Monday, November 15, 2010

Outer Limits (of SE Portland)

A couple of weeks ago I learned that a fellow from The New School Beer Blog was brewing up a chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal stout at Coalition Brewing for the Night of the Living Ales pub crawl.  I decided that I absolutely had to try it, but that alone was not reason enought for me to make the three hour drive down to Portland, so I sent some electronic mail to my local buddy and fellow beer hiker Jeff to see if he was up for a Monday afternoon urban beer hike the next day.  Luckily he was available.  Link and I would have hiked anyway, but, as I've said before, it's so much better when you're with someone who lives in the area that you're hiking around in.  Many of our stops I would not have found on my own.

Jeff actually planned out two killer routes in SE Portland (an area with a ridiculous amount of great places to drink beer), but we chose this one because it was shorter.  We knew we wouldn't have a lot of daylight and the forecast called for rain and cold.  His other route (which includes Hair of the Dog, Cascade's new Barrel House, Lucky Lab, Cheese Bar, Green Dragon, Hopworks, and others) will have to wait for the spring or summer when the days are longer and drier. 

We met outside the Horse Brass, where Jeff had already had a pint.  There was no safe, visible place to leave Link, so I just began the hike without a blast-off beer.

Here's the map:

View Outer Limits (of SE Portland) in a larger map

Jeff did a nice write up on his blog, The Beer Cave (reprinted with permission).  My comments are in [brackets].  Thanks Jeff!

rally-round-tabor urban beer hike

A few mondays ago, I joined Urban Beer Hikes on a little Southeast Portland beer hike. We had discussed several options, and decided to go east of 39th, to do a tour of beer places that form a loop around Mt. Tabor park.

The three of us (including Link, the urban beer hikes shiba inu mascot), met in front of the Horse Brass, where I had already taken advantage of the special anniversary taplist and had a pint of the 2010 Sasquatch Legacy Imperial Oatmeal Porter.

Agreeing to end with the Horse Brass, we began hiking clockwise around the mountain. We started out heading towards Belmont Station, where I failed as a tour-guide by forgetting that the cafe side didn't open until later in the afternoon. From Belmont Station, we walked east, just outside the northern tip of the park, which had us starting with a bit of a climb. In this section, we came across a little snake, which I caught to take a photo of. Link was interested, but didn't quite know what to make of it.

The start of the hike was nice. The forecast called for rain, but things were pretty clear and crisp, and it offered a good opportunity for us to enjoy the start of autumn.

As we descended Mt. Tabor towards Montavilla, we made our way over to Stark Street, where we opened Roscoe's with orders from their Fresh Hop Beer Summit List. I ordered a Cascade fresh hop porter, was as delicious as always. If I remember correctly (between the alcohol, and the time that's passed, my recollection is fuzzy) Dave went with the Fort George Cohoperative.  [Correct.  It wasn't great, but I drank it all.]

Not wanting to spend too much time in any one place, we left after one drink, and then headed south, to enter the park on the southeast side, heading west, toward the beer cave. We contemplated the side trip to the top of Mt. Tabor, but by this point, the rain had started, and visibility was low, so we opted against it.

Once we arrived in the cave, we had a variety of beers to choose from. Dave had mentioned having never tried a baltic porter, so I produced a bottle of last year's Alaskan Baltic Porter to check out.
  [The Beer Cave is really something to behold.  And I loved the beer.  I'll definitely be trying more Baltic Porters this winter.]

After the break in the cave, I thought it might be cool to check out another cool neighborhood spot, so we went over to the Landmark Saloon a few blocks away. To our delight, there was both a monday special, AND a happy hour discount. We each got a pint of Ninkasi Sleigh'r - for $2.50 each. Not too shabby!

From the Landmark, we walked over to SE Hawthorne, for a stop at the Hawthorne Hophouse. Bill from It's a Pub Night was there waiting for us, and shortly after, we were joined by Ezra of The New School. We each had a couple of drinks and dinner, dried off a bit, and they even let Link in to warm up and watch the door. I had an Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome and an Anthem cider from Wandering Aengus. I also took a bad photo of everyone. Sorry guys!
[That is a pretty bad photo.]

After dinner, we concluded at the Horse Brass. Angelo from Brewpublic was playing darts, and several beer bar owners from around town (Bailey's, Beermongers, etc...) were in attendance to help celebrate 34 years of the Horse Brass.

I finished the night off with a Caldera Mogli. A great beer, and a great way to help celebrate the anniversary of a historic portland beer bar with new friends.

Thanks again the great tour and the write-up Jeff.  It's nice to have a different voice on this lame blog once in a while.

By the way, the chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal stout I had the night before was really good.  Hopefully The New School brewers will do it up again soon.

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