Tag Archives: Washington

Deschutes Brewery

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!

I’m a nerd.
I ordered a side of sweet potato fries to help keep the tipsyness down, since I had to find my way back to the bus later.

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!


Filed under beer, brewery

Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA

Yes, this beer deserves its own post.
Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA actually glows from within.
It tastes even better because it’s made right across the water in Seattle. All those little tents in the lower left of the picture? That’s where I’m working this weekend.
This IPA is extremely low on the IBU – 40, so it’s on the lowest end of what an IPA can be (not really what I’d prefer in an IPA), but it is definitely an amazing herb/spice beer! I got it on tap at Chantanee Thai tonight – the food was good, but the beer! OH THE BEER! The rich head retained for the entire glass and left a beautifully intricate lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an elegant floral jasmine which overwhelms any hop essence. The sweet jasmine flavor is very prominent in this beer, followed by warm malt and a lasting bitterness that translates back to a soft kiss of jasmine on the back of the tongue. It’s not a beer I would order regularly, but paired with Thai or Chinese food, pour me a pint!
With the beautiful views…
…and the hundreds of rare craft brews that line the shelves of the local grocery stores, I think I’m starting to love this place.
PLUS, I got this letter and I’m going to get rich from helping this woman “carry out her charity wish in which I will help her carry out her charity project as her wish” in exchange for three million dollars! MAN, this town is lucky!

Maybe I should move here once I’ve helped her carry our her charity wish and get the three million dollars she’s offered me…


Filed under beer

Tap House Grill

You know what’s irritating? When the name of a restaurant is written in all caps with no clear spaces so you don’t know if it’s Taphouse Grill or Tap House Grill or TAPHOUSEGRILL. You know what’s irritating after choosing a sample platter from their 160 beers they have on tap?

We went to the Tap House Grill (I triple checked it with Google) for a late dinner after the show closed. I almost had a happy panic attack when I saw the extensive list of their beers.
Seriously, how does one decide which beers to try?

Lucky for me, they had a Northwest Sampler. They chose four local beers from different styles for me, and all I had to do was sit back and sip!
They brought out four six-ounce tasters full of glorious malty, hoppy liquid joy.
First up was the Emerald City Dotties Lager. Um, lager? Is that now a specification? I’m fairly certain that any beer fermented with lager yeast is called a lager… Turns out this qualifies as an American Amber/Red Lager. The SRM seemed a little too light for me to agree with this, but I’ll trust the experts. It tasted more like a pilsner to me – no hops on the nose, but a sharp bite on the first sip that combines a very faint malty note and fades into nothingness at the back end. I wasn’t a big fan, so I finished it quickly. Can’t waste a craft beer!

The Leavenworth Dunkel Weizen was next (or it was after I changed the order of the sampler – they switched the porter and the dunkel. I feel SMRT for realizing this on my own). This started with a very sweet, biscuity malt and a smooth finish with no noticeable hoppiness. Sweeter than I prefer my beer, and with a lower IBU than I prefer, but not bad for the dark hefeweizens I’ve tried up to this point.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter came next – a truly lovely porter, but I was disappointed because I’ve already tried this one before. Beautiful intense coffee on the nose, full body and mouthfeel, chocolate and coffee deliciousness with every sip. Loved it. Been there, done that, but with love.

The Snoqualmie Falls IPA finished the tasting. It had warmed to room temperature by this point, and I was surprised to find that I liked it better a little warmer than it was served. Very potent citrus hops on the nose and a pleasant, well-rounded bitterness throughout. I do love my IPAs! We’ll be back Sunday night after breakdown. Please peruse the beer menu and send me any recommendations for Sunday! Must. Try. More!
On a random note – here was my day in a nutshell. Had Ted Danson for breakfast/lunch with a side of pesto pasta and apple spice cake from Pasta & Co. Ted Danson was gooooood!

Another side note – you’ll have to pardon my Twitter updates from today, and possibly from this entire upcoming weekend. When the show gets quiet, I get bored. I did win an award for my awesome tweet about long jeans!
It was a very, very quiet day at the show. So quiet that I went to MAC and got a makeover. I had that little to do.
It looks like my eye caught on fire and from my eyelids to my eyebrows are stained with smoke. Sexy.

Tomorrow I’ll be spending my day Yelping for restaurants or brewpubs around Bellevue. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Time to pass out. Bon nuit!


Filed under beer, beer sampler, beer tasting