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NW Portland: Portland Brewery Company


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#1 Leopoldo

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 09:30 AM

Two terrible visits to the Portland Brewing Company (http://www.pubcrawle...at/BrewerID=568) while working on location for a TV show in 1999 and 2000 made me want to steer clear of this joint (does anyone know if the name changed recently? I swear we referred to it s the McTarnahan brewery five years ago). For our monthly work team lunch the co-worker who got to choose selected Portland Brewing so off we went.

A handsome building deep in the NW Portland industrial area, the first thing you notice on entering the building is the bleach like smell of (is it the hops?) the brew kettles. The smell can be a bit distracting from the food but also help to provide the restaurant an air of authenticity as a brewery/restaurant. We almost had to fight for our own table with the confused (or was she just dense?) hostess who insisted the group from our company was already seated. I am not sure what was so confusing about ‘there are two groups from this company and we are separate’ but our reservation was eventually honored, which is fortunate given how quickly the restaurants fills up.

The menu is typical for a bar with hamburgers, sandwiches and some seafood options (fish and chips, crab cakes); your basic fried, deep fried or grilled fare. I was enticed away from a grilled chicken sandwich with spicy sauce by the description of a beer soaked BBQ pulled pork sandwich that was very dry but very tasty. The grilled chicken sandwich was ordered by the person next to me who reported enjoying her meal greatly, as did the other six members of the party. Getting drinks or water refills required active interaction: calling and signaling passing wait staff did not work but actually grabbing an apron got the required attention and (eventually) the requested beverages. Having a set of afternoon meetings I did not partake in the brews but those in the party that did reported them as a great compliment to the meals.

Overall Portland Brewing Company is still not on my list of places to go for food; however this last visit upped it from ‘must avoid’ to ‘will go with no complaints if someone else suggests it’. I would suggest avoiding the lunch hour rush by arriving before 11:30 or after 1:30. Best looking items ordered at my table were the stuffed burger, the spicy chicken sandwich and the BBQ sandwich. I am guessing they will all be helped by an imperial pint of the local brew.
-Leopoldo
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#2 Angelhair

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 10:30 AM

Portland brewing was acquired by Pyramid a while ago, but nothing has changed at the pub other than signage.

Their happy hour makes imperial pints super cheap, though the food, IMO, is just okay.

#3 amtbr

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:10 PM

No mention of their beer? You did go to a brewery after all...

#4 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:22 PM

Welcome to the site amtbr. Leopoldo actually wrote:

I did not partake in the brews but those in the party that did reported them as a great compliment to the meals


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#5 Leopoldo

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 03:09 PM

I wanted a beer with my lunch but immediately following the lunch I had two separate meetings with IT managers and figured I needed to stay sharp and most importantly, awake!
:wink:
-Leopoldo
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#6 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 03:38 PM

For those who don't know, Leopoldo has the lowest alcohol tolerance to mass ratio in the known universe. :)

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#7 Leopoldo

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 03:47 PM

[begin monty python voice] But 'im getting' better! [end monty python voice]
Yup, 6'3" and a cheap drunk! ;-)
-Leopoldo
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#8 Jill-O

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:36 PM

Frankly, it fascinates me!

8O
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#9 amtbr

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:28 AM

Thanks MSG, my cold seems to have affected my reading comprehension. Can anyone comment on the beer there? I still think Lompoc is the best in the NW for beer and food.

#10 Angelhair

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 10:58 AM

Portland Brewing pours a couple of the Pyramid beers, as well as the MacTarnahan beers. They also have, last time I was there, several seasonals, including, maybe, Winterfrost. I really like their IPA, which is well-balanced and flavorful.

In addition to all the Mac beers and the Pyramid beers, Portland Brewing also makes Uncle Otto's Octoberfest, the Saxer beers, and the Fire Station beers.

The best beers that they usually have available, IMO, are the Black Watch Cream Porter, the IPA, and the Zig Zag River Lager (but I am not a hefe fan).

As far the the best brewpub w/food in the NW....I guess it depends on whose beer you like the best. Personally, I think that everyone's food is only palatable after several beers! Rogue has the best beer and the worst food. Laurelwood's beers can be lacking (excepting their seasonals), and the food is too. Lompoc's beers are good, but the food is ordinary.

#11 Jill-O

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 04:49 PM

...and Lompoc has that very tasty root beer too!

mmmmm...root beer...
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#12 Leopoldo

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:00 AM

I personally dislike both Pyramid and MacTarnahan beers (with a few exceptions). I think that has more to do with personal tastes (I like my beer dark and broody) or as the Arrogant Bastard http://www.arrogantbastard.com/faq/ likes to say "Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies." I suspect my dislike for MacTarhan might also stem from having worked at a company that had a weekly Friday Party catered by MacTarnahan. A few months of drinking that stuff every Friday kind of soured me to the taste.
-Leopoldo
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#13 Angelhair

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 10:14 AM

My mistake on the IPA; it's a Pyramid beer (Thunderhead, also in bottles).

I agree with you Leopoldo on wimpy beers. Many breweries seem to think they are brewing for the common denominator by making beers that are middle of the road. The best breweries, IMO, are those that do something different.

Not to go off on a rant here, but Portland is different than other markets. My friends in other cities may like a local (or national) micro-type beer. But that might be all they drink. The waitresses all want to bring you anolther round of the same beer. Here, it seems, we are always looking for something different. There are beer festivals that go with the seasons and breweries that are making new beers all the time. I always seem to order what's new, or what's different.

Pyramid and MacTarnahan's aren't brewing for people like me. They are brewing for Applebee's and an airport lounge. That being said, I had a couple of Thunderheads yesterday while watching football...that's a good beer!

#14 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 12:37 PM

If we could just get that same attitude towards food.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#15 Johann-Sandra

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:57 AM

LOVE Portland Brewing. Love the beer, the patio, the happy hour.

Food is good for the price. Service was fine when we've been there considering the place was packed.

Good prices on Kegs and dock specials too.