Let me say something that’s not going to surprise any of you: I enjoy barley sodas aka barley pops aka brewskies aka un-water. Whether they be of the craft or mass-produced variety, I like them all. Does this mean I have a problem? Absolutely not. Does this mean I enjoy the finest things in life? Yes.
This being said, it will come as no surprise then that I have thoroughly enjoyed Oregon’s beer scene. Our Tour de Beer started in the lovely little town of Bend. If Bend was a person, it would be a moderately tall guy with a beard, wearing a North Face who just loves to mountain bike and kayak. Minus the beard, this person sounds a lot like me. So this clearly explains why I clearly liked Bend. Within Bend’s city limits alone, there are 15 breweries. I personally feel that one of the best is Deschutes Brewery since they brew one of my new favorite beers: Chain Breaker White IPA. I’m not typically an IPA guy, but when you’re in Oregon, you’d better start liking IPAs. IPAs are like oxygen to these people. A few Chain Breakers at Deschutes and I was a very happy beer fan in Bend.
Following my Bend bender, our next beer tasting ensued in Portland. You can’t walk three feet in Portland without stepping into another microbrewery or bumping into someone trying to sell you their latest malted barley creation. The first night in Portlandia, we hit up a bar in the Alberta ‘hood called Binks, which must be a locals joint because right off the bat, the bartender asked me which type of IPA I wanted. Bam! These folks are serious. The following day, our next Portland beer-perience was at the famed birthplace of Oregon craft brewing, Bridgeport Brewing. I did the tasting flight, made fast friends with a fellow Packers fan, and then took a nap.
Next up was Double Mountain in Hood River, which is home to a dozen or so delicious brews AND a perennial brewery favorite, wood fire pizza. It was only 11:30am and I had already enjoyed a beer tasting flight, an entire pizza to myself, and had just pulled the trigger on buying a growler full of Homestead Pale Ale. I quickly concluded that following our road trip, I may just have to enter the craft brewing craze. Paul Guebert, this means you’d have to be my business partner. Let’s discuss.
It should be known that throughout this beer-topia, Grace has ordered and enjoyed several local Wilamette Valley wines. We actually just discussed that the vast majority of our trip expenses thus far have been on beer and wine, not overnight accommodations. Our priorities are definitely straight.