Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Driving the Jag back from Alaska allowed for some entertaining food and beverage adventures. One of which was in Oregon.

The Bridgeport Ale House at 3632 SE Hawthorne Boulevard in  Portland is a fine little establishment offering decent pub fare and an excellent selection of specialty brews.

From their promotional literature:

The specialty beer movement in the Pacific Northwest began in 1984 when Richard and Nancy Ponzi teamed up with Karl Ockert, graduate of the University of California at Davis’ Malting and Brewing Sciences program, to establish the 600-barrel Columbia River Brewery. Setting up shop in a three-story, century-old former rope factory in Portland’s industrial Northwest neighborhood, they founded what is better known today as BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s Oldest Craft Brewery™, and a pioneer of the state’s craft brewing revolution.

Today, BridgePort Brewing Company is one of the top specialty brewers in the state of Oregon. As BridgePort Brewing grew in popularity, it also grew in its brewing capacity from its 600-barrel beginnings to over 100,000 barrels per year. Distribution has grown from Portland to 18 states, and the brewery’s emphasis on producing quality, innovative ales has provided it with an international following and numerous awards.”

We walked into the Bridgeport Ale House expecting yet another tired faux-restaurant serving greasy food as an accompaniment to their selection of beers. Thankfully, we were wrong.

I chose their Cottage Pie and enjoyed an American slant on traditional pub lunch. Good beef, creamy potato and delicate seasonings. My traveling companies shared a “Steel Pizza Pie” which they described as perfectly crusted with a good balance of cheese and sausage. – I’m not a pizza pie man.

I wasn’t there to eat though…..I was there to drink!

I started with their bottled Kingpin – A red-ale that is very hoppy and easily drinkable. This “Double Red” is characterized by higher alcohol content and citrusy hoppy overtones – just the way I like it.

Next up was the Summer Squeeze – a seasonal varietal that is apparently enhanced with lemongrass and yuzu – an “exotic fruit. This missed the mark completely for me and tasted like a blend of heffeweizen and lemonade – I barely mad it through even half a glass.

I gave BridgePort the opportunity vindicate themselves with their famous Blue Heron Pale Ale – It did not disappoint. Typical of “Northwestern” Pale Ales, it is crisp and eminently drinkable.

Moving on to the Cafe Negro Porter, I tasted something pleasantly unique. This porter is a fusion of malt an coffe that created a delightully layored coffe/beer flavor. The porter deliver its own espresso-esque flavor, but the coffee infusion rounds it to make for a delightful drink. A predict a growler of this escaping into the wild…

I ended my excursion with “Hop Czar”, their Imperial IPA. This IPA definitely boasts 7.5% ABV and delivers a hoppy, malty mouth-feel  reminiscent of Belgian beers. This beer made my day.

As with many American establishments, they are not tobacco-friendly, but the good bears vindicated them.










The hype: Bobsled Brown is patterned as an American-style Brown Ale with a roasted malt undertone and the generous use of American-grown Willamette hops. This is one beer to be sure not to miss!

The review: When I’m in Salt Lake City, I enjoy visiting Squatters Brewpub and having a beer with friends or even visiting over diet Pepsi with my teetotalling Mormon friends. I enjoy most of the Squatters brews, especially their rauchbier and heffeweizen. I noticed and bought one of these at a little store in Phoenix today. I presume this has now been moved from the Squatters brand to Wasatch with their little merger/alliance that they’re doing. Bottle is pretty and packaging is inviting. Opening this produced an aroma of fresh bread dough with a hint of sourness. Pour was heady and dark amber. First sip was akin to burnt coffee with an oily aftertaste. Continuing to drink was an exercise in futility as it seemed to get worse with each sip.  I finally resigned this gastronomic assault after consuming half a glass. What a disappointment indeed.

Pinkus organic hefeweizen is certainly a departure from the usual Hefei that I am accustomed to. The bottle is pretty, touting organic certification and extolling the virtues of the Brew.

This unfiltered beer pours well with a beautiful white head that certainly looks inviting. I refuse to garnish with citrus like most, so that I can truly appreciate the flavors of the brew…

This beer smells like yeast and bananas; taste is less striking than I had hoped for. This a pleasant beer that is best served chilled. It is refreshing and enjoyable.

Monschoff is one of the oldest beer brewing institutions in the world. Their Schwarzbier is one of my all-time favorites to enjoy at any time of year. This black beer looks like a stout, but it certainly doesn’t taste like one. This beer comes in a beautiful heavy bottle with old-school wire-tied cap. It definitely exudes old-world charm.

Opening the bottle unleashes a yeasty cocoa aroma with hints of coffee. The beer pours well with a deep dark color and medium foam. The first sip is yeasty without being overpowering…slightly fruity, but restrained. The mouthfeel of this beer isn’t as cloying as some other dark beers, it is much more refreshing, and crisper than you would expect.

I like this beer, in fact, I almost love it…Guinness still remains my favorite; but this is certainly a close second.

The hype:Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

This ale pairs well with most meats and is great served with hamburgers or sausages. It is a good match with smoked fish and can even stand up to wild game dishes. Turbodog is also great for marinating and braising meats and cooking such things as cabbage and greens. Colby, Gloucester, Cheddar and Blue cheeses go nicely with Turbodog. It’s perfect with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Spanish paella. Some even like it paired with chocolate!

The review: I love my Guinness, so whenever I get a chance to compare dark ales, I fall back to Guinness as a frame of reference. Turbodog hails from Louisiana and is one of many brews from the Abita beer company. I drank Turbodog from the bottle at a quaint little restaurant in Houston this week. The aroma from this beer is very intriguing; bready and sweet, but with a hint of coffee. The brew is dark and suds are creamy like the Irish stuff.  This is a 5.6% ABV brew so the alcohol isn’t obviously noticeable. First mouthful is hearty and slightly bitter, but quickly mellows into a chocolatey goodness. Mouth feel is pleasant; it is smooth and coats the tongue with yeasty flavors…it tastes a little like a chocolate babkawith a hint of espresso. Easy to drink and savor, but not a lightweight in the flavor department. I drank 6 of these over dinner with friends, so I suppose that says it all. Very nice beer.


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