It’s terribly easy to write about Portland’s breweries and beer culture. Another easy sell on my part is Bend. Rounding out the top 3 is Hood River and the breweries along the Columbia River Gorge. 1) There’s a great handful of them. 2) Their beers are truly world class. 3) It’s insanely beautiful. 4) It’s an easy drive from Portland and whenever we get devoted beercationers at Inn Beervana, we always recommend the day trip.
The guidebook Oregon Breweries is mere weeks old but the nature of the Oregon brewing scene is so fluid in nature, there are already a few brewing companies serving us that aren’t fully introduced in the book as well as one that is no more. In full candor, I have a mental list of a very small handful of breweries that I feel are not long for this world. In rare instances, it’s because the beer’s just not worth selling. In most instances, I just don’t see them being able to get their product into a sustainable number of thirsty mouths. Heck, maybe in such a Venn diagram there’s a large intersection. In any event, I had Baker City’s Bull Ridge pegged for the brewery obituary section and lo and behold, they’ve perished.
Rip page 197 out of Oregon Breweries. No, don’t! Double Mountain is on page 198 and they’re never going anywhere!
As seen in the screen shot above, I’d even contacted this brazen brewpub that bid to build Baker City into a two-brewery town alongside Barley Brown’s. Scroll through the comments on this thread this yarn and you’ll see there’s little love lost in town. The owners were inexperienced both in the restaurant game and the brewing biz. Two things pretty vital for operating a successful brewpub even here in Portland let alone a town of fewer than 10,000 people with tourism seasons that are more shoulder than peak.
On the upside, Barley Brown’s runs both the pub and the “Baker City Brewing” tasting room across the street, so Baker City’s still, technically, a two brewery town.
This isn’t really a Portland Monthly story, but when I was contacted by the same publishing company to write a story about beer weddings, I had to accept if only to say I’ve been published in Portland Bride & Broom. It ended up being a fun story to think about and organize, even though I was given tons of direction on that end. What can I say? I love love. And beer.
Working on “Oregon Breweries,” themes and patterns started emerging in the way I think about all the wonderful breweries in my home state. Hood River‘s simply an awesome place. All the more so because of handful of amazing breweries in such a small town. And for that, we all have Full Sail to thank!
Wherein I review the following new releases on shelves or on tap:
Flat Tail: Cider Wit (Jan. ’12)
Philadelphia’s: Barrel-aged Betsy Ross Golden Ale (Feb. ’12)
Everybody’s Brewing: Little Sister ISA (Mar. ’12)
Lompoc: Batch 69 Baltic Porter (Apr. ’12)
Fort George: Roses on Roses (May ’12)
Hopworks Urban Brewery: Abbey Ale (June ’12)
Double Mountain: Devil’s Kriek (July ’12)
Base Camp: In Tents IPL (Nov. ’12)
Salmon Creek: Märzen (Dec. ’12)
Caldera: Mogli Bourbon-oaked Imp. Chocolate Porter (Jan. ’13)
Agrarian: Espelette chili beer (Apr. ’13)
Flat Tail: Lemon Diesel (Aug. ’13)
Lucky Labrador: Black Sheep bourbon-aged CDA (Sep. ’13)
Finally, well, most recently, this review of Rogue’s Brutal IPA…per the editor’s request to review it particularly as it tastes having traveled to Amsterdam. (Jan. ’14)