When I heard I was headed to Portland, I was excited. Not just because it was someplace I had never been, although that was certainly part of it. And not just because the area is largely regarded as the home of the modern homebrewing movement, although that was certainly intriguing… kind of like a pilgrimage to Mecca in a way? Anyway, I was excited because Portland is home to dozens of microbrewed beers.
While I was there, I asked my client where I might be able to find a nice brew and a nice view. He recommended McMenamins.
I couldn’t really pronounce it. In fact, HE couldn’t really pronounce it. But I was able to find it, and I was pretty impressed.
I made my way to the restaurant. It had a nice outdoor seating area, and a stack of wood outside. I knew I was going to like this place.
As I walked in, there were a stack of kegs, and a row of taps. This was getting better and better. Notice the artwork on the brewing equipment.
After a half hour wait, we were seated on the patio. The view of the Columbia River from the patio was stellar.
Notice that I haven’t even talked about the food or beer, yet. The ambiance was top-notch. Finally, though, it was time to eat; and I was hungry. We ordered an appetizer of some kind of shrimp tempura, which was very tasty, while we decided on beverages.
The beer selection looked great. I had seen the taps, but it was time for something locally-brewed.
They all looked so good that I decided on the sampler.
Look at that spectrum of color! Even the darker beers were pretty good, which are not typically my favorite. And look at that ruby ale on the left! The fact that they were able to brew a beer that color was impressive, but to provide it with any reasonably tasty flavor is a complete feat of brewing magic! The beers met my expectations for the Portland area (technically, I was in Vancouver, WA at this point), which was pretty high. Very nice.
Finally, I topped it off with a burger and some salad. It was a nice compliment to the beer sampler.
I would definitely be headed back to McMenamins if I were headed back to the area.