Visiting Portland (2019)

Discussion in 'US - West' started by guajolote, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,247) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
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    Made a quick trip to Portland/Vancouver to pick up competition entries and got to visit Fortside, Grains of Wrath, Trap Door, Wayfinder, Hair of the Dog, Modern Times, and pFriem before returning. Highlights were the Cerne Pivo at Wayfinder, HotD Don (and $2.50 small pours of Adam), and the Raspberry Brut IPA at pFriem, though I didn’t have a dud anywhere. We even had good luck with the uhaul, both in finding parking spots and the fact that it escaped being pillaged.
     
  2. Structures

    Structures Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2017 Washington

    Sorry if I'm being "that guy" by asking this, but I'm going to be in Portland this weekend for the release of our collaboration beer with Ruse. My wife and daughter are coming along as well, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me if Wayfinder allows kids. I've been a few times, but honestly can't recall if they do or not. Thank you in advance!
     
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  3. dphi

    dphi Initiate (110) Apr 14, 2013 Oregon

    Yes, I believe they even have a kids menu. Ruse somehow allows kids too despite not serving food.
     
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  4. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,194) May 23, 2011 Washington
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    Last time I was at Wayfinder, I saw a group of high school aged kids in there for lunch.
     
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  5. jpbebeau

    jpbebeau Aspirant (252) Sep 11, 2011 Washington

    Yes, and the kids’ steak frites is a steal, @Structures.
     
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  6. hhughes2008

    hhughes2008 Initiate (91) Oct 25, 2016 Minnesota
    Trader

    My wife and I are looking to visit Portland this summer. What's a good neighborhood to stay in that offers walk-ability to bars, restaurants, etc?
     
  7. blackcloud

    blackcloud Disciple (368) Apr 28, 2012 Alaska
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    Inner Southeast is the generally accepted standard answer for this. Best bang for your buck. That said, it's a very easy city to get around via public transit, etc.
     
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  8. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,201) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Not really much to add to this, but blackcloud's comment about good/easy public transportation is something to keep in mind. Hotel prices have sky rocketed in the summer, especially any place downtown/in the Pearl area. You can save a lot of money by staying out by the airport (for example), and just taking the Max into town from there.

    That being said, if you want that quintessential Pdx neighborhood vibe and experience, then I'd try to stay in the inner se/ne areas, just as blackcloud suggested. Good luck and have fun.
     
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  9. Structures

    Structures Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2017 Washington


    I don't think I've ever spent more than like $12 on Uber rides around Portland, no matter where I've stayed.....it's a magical place.
     
  10. ppilot

    ppilot Initiate (132) Jul 17, 2009 Oregon

    Portland Laws are different in that you can have people under 21 up to a certain time even if you don't serve food. I know it's different in Seattle but wasn't sure if Bellingham was the same boat.
     
  11. Kraz

    Kraz Disciple (350) Feb 12, 2018 Indiana
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    Planning a PNW trip soon and I don't think I have to look for any resources further than this thread. Wanted to drop in and give you props @guajolote
     
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  12. AlexM

    AlexM Zealot (518) Jun 9, 2011 California
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    Noticed Ruse wasn’t on the list ... just wondering why the omission? Simply not list-worthy? Thanks!
     
  13. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,683) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    They were in the "Newcomers" section, which was removed from this edition of "Visiting Portland" because this thread is now yearly instead of quarterly, as mandated by BA.

    Ruse is list-worthy, in my opinion, and probably would have been a candidate for the "Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brew Pubs" section if we were still updating quarterly.

    Well spotted, @AlexM . I'd file this one under "Unintended Consequences."
     
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  14. AlexM

    AlexM Zealot (518) Jun 9, 2011 California
    Trader

    All good ... yeah I tried a couple of Ruse hazies at Festival of Dankness in San Diego last summer and thought they were solid. Will be visiting PDX in June so planning to pay then a visit. CHEERS.
     
  15. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico
    Society

    Made it up to Portland last weekend. Some of my thoughts.

    1) Upright was easily my favorite brewery I visited. I am a sucker for saisons and pilsners, they had some great examples of both.

    2) Wayfinder threw me for a loop. It being co-owned by the owner of Relapse, all their metal themed beers, I was expecting a more metal vibe and aesthetic for the place, kinda like how Baerlic ran with the '90's Cali-punk thing. Cool to hear OM in the bathroom, would have been better if that music was played throughout, IMO. Really, the metal attributes of the places were secondary and if I didn't know the bands the beers were named after, if I wasn't aware that the Relapse guy was an owner of the place, I wouldn't have any idea of the metal connection involved. Seemed more like a more upscale brew-pub. I was definitely hoping for a more laid back, casual experience than it provided, personally. Probably on me for having inaccurate expectations and for what it is, it is a good choice. Really did enjoy the beer, really did enjoy the food, really hated the check (but worth it). Would definitely go back next time in town, but with more appropriate expectations and I'd try to grab a seat at the bar rather than a table.

    3) Baerlic was a unplanned visit and a pleasant surprise. Not a 90's Cali Punk Fan so can't say that side of the brewery worked for me (though to be fair, listening to the guys like Propagandhi, Descendents, Pennywise, etc., is certainly better than other stuff), but their set up is generally the type of brewery/taproom I like to visit. Smaller, laid back, good beer, friendly staff. That or Cascade was probably my favorite taproom I visited. The amount of options available at Cascade was great. If I lived in Portland, Cascade would be a random, once in a while visit but as an out of towner it was definitely a must visit for me. I am not a sour fan, but they do a good job with them.

    4) Hair of the Dog, maybe the first brewery I have been to in ages without any music going on which I can't say I liked. Even bad music can be better than no music I found. Their beers were good but tough to discover a new place and have all the beers of interest be so high in abv, limited what I was able to try. Despite all that, they hit the spot.I'd happily return but plan things out better and do it on a day when they were the only brewery I was visiting, not one amongst others.

    5) Tried going to the Deschutes Pub downtown but that place was absolutely jam packed. At 2 PM. You Portlanders love to get your drinking on early it would appear. Didn't bother sticking around, as the bar had no seating.

    All in all, a nice trip. Been wanting to return to Portland for a long time now, so glad I finally did.
     
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  16. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,201) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Glad you enjoyed your visit. I sympathize with your Deschutes experience, as it mirrors similar experiences I've encountered there as well. From my experience, most of the visitors who stop in, aren't really there for the beer. The pub food there is pretty good, and for the pearl, prices are fairly reasonable. So a lot of out of town visitors will stop in for a meal and maybe a beer, as the Deschutes name is one they're familiar with. I don't think a lot of locals go there, as Deschutes beer is pretty easy to find all over town, good food is easy to find in pdx without an hour plus wait, and most folks don't want to put up with the hassle of dealing with traffic, trying to find parking, and then dealing with a long wait for a table. Next time you visit, it would be my recommendation that you substitute Deschutes for someplace else. Given your eclectic musical tastes, maybe give the Apex a try. I personally hate the music they pipe in, but it sounds like we have very different tastes in music, and that you'll likely love it there (they also have a very good, albeit somewhat pricey, beer selection there).
     
    #56 John_M, Mar 2, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  17. derftron

    derftron Devotee (442) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon


    Thats random about hair of the dog. They pretty much always have blues playing when I visit. And yeah, sounds like Apex would be your jam
     
  18. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico
    Society

    Yeah, I had back up plans when Deschutes fell through. Ended up doing Cascade and Hair of the Dog, which was lined up for afterwards anyways, just opened the door for some extra drinking at Cascade.

    And interesting about my timing with Hair of the Dog and music.

    Typically when visiting other cities, I like to hit up the breweries over bars but I'll keep Apex in mind for my next trip. I just reviewed the tap list and it looked good. I was able to hit a couple concerts while up in Portland, and that was the reason for the this trip (especially the timing of it), so I was able to gett my music fix while I was.
     
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  19. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,683) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Thanks for posting such a detailed review, @denver10 . I enjoy reading peoples' impressions when they visit Portland, good and bad. Glad to hear you had a good time.

    And yeah, I'll toss in another recommendation for Apex. I think you'll like that atmosphere, if your Kyuss avatar is anything to go by.

    Side note: I see you're from New Mexico. I grew up there, and I'm looking forward to visiting my folks in Albuquerque in a couple weeks. (Fresh La Cumbre at the Westside taproom, aw yeah.)
     
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  20. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (333) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    Blues music? I don't recall hearing any music on my last visits. If there is any music it must be played pretty low that you don't even pay attention to it.
     
  21. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico
    Society

    @vurt, I made it over to that new La Cumbre taproom when it first opened. Definitely a bit different in vibe/feel/atmosphere than the original, but the beer is the same....fresh and great. I prefer and go to the original location but if I lived West Side and it was more convenient I might change that pattern up.
     
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  22. derftron

    derftron Devotee (442) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Alan is close with Curtis Salgado. I would hear his stuff or other blues music fairly often when stopping by. Usually at a noticeable volume. But I’m sure they go without music fairly often as well
     
  23. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,683) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Definitely a different vibe, and I do prefer the Girard location. But the new taproom is about a mile and a half from my folks' place, so I can't complain about that kind of convenience.

    Looks like Marble has a new place in Rio Rancho out near Rust Hospital, so I'm looking forward to checking that out too.

    I have another NM question, but I think I'll head over to the SW forum to see if I can dig up some intel...
     
  24. YoungLad

    YoungLad Initiate (151) Apr 27, 2009 Indiana

    Chicago area BA here. Not (unfortunately) visiting Portland, but a buddy is going to be driving back from there in the next week or so, so looking for recs on the best freshies available in cans/bottles. I'm old school, just looking for clean IPAs, in other words, what I think of when I think of Portland beer.

    If there's another thread that covers, let me know. Thx.
     
  25. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico
    Society

    @vurt, any questions about NM feel free to hit me up with a message and I will answer as best I can.
     
  26. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,789) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    6ers of pFriem IPA in cans should meet that need
     
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  27. derftron

    derftron Devotee (442) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    pFriem IPA
    Gigantic the Time warp IPA
    Gigantic Sassy Pony
    Block 15 Fresh pow
    Breakaide Wanderlust
    Deschutes usually has a good classic IPA on the shelves

    For non IPAs that are clean and refreshing

    Heater Allen Pils
    Zoiglhaus Pils
    Wayfinder Hell
    Fort George Optimist pale ale
     
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  28. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,683) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Aside from the excellent recommendation from @jakecattleco , here are a few others which should scratch that old school proper IPA itch:
    • Culmination Phaedrus
    • Ecliptic Starburst
    • Block 15 Sticky Hands (double IPA)
    • Georgetown Bodhizafa
    • Georgetown Lucille
    All of these are easy to find. FWIW, Bodhizafa is pretty much my favorite IPA available in cans these days.

    EDIT: If you find yourself in a place that has Barley Brown's Pallet Jack IPA on tap, and also fills crowlers, DO NOT HESITATE. Grab 2.
     
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  29. derftron

    derftron Devotee (442) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Also, Ex Novo Elliot IPA works
     
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  30. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,789) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    Great recs here, especially some personal favorites, Pallet Jack, Sticky Hands, Bodhi, and Wanderlust. And echo the rec on doubling up on Pallet Jack crowlers!
     
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  31. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,808) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'd rather have no music than metal. But, I don't particularly like metal, either the music or the attached aesthetic. Clearly, our mileages vary. Glad you had a fun trip!
     
  32. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Poo-Bah (6,124) Jan 18, 2007 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Welcome back, and thanks for the detailed report! What shows did you catch while in town? As for your comments, I am starting to think Upright might be in the top 3 breweries in the country. No one does saisons quite as well as they do, definitely not the variety that they have. And the atmosphere in the taproom is special. They clearly take a lot of pride in what they do, but they aren't the least bit pretentious about it.

    As for Wayfinder, I agree, the atmosphere isn't as metal as I'd like, but the quality more than makes up for it. I hope you got to try some of their pilsners, they've brewed a few different fantastic ones.
     
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  33. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico
    Society

    All I had at Wayfinder were their lagers. I had their Helles and their Italian Pilsner. Both were great and I was really tempted to return there the following day to try their other offerings, but too many others places in town I needed to check out. And glad I waited until Sunday to try Upright, because I would have been just as tempted to make a return visit to them as well.

    Hit up OM @ Wonder Ballroom on Sunday, hit up Usnea/Abstracter/Hissing @ Twilight Bar and Cafe on Friday. Both shows were good, OM definitely my favorite of the two. I thought the Wonder Ballroom was a cool venue and Twilight Bar was the "dive-eist" musical joint I have been to in decades.
     
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  34. YoungLad

    YoungLad Initiate (151) Apr 27, 2009 Indiana

    Thanks for the recs! No idea which of these brews I'll end up with, but am definitely looking forward to some great Portland beers.
     
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  35. weaverr

    weaverr Aspirant (203) Jun 10, 2008 California

    Deschutes is always like that, and it's almost all tourists in there. Don't get me wrong, the food and beer are great, but all of us that live here have pretty much the same experience you did. I imagine it's that everyone has heard of Deschutes and so it's on everyone's list as a place to stop in Portland.

    The Relapse guy also owns the Sizzle Pie locations in Portland, which feel a little more "metal" than Wayfinder does. When Wayfinder first opened there really wasn't the slightest hint of a metal influence. It has slowly been creeping in through their branding, so we'll see what happens over the next 5 years with that space. Personally, I'd love if they fully embraced the metal side of things.
     
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  36. rrock44

    rrock44 Devotee (443) Oct 27, 2009 Washington

    The same could said for Bend. Every time I have visited Bend, getting into Deschutes was a no go. Simply went a block over to Bend Brewing. Problem solved.
     
  37. imposterzilla

    imposterzilla Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2019 Washington

    Teote House Cafe had pretty good South American style cuisine with really good selections of craft beer.The food itself is a great draw.
     
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  38. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Meyvn (1,024) Jul 28, 2014 Maine
    Trader

    couple auxilary questions that i couldn’t dig up with quick search:

    - should I hit the Oakshire taproom vs. actual brewery? Looking for some Watershed cans to go, if that matters.

    - cheapest/most available shop for some de Garde bottles?

    - best place for a beer and vista over the Big River?
     
  39. jason_nwx

    jason_nwx Champion (879) Sep 12, 2012 Oregon

    Watershed cans can be found just about anywhere - any grocery store, even. Just be sure to check the dates! As far as de Garde bottles...the only places that MIGHT have them are Tin Bucket or Arch Bridge. de Garde doesn't distribute much at all.
     
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  40. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,201) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader


    I'm not positive of this, but I don't think the Oakshire brewery location is open for tastings or bottle/can purchases any more. So definitely go to the taproom (which as I assume you know, is in downtown Eugene, not Portland).

    For de Garde bottles in the Portland area, I would recommend Arch Bridge. I was there on Sunday and they had Crab, Kriek premier and regular Kriek I believe. They usually have some bottles for onsite consumption only as well. Closer to downtown PDX, I guess I would recommend Tin Bucket. I think they had bottles of Broken Truck 2 and 3 for sale as of a week ago.

    I'm not sure I understand your last question. If you're talking about the Columbia river, then I guess I would recommend Full Sail in Hood River. pFriem and Walking man make better beer and are close to the river, but there's no view to speak of from the tasting room. Thunder Island Brewing is also right on the river, but I've never been there and don't know if there's much of a view (beers I've had from them have been so-so).
     
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