Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy and hoppy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope this day finds you with family and friends, warm and comfortable with plenty to eat and drink! Myself, I am well-stocked with beer (of course!), the turkey is in the oven, and all of our prep is done. Have a happy and safe holiday!

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth

Breakside Brewery will add a third location in 2016

Portland’s Breakside Brewery, one of Portland, Oregon’s brewery success stories by any measure, has announced that they will be opening a third location in 2016, to be located in the northwest Portland “Slabtown” district. Let’s get straight to the snippet from the press release:

B​reakside Brewery,​ the Oregon-based award winning craft brewery, announces that it has secured a 5,000 square foot space for a new brewpub in the historic Slabtown district in Northwest Portland. Breakside has targeted early summer 2016 to open its newest location on the corner of NW 22nd and Raleigh next to the recently opened New Seasons Marketplace. Local design-build firm Green Gables has partnered with Breakside to create the new space.

Breakside’s new brewpub will create an estimated 75 new jobs and will include an outdoor patio and mezzanine with flexible meeting and entertaining space.

Breakside Brewery Slabtown rendering

I write “success story” and it really is: they started out as a three-barrel brewpub located in northeast Portland in 2010, turning out a surprisingly wide variety and quantity of interesting beers on that tiny basement system, and in 2013 opened a 30-barrel production brewery in nearby Milwaukie and continued to brew at the same frenetic pace. They’ve won multiple awards in a number of competitions and a large number of accolades in other areas and media. And it’s not just for the stunt beers and weird, attention-grabbing brews (though they crank out their share of those); they have excellent standards like their Pilsner and IPA. (You can read my review from 2012 here.)

For all that, the key point of this story for me that made me wonder is—where or what in Portland is the “Slabtown district”?

Google to the rescue: this Portland neighborhoods website tells me:

Flanked by the West Hills and squeezed in between the Alphabet, Industrial and Pearl districts, historic Slabtown was once home to Portland’s immigrant, blue collar and logging communities. These days, it’s anchored by the Legacy Good Samaritan hospital, Wallace Park, a Multnomah County Library branch, and thriving brewpubs, bakeries and holistic healing centers.

And Arcadia Publishing has a book about Portland’s Slabtown:

In Portland’s first decades, the northwest side remained dense forests. Native Americans camped and Chinese immigrants farmed around Guild’s Lake. In the 1870s, Slabtown acquired its unusual name when a lumber mill opened on Northrup Street. The mill’s discarded log edges were a cheap source of heating and cooking fuel. This slabwood was stacked in front of working-class homes of employees of a pottery, the docks, icehouses, slaughterhouses, and lumber mills. Development concentrated along streetcar lines. The early 20th century brought the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, manufacturing, shipbuilding, Montgomery Ward, and the Vaughn Street Ballpark. Today, Slabtown is a densely populated residential neighborhood, with many small shops and restaurants and an industrial area on its northern border. Tourists still arrive by streetcar to the charming Thurman, NW Twenty-first, and Twenty-third Avenues.

However the Portland crime blog “Slabtown Chronicles” tells a different origin of the name:

The nickname Slabtown was first used in the 1880s for the “tenderloin” district just behind the Port of Portland in what is now called Oldtown and stretching westward from the river to today’s Pearl District. This was an area of Sailor’s boardinghouses, saloons and brothels. In fact there was a solid block known as Whitechapel (from NW Couch to Davis between NW 3rd and 4th Aves) made up of tiny prostitute cribs, little stalls just big enough for a bed where women lived and worked. Erickson’s Saloon, with the longest bar in the west, was in this area.

Relevant to Breakside’s news? Not really. But the history fascinates me, and a Google Maps search shows me that McMenamins Tavern & Pool, the Lompoc Tavern, and the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall are all nearby, so it definitely will be in good company.

Oregon Beer News, Thanksgiving Week 2015

Oregon BeerHappy Thanksgiving week! Because it’s a short holiday week I’m forgoing doing the daily Oregon beer news posts for this one, which I’ll periodically update this week (though likely not on Thursday). As always if you have news you’d like to share, drop me a note and I’m happy to get it posted here.

Belmont Station (Portland) today (Monday the 23rd) is hosting a tasting with California’s Tahoe Mountain Brewing today from 5 to 7pm: “Running Man Distributing just signed Tahoe Mountain and we are happy to introduce them here at Belmont Station. Running Man will be pouring samples of a handful of their bottled beers, brought in fresh from the brewery, and we hope to put something of theirs on draft as well.”

And this Wednesday, the 25th, Belmont Station is holding their annual ticketed event, their Bourbon County Stout Black Friday Sneak Preview Fundraiser, which benefits the Oregon Food Bank: “we will be pouring four very special rare versions of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout our taproom: 2015 Bourbon County Stout, BCS Barleywine, BCS Regal Rye and BCS Coffee. These beers will only be available in a flight for customers who have pre-purchased tickets for the event…  Customers can purchase FOUR tickets (so you can get some for friends), but there is a limit of only one ticket per person the day of the event. Ticket cost is $30 per ticket with $15 of each ticket going to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. Please note that to be a part of the the Bourbon County flight, you must have a pre-purchased ticket. We will not be selling them on the day of the event.” Get your tickets now! (And they will be selling bottles of Bourbon County Stout on Friday.)

Continue reading →

Cherry Festivus – Portland’s first cherry brewfest, today

The first annual Cherry Festivus, billed as a celebration of cherry beer and cider, takes places today at Portland’s Bazi Bierbrasserie all day from noon to 11pm.

Cherry Festivus

What simpler pleasure than nature’s finest Cherry? Tart, sweet, distinctly it’s own flavor, the Cherry goes well with sweet or savory as well as Beer and Cider. The Cherry may be the world’s most popular fruit and there is a world of beers to showcase them. So the creators of uber-popular events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival and the Peche Fest are pleased to announce the first annual Cherry Festivus, a showcase of 25+ beers featuring Cherries and a cider.

In addition to beer, the Bazi Bierbrasserie bar will be serving new cherry cocktails and a special food menu including a Cherry Flemish Stew.

Saturday 11/21 Noon to 11pm General Admission tickets are on sale for $20 and you receive a glass and 6 drink tickets.

Additional tickets are available for $2 each. There are only 200 glasses for the festival, there may be passes available at the door on Saturday but to assure entry we recommend purchasing in advance.

Advance ticket sales are ended now, so if you want to go but didn’t pre-purchase, try contacting Bazi to see if there are still spaced.

Oregon Beer News, 11/20/2015

Oregon BeerHappy Friday, the last weekend before Thanksgiving! Because next week is the holiday I may be taking some time off from the blog, though I’m not sure yet. In the meantime, here’s the news in Oregon beer for the weekend of November 19th. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. If you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Tonight is Silver Moon Brewing‘s grand opening of their new Redmond production brewery as well as their annual “One Beard To Rule Them All” fundraising event, taking place from 6 to 10pm. The night will feature beers and cocktails, live music, food, and of course crazy beard competitions (real and fake) with a portion of the proceeds going to the St. Charles Foundation to aid in prostate cancer prevention and research. It’s going to be a fun evening and I’ll even be there to sell some books!

McMenamins Bagdad Theater (Portland) has their monthly “Reel Beer Series” special beer tasting tonight starting at 5pm, featuring the Edgefield’s Lord Snow Imperial Stout: “Black as a crow, this strong, dark beer was brewed with wintergreen and peppermint candies to give it a hint of the chill of winter, but its massive, thick body and warming strength help to ward that chill off. A huge supporting cast of dark malts- including a hundred and fifty pounds of rolled oats to add a smooth mouthfeel- provide a great depth and complexity of flavor accentuated by the herbal, faintly sweet undertones of wintergreen and peppermint. Grab a pint and bundle up. Winter is coming…”

Continue reading →