Visiting Portland - Winter 2017/18 update

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by guajolote, Dec 16, 2017.

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  1. shelby415

    shelby415 Crusader (747) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    Some places definitely put them off and on. Apex, for instance, has this rare Buckwheat stout from Firestone Walker they like to try to charge $10 per 6 oz for and they've been putting it on a couple times a year for the last two or three years. I assume this doesn't adversely affect the beer.

    My question: does "aging" beer in kegs appreciably change them, or are you really comparing vintages rather than the aging process?
     
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  2. vurt

    vurt Savant (943) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
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  3. sharpski

    sharpski Champion (817) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
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    I believe it does, taking into account 3 factors vs. bottle aging at home: 1) temperature, kegs almost always refrigerated vs. cellar/closet temp so the “aging” may be less pronounced 2) oxygen ingress over time is presumably less via keg than cork or bottlecap 3) volume, magnums and other large format bottles are presumed to age “better”, at least partially due to oxidation issues.

    Maybe 3) is just a subset of 2), and maybe I’m fooling myself about all 3 points, but my opinion of a beer bar raises when I learn they’ve had the patience to hold onto a desirable keg for lengths of time.
     
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  4. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    I think it does, at least based on my own experience.

    Yesterday, I ended up stopping by Roscoe's to sample all the special "vintage" beers they had available. While you could make a case for the Yeti and Abyss differences resulting from different vintage recipes or barrel aging, I don't think you could make that argument for the 120 minute, the Sucaba or the Supplication. I've had the 2013 Sucaba in the past and was expecting it to be the best beer I would try last night. Instead it was the worst. The beer had completely fallen apart and was a hot, boozy mess. I found it to be undrinkable now. The 2011 120 minute had evolved into a sweet boozy barleywine, without even a hint of the hop profile this beer has when it's young. If anything the 2011 Supplication was an even bigger disappointment. The beer had completely faded, with almost no barrel age or funk character appreciable. Based on my experience last night, I would highly recommend that no one age their bottles of supplication (at least not for this long).

    Outside of the 2011 Abyss, I didn't try a beer last night where I felt the extended aging had improved the beer.

    In the past I've had older kegs of both PtE and Blue Dot, and both of those beers had clearly evolved with extended aging (the PtE keg was just under 2 years old, and the Blue Dot just over a year). While both beers were still enjoyable and interesting to try, both were quite different from what these two beers taste like young.

    I also was fortunate enough to try some 10 year old Bigfoot out of a keg when I lived in Baltimore. The beer was nothing like the same beer fresh out of a keg.
     
  5. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    This is my understanding as well.

    Back in the day, I just assumed that if I saw an older, vintage keg on tap, it was because the bar or restaurant had simply kept the "keg in the back" somewhere. While I assume that likely does still happen on occasion, I think it's actually fairly rare. As Terry has alluded to, most places simply don't have the available space to hold a keg for a couple of years, and likely would prefer not to go to the trouble of keeping an older keg around if they don't have to.. I think increasingly distributors will hold onto a keg for a few years, based on their understanding of their clientele. In PDX or Seattle, I would assume that most distributors see little risk in holding onto a keg for a few years, because they know there will be a market for them. I see places with older, vintage kegs all the time here in PDX, so there's clearly an interest and demand for these beers. I think a lot of breweries also hold onto "vintage" beer, which they periodically ship to different accounts for special occasions (Stone and Sierra Nevada come to mind). I would assume that generally speaking, breweries and distributors are much more likely to have the space to keep and store vintage kegs, as well as the inclination.
     
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  6. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    Doesn't Crux ever do this with their Tough Love beer? I see older vintages of TL from time to time here in PDX (Tin Bucket had 3 or 4 different vintages on tap not so long ago), so would assume you see them up in Bend from time to time as well.
     
  7. sharpski

    sharpski Champion (817) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
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    I don’t recall seeing anything more than the previous year’s vintage at time of a new vintage’s release, and only at the pub, but I don’t track brewery/brewpub taplists as closely as beer bars/growler fill stations so I could be missing it. In general, I’d say Crux is underrepresented around town on draft; maybe they just prefer to incentivize visiting their pub.
     
  8. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Aspirant (251) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    Their Pilsner and Kolsch are now being distributed to Portland on a regular basis, with more varieties to follow in the summer.
     
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  9. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Im sure this has been posted elsewhere in this forum, but Upright went through a remodel/upgrade within the last few months and it came out great. still has the unique/funky basement vibe, but a lot more comfortable. and now they take CARDS!
     
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  10. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (281) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    I'll add that when I do the spring/summer update, which will be sometime before summer starts, probably.

    Also, what's the consensus on Modern Times? Should they go in the "must-visit" list? The "other highly recommended" list? Is it too soon to tell? I personally feel they've come out of the gates among the best breweries in Portland, but I strive to make this guide more of a collective thing than about my personal preferences. Maybe we should bring back the "newcomers" section & add MT, Little Beast, and Von Ebert? Others?

    Fat Head's will be coming off the list, and I'll update the airport section with the new (or at least under construction) Deschutes/HUB locations.
     
  11. jpbebeau

    jpbebeau Aspirant (298) Sep 11, 2011 Washington

    I know last time I visited Portland a couple months ago I considered visiting Modern Times a must. Wasn't really disappointed, either.

    Wayfinder going on the list?
     
  12. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon


    went there last friday. Had a good time. Beer was very good ( a little spendy) and the service was solid. Its in a great location to migrate to other beer spots.

    Not sure I would put in in the "must visit" category, as its not a uniquely Portland type of place. But it certainly gets a high recommendation from me.

    On another side note..... Hit the new Green Dragon last Friday as well. the new outdoor remodel is FANTASTIC. this will be a must-visit place in the summer time. Fire pits, cornhole, TONS of tables, lots of space. Very impressed with it
     
  13. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    Pretty much sums up my opinion as well in a nutshell. I personally wouldn't include it in the "must visit" category, but can understand how others might feel differently.
     
  14. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (923) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    I wish MT had a little outdoor seating, otherwise it's a fine place to visit. The food I had was good. It also might be the only place around here offering Shacksbury cider (wondering if that's permanent??). That saison/cider collab is delicious.
     
  15. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    Don't quote me on this, but I think I heard that when they finally complete the build out, it sounded like there will be some outdoor seating (in the upstairs facility they're planning I think).
     
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  16. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Disciple (308) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    Phase 2 will include a rooftop bar along with a full restaurant and coffee roasting set up.
     
  17. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,788) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    PNC? If so, is there any pattern to when they have it pouring? Love that beer
     
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  18. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    If there's a pattern to anything Apex does, I haven't figured it out yet. You could try calling them and asking (IMHO, the owner there is an ass, but some of the bartenders are pretty cool), but I can't say I'm overly optimistic you'll get any useful information.
     
  19. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    they put in on a few times throughout the year. usually there is a Firestone event that comes through, and APEX has a tight relationship with them so they will put PNC on for that.

    the last 3-4 years, they put it on tap for their Days of Darkness event that spans 5 or 6 days. I think this is usually in November. They also put on a vertical of Parabola for this..

    also, if you dont mind paying a huge markup, they have bottles of PNC for sale. at this point I think they are probably about $70 or more
     
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  20. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,788) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    Ouch. I thought bottles at $30 at Falling Rock in Denver was steep, but that's Fn crazy.
     
  21. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    A lot of their bottle mark-ups are like that. They have a sizeable bottle/cans for sale book, and their selection is huge and impressive. That being said, I've never yet bought anything from the book. The price tag always cures any interest I have in buying anything from it.

    That being said, the Days of Darkness event @derftron referenced is pretty outstanding, and is the one time out of the year I'll still head over to the Apex. That would probably be the best time to swing by, if you really feel a strong need for PNC. Assuming they still have the keg in the back, I would expect that they'll put it back on then.
     
    #141 John_M, Apr 13, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  22. TheRealDBCooper

    TheRealDBCooper Aspirant (217) Mar 17, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

    Finally cards! I'll stop by more often now that I don't need to do a cash check before walking through the door.
     
  23. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon


    yeah, a year after it was released, APEX already marked em up $10. Me and a buddy split a bottle for $30 at thanksgiving. it instantly became one of my all-time favs. fast forward 4 years and now they are at least $50-$60.

    APEX has no shame with their markup game.

    so i basically wait and have a pour every November.
     
  24. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,098) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
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    You could say that about some of their draft prices as well.
     
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  25. BeerandLoathing

    BeerandLoathing Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Oregon

    Indeed...
     
  26. anteater

    anteater Champion (807) Sep 10, 2012 Oregon

    Is there actually a new Green Dragon, or are you talking about Rogue?
     
  27. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon


    Rogue.
     
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  28. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (281) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Hard pass.
     
  29. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Something against the company? Because they probably have 25-30 non-Rogue beers on tap and the venue was super nice
     
  30. BeerandLoathing

    BeerandLoathing Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2011 Oregon

    I mean I've been working in the craft industry here in Portland now for 4 years. I have never been personally slighted or inconvenienced by Rogue as a company, but damn if I haven't heard some industry horror stories about how their employees are treated.

    Also, it's worth noting the distinct history surrounding that location. It went from being known as the Green Dragon when it opened, to the "Green Drama" after the Rogue purchase. Still, I'm not beyond checking out their new outdoor patio during the summer. I always thought that location was underutilized considering its prime location to so many other craft beer spots and restaurants.
     
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  31. Brown120

    Brown120 Disciple (335) Dec 5, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Just came back from PDX from Pittsburgh, PA. The list was very helpful. I would add Modern Times as a must and take off Deschutes as a must. I forgot how great Hair of the Dog can be. Some of those vintage bottles were banging.
     
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  32. derftron

    derftron Disciple (301) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    huh. interesting. Ive never heard anything about them, but I also dont work in the industry so I really dont know all that much about how any brewery operates. I know that most of their beer sucks, but thats about it
     
  33. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,325) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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  34. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (281) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    I've been to several Rogue locations (including the former Green Dragon), and frankly, I've never had a good experience. In every case, the employees have either been surly, aloof, or completely out of their element. I tend to stay away from places where the customer is treated as an inconvenience. Plus, their beer and food are overpriced and average at best. There are just much better places to spend my money.
     
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  35. shelby415

    shelby415 Crusader (747) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    Looks like they have PNC on tap today. $10 per 6 oz pour. They have Cantillon on at that price too.
     
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  36. 66jzmstr

    66jzmstr Devotee (451) Jul 17, 2005 Washington
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    Super Covert Fermented Beverage Extraction Mission!

    I'll be in Vancouver, WA this Thursday and Friday for a conference, and I have one to two hours midday Friday to do a beer sweep - take-home, mainly - before returning to the Seattle area. I'm mainly on the hunt for Block 15 (IPAs, saisons, sours), Upright (anything), and de Garde (anything), but I'm also up for suggestions if there's been a recent, radar-worthy release. Which bottle shops might best cover those? Belmont? Saraveza? Tin Bucket? I might have a chance to actually go to Upright on Thursday night (if I remember my Upright location secret decoder ring), but the chances are small.

    Regarding Grape Lotion, has their new facility slaked the hype-thirst? More succinctly, if I tried to pick up a crowler or two, should I need not apply sans pack of early-camping mules, given I can't make it into the city until 1pm or so?

    A future "thanks" to any who oblige!
     
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  37. weaverr

    weaverr Initiate (136) Jun 10, 2008 Oregon

    When I've gone during the week before 5, they almost always have crowlers available. Now if it's some one-off special thing, that screws with the system. They've only done one can release at the new brewery so far and it seemed to go fine. I didn't attend, but the thread suggested they didn't sell out and the line moved quickly.
     
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  38. 66jzmstr

    66jzmstr Devotee (451) Jul 17, 2005 Washington
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    Thanks, @weaverr ! To clarify, so far, crowlers are only at the old location, and cans (though most likely sold out by now?) are just at the new location: Does that sound about right?
     
  39. beefandbean22

    beefandbean22 Aspirant (249) Oct 15, 2008 Washington

    Based on their Instagram, they still have 4 packs available, plus Super Ripe crowlers today at their pub on Alberta.
     
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  40. weaverr

    weaverr Initiate (136) Jun 10, 2008 Oregon

    The new brewery isn't open yet. Well, it's open as in they're brewing, but their pub is still under construction. it's an industrial brewery at this point. They've done one can release there. If you want to buy beer, you are almost definitely going to Alberta unless you found a can release event on their Facebook page.
     
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