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Monday, August 10, 2009

McMenamin's Crystal Hotel

Although the following article mentions that the McMenamins' plan to build a hotel downtown amid their current holdings "was announced with great fanfare," I totally missed it. Therefore, it is with due fanfare that I pass along the following news:

McMenamins Hotels, Pubs & Breweries secured a permit from the city of Portland on July 20 to proceed with its Crystal Hotel project at 303 S.W. 12th Ave., a former bath house, hotel and reputed gangster hangout that has been empty for about two years.

The hotel, slated to open this winter, will link with two McMenamins facilities in the neighborhood, Ringlers Annex Pub and the Crystal Ballroom. It also promises to connect the neighborhood with the Brewery Blocks to the north.

There doesn't seem to be any info about whether the McBrothers will be brewing on-site, but I hope so. It would return brewing to downtown, where it flourished for 140+ years when the Weinhard Brewery was just across the street. I would love to get a whiff of boiling wort as I toddle into Powell's again. This is what they do mention:
The company will commemorate, through original artwork and historic photographs, the property's evolution from pioneer residence to a tire shop along the city's original Auto Row to a live jazz club to—most recently and significantly—part of Portland's gay triangle.
Whole article's worth a read. (Hat tip to John Foyston.)


  1. The Crystal/Lola's has a brewery. So does Deschutes, which is even closer. You need to get out more, Jeff!

  2. The Crystal ballroom has a brewery? Yeah, I am obviously not up to speed.

    Deschutes isn't as close to the old Henry's as this place would be, though.

  3. Now they just need to brew some good beer!

  4. I hate to say it, but DR Wort did a write up on the new MCHotel almost a year ago. The hotel will be attached to Crystal Ballroom, so their brewery will supply the hotel. BTW, Crystal has been brewing beer for quite some time.

    @Dosir. Hey man... they make an IPA, shouldn't that be sufficient. ;-}

  5. Had their Hot for Teacher IPA... wasn't impressed although it was better than anything else they tried.... in that style...

    I would like to see a barrel aged strong ale or drinkable sour....

    There was one beer however I liked... think it was called bagdad ale... actually though it was nice on tap at the edgefield... but still not an A level beer... Don't know if they make one...

    Back in the day though.... Remember going to the Kennedy School right when it opened... terminator and ruby were actually fantastic craft brews at the time... I guess they still hold up a little..

  6. @ Dosir

    "would like to see a barrel aged strong ale or drinkable sour...."

    From the McMinimalists? Dream on! That's like asking for a new Pub menu or decent fries!

    I'd to see a few of those beers more frequently at other breweries too...

    I used to think Terminator Stout was pretty good too, but then evolved beyond... Damn that evolution. I do enjoy their Scarecrow Brown which should be coming out in the fall.

    Dr Wort really would like to see a Brouwer's Cafe type taphouse in Downtown Portland.... Hell! Anywhere is Portland! Brewers Cafe, Uber Tavern, Toronado, Lucky Baldwins, etc...... One "REAL" beer geek place.

    We've been revisiting some local breweries to update some reviews. DW would like to give some breweries a good spin (believe it or not). Went to Alameda brewing this weekend.... Don't think we can give any good "beer" spin there, but food was OK. :-O

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  8. "The company will commemorate, through original artwork and historic photographs, the property's evolution from pioneer residence to a tire shop along the city's original Auto Row to a live jazz club to—most recently and significantly—part of Portland's gay triangle."

    This kinda crap annoys me when business do it. The buildings history should not be a showcase of your business unless your running a museum. I'd take a good product over a colorful location with historical photographs.

    The other thing I find funny is how many Oregonians complain when an establishment has locations in every town throughout Oregon. You here all this shtick, yet for some reason many of these same people still make time to stop off at one of umpteen McMenamins locations wherever they are.

  9. Speaking as a brewer for the company, some of the breweries in the company have already done barrel aged beers including a Sasquatch Strong Ale aged in a whiskey barrel that I did before moving to Bend. In face we here in Bend will be involved with the Little Woody festival on Sept. 12th. We are releasing Reaper's Demise, a whiskey barrel aged Oktoberfest.


  10. I once saw a barrel aged Hammerhead at the John's Landing pub (Fulton Pub?).

    Also, I think years back I also had a sour Framboise from one of the McMenamins at the KLCC fest in Eugene, maybe the High St. McMenamins, it was actually pretty tasty.

  11. I should rephrase.. more barrel aged brews that more than just a few can have a 1 or maybe 2 of their pubs if lucky.

    @DW Alameda no good beers? I for one think their El Torero IPA is fantastic... and the stout aint bad either. I haven't bothered with the Kilickitat Pale.. but I have heard it is great.

  12. @Dosir

    Alameda is OK... just OK. Nothing outstanding. It's been pretty downhill to average offerings since the Juniper Porter has had it's juniper removed.

    The XXX Black Bear Stout(?) is their best offering and has won some recent awards. It's a good stout, but so are many others.

    IPA's? You know we're burned out on IPA's.... and I do mean, ALL OF US on the Wort Crew. So many good ones out there, there's really no point in brewing anymore. This may sound scary, but if the American brewing community did a big judging of all the US IPA and narrowed it down to the top 50 IPA... We could just brew those IPA's and stop wasting time brewing any others. Over saturation makes for boredom!

    Lets' try something different! How about trying to bore Dr Wort by over saturating the country with Belgian Saisons, Blonds and Dubbels! We can stop when we get 50 great ones! ;-}


    Ooops! Yea, we should rephrase our statement to MORE BARREL conditioned beers and of course your wonderful Belgian offerings. We still SAY YOU WERE ROBBED AT THE CTBB!

    I just had flashback... Walking through Edgefield and seeing 2-3 outdoor fermenters and the indoor fermenters baking in the mid-day sun! Oh yea, that'll be some quality stuff! Glycol.... What's that? Must not be in the budget! ;-}

    Now! How about amping up that tired and old MCMinimalist Menu?? ;-}

  13. Hey, if you want to come to St. Francis School in Bend we have the brown that won the Barley Cup in Salem, a Kolsch, an American Strong Ale (The Noogie), a Coffee Stout that was at the Buzz Tent. Coming soon a Roggenbier made with a hefeweizen strain, an Oktoberfest, a dry hopped double red, etc., etc., etc.

  14. @Corey

    A Roggenbier! Wow! Don't see those everyday! I've had a few different Roggenbiers when in Germany. Hefe yeast (wieheistephen {sp?})? OK.... that might be interesting. Are you doing a lighter Roggen (Rye) or the denser RED Roggen? Red in color, not name. I used to really enjoy the dark dense Roggens.

    You mean a real Oktoberfest like the original Spaten with Vienna and Munich malts? ;-}

    ...and yes, I do like MCM's brown.