This is part of a series of posts about my vacation to Portland, Oregon, in late February 2013.
Consider this my official round-up of PDX libations. Before going any further, I have to tell you about the beer above, which was one of the very best, most memorable beers I’ve ever had. It was a special collaboration between Cascade Brewing and Oblique Coffee Roasters that we tried on our last night in Portland, and I loved it so much that it took several minutes for our waitress to finally convince me that taking a growler on the plane wasn’t the best idea (I settled for a bottle of Blueberry, my second favorite). It has the blonde color of a lager, but the body of a stout and the most intense, in-your-face coffee flavor that I’ve ever tasted in a beer. Addictive. Still wish I could have smuggled some back to Chicago…
We did tasting flights at three breweries (Widmer Brothers, Deschutes, and Cascade), and I was impressed by the variety and character of all three. Widmer Brothers is known for their Hefeweizen, and I also was taken by their Oatmeal Stout; at Deschutes, I liked the Black Butte Porter and Chainbreaker White IPA best, and fortunately those two are available here in Chicago. Wine-wise, we visited the SE Wine Collective to sample from four local wine producers who share the space. Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, which I don’t drink often, so it was fun to explore new territory and settle on the 2010 Division “Un” to take home. Portland offered fantastic fruit-based cocktails as well, including an ultra-fresh, basil-enhanced pineapple mojito at Andina, and my first experience with pungent drinking vinegar in the apple gin rickey at Pok Pok.
The details: Widmer Brothers Brewery & Gasthaus Pub, 929 N Russell St.; Deschutes Brewery, 210 NW 11th Ave.; Cascade Brewing Barrel House;, 939 SE Belmont St.; SE Wine Collective, 2425 SE 35th Pl.; H50, 50 SW Morrison St.; Pok Pok, 3226 SE Division St.; Grüner, 527 SW 12th Ave.; Andina, 1314 NW Gilsan St.