Imbibe Hour

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Monday, October 11, 2010

On the road to Bridgeport and Tugboat. The imbibing trail in Portland never ends.

Leaving Rogue, my next stop was Bridgeport Brew Pub. I entered a really nice warehouse designed space, with hues of dark brown, friendly chatter, well dressed clientele, and a few families with kids. It was a very different atmosphere than the usual beer places I was at before, trying to emphasize perhaps some sophistication. Other places were more focused on beer, while here maybe you could get more?

Staff was gracious, and the place seemed more like a good restaurant than a place focused on making great beer. I can't comment on all the food but the mussels are fantastic.

Anyway, I sat down near the bar to look up and see a listing of the eight beers that were offered. The picture pretty much explains it all, here were all their beers on tap including a seasonal that was listed on the far right.

I decided to bite the bullet and try all eight beers. Considering that this was the fourth place I went out drinking I knew I had to watch myself. I did realize that I was probably not going to finish everything that was offered to me, but that's ok. The important thing was to get the taste of the beer and see how it measured up.

The imbibing results are as follows. Haymaker an Extra Pale Ale had a sour nose, very light bodied in taste and mouthfeel, with some bread on the end. It was average if I could say, the sourness threw me off. Blue Heron, a Pale Ale had a light copper color but no nose, and a small lemon taste to it. Ropewalker was a very closed bouquet virtually no nose on it of even hops or anything I could get. For me it was unfortunately not very memorable in taste. The IPA however was starting to make things a bit better. Orange smell, grapefruit finish similar to the Deschutes Inverson but not as strong. There were was no bitterness and little hops. I like to have just a little bitter but not too much in my IPA. The ESB however was fairly good, with a nice thick head, mellow taste and mouthfeel, actually a little creamy. That says a bit considering I am not an ESB fan, it wasn't bitter however. The porter is quite good, tobacco nose with some smoke. A roasty aroma in taste in the mouth with a decent finish. Hop Czar is an Imperial IPA, consisting of a good nose, hops, lemon, citrus. Taste continues those notes from hops to lemon to grapefruit in that order, and a slightly bitter finish. Quite a good one, the head though did not stick around. Last but not least was the seasonal Hop Harvest Ale, another fresh hop 1 hour beer. The nose on this was not very obvious, but it was similar in taste to the other IPA with grapefruit and lemon but hardly bitter at all.

In conclusion while there was some beer worth drinking here, I found most of the beers disappointing compared to other places I had been. "Ok we're done right?" I said to my colleague. "Naw man we got to go to Tugboat! You gonna finish that!?" he said pointing to my collection of hardly empty plastic cups. "Naw..." I admitted.. "Go ahead..."

As much as I was happy to get through the tasting, it was a good thing it took us some time to get to our next venue. I arrived at Tugboat having a hard time finding the place.

I was pretty happy though we found it, it is quite cozy inside, it resembles more of a coffee house with bookshelves and clientele looking like they should be having a latte instead of a pint.

Unfortunately, I was greeted nicely but with disappointing news. They only had one of their beers available, a stout. Well I figured I might as well have it. In the end it had a little molasses on the front nose, not much body or flavor in the mouth. There wasn't much of a head on it, it looked a little weak and perhaps past its prime. However at 14% ABV it wasn't too strong tasting, and had tastes of cocoa slightly, but also a surprising berry fruit finish. Too bad there wasn't a lot to to try here, but the female bartender was quite perky and enjoyable to be around.

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