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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Bottle Shop: Beermongers

Some of you may be familiar with the iconic "banana" building at the corner of Southeast 12th and Division. It is now home to a new bottle shop named Beermongers. It opened just this Saturday, and I didn't make it down for the grand opening. Click on the name to see the website; follow them via Twitter here. According to Google maps, this puts me almost exactly equidistant between Beermongers and Belmont Station. What fortune!

I heard the opening day was a bit slow--the misfortune of holding your grand opening the day a tropical storm hits. Anyone stop by?


  1. New Seasons has a decent beer selection right up the street, not far from this place. Beermongers might be a little cheaper, but they'll need a decent hook or gimmick to keep people coming in the door. Maybe have operating hours till 2 AM?? Topless tasting bar? Beer sampling likes Cinetopia's wine by the ounce? Something different.

    The local competition is pretty heavy and they have they're devoted customers. Belmont Station, John's market or By the Bottle beer selections have Beermongers beat by a long shot. Beermongers selection is 'meh' at best. Without a gimmick or more diverse stock, success may be fleeting. Lets hope for a better beer selection; Keep prices cheap; Finding a draw to get people in the door.

    It's Portland! Maybe, drunken midget mud wrestling will attract a crowd. :-)

  2. P-Paul: You're quite right. The gimmick they chose is: low prices. Read all about it here.

  3. average Joe consumer1:51 PM, September 08, 2009

    Time and Convenience trumps a bargain in most cases. We all know that. Time is money. If you live in the general vicinity of this place you'd be in good shape. For the rest, convenience plays a major roll. Why drive across town to save .50 to $2.00? What's the old idiom? 'Penny Wise and Pound Foolish.'

    If someone wants to buy beer cheap there are Trader Joes, Win Co's, Costco and the like. A bargain can be easily found and possibly closer to home. Looking for something special? You'll probably go to a place with the largest selection.

    Same reason why we have so many convenient stores that thrive. 7/11, Plaid Pantry and like are not thriving based on their bargains.

    If they were six well stocked Beermonger's strategically located around the Portland metro area, that would be a nice profit venture.

  4. Bill's post is quite useful, incidentally. Price is important. I have too often dumped double-digits on a bottle of beer that turned out to be a dud. It inhibits my experimentation. The cheaper the beer, the more likely I am to give it a shot. Which, for an experimenter like me, is great. Hafta get over there soon.

  5. ...but will you find anything to buy....?

  6. You are always exchange time and money; but, I have time. I am a retired geezer.

    I am influenced price.

    When I am in a chain grocery store, I walk the beer aisle looking for something interesting; if local [Pacific NW], interesting, and 'On Special', I'm taking it home.

    Additionally, living in Salem, I frequent Mr. Fu's Capital Market. Not for price but because his re-purposed Safeway grocery store is a superb beer depot. And, I am supporting a unique Local market.

  7. I haven't really read anything about bridgetown beer house either as far as their selection and prices go. I would love to go to these places... but most are just too far away for me to drive all the time.

    I can't understand why someone would open a bottleshop right where so many already exist... especially near the newly revamped 39th Hawthorne Fred Meyer, Johns which is huge and fairly good priced.... and places like QFC, New Seasons, and Whole Foods that all have a decent selection. I even drive out of my way to hit up By The Bottle which for me is still a bit of a drive.

    If I had the start-up money, I would immediately open a craft beer pub and bottle shop out here in Gresham/Troutdale. We have 4th St. Brewing out here and that is about it. There is a big market out here for a real bottle shop... and I can't understand why they are all located in deep SE Portland.. which honestly I can't stand... I mean even in the Rose City NE area where I grew up... there isn't even a decent close bottle shop though Laurelwood is right there.

    Doesn't make sense! I want to buy some bottles, and so do hundreds more of us over here! I can get $9 cases of both Session and Sessiion Black at Plaid Pantry over here as well as $3.99 bombers of Hop Stoopid. But I want more damnit! ;-)

  8. sure it makes sense GDOSIR, we all avoid gresham/troutdale as much as humanly possible.

  9. I read that Gresham/Troutdale has the largest Section 8 housing in the Metro area. Is that true? That might explain the lack of good bottle shops and pubs.

  10. DOSiR, the Beer Gods are punishing you for living in Gresham. Renounce your sinful ways and move to inner SE with the rest of us.

    --JT (who is still waiting for a brewpub in Foster-Powell... HUB is great, but not drunken-stumbling-home distance. I wish somebody would buy the Phoenix Building an 67th & Foster... it'd be a great location. I'd settle for McMenamins!))

  11. Funny, there is actually some nice housing out here... and wait.. wait... what is that... Lower income folks buy 85% of the craft beer EVERYWHERE... you are missing out on a big chunk of the pie Samurai/PinkNoodle.

    Huge market, big loss... just sayin'!

    I do however have Edgefield just around the corner... but my gripe are the bottle shops. I guess I'll just make my trip to By The Bottle before or after work.

    I don't user section 8 like most people in the greater Gresham/Troutdale area... but where I live, it's a lot cleaner than SE. The apartments over there are dumps. (Lived and worked there for years).

  12. I think everyone should lay off DOSIR and Gresham. It's all Beervana, folks.

    (As for cleaner--that is a most debatable proposition.)

  13. Thx Jeff... and you are correct.

    SE spans many miles as does NE... look around 82nd, Woodstock, etc... and boy oh boy... but then look around Mt. Tabor.. and a drive up Lincoln St. and it is quite nice.

    I worked down on Belmont... and don't like deep SE because of the Hawthorne district and almost snotty New York attitude from many in the area... sure I make blanket statements as part of my sense of humor... I went to Benson some years ago, and my Sister went to Cleveland... so I know the area well. I grew up stumbling distance from Laurelwoods 51st location.

    Yes, Gresham isn't my permanent residence but I am happy here, and it sure beats Fairview... now there is a dump! Old downtown Gresham is nice, and I enjoy 4th St. brewing which I might add gets no respect here in Beervana because it is in Gresham.

    On a side note Jeff, Samurai just has it in for me because I commented on how snobby and dickish their attitudes are as presented here, and why I wont bring my business back to Belmont Station.

    Cheers, and happy craft beer drinking!

  14. Also Jeff, are you gonna let me buy you a Fresh Hop Ale at 4th St. brewing in a couple of weeks? :-)

  15. At least Gresham has a brewpub. Where I live in Oregon City has zip... Unless you count McMenamins, but the ones in our area only have their standard 5 or so beers.

    Oh, let me drive to West Linn... nope nothing there

    Lake Oswego? nope try again.

    Milwaukee? nada.

    Selwood? no way, Phillys is an insult to brewpubs.

    Clackamas?, nope.

    Canby?, haha right.

    Hmm, which is closer, Estacada or Portland?

  16. I thought Beer Mongers was cool, and I would rather spend my money there or at Belmont Station, than New Seasons any day. They are both places that you can hang out, talk beer, and walk away pretty happy. They are not trying to sell organic radishes or cruelty free soy bologna. It's all about the beer. True, if you live super far away, probably not worth the trip, but nice if, like me, you are in the area. Although, between Saraveza, Belmont Station, Johns Market, By the bottle, and Beer Mongers, we are fortunate here, and a good bottle shop isn't that far away for anyone.
    Granted the out most burbs may have to drive, but isn't it worth it??

  17. DOSIR,
    I think a lot of us here in inner portland are low income. I am sure I make no more, probably less then most people on this blog.
    I just find Gresham a culture wasteland as do most of us here I think. All highways and shopping centers. Yeah, I think its lame.
    And 4th st. I have had some decent beers and some extremely bad beers from.
    I would happily give any brewery outside of Portland a shot.

    Second, I dont care about Belmont Station. I am just saying you have been all about the corporate market buying and that is lame when you have a bunch of real beer geeks working at small shops that are all about the beer and the community.
    Which their is little of out in Gresham.
    The only beers I have ever even seen you mention before are mass produced beers, I doubt you could even tell me what a saison or a rauchbier even is without googling it. I know the places out in Gresham couldnt.

    I would happily say go to Johns Market or Beer Mongers or even New Seasons who atleast isnt corporate.

    And dont get me wrong, I know their are exceptions to Gresham and its not all like that. But by and large.

  18. Samurai.. I think you haven't followed a lot of my reviews or places I like to shop much. I wouldn't call Beaumont Market, or By the Bottle corporate as you speak it. Those are the places I do most of my bottle shopping... I think you are referring to my 55th Burnside QFC, and Whole Foods at 15th Fremont post... which I must say DO have a huge selection and beat many of the prices elsewhere.

    I know my styles of beers, and have favorites... and if you check my beeradvocate reviews... you will see I have had some decent Saisons... and know the style quite well. The later you mentioned I do lack the knowledge on, and is why I come to places like these to broaden my horizons. Nothing I am afraid to admit.

    I wouldn't call my two favorite brew pubs very 'corporate' either... those being Laurelwood, and Hopworks. And what is wrong with 'corporate'? That reminds me of all my old punk friends from high school saying Bad Religion sold out because they actually sold albums. I like Full Sail a lot, and am happy that Widmer is pumping out some reserve series beers... that is all.

    No offense, but it seems I have been an easy target for you to have a pissing match.

    Either way, I am sorry you are misunderstood of me, and what knowledge and place I DO have in the local craft beer world. Cheers to happy craft beer drinking!

  19. @Samurai Artist

    Awesome! Nothing like a product of the suburbs or some podunk town looking down on those currently in the suburbs!

    And you know nothing about Gresham--a place arguably more culturally diverse than uber-homogenous, lily-white inner SE Portland.

    Keep it up!

  20. Damn guys, retract the claws and have a beer!

    I'm not going to get involved in the PDX/suburb pissing match, but I do want to offer a perspective from inside the industry.

    The fact of the matter is that the VAST majority of craft and imported beer sold in the Portland Metro is sold in NE, SE, and downtown. According to a couple sales reps I've spoken to, upwards of 60% of the craft/imports are sold in those three areas.

    I've seen sales reports for several different distributors and a couple of breweries, and by and large the burbs are still BMC country. That's not to say that there aren't craft beer drinkers out there; there just isn't a high enough proportion to cause a blip on the sales radar and give anyone incentive to open a specialty bottle shop.

    Hell, if I thought it would work I'd do it myself. I do think that a place along the MAX line would offer some potential (if they can clean up the crime), but it would be a tough sell...

  21. Great points!

    Reason sales are more is because a lot like me have to drive all the way down to buy $200 a month in NE, and SE Portland.

    If all those great craft beers were available in the outskirts such as Gresham/Troutdale... sales would automatically increase in this area. There is a huge market out here for it... and yes, a very culturally diverse area it is... even out towards Happy Valley etc.... at least there IS 4th st. And anyone not liking it I bet hasn't taken the bus out to it at least since they have moved into their new building... and I bet 4 years ago or so.....

    I'll just keep my fingers crossed until I build my home in WA.