Monday, May 9, 2011

Meandering On A Monday in Portland

(Portland, OR)

I really liked that movie Ghost Dog.

Anyway, a week or so ago, my girl Mandy, Link and me took a little vacation in Portland.  Here's the first of two urban beer hikes we did:

Meandering On A Monday in PDX; about 4.3 miles
Deschutes PDX Pub / Goose Hollow Inn / New Old Lompoc / Lucky Lab Beer Hall / Bridgport Brew Pub / Bailey's Taproom

View Meandering Monday in PDX in a larger map

The weather was all over the place, but it was a nice little tour of the northwest section of town.  We couldn't hit every good beer spot, of course, but we'll be back.

"Having to wait outside all the time is fucking bullshit."
We began the day (rainy) at Pine State Biscuits around 10am.  I got the Reggie, of course, and my mouth is watering right now just thinking about how good it was (fried chicken, egg, bacon & cheese on a biscuit topped with sausage gravy).  No trip to Portland is complete without a stop at Pine State, and yes, it's worth the wait.  Even in the rain.  Be prepared to eat in your car or in a nearby park or something.  Seating is very limited and they're always hopping.

From Pine State, we drove over to downtown and parked near our launch point.

1. Deschutes Portland Pub (sunny)
This place is huge.  We put Link outside near a barrel of sprouting hops and grabbed a table inside by the window.  There's a lot to look at here.  Amazing wood carving just about everywhere, a lot of old pictures and beer memorabilia on the walls, and some really cool old urinals in the bathroom that look like they weigh about a million pounds.

The food menu looked great, but since we'd already eaten, we only ordered a sampler tray of six beers.  I think my favorite was the 31-25 Hef.  Very citrusy.  I also like the Hugh Hef's Jacket -- a smoked lager.  Mandy liked the Inverted Pale.  Link refused water AND treats.

As we were leaving, some very threatening clouds began to move in.  It was a good thing that the next stop on the hike wasn't far.

2.  Goose Hollow Inn (raining)
Less than five minutes after we arrived at Goose Hollow Inn and sat down in the sheltered front patio, the sky opened up and went into full rain rage.  We didn't know ahead of time that they allow dogs on the patio, so that was a brilliant stroke of luck.  We sipped on our imperial pints of Oakshire O'Dark:30 and watched the rain pour angrily out of the sky.  It was one of those heavy Northwest rains that you just know won't last more than 20 minutes or so.  And sure enough, not even a half hour later, our glasses were almost empty and the sun was beginning to reappear.

We looked around the charming little pub a bit and settled up for our pints before heading out again. Walking west, we passed the entrance to Washington Park, which houses a Japanese Garden and the huge Rose Test Garden.  Unfortunately, time and weather would not permit a visit.  Mandy said the roses wouldn't be in bloom yet anyway.  We continued about a mile and a half up NW 23rd Ave.

3. New Old Lompoc (sunny)
I really liked the cozy feel of NOL's pub inside, but we decided to sit with Link in the very large patio area out back.  The sun was out again and it was starting to warm up a little.  I sipped on a pint of Sockeye Stout while Mandy enjoyed a C-Note.  We were soon joined by a fellow beer blogger Bill, an all-around stand-up fellow.  Bill has an office near the pub and was able to sneak away for a bit to meet with us.  We spent the time soaking up the sunshine and trying to figure out how to get a vulgar picture up on Twitter.  (Neither of us has a smart phone, so it was a bit of a struggle.)  After catching up a bit more, we decided to move on and Bill agreed to come with us.  It's a very short walk to the next stop.

Follow Bill.  He knows the way to good beer.
4.  Lucky Labrador Beer Hall (still sunny)
This place is huge, too.  It looks like a big old warehouse that they converted to a brewery and kitchen with lots of tables and benches.  Very cool.  The inside is not dog-friendly, so once again we took to the gigantic patio area.  There are hops planted all over the place out here and they were just beginning to show some signs of life after a long winter.  I drank a pint of Wheat Stout while Mandy ate half a tuna melt.  I'd really love to come back and see this place in the summer.

After our pint at the Beer Hall, we had to say goodbye to Bill, who had to hurry back to his office and write up a blog post about his adventures cruising the town with Urban Beer Hiker.  The clouds were beginning to threaten again, but we didn't have far to walk to the next place.

5.  Bridgeport Brew Pub (rainy AND sunny)
Luck was with us again as we arrived at Bridgeport.  The rain came just as we got under a large awning on the east side of the building -- but the sun was still out.  (Hardly seemed unusual considering all the weather we'd seen that day.)  I don't think this area was technically open, but no one bothered us out there as we sipped our pints of Kingpin Double Red and caught brief glimpses of life in the Pearl District.  It was pretty cold, but I actually liked it better outside.  The inside of the pub is quite nice, but it was pretty crowded and loud with the dinner rush, so I was happy that we were able to sit outside where it was more peaceful.  I can see this place getting really packed in the summer.

Once again, the rain let up right as we were finishing our beers and it was time to move on to the last stop on the hike.

6. Bailey's Taproom (overcast)
After putting Link in the car for some rest, we headed over to Bailey's.  (Bailey's is not dog-friendly and there really isn't a good spot to hitch up outside.)  The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the overwhelming smell of B.O.  Yuck.  I began to scan the room for possible suspects.  The place was pretty full by now, so it was impossible to determine who the guilty party was, but my money was on a couple of large, hairy guys sitting over by the door.  That was all my brain needed and I began to hate them immediately, guilty or not.  Our first two pints were not very good.  The Coffee Girl from Fort George Brewing had a very metallic taste and the Seven Brides Oatmeal Ellie had big buttered popcorn notes.  That's OK, though.  We were really in the mood for an Upright Seven anyway, so Mandy grabbed a bottle of that and we sunk into a couple of really comfy chairs in the corner.  Bailey's is just as cool I'd heard.  I liked that there weren't any TVs and the crowd was lively with conversation.  I have no doubt that we'll visit again on our next trip.  Hopefully those smelly dudes won't be around.

Great finish to a great hike.
All in all, the hike was only a little over four miles, but it felt like more.  I think being out in the rain, even if I'm not walking in it, tires me out more than if it's a nice day.  We hadn't eaten much, either, so we were getting really hungry.  After finishing our bottle of Seven, we went back to the Motel and cleaned up a bit before a late dinner at Hopworks, which would be the launch point for our next thrilling hike in a couple of days.

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