Thursday, December 29, 2011

Breakside Brewery

820 NE Dekum St.
Portland, OR 97211

First night in Portland and I explored a new brewery, I am a very lucky girl.  I know I've said this before, but it's very hard being away from Portland when all these new breweries are popping up.  When I moved away from Portland in 2009 I had been to every brewery in Beertown, now I can't keep up - even with multiple vacations south every year. 

Mr. Peter Price picked me up from my lovely airport hotel.  (I'm in town for my job with the Copper River Salmon Association.)  My family lives in Southwest and Jonah's in Southeast, therefore accessing Portland from the Northeast made a handful of breweries much more accessible.  In no time, Peter and I were in the Woodlawn district, walking up to the brewery.  The first thing I noticed was the architecture; I am a BIG FAN of the melding of industrial and organic, a mix of metal and wood.  The second was that Breakside Brewery is the essence of a neighborhood brewery.  Man I wish I had a neighborhood brewery!

Peter and I sat outside on one of the many picnic tables.  They had the garage doors open, letting the warm fall air into the building.  We started with an IPA and the Dark Mild.  I won this round, the Dark Mild was DELICIOUS: light, crisp and full flavored - I could drink a hundred of these beers.  The IPA is no slouch though; maybe the opposite of the Dark Mild, it's a big beer with dramatic flavoring.  Second round was the Oatmeal Stout for Peter and the Farmhouse Golden for me; Peter won this round.  The Oatmeal Stout had a royal flush of flavors: coffee, chocolate, and a smokiness.  The Farmhouse Golden was a little intense for me; I'm still working on my saison knowledge. 

When I first came into the brewery I questioned the bartender about the beers on tap to figure out my game plan.  After two beers, I think the bartender was worried we weren't going to get to all his suggestions - he brought us out samples of the Aztec and the Dry Stout.  Ah!  These were the best beers we had!  Both of these beers are on their VERY short year-round list so count yourself lucky when you visit Breakside.  When I visited in October, the brewery was a year and a few months old and had already produced 37 beers.  The BEERS page of their website is by far the most extensive section with tabs for YEAR ROUND, SEASONAL, BEERS OF THE PAST, UPCOMING RELEASES, and most excitedly, there's a tab for the current beers on tap.  Usually that wouldn't be big news, but the list changes so often the tab is a blog, less than a week in between the posts. 
Here's what it looked like the day I visited:

I wonder what it will look like when I visit next!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

With Love, The Hyatt PDX

There's the bomber of Na Zdravi I thought I brought home for Jonah!  I forgot I couldn't wait until I got back to Alaska.  Amy and I barely survived the long drive to Portland, so we celebrate with some crisp brews and a game of cribbage!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Continuing on the Oregon Brew Crawl

Oh my god, it is taking me FOREVER to tell you about my trip to Oregon.  Hopefully I will finish before I visit Beertown again in February!  I could give you a hundred reasons why it’s been 22 days since I last posted, but nobody really cares about the reasons.  So, here I am!  I’m back.  Plus, I’m working on a surprise for all of you who have been putting up with my flakiness.
Anywho….  Amy and I left Southern Oregon Brewing with hopes to camp on the coast in Crescent City.  Yet again, our plans didn’t turn out the way we hoped.  We enjoyed our drive to the Northern California coastline via Highway 199, stopping at Kate's to use the bathroom, which is only for paying customers... 2 famous Kate's Bloody Marys please!  Probably one of the best Bloody Marys I have ever had (which reminds me, I need to add "invent my perfect Bloody Mary mix" to my bucket list.)  We were offered seats at the bar and conversation quickly sparked with the request to see my [Alaskan] driver license.  This is one of the best conversation starters ever, people always have questions about Alaska and what it's like to live there.  Have trouble getting to know people?  Totally get a fake I.D. or move to Alaska, we're pretty friendly up here.  Amy earned high marks when a fellow patron was super bummed Kate ran out of salsa, she bolted out to the truck and produced the container we had been living off for the last two days.  After our Bloody Marys, it was time to go, we needed to make it to Crescent City before dark to set up camp.

Swing and a miss...  this is the view of the sunset that welcomed us to Crescent City.  (And the best photo I got, too bad Jonah's not on the trip.)  We drove around the area, hungry and grumpy, and could only find closed campgrounds.  Finally came across a motor home campsite and drank our worries away with all the bombers and growlers we had been collecting.  The next morning our breakfast view made up for all the frustrations.

From Crescent City we made the long drive to Portland to drop me off. 
Next on the tour....
Breakside Brewery
Hopworks Bike Bar
Tugboat Brewing Company
Bailey's Taproom
Widmer Brewing Company

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Beer

Seasonals!  I love seasonal beer.  (I also love year-round beer, I must just love beer.)  Every time another season rolls in, I think to myself: I think [insert current season]'s beers are my favorite seasonals.  Christmas seasonals are no exception, they might even be my favorite ;)  Big beers with lots of flavor, belly-filling and cheer-bringing.  This is my first Christmas season without my family and lineup of Oregon beers, how will I survive?!?  I bet a big hug from my husband and some tastings of a few Alaskan seasonals will do the trick. 

What seasonals are you looking forward to this holiday season?


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