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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Beervana Stories 2 & 3

There's a movie theater downtown that doubles as a restaurant, and the theaters themselves are cozy, slightly upscale, and now no more expensive than the abominations down the street run by Regal Cinemas. You can take food from the restaurant into the theaters or, if you didn't order beforehand, they'll bring it in for you. Of course, this is Portland, so they have beer.

Used to be it was just four taps, but they recently doubled that. They're well-selected and wholly local. Nevertheless, this is still a movie theater--there's a separate line for where you buy food if you're going to watch a movie, and they sell popcorn and candy. So tonight, while waiting to order up a couple cold ones, the woman in line in front of us asked about the IPAs. She was about fifty years old and dressed stylishly and expensively.

The cashier, paraphrasing: "The Amnesia is sweeter and more caramelly, and the Ninkasi is hoppier and zesty." It was one of the best parsings of beers I've heard anywhere, and it was in the line at a movie theater.

The middle-aged woman: "Oh, I'll have the hoppy one."

Cashier, also a woman: "Yeah, I like the hoppy ones best, too."

Inside the theater, a quite elderly couple spied our light-colored beers and asked about them. (The gorgeous, warm day called for pilsners in our view.) We struck up a nice conversation and turned them onto Bayern, which has carved out quite a niche in Portland.


  1. This is what makes living in Portland so wonderful - beer knowledge is part of the culture. I recall being in middle of nowhere Missouri on a business trip several years back and asking at a restaurant what beers they had on tap. Looking at me like I was a complete idiot, the waitress says "Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Coors Light..."

  2. Recently at lunch at a Boulder taphouse, our 20something food server revealed herself to be surprisingly conversant in multiple Russian Rivers' products. I was impressed.

    I am a big fan of Bayern Pilsner. Bayern does not appear to be available in Colorado, much to my dismay.

  3. The story that I tell people from elsewhere to convey how beer is different in Oregon than elsewhere is this:

    My wife and I were on a roadtrip down the pacific coast and jogged inland to go to crater lake. It was a good time, and we spent the night in a "resort" that was really just about 2 dozen cabins and a lodge straddling a US highway quite literally in the middle of nowhere. They had a diner that served some pretty basic fare (albeit phenomenal pie) and we had dinner there. In this diner in the middle of nowhere they had one beer on tap: it was Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Nowhere else in this country is that single tap handle dedicated to anything but something followed with a "Lite".

  4. I love it! I once was driving along the Oregon Coast and decided to stop at Pelican for lunch. On the way out, I noticed a super-tiny wine shop and decided to stop to buy a bottle of wine for my mother-in-law. Once inside I noticed that the shop had PtE on tap. I chatted with the owner and mentioned how much I love that beer. Turned out she was Vinny Cilurzo's sister. Go figure!

    I've not yet tried Bayern, will look for it next time I'm in Portland!