SE Portland

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by mporter13, May 7, 2013.

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  1. mporter13

    mporter13 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    So I'm going to finally be moving into SE Portland this next week and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for under-the-radar kinds of beer spots to hit in the neighborhood. I'm pretty familiar with the breweries around there and I'm already sold on APEX and Beermongers. What hidden gems does the SE have to offer?
  2. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Honestly, it's hard to go wrong in SE. Virtually every neighborhood spot has good beer (not always great or rare or geeky, but good). What area specifically will you be in?
  3. squaremile

    squaremile Disciple (342) Aug 25, 2007 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Side St. comes to mind
  4. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    That was my reaction as well. Cascade Barrelroom, lucky lab, belmont station, hub, horsebrass, apex, beermongers, Laurelwood out in Sellwood, even a couple of Mcm's much more does the OP need? :-)
  5. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    "Hidden gems"? I dunno... which part of SE are you talking about?

    I guess I'll offer up Victory Bar because they have a very good beerlist and an awesome spätzl (and happy hour)
    and the Hawthorne Fred Meyer because they possibly have the best beer selection of any 'big box' grocery store in town. Also add Woodstock Deli for their stashes of vintage beers. And if you want to watch a game and get a good beer: Claudia's on SE Hawthorne (johnm: I'm very disappointed in you for not mentioning this :slight_smile:) .
  6. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (290) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    These aren't necessarily "beer bars" (at least not by PDX standards), but here's a few of my favorite places in my neighborhood to hit up with friends who are more concerned with having fun than having an amazing selection.

    The Tanker: 15-20 taps, the largest selection of tallboy cans in town, several big screen TVs, skeeball, pinball, and a fancy 4 player pacman game.

    Watertrough Saloon: 6 taps, cheap well drinks, 4 pool tables, 2 dart boards, 2 pinball machines, all wrapped up in a beat up "70's rec room" vibe.

    Bar of the Gods: 15 taps, tasty food, 3 pinball machines, a couple pool tables, several big screens, and an enclosed outdoor smoking patio in back.

    Angelo's: 25 taps (give or take), foosball, a couple pool tables, a couple pinball machines, Big Buck Hunter,and some of the best people watching on Hawthorne.

    Zach's Shack: 6 taps, a couple TV's, a free sit down video game thing filled with retro atari and arcade games,

    The Triple Nickel: 30ish taps, several pool tables, a couple dart boards, 3 pinball machines, and a gigantic jenga set made from 2x4s.
    RedMedicine and msubulldog25 like this.
  7. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2009 Oregon

    Seems like this on is pretty locked down. I would recommend the White Owl Social Club as well. Happy hour is $2 draughts and Boneyard Hop Venom is on quite often. If you are into Belgians, Bazi is awesome!
  8. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'm not entirely sure that's true, as SE is a big place and we still have no idea where the OP is actually moving to...
  9. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    :-) Sadly, I pretty much only make it over there during football season now (Claudia's). There are just way too many other watering holes to visit in that part of town (can't believe no one mentioned Green Dragon, even if it IS a Rogue owned establishment now), and so I rarely make it over there any other time. I'm embarrassed to admit that I forgot all about it.
  10. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I occasionally give Green Dragon another chance (for example, when I discover CBH is unexpectedly closed for a private party). Honestly these days the service sucks, the food sucks, and while the tap list is large it's shockingly boring most of the time. The patio is pretty nice, though.
  11. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (250) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    A few not-known-as-beer-geek places I've enjoyed in the SE are:

    * Roadside Attraction - eclectic, funky atmosphere. Good tap list. Nice patio with fire pit.
    * B-Side Tavern - just a straight-up dive bar with a decent beer list and a patio. Plus, Sizzle Pie is right next door (who also has a good beer list).
    * C-Bar - very decent beer list and tons of pinball machines.
    * Clinton Street Pub - another straight-up dive with a good beer list. Dark, grungy, friendly. Pool table.
    * Union Jack's - good beer list. Good strippers. Particularly friendly too if you take a mixed guy/girl group (in my experience, anyway).

    I also occasionally like the patio at the Doug Fir if it's not super crowded, but the beer list there is just barely passable, IMO.
  12. mporter13

    mporter13 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    Wow, thanks guys! Looks like I have some good times ahead of me. I hadn't even heard of so many of these places, but I'll definitely check them out.
  13. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    I haven't been in nearly a year now, but each time I go, I end up being surprised by the quality. Maybe it has to do with expectations. Ever since Rogue took the place over, I've come to expect the worst (I avoid the Rogue alehouse in the Pearl like the plague). Granted, the large selection is often times pretty mundane, but they seem to have a better than average selection of imports, and invariably I'll find at least a couple of craft options that interest me. The last couple of times I stopped by, I expected to be disappointed, but ended up grudingly acknowledging that it wasn't all that bad after all.

    As for food, I'd be curious to know what you're comparing GD to. I'll agree that HUB and HOTD generally have better food, but in comparison to Belmont Station (when they still served food), Horsebrass, Lucky Lab, Laurelwood and the Casecade Barrel House... you really think GD's food is that much worse?

    Service at the GD just strikes me as distracted and disinterested. It's probably the one thing that keeps me away from the place.

    The problem I have with GD, is that they just aren't on my radar. If I want a large craft selection, then I typically go to Apex, Horsebrass or Belmont Station. Good food is EASY to find in PDX, so that doesn't even figure into my decision making process. If I want a good import selection, or if I'm in the mood for something "belgianesque," I tend to go to HOTD or Apex. If I want something unusual and/or novel, then I go to the CBH.

    If I lived in the neighborhood around there, I'd probably stop by all the time (I always get the impression that they have a pretty loyal following of locals who dirnk there all the time). However, coming up from West Linn, I almost always skip over GD in favor of HOTD, Apex, the Horse Brass and Belmont Station. Most times, I forget that GD is even there.
  14. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Well, here's the thing(s):

    a) In Portland you don't have to go to a beer geek destination to get good beer, so saying we can only compare to other beer destinations seems odd, from my perspective. (I'm also a foodie, and I like wine and cocktails too, FWIW.)

    b) The menu went steadily downhill at GD. When they opened it was much better, and each menu redesign has gotten worse.

    c) Among beer destinations, the food is better at HOTD, Deschutes, Roscoes (particularly if you get the sushi from their sister restaurant next good), Hophouse, Cheese Bar, Breakside, Saraveza (admittedly you need to be in the mood for a pastie), Lardo, Victory, Eastburn. The question ought to be where is the food worse? (Answer: Horsebrass and SE Lucky Lab. (Pizza serving Lucky Lab locations are okay, and I think we should just pretend Belmont Station never served food.))

    I do live in the neighborhood, and I almost never go there.

    As far as being "on the radar", for reasons I don't understand GD never took to the social media scene the way that most of the other beer bars in town did. I can't imagine they don't suffer as a result. Why would I take a chance when Apex, Bailey's, Beermongers, Saraveza, Cascade all have their taplists online or tweet / FB about them regularly?
    msubulldog25 likes this.
  15. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    The food situation you alluded to was pretty mucy my point as well. I don't personally think the GD food is all that bad, but I also consider the point to be largely moot. As I mentioned, good food is easy to find in PDX, so whether it's good, bad or nonexistent, that genereally isn't a factor in determining what makes a good beer bar. At least not IMHO (I only mentioned it, because you said it was bad).

    The last point you made hits nail on the head as far as I'm concerned as well. I happen to think GD generally has a pretty good beer seleciton, but like you, I want to know in advance what's on offer before deciding where I want to go. Because they don't post their list (I keep on checking back periodically, but there's nothing there... on their site or on their facebook account), the only time I'm willing to stop by is when there is nothing on the "on-line" list at the Horse Brass, Cascade, Concordia alehouse, Bailey's, Apex or Belmont Station that I want to drink. You can probably guess how often that happens. They have to be aware that this sets them apart (and not in a good way), yet they continue not to post their list (and this has been going on for years now). I just don't get it.
  16. honkduh

    honkduh Aspirant (262) Jun 2, 2011 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I like beer bars that can't be bothered to put prices on their taplist & bottles. It's super fun guessing how much something cost.
  17. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (290) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'd like that too. If only the OLCC had softened their stance on the definition of "having food available" before we opened up. Had we been able to pair up with a food cart from the beginning it would have saved so many headaches over the last 6 years.

    That said, I think Wade and Holly did a great job with the limited space and resources they had available. I mean how much can you really do with a microwave, a toaster oven, and a soup warmer?

    Perhaps that's them just being "Rogues", or maybe they are busy enough on a regular basis that they don't give a shit. If Apex's tap list wasn't automatically fed straight to their website I doubt they'd bother to manually update it either.
  18. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Aspirant (237) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I think this is exactly what OP was looking for. Nice post and informative/helpful for me even having been in SE Portland for almost two years.
  19. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    "or maybe they are busy enough on a regular basis that they don't give a shit"

    Maybe GD is the exception, but pretty much every place I've ever been, no matter how busy they are, they still want to do better (increase business). So I tend to think that's probably not a factor. However, your other comment about them just wanting to be "Rogue-like," more than likely hits the nail on the head. Still seems kind of dumb to me, but whatever... plenty of other options around that part of SE PDX if they don't want my business.
  20. mporter13

    mporter13 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for putting that work in!
  21. mporter13

    mporter13 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Oregon

    That's a good point, its a pretty huge area. I'll be moving into Ladd's Addition, so I'll be in a fairly central spot, which I'm looking forward to.
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