I have not touched the ground in Portland since 2020. How would the city feel after a long time away? Would it be different post-covid or pre-post covid for the more cautious among us.
Well, I landed hard with popular Portland breweries.
Ruse Brewing at the Crust Collective across the Columbia in Vancouver on the Waterfront walk.
I had two IPAs with Star Senders a mix of Citra and Strata being the winner.
Before that a late night beer at Migration Brewing where I had a Fuji to Hood Cold IPA which was so-so to me. The pilsner my Mom had was good and they must be doing something right because they are up to four locations now.
After Ruse, was the Portland outpost of Chuckanut the excellently named P-Nut where I had the first of three, yes three, Grodziskie lagers. Lightly smoked and rarely brewed but I found two on draft and one canned version.
The P-Nut was a lovely little space near Division and a few other beer spots in the area including Baerlic Brewing. I had the Threshold “Grod” which was noticeably different from Chuckanut. Way lighter in color and smoke but interesting.
Next was Amelia from Steeplejack. The church location is really great but their Grod was way less smoky and more lemony.
I also got a Canadian lager which was a little weird whereas the Osler a DDH IPA which had a wonderful lemon chiffon flavor to it.
I have listened and now watched on YouTube the final seconds of Portland’s one and only NBA championship win many times and with Bill Schonely, the voice and totem of the Trailblazers retiring, I wish that I could find this beer….
Static Equation – pours a hazy yellow color. label claims apricot, grapefruit and dankness from the Citra-Simcoe-Mosaic hop trio. I get a dank Meyer lemon taste with a pillowy feel to it. Bit of a hazy burn at the back of the palate.
Ghost Coast – clear and yellow in color. has a good strong lemony bitterness. lot of malt chewiness here as well. gettin a bit of grassy character as well.
Thought Frequency with Great Notion – lightly hazed yellow color. quite spicy and herbal driven. light in texture. pine aroma to me. a bit of a toasted malt character here that is different from most hazies and not what I expected from a Great Notion collab.
Located on 17th Street near the Max Line that leads to Milwaukie is new Portland darling, Ruse Brewing. The brewery is one tenant in this new development and despite my misgivings about their logo not really conveying much, I do like the space. If you sit in the center of the bar, instead of staring at taps and a cold box, you have a view into the brewery. I noticed that it is one of the few taprooms where the bartenders had more elbow room.
Beer wise, I had one of the prettiest beers in recent memory. Love & Lore was a lovely rose color and this tasted of cherry pie with a small touch of Pinot tannin. The base was a golden sour so it led with fruit and followed with a gentle sour. The Grizzly porter was quite nice, it cut the November chill and was my second favorite. I had two IPAs. One hazy and one that they describe as bright. The Bright or West-Coast Facts of Identity was my preference due to a pineapple taste that was really nice.
Portland has not blazed out of the NBA gates to start the season but a brewery that has gotten a lot of buzz is Ruse Brewing. Founded by Shaun Kallis and Devin Benware they are deep into the yeast having “custom Brett strains called Stargazer and Suburban Brett”
Here are the beers that I would put into a first taster tray…
Evertide Helles Lager, Phantom Shore Citra Extra Pale Ale, Dreamscape Blended Saison, Dream Language Vienna Lager and Stages of Sundown Imperial Stout.