Blazing a Trail

I am a big Blazer fan. I know it’s been rough injury wise for what seems like forever. But I will never root for another team (except whoever is playing the Lakers) That is why it was a great treat to have Terry’s Porter at Migration in December and now this b-ball brew

….. “Saraveza and Amnesia Brewers, Chris Spollen and Sean Thommen, will tip off a dedicated handle (during games) of Amnesia’s Trail Hazer! This dry hopped unfiltered version of the Dusty Trail Pale will be on special every time the Blazers are on the court. It is the perfect beer for a game watching session with friends.”

Saraveza beertenders + Upright Brewing =

One day I will have a beer named after me!

“Saraveza beertender, Tyler Vickers, and beertender turned manager, Jonathan Carmean, are well loved among their patrons and fellow industry pals…(really, what’s not to love?!?) Recently, they’ve received the ultimate props from local favorite, Upright Brewing. Named Tyler the Elder and Jonathan the Younger, these tribute beers will be found at Saraveza on Wed. Oct. 13th, with the man at Upright, Alex Ganum himself!”

Portland Beer Bar Reviews

It is a near impossible Herculean task to pick one Portland beer bar as the best. It might be impossible to pick the best beer spot on SE Division. What with Apex and Beer Mongers across from each other.

Why is it hard? There are just a lot of places to visit and to visit enough that you can get a good read as to the atmosphere, the type of list changes, the staff attitude and myriad other reasons.

That being said, here is my personal countdown of Top 3 Portland Beer Bars: (As of right now & subject to change)

Nice amount of taps with a wide style variety. Then they have bottles too. The atmosphere is laid back and casual. Very coffeehouse chic. But what sets them apart is the beyond awesome back patio. An oasis in the city where you can let the cares of the world pass by as you drink your beer.

The decor is the best. I absolutely love the use of bottlecaps in the bar and in the tabletops. Great design work that must have taken a long time. Like its Killingsworth neighbor, the list is small and varied. Always interesting and not static. Their bottle selection in old school ‘fridges is drool worthy.

Why are they # 1? Choice. An abundance of choice. For example, I walked in on a July day and found a Nebraska brewed beer WHILE I was drinking a beer from Astoria, Oregon! The bottle selection is tremendous. If it was brewed in Oregon, Belmont has it. Then you can hoard your find at the bar next door and probably run into one of their many events.

5 Questions for Sarah Pedersen of Saraveza

Here goes with the questions:

1. Have you ever put a beer on tap that surprised you with its popularity?
– I love it when the beer community steps up and isn’t afraid of anything new or different. In the last year, a few Portland breweries have made a Gose. A Gose is a style of beer that has a slightly sour, moderately spicy, and salty (like saline) profile. I love that you can put a beer on draft and describe it as slightly “salty, spicy and sour” and people jump at the chance to try it. It’s a process to get your hands on the traditional German Gose. We can’t get enough Gose to keep our customers happy!

2. What beer style do you think is under appreciated at the moment?
– The country is going through a craft beer revolution and I believe that Portland, OR among other beer-centric cities are at the forefront of that. That said, Saraveza’s customers are generally excited about all beer styles. Currently, there is a huge interest in beers that are innovative (different ingredients), collaborative (two breweries working together), seasonal, bbl aged, soured or hugely hopped. Also, old unique styles are making a comeback as brewers get creative and customers want to broaden their beer knowledge and palate. In addition, customers really appreciate a more delicate beer style that is made well – specifically lagers and lighter style Belgians, German and American ales. Oddly enough, beers that tend to fall by the wayside tend to be the some of the Classic malt-based beer styles that got this whole revolution off the ground – Browns, Reds, Porters, Dubbels, etc. Even more so Fruit (non-lambic) and Vegetable beers often tend to be overlooked. Don’t get me wrong, they all are consumed, it’s just that, there’s less buzz about a “really good Brown” or a “spot-on Dubbel” when there used to be a lot more excitement in that arena. I see the pendulum continue to shift back and forth and assume that these styles will reemerge with popularity.

3. Is there a beer (or range of beers from a brewery) you wish you could get for Saraveza?
– I wish more of the small breweries made Lagers, especially throughout the summer. I also wish we could get more great Sours. Saraveza has tap handles that are specifically dedicated to Craft Lagers and Sours and we are always hunting. Next to our IPA handles, the Craft Lagers and the Sours are our most popular styles and sometimes it’s a challenge to find new options.

4. Do more people buy to go beers or tap? Or is the majority of customers having one of each?
– It is a toss-up. People come to Saraveza for different reasons. Sometimes people come into buy a six pack and have a pint while they shop. Other people come in for a pasty and a beer, try something new on draft and like it so much they purchase the bottled version to take home!

5. How do you respond to customers who ask for beer recommendations?
– Helping a customer fall in love with a new beer is my favorite part of the job! It is important to find out what they currently like to drink and then understand if they are looking to try something similar or if they want to take a step in a new direction. Someone who likes “lighter” beers but is feeling adventurous for the first time might get excited about a Saison. For those that come in and say they like wine more than beer, it’s fun to let them try a sour and see if it sparks interest. You like a Porters, have you ever tried a Baltic Porter? A Smoked Porter?

We always have new beers on draft, so I believe it’s important to sample beers out to customers to help them get an idea of what they are getting into before they order. Or if they are curious about a more expensive bottle, maybe there is something on draft with a similar flavor profile that would aid them in making a decision on opening the bottle or not.

Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule. I really appreciate it.
– No problem Sean, this was fun for me. In the process, I realized how easy it is for me to spit out the answers and I became a little introspective. Here I sit with my sleeping baby next to me while I think about Saraveza and the craft beer industry. I realize how much I love my job and how excited I am about my new job as a mother. I’ve got the two best jobs on the planet as far as I am concerned!

I also wanted to just say that my larger goal with Saraveza is to get our customers excited about American Craft beer. We’ve got this great new industry that is just thriving and everyone can be a part of it! I love the fact that getting people to enjoy Craft beer helps out local economies, inspires creativity, demands quality and in turn teaches people to become more insightful about what they consume. Viva la revolution!



Brewpublic is a great Portland based beer blog that puts on the occasional great beerfest. So if you are in Beervana on June 19th, you might want to head over to Saraveza.

“Brewpublic announces a special mini-fest featuring four of Oregon’s best nanobreweries. This event known as Microhopic will be the first to showcase these fine brewers under one roof. In fact, it might be safe to say that most people in the Portland area have never tried most of the beers to be presented at Microhopic.

On hand, will be the beers and the brewers who made them. These breweries will include Big Horse Brewing of Hood River and brewer Jason Kahler; Rivergate Brewing of N. Portland and brewer Brian Frisch; Mt. Tabor Brewing of SE Portland and brewer Eric Surface; and Ambacht Brewing of Hillsboro and brewer Tom Kramer.

We are excited to invite you to come to this event featuring a rare and eclectic assortment of Oregon-brewed beers. This event will take place on Saturday June 19, 2010 at Saraveza, located at 1004 N. Killingsworth Street in Portland, Oregon.” For more information or press related inquiries please contact or visit Cheers!

A damn fine idea…

..if you ask me.
French for “good idea,” “Bonne Idée” is an Americanized Saison (8+%) from the “other” Hood River brewer, Double Mountain.

If you get the chance, try this at Saraveza in Portland or at the brewpub in Hood River. (Also check out their other fantastic seasonal, Molten Lava)

Saraveza and Hop Shake

I saw this on the Saraveza newsletter…
On a recent trip to the Annen Brother’s Hop Farm, Saraveza beertender, Jonathan Carmean, picked up some hop shake to spice up your suds. Next time you’re in at Saraveza, ask your beertender to top off your pint with some Hop Kief.

From what I understand, this is a powder that you add to your beer. Sounds intriguing.


Saraveza is a recent arrival to the crowded beer scene in Portland. (I mean that in a good way) They have a small but awesome selection of beer. Recently, I have seen Dogfish Head Black and Blue, Widmer 84-09 Double Alt, Lagunitas Sumpin’ Sumpin’ amongst others. They also have a rotating tap list that recently included…Bear Republic’s Oso Rojo and New Belgium’s Dandelion. Where else has that combo?

When I was there last, I had Fort George’s spruce beer and a lovely plate of summer sausage, cheddar and ritz crackers. Hit the spot.

They also host special beer nights like the recent Session Black party so you should check them out. They are doing it right.