Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hopworks Urban Brewery, finally!

We were finally able to visit Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland Oregon Tuesday evening with my mother, wife, and daughter. Hopworks is a seriously cool place to eat, drink, and bicycle. they are heavily into recycling, sustainability, and organic brewing. It is a large building located on Powell Blvd. On the main floor there is a bar area and a regular dining area. Upstairs is where they put the families, away from the bar drunks and of no bother to the regular diners. Upstairs were a few toys and tables for children to entertain themselves while mom and dad enjoy good pub food and good craft beer. This sort of idea is a god-send for people with kids, thanks Hopworks!

So many choices...

The food - I had a very good burger cooked medium, just the way I ordered it, which is typically not very typical. My wife, Jennifer, had a huge calzone with more roasted garlic than she knew what to do with. HUB offers many vegetarian choices as well as gluten free substitutions. The food was great!
The Beer - We ordered the 10 x 3 oz sampler to share. 4 of the samples were seasonal featuring two fresh hop beers, which I was interested in trying since I had just shipped off my own Raw Ra Reed Ale to Yakima's Fresh Hop Ale Festival Competition earlier that day. A fresh hopped Oktoberfest, fest of fury, was my favorite out of the sampler and actually ordered a pint. For the rest of the beer, the pilsner I thought was really good and very in line with a Czech style pilsner, and my mother, Sally, really liked the Survival Stout, which has coffee, and an eclectic grain bill featuring Quinoa and Kamut; enough to make the person who drafted the Reinheitsgebot law turn over in his grave. The beer seems to be muddled with a lot of complexity, so much so that any of the interesting character provided by a particular ingredient is hidden by the cornucopia of other ingredients making the end result somewhat 'fair to midland'.
Overall - The place is very cool and extremely Portland. HUB offers good craft beer, great food featuring as many vegetarian options as there are flesh, they embrace the growing bicycle culture, and a green brewery featuring a biodiesel fired brew kettle that uses HUB fryer oil. For anyone looking for an introduction to Portland Oregon, start at HUB.

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