PDX Day 1: Welcome to Portland

It didn’t take me long to get acquainted with this town. After a flight so bumpy I’d rather not talk about and a good nights sleep I hit Portland via bicycle and took to the city. My first stop was an institution in Portland, Voodoo Donuts.

At first, the lines out the door to get a donut makes me wonder if Voodoo’s fame came from TV shows such as Man V Food but I soon realize that’s not entirely so. The vibe inside is the vibe around town, super friendly and perhaps a bit greasy. The donut selection will put you in a sugar coma as you decide what you want. I went with an Old Dirty Bastard which is a donut covered in peanut butter and crumbled Oreos, big win. The price was extremely reasonable too ($2.50 for the donut and coffee). Well played voodoo.

I took my one speed to Sean, Amber and Ryan’s (@2beerguys) hotel to wake them up and to check out some breweries. After walking them BACK to Voodoo donuts we went to Rock Bottom Brewery. It’s a chain brewery, with one in Boston that has been recently renovated. Im semi hesitant to enter a Rock Bottom but being in Beervana I am open to anything beer related in this town. And so began the day of CDA aka Cascadian Dark Ale aka Black IPA. The name on the west coast is Cascadian Dark Ale but in an age old argument with the East Coast who calls it Black IPA, that’s an agreement I’ll leave to the beer geeks.

Rock Bottom had a Flanders called Zombie Flanders which was really good. Their CDA was a great starting point for me to continue to try as many as I could this trip as their isn’t many Black IPAs yet in the East coast. On to the next brewery, Deschutes.

Sean (@2beerguys)

Deschutes was recommended to me a couple times before coming to Portland so I knew it was going to be a good spot. Walking through the garage style door to the brewery opened up to a massive bar and restaurant and plenty of taps. Beautiful woodwork surrounded the bar and you could see all the inner workings of the brewery from the see through bar showing the kegs underneath to the brewhouse windows behind the bar. I instantly requested their Hop in the Dark CDA (Black IPA, remember?) which left me wanting to take a bottle home with me to beg brewers to brew this. It’s become apparent I found a new favorite style of beer within my first day in Portland. The sampler that Sean and the gang got had Deschutes full lineup including a shandy (beer and lemonade) which was my first and last shandy. Their Obsidian Stout was great too! I look forward to coming back here during the BBC pub crawl this weekend.

Next stop was Burnside Brewing, a fairly new brewery on the other side of the river. Let’s just say it’s great to get to know Sean, Amber and Ryan more while we hop around as some of the discussions we have had make it seem like we have been friends for much longer (NSFW convos but definitely suitable for bars 🙂 ). That being said the beer I had was unlike anything I have had, an Oatmeal Pale Ale. This brew had the appearance of a Pale Ale but was a little cloudier due to the added oatmeal and the taste was that of a nice creamy oatmeal stout, yes please. Their Sweet Heat beer with scotch bonnets was ridiculous to sample but I couldn’t get a full pint because of the heartburn that would result.

Other notable stuff
-Fire on the Mountain has the best wings in town. They also have Sweet Potato Tots, wow. Mixed that with a Natian CDA and you have a great combo

Fort George brewing just makes beer fun and ridiculously enjoyable. Their Vortex IPA is not just the best IPA I have ever had in a can, it ranks up there as one of the best IPAs I’ve enjoyed.

Hair of the Dog Adam proves that beer can be so flavorful that by the time you try to figure it out you have finished the bottle. A really great Old Ale that will come back with me to NH.

Day 2 starts now. Let’s do this.