I have a weakness for beer, especially interesting beer. This makes Portland a very dangerous place. It appears that Ian has the same problem. Genetics will do that to you.
When we checked in last night, we asked for restaurant recommendations. They suggested the Sebago microbrewery, a short ten minute walk from the hotel. Or at least it would be a ten minute walk if you could get there from here. Unfortunately sidewalks and crosswalks are in short supply in this suburb of Portland, and the thought of walking along the freeway held little appeal. We took the 2-minute-drive instead. But it was worth it. Their seasonal IPA, “Hop Swap”, easily makes my short list for the best IPA ever. The bad news is that it’s only available in the brewpub, so there is no way to add it to the growing list of beers we plan to bring home. Major hardship.
Our hotel is technically outside of Portland, but it’s only a short drive away. I already mentioned that Portland is a very dangerous place for me, so that’s exactly where we headed this morning. We arrived at the Shipyard Brewing Company just in time for the noon brewery tour, complete with free tastings. (Did I mention that Portland is a very dangerous place for me?) It was a tough call, but sanity prevailed, and we decided it was a little too early to start sampling beer. We walked down to the waterfront instead, but we still found ourselves back at Shipyard for the 1:00 PM tour. A dozen samples later we stumbled – ummm wandered – out to get lunch. Amazingly, we found a lovely little brewpub for lunch … and another beer.
By this time we’d definitely had enough, or too much, depending on your perspective, and we put a stop to drinking for the afternoon. It was time for sightseeing, so we wandered around downtown Portland for a few hours before heading back to Shipyard to stock up on interesting beer to bring home. It was very difficult to show restraint, so we didn’t even try.
And then, for dinner we found a bar with 72 craft beer on tap. (I’m sure I’ve already mentioned the danger factor in Portland…) The food was pretty decent, but I have to admit the beer menu was the main attraction. I ordered one of the two cask conditioned ales listed, and was lucky enough to choose the right one. It was out of stock, so the server brought me a pint of the other one – for free. Sometimes you get an offer you can’t refuse.
We slowly worked our way through as much of the beer list as we could manage, and then caught a taxi back to our hotel. The theme for this trip is “craft beer”, and we definitely managed to pull our weight today. Ian sampled 22 different beers, plus one cider, and I wasn’t all that far behind.