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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Coalition Brewing

I guess I have to share Coalition Brewing with other bloggers. Both Angelo and Ezra have full-scale interviews with Elan, Kiley, and Deschutes-poached brewer Bruce MacPhee. And both even have videos. They detail the beer, the philosophy, and the menu, so you should want for nothing. Grand opening is June 23.

My two bits are these: they've been brewing regularly over the past week, sending plumes of lovely aroma out into the neighborhood. Coalition is located between my house and the intersection of Burnside and 28th, a regular target destination for my strolls (there's a grocery store, Chinese restaurant, and pizza thereabouts). It's going to be three weeks before they throw open the doors, but I'm already relating to Coalition as a working brewery. Nothing is so fine as the smell of brewing beer--it's going to be great to have them bubbling away, just blocks from my house.


  1. Just read Erza's article.

    I'm sure you will be pleased with this new brewery, Jeff!

    Meat Muffins and more repetitious standard ales! Wow! Can I camp out by the front door? You just can't find inspired selections like that at any establishment! On wait! Meatloaf, Sloppy Joe mix and standard ales.... Hmmm? Do you have Albertson's or a Safeway nearby, that would fit the same bill? I even think those supermarkets sell muffin tins so you can form your meatloaf into a muffin shape. Might even find the 'Trailer Trash Cookbook' that featured that concept.

    I have to stop now... Can't breath do to all the laughter.

  2. "The 150-barrel brew system (at Deschutes) was all automated. Once you hit “start”, you’re just sitting around making sure valves open." - fun.

  3. Doc, you are a force of nature, and your key contribution to the discussion is always a healthy dose of derision. I've long learned that this flows uni-directionally, and I won't try to dissuade you from your raison d'etra.

    However, two things spring to mind.

    1) Fixing a narrative in time can be tricky work, particularly when that narrative--and its attendant derision--rests on novelty. Your criticism always relies on how the world has not kept abreast of your forward tastes, and remains sadly mired in old, parochial ways. Yet you fail to take note of the meat revolution which is the central feature of cuisine (Beast, Animal, Le Pigeon, et al). The menu appears to be on the cutting edge of trend. You, however, mistake it because your framing narrative is two decades out of fashion.

    2. Your narrative also has an Escherian quality in that it both prizes brewing novelty--and therefore despises the familiar--but also mocks Oregonian novelty. You want new brews that hew to your own standards of tradition. That Coalition means to brew traditional English ales comes in for mocking because it's not original; if they brewed something truly original, though, you'd mock them for failing to adhere to style. You send your critiques--always before you've actually, you know, tasted the beer--up or down, depending on which provides the readiest off-the-shelf denunciations.

    But as I say, carry on. I will be happy to enjoy their beers without your imprimatur.

  4. Oh, one other way Coalition is on the cutting edge: crowd-sourcing. (They plan to invite community homebrewers to work with them to craft recipes.) It is difficult to imagine a brewer of a more mature vintage (my age or Doc Wort's) coming up with this Gen Y innovation.

    There's a lot to look forward to in Coalition's business plan.

  5. I was hoping you'd take the bait and you did. ;-}

    1. I understand the current trends in gastronomy. As you know, I don't jump onto a bandwagon because everyone else does. Trends are just that, "TRENDS." I have frequented some of the current "Foodie" trendy restaurants (Beast and the like). Some are quite good, others hail the praises of 'Eating the entire animal." Something of a historical jaunt to times gone by. Also, can be quite enjoyable. I follow more foodie blogs with serious interest than a do the more comical biased Beer ones.

    All that being said, Meatloaf meat muffins ala Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1968 does not follow any modern trend that I'm aware. Reading more into their proposed menu I see Panini's, Sloppy Joe's and Meat pies. Panini's have come and gone from the general trendy market. If Safeway makes them, that means it's been over saturated it's time has past. Sloppy Joes follows the Mac-n-Cheese mind set and Meat Pies, European in style or not, are nothing more than the chronic rehashing the Chicken Pot Pie and/or Pizza Pocket! All these TREND Setting foods as you call them, fall on the lower end of the Gastronomic Totem Pole. Maybe it just depends on whether you are looking from bottom up or the top down.

    2. Yes! I mock Oregonian novelty as kitschy crap. You have that correct! In regard to standard ales... How many different or even excellent IPA's, Pale Ales or Porter do you have to imbibe before you say... "Yea! Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt and the Program"? Would I be blown away by a stupendous Stout or IPA? The answer is.... No!

    3. The Home Brewing interaction is the singular positive note.

    Thanks for playing along... ;-}

  6. BTW, I will not give any reviews until I have partaken in their offerings. Maybe the MEAT MUFFINS are made with Duck or Wild Board with Congac infused Black Truffle Goose pate, that might be impressive. Maybe the Stout will be infused with Hashish and it'll all be a euphoric encounter.

    Then again, maybe it'll just be Grandma's meatloaf stuffed into muffin tins served with a insipid Porter that I could have acquired in any back woods jerk water town?

    We'll have to see...

  7. A back woods jerk water town? Why, that's where I live. You can brew some great beer with jerk water.

  8. The funny thing is that I almost agree with dr wort on the whole "another IPA or Stout by an Oregon brewery" thing, but the fact is.....dr wort comes off as a huge douchebag. I know he MEANS to come off as a huge douchebag, which makes him even sadder and more pathetic. And I know that he revels in the fact that I think that. Which, in turn, is even more sad and more pathetic.

    I'm pretty new to the Portland beer blogs, and for the most part they are pleasant reads. But dr wort playing the familiar role of dickish fucktard is just a pale imitation of the angry forum troll.

  9. Hey! Thanks Shawn!

    "dickish fucktard" that about the most imagination I've seen for awhile. You MUST be from out of town and Bet you where the top of your class. ;-}

  10. 180,

    Yes, but you're doing something unique with your beers! ;-}

  11. dr wort: nope, I'm in SE Portland.

  12. @Shawn

    So am I! Maybe you're my idiot neighbor?! What would be the chance... ;-}

  13. King Juan Carlos4:53 PM, June 03, 2010

    One thing that is often overlooked when a brewpub (vs. a production brewery) is opening is that unless they want to serve someone else's beer, they've got to deliver at least a few good ol' recognizable styles if they want to survive. Easy to throw stones when you don't have to pay the bills.

    Dorks like us will go there for what's interesting, but a whole big group of their potential audience -- think neighborhood locals -- will often be more interested in good quality, good value and a good night out than in how eclectic the beer list may or may not be. The art of the killer brewpub IMHO is to figure out ways to take care of both the hardcore AND the casual fans at the same time.

    Jeff, you should really know not to take the bait from Doc. All it does is embolden him.

    (although I do agree with him that the local scene needs a kick in the ass.)

  14. @KJC

    There's always a ring truth and sense of reality in the Doc's ramblings. ;-}

    Jeff really can't win with the Doc. The Doc plays whatever field he's given to play on. If Jeff ignores me, I'll say he's incompetent to go toe to toe with a discussion. If he takes the bait, I've already stacked the deck. If I ramble nonsense he'll jump all over it. Together we're like Martin and Lewis..... Jeff's a great straight man. Well... he says he's straight! ;-}

  15. On taking the bait: I do so every now and again, mainly when a small brewery is at the end of his attacks and readers unfamiliar with the Doc may take it seriously. Not so many people read this blog, but a few, and a few of them are not familiar with the long history.

    On straight: I tend to think of myself as bent.