There will apparently be an on-site brewery at Broadway sometime, but for now the beer comes from Old Market. The menu is also much the same. However, given that the Willamette essentially divides two cities, for many in the neighborhood, it is a new experience. (I visited the Old Market once, back when I wrote about beer for the Willamette Week, in the late '90s.)
The space is quite comfortable--and had already attracted a pretty good crowd when we visited a little over a week ago. The front of the pub curls around a groovy bar, and there are open spaces in the back festooned with large, flat-screen TVs (tuned to a Bears game when I was there). They both suit the sports fan but remain comfortably out of the way for non-fans. At the end of the review, I'll copy in a minute of footage I shot at the pub so you can get a sense of the space.
While I'll appreciate further reports (and learn more on further visits), the food seems like good, if somewhat predictable, fare. I had a honey mustard chicken sandwich that was perfectly cooked, moist, and tender. Sally had pizza, which turned out to be thick crust--not to my personal taste. However, it is hand made and seemed like it might have been made with beer and is pretty tasty, particularly loaded, as it was, with tasty veggies.
The pub offers a sampler plate with nine 4-ounce glasses of beer for $9--a great value. I won't go for it every time, but I might do it every now and again, as the seasonals rotate through. On the whole, it was an impressive selection. Except for a diacetyl note in a couple of the beers that I think was intentional, none had any off-flavors. Only a couple were so-so, and three were worth going out of your way for. Definitely an above-average range.
Below are my notes.
- Pilsner. Bavarian style. Crisp, fresh. Could use a hop or two more, but quite nice. (Good)
- Wild Red. The brewery's flagship, but not, I suspect destined to be the fave on Broadway. A diacetyl (butterscotch) note that is fairly nice. However, the hops are a bit soapy and the crystal malts impart too much tannin. (Average)
- Golden. Hops are wonderfully spicy and floral and turn this throwaway style into something special. Rich without bitterness; great session. (Excellent)
- ESB. A lot in common with the red--diacetyl and tannins, but a little less so. Slightly maltier, slightly sweeter, but again with the soap. (Average)
- Porter. A nice change-up. It has an almost sour quality that recalls Guinness. Made with wheat. Quite distinctive. (Excellent)
- Pale. Traditional West Coast pale. Citrus bittering, sweet malt. Pretty agressive and akin to--though not quite as complex as--BridgePort IPA. (Good)
- British IPA. The brewery's most popular beer. Hopping is a little spicier than in usual NW versions--English hops? (Good)
- IPA. Also not the usual NW hopping, again spicy. Great aroma--dry hopped? (Good)
- Stout (nitro). Dense, creamy, and chocolaty, finished with a pronounced smoky and slightly roasty note. A touch of coffee. (Excellent)
The Broadway area has always been a little light on the brewpubs--just a McMenamins a few blocks down--so I think this will become a regular watering hole for locals. Please use the comments to let me know what you thought of the place.
*I'll get contact info soon.