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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

They Loves Us

I've been trying to figure out a way to mention that erstwhile Seattle P-I beer writer Geoff Kaiser has a new blog. (His old one, hosted by the P-I, went kablooey with their troubles.) He was in town recently and got two posts out of the deal. Shorter Kaiser: Portland good!

Longer Kaiser here.


  1. Jeff, I agree with Geoff that Portland is a special place, most obviously for its peerless & over-the-top beer scene -- of which you are a much-valued part -- but also just as a big small town in the best sense.

    Its public transit, eminently walkable downtown, fun neighborhoods, unique institutions like McMenamin's & Powell's, great festivals & music scene & most important, its cool laid-back vibe make Portland very special for me.

    I recently had my parents & sister down there for my Dad's 80th birthday. We hit six brewpubs & took the free Saturday tour of the Gerding Theater at the Armory folks really got a kick out of that marvelous building & restoration, and they thoroughly enjoyed the city as usual.

    Most of the changes I've seen since I first set foot in Portland in '92 are for the better.

    I do wish Bridgeport had not gone so overboard in their renovation (a bakery in the brewpub...what were they thinking?), but now many others have taken up the slack ...Lucky Lab, Amnesia, Hopworks, Green Dragon, Deschutes, Alameda, Kennnedy School (!) & so many more iconic places that veritably breathe life into the city. Not to mention Stumptown coffee, which we now have in Seattle, making the best lattes here.

    Keep up the great work in spreading the news about Beervana to your Seattle acolytes!


    Phil Brandt

  2. Blackhook, thanks for the kind words. It's interesting what you say about Portland's size--I wonder to what extent our smallness contributes to the rich beer culture here. Fascinating idea...

  3. Blackhook / Phil: although I definitely agree with you about the Bridgeport renovation being over the top, I don't see the problem with a bakery in a brewpub or alehouse. Brewing and baking have a common tie (fermentation), and it would be really nice to see more Portland pubs up the ante a bit when it comes to their food offerings. One of my all-time favorite Portland pubs, B. Moloch, once located on the South Park blocks next to Widmer's old brewery but unfortunately gone these many years, featured a bakery, great food (Greg Higgins was chef there before moving on to open Higgins restaurant) and an excellent selection of rotating taps. A number of pubs have come along since with more impressive tap lists, but food generally seems to play second (or third, or fourth) fiddle.

  4. aleconner, good points, I hear you about the bakery. I do fondly remember sitting at the intimate B. Moloch's bar during OBF week & just soaking up the sunny ambiance.

    My issues with Bridgeport are perhaps more sentimental, in that it was the first place I visited in Portland, and indeed the first place I always went when coming to town.

    I thought the first renovation was totally unnecessary -- i.e., breaking up the center room with the staircase -- and the last one just plain took away a lot of the old character. Then again, I don't have to worry about the bottom line, and clearly they have moved toward upscaling the place & seem to be doing well with it. So I don't begrudge them that.

    At least they kept the back dock open -- great move -- and I still like their beers. But the bartenders today don't have any idea what a Blackbird is. If they bring that back as an unwritten beer choice, I might forgive everything :)