We stayed overnight in Vancouver, Washington the other day (because I’m the one who made the itinerary), so I found it necessary to visit a brewery or two in Portland, which happened to be incredibly close (because I’m the one who made the itinerary)! After asking for all of your recommendations, I ran like crazy to the bus station, hopped the 105 Express to Portland and went to the brewery that was within walking distance of that bus stop. Enter: Deschutes Brewery!
You know you’ve made it as a brewery when you get your own coasters!
It was around 5pm on a Thursday, so the bar was pretty packed for happy hour. My one complaint: the windows are not big enough to fully enjoy the brewery behind them. Let’s just make the entire back of the bar with glass, yes?
The restaurant is big, open and airy, and full of wonderful rustic wooden beams that give it an earthy ambiance.
The beer list was extensive. I was able to rule out two beers – the Black Butte Porter and the Mirror Pond, since I’ve had them both multiple times before.
That didn’t really make my decision any easier…
I opted for these six and comforted myself with the thought that I could always try something else afterwards.
It’s so beautiful! Let’s see it from another angle…
How about some “Blue Steel”?
Perfect! You were made for the camera, babe!
1. Bachelor Bitter – 5% ABV, 43 IBU. This is a traditional bitter. I enjoyed the first sip, but much preferred to let it warm up a little, which reduced the carbonation and brought out more caramel on the nose. A very caramel malt body. Delicious and flavorful!
2. Lebuj Tonip – 6.7% ABV, 60 IBU. This beer had intense raisin on the nose. A very sweet, rich body with a noticeable boozy flavor that ended with a blanket of warmth that slowly melted down my spine.
3. Armory XPA – 6% ABV, 58 IBU. Nice amount of Cascade on the nose. Medium, malty smooth mouthfeel. The hops ended it, but not in an overpowering/biting fashion.
4. Inversion IPA – 6.8% ABV, 80 IBU. This one smelled kind of funky. Not sure if it was the glass or the beer, because the taste was good. Honestly though, the smell distracted me from taking any good notes. Whoops.
5. Hop-in-the-Dark – 6.9% ABV, 90 IBU. This one had a good amount of hops on the nose. The flavor is rounded with slight chocolate and raisin. At this point, my notes were becoming less and less legible…
6. Imperial Hop-in-the-Dark – 9.5% ABV, 85 IBU. I’m going to type, verbatim, what I wrote on my notes for this: Not hoppy on nose. Warmer fnish, not as smooooth as 5. WARM! (And yes, I did in fact draw a smiley face)
As you can probably tell, I didn’t need to try anything more. I sheepishly thanked the waiter for letting me use his pen to take my elegant and refined notes, and made my way back to the brewery.
I gazed adoringly through the glass doors, drooled a little in jealously, and wandered out into the heart of Portland.
I proceeded to fall in love with the gigantic bookstore, Powell’s Books, but was overwhelmed by the massive amounts of bookage and had to leave to catch my breath and the bus.
Oh, Portland, you’ve also won a piece of my heart!