. Recommended!

 334 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
1.93/5  rDev -42%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 1.25 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.25

I haven't written a review in a while but I feel the need to warn people:
This place is a pit.

I was originally attracted by the idea of an English ale specialist in a city of hop bombs.
And there is some charm in the scruffy interior, a sort of "Old Portland" unreconstructed dive bar, even if it looks nothing like an actual English pub.

But first looks is as good as it gets.
Their own beers are not just uninspired but actually flawed: papery staleness, mineral tang that suggests bad water chemistry, and phenolic notes that can come from high ferment temps. (Check the listings: only one that's rated >3.7 out of about a dozen beers.)
Food is perfunctory. Pot-stickers were OK but likely packaged, nachos were only a notch above what you'd get at a Blazers game.
And service is somewhere between gruff and alienating. Don't try asking about hop varieties. They can't do itemized receipts because their cash register is too old, but I got grief from the bartender for asking!?

I'd be fine with all this from a neigbhorhood spot in, say, Buffalo.
But smack in the center of Portland, with so many amazing options for beer, food, and service, there's just no excuse.

 1,187 characters

Photo of Chris-1911
3.79/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of tim007007
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Photo of brbrocc
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Photo of Geoffq
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of brewtalthrone
4.64/5  rDev +39.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Step into this place across the street from Bailey's and it seems as if time has stopped. The first thing you're gonna notice is the books on the shelves, lots of books; and plenty of board games (it's a Portland thing, evidently). This is a place that certain of us beer geeks revel in - a dark'n'dank type of atmosphere, the kind of place where you feel like you are stepping away from reality (ironically, the world-famous Horse Brass pub has that same vibe). Service was friendly, I was there alone, but didn't feel "alone". I had some food, though I don't remember what; nevertheless it was delivered quick & was very good I do remember. The crown jewel was the IPA, one of the best (if not THE best) IPA in Portland. Off the beaten path, though yet still in downtown, this would definitely be considered a hidden gem in Portland. Beercationers in Portland would be well-advised to drop by.

 895 characters

Photo of Germanstylefan7896
3.99/5  rDev +19.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Very fun small place with great beer.

37 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

I have a feeling this little brewing isn't getting caught up in the craft beer "revolution", and it seems just fine. A small place, not blinding lights, cozy, book shelves, nice old-style pub going on. Only 5 house beers on tap, but several guests and ciders. The atmosphere itself would make me a regular....if'n I didn't live in Denver.
Great music. I mean Music, none of that new-age crud. Music that was played and recorded by musicians. Nice little place off the radar it seems

 485 characters

Photo of kamikazeokami
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of italianstallion
3.34/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

Photo of HopHead84
1.5/5  rDev -55%

Photo of JC271
2.3/5  rDev -30.9%

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

110 characters

Photo of anteater
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of South2NW
2/5  rDev -39.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 1

Photo of dunix
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of atpca
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of SickBrew
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Quentin33
4.68/5  rDev +40.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

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.

 709 characters

Photo of slavall
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of jtosch
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Gig2828
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Hobbit
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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Tugboat Brewing Company in Portland, OR
3.56 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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