Review of Bridgeport Brewery – Portland, OR
Posted on January 11, 2010 by mike
Rating : 4 out of 5
On a trip to one of the meccas of brewing, Portland, OR one can find themselves overwhelmed with the options presented to them, especially in the Pearl District. However, I have found a great place in the Bridgeport Brewpub and Bakery. This one is on the top of my list of places to drink when in Portland, OR.
1313 N.W. Marshall
Porltand, OR 97209
I grasped a menu and immediately looked for a brew. The list had variety some quirky names such as Blue Heron Pale Ale, Haymaker EPA or the Ropewalk Amber, which if I remember correctly is a tribute to the history of building once being a rope factory. Putting that aside, since I was on a Stout kick during the time I hit up the Black Strap Stout. This beer had a lot of qualities of a Guiniess but tasted much better. It had more carbonation, better head, a tish of sweetness from the Black Strap molasses which could be attributed more to the aroma than the actual flavor and finished with a slight bitterness that I can only attribute to some black barley of some sort. Charlie Papazian talks more about Black Strap Molasses in his book The Joy of Home Brewing. Very good read!
After a few Black Straps I moved on to a seasonal ale called “Ebenezer Ale”, which I really enjoyed to. I could really taste the pine that was added to this beer and it really reminded me of the Bombay Sapphire Gin that I love so much.
Going into the place I was greeted by the fresh smell of baked bread, brick walls, accented with aluminum chairs, tables, and exposed duct work. A warm sensation comes over me every time I enter a place of historical value updated with a modern flair. We were greeted and brought to a table and the first thing I noticed was “What a Long Strange Trip” by the Grateful Dead playing on the radio and a child sitting with his seemingly grandparents playing a intense game of cards. An ease fell over me. You almost feel home.
To be honest I didn’t eat much of the food. I’d rather drink my meal than eat. While there though, I did decide to sample something that came from the bakery. I ended up ordering a soft pretzel. I know, I’m so classy. I AM! They brought it on a nice plate with 2 separate dipping sauces. One sauce was an esb mustard and the other was a black strap stout cheddar spread. They were both good, but I preferred mixing them together and dipping the pretzel in them like I was at a baseball game. This appetizer hit my drunk munchies perfectly!
The place was down right relaxing and fun to be at. Aside from the beer my favorite thing about the place was the toilets in the men’s room. They had to be 5ft tall all the way from the ground up. You could literally sit in one if you wanted…
The other thing that I found really interesting and is probably just the brewing nerd inside me is learning about a technique where beer is kept in a “firkin” while it carbonates. A Firkin is a traditional wooden cask equal to a quarter barrel, but the idea here is that the beer is naturally carbonated, not force carbonated like a lot of the commercial beers we are used to. I’ve heard people tell me that this is referred to by the British as a “real ale.” Regardless, I think it might attribute to some of the sparkaly carbonation sensations I was experiencing in my earlier beers.
Would I Go Back?