Portland Paradise – Part 2

February 9th, 2009 · 9 Comments · Beer Travels, Oregon Breweries

Where can you find a Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam? Higgins Restaurant in Portland.

Where can you find a Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam? Higgins Restaurant in Portland.

If you missed Part 1, Jeanne and I took a trip down to Portland this past weekend and started off with visits to Hopworks Urban Brewery and Deschutes.

One highlight of the weekend was a 75-minute massage on Saturday afternoon, and afterwards we headed over to Lucky Lab NW and split a sampler tray. One thing that I love about Lucky Lab is that every time I’ve been they have almost a completely different tap lineup. The one constant seems to be my favorite: Super Dog IPA (yeah, you know what I’m talking about, Phil!) They also had an IPA called Got Hops? that I was pumped to try, but I have to say I was a bit let down by it. It was really thin and underbalanced, plus the hop profile wasn’t right up my alley (dominant pine flavors). It was OK, but not the homerun I was hoping for. Their Zingerbier was a zesty take on a spiced ale with just enough ginger to make it interesting. Their Scottish Holiday Ale was also enjoyable, with earthy malts and a moderate caramel sweetness. Lucky Lab also offers one of the coolest features I’ve ever seen at any brewpub: you can get any draft beer to-go in a 22oz bottle. They’ll fill it up for you and cap it right there. While it won’t last as long as a regular bottle, it is a great way to bring home some of those draft treats you can’t usually get (without having to buy a whole growler). Wish we saw this more often!

We next headed over to Bailey’s Taproom for a beer. This place is a great little bar in a sweet location really close downtown. They had about 20 taps of fantastic beer, as well as some special bottles for sale. The owner/bartender (Jeff?) was a great guy to talk to, and this will likely be a must-hit for me the next time I’m back in town. Jeanne and I split a 2008 Caldera Old Growth Imperial Stout, which was pretty impressive. At 10.3% ABV, it’s a big beer that packs in lots of chocolate and roast flavors. We also grabbed a sample of an IPA from a new small 1 barrel brewery in Hillsboro, OR called Vertigo Brewing that needed some work. It was very light and thin, and just didn’t live up to what you would expect from a NW IPA. Of course, I had been drinking a thick 10% stout, so I’d gladly give it another chance!

After a long rest at the hotel, next up was the highlight of the weekend: a nice dinner at Higgins Restaurant. Higgins is a classy restaurant that has got the beer thing figured out. In addition to a stellar wine list, they offer a beer menu that likely bests any other restaurant of their caliber. Hair of the Dog makes a beer named after the owner, Greg, that is exclusive to the restaurant. The beer is brewed with several varities of squash, and is perfect for meals using fresh fall/winter ingredients. The dinner was outstanding and our waiter did a good job of suggesting the Mc Chouffe to pair with our meal. Dessert might have been the highlight, though. After missing out on the Hair of the Dog dock sale late last year, I thought I’d missed out on any chance to purchase a Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam from the Wood. But, to my surprise they had this gem on the menu. Although it was pricey, I couldn’t help it and had to get one to pair with an apple and cherry tart served with brandy ice cream. The pairing was truly decadent, and it was a great way to finish off our day. It was quite nice to visit a really good restaurant where beer is not an afterthought…

After the huge meal and quite a few beers spread throughout the day on Saturday, Jeanne and I spoiled ourselves and got a little room service and watched Slumdog Millionaire in bed Sunday morning. Great movie, and I can see why the awards shows have been so quick to get excited about it.

It was time to check out and we headed down to the lobby. Earlier in the weekend, we had seen a bunch of bags in the lobby labeled with New York Knicks tags, and we assumed the team was staying at our hotel. Well, as we were waiting for our car the team bus was outside waiting to take them to the Rose Garden, and we got a few pictures of Jared Jeffries and Quintin Richardson (yeah, I had no idea who they were at the time…not exactly a huge NBA fan these days).

Next up was a trip to Whole Foods to grab some beer to take home, as well as heading out of town towards Beavertown to visit to Raccoon Lodge/Cascade Brewing and John’s Market Place. That’s going to have to wait until tomorrow….so I guess there is going to be a Part 3 to this trip. I will tell you that I’m in love with Cascade Brewing. But, don’t worry…I think Jeanne is too.

Jared Jeffries of the New York Knicks in Portland

Jared Jeffries of the New York Knicks in Portland

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Makmud

    Send me cherry Adam!

  • Elvis

    I think Bailey’s is the best in town, with the Horse Brass of course being a great place as well.

    Try Market of Choice up in Burlingame just off I-5 south of downtown. Very good selection as well.

  • Chef Erik

    You Bastard! You tried Cherry Adam AND You stayed in the SAME HOTEL as the NY Knicks!!
    I am TRULY jealous of your pics! It’s not easy being a fan of them these days, but, It’s slowly getting better…Beer helps too…

  • Jeff Alworth

    I hope you had a chance to try some of Ron’s sour beers at the Raccoon Lodge. And took a bottle or five of his ’09 Kriek home with you. Mmmm good!

  • blackhook

    Nice memories of hanging out with you at Lucky Lab Beer Hall on a lazy summer afternoon after the Brewer’s Fest. I do love their IPAs, Super Dog & Triple Threat …mmmm-good.

    Lucky Lab is such a quintessential Portland place …unpretentious, weird, wacky & wonderful.

    And glad to see Bailey’s doing well. Jeff sure does a nice job keeping on a motley selection of eclectic beers. I haven’t been since he added the beer engine …yet another excuse for a visit to the Rose City?

    Thanks for the entertaining travelogue! …also a great tip on hotel deals especially this time of year. I usually stay at Kennedy School or the Ace Hotel, but I’ll have to try The Nines as well.

  • blackhook

    Elvis, thanks for the tip on Market of Choice. I’ve been to one in Eugene & it was awesome. Besides the beer, what I remember is getting some of the best packaged fresh salsa I’ve ever had …it was made in Eugene, can’t remember the name. It is better than any salsa we get in Seattle.

    Is this MoC where the (sadly gone) Burlingame Grocery used to be?

  • Elvis

    yep, used to be burlingame grocery way back in the day before the owner burned it down in an insurance scam. epic.

    great beer selection back then, too.

  • blackhook

    Oh man, I remember emailing the store right after I heard about the fire, and their manager answered back that they hoped to reopen as soon as possible. Little did he know what was to come …so sad.

    Burlingame was always my last stop before heading back to Seattle from the OBF. Remember they had random vertical bottles of things like Thomas Hardy & Celebration Ale? I know I still have some stuff I got there, like Rogue Old Crustacean.

    But it sounds like Market of Choice is a nice get for the neighborhood.

  • Seattle Beer News visits Portland Paradise

    […] Portland Paradise – Part 2 finds our heros, post massage, sharing the sampler tray at Lucky Lab NW. Then it’s off to Bailey’s Taproom, and ultimately, after a long rest at the hotel, dinner at Higgin’s where they are delighted to score some Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam From the Wood to compliment the apple and cherry tart with brandy ice cream (a trip to Higgins is in the cards for yours truly too!). […]

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