Beer, Roses and Horses – A Weekend in Portland

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If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook or FourSquare, you probably already know that Mr. and Mrs. Beerblog were in Portland this past weekend. We decided to arrange a romantic beer getaway in Portland for our fifth anniversary. Below I share some photos and highlights. Not too many details, but highlights.

First off, you need a place to sleep. We stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of downtown Portland: the Heathman Hotel. Elegant, luxurious and exceedingly comfortable, they made us feel like well-heeled rockstars. Along with amazing food, the hotel’s restaurant offers an entertaining selection of draft beers. (We like it when good a restaurant also serves good beer.) The Heathman is within easy walking distance of some of downtown Portland’s best beer destinations. We walked to/from Higgins, Bailey’s Taproom and the Deschutes Public House.

But before we arrived at the hotel… As we rolled into town on Friday afternoon, we stopped at The 5th Quadrant, the latest addition to the family of Lompoc Brewing’s pubs. It is located in the north part of town, near the Mississippi neighborhood.

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The Heathman Hotel.

Next, we met Kurt Widmer who escorted us on a tour of his beautiful brewery and then sampled some uncommon beers at the Widmer Gasthaus Pub – beers that do not typically make it to Seattle, like the Marionberry Hibiscus Gose.  That evening we went to Higgins (amazing upscale food and lots of great beer) and then to Bailey’s Taproom (home of the coolest, most informative and entertaining tap list EVER).

Saturday was about breweries. But first we needed to take care of a couple things. First, we needed some fresh air to help clear the fog out of our brains. A lovely walk through the rose gardens at Washington Park hit the spot. Very romantic, by the way. Next, a visit to Belmont Station to load the Washington Beer Cruiser with beers that do not make it north of the border.

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First brewery, the Cascade Barrel House, of course. Then across the street to the Green Dragon – a great beer bar that doubles as home of Buckman Brewery. Next up, we headed to Hair of the Dog Brewing where we had a lovely lunch accompanied by unique and often awe-inspiring beers. A stone’s throw away we found the Commons Brewery tasting room, one of Portland’s newer beer destinations. There, we ran into two old friends: Larry and Anna Pratt, formerly the owners of Salmon Creek Brewpub.

Back to the hotel to clean up for dinner and grab a cab. Off to Wildwood for our romantic, candlelit anniversary dinner. The food was amazing. Ridiculous, actually. While they only have four beers on tap, they are thoughtfully selected to go with good food and the bottle list is quite massive. An amazing dinner was followed by a cab ride to the Deschutes Public House, where we found a great selection of Deschutes beers served in a loud and bustling atmosphere. To end the night, a nice .7 mile walk back to the hotel.

After a long walk along the river, and a visit to the Sunday version of the Saturday market, we headed to the Sunshine Tavern for brunch — I had a red beer. Basically, a Shandy made with house Bloody Mary mix and Pilsner (Kulmbacher Brauerai AG EKU Pilsner). I paired my drink with an amazing pork belly and crispy oyster frittata. Yep. That’s right. Sunday afternoon we went to Gigantic Brewing and watched the Sounders game with a bunch of Timbers fans and a horse. No kidding. We finished the trip off with a stop for dinner at the Fishbowl Pub in Olympia.

A beer-themed, luxurious trip to Portland proved a rather dreamy way to spend our fifth anniversary. Yes, gentlemen, I am blessed.

One Response to Beer, Roses and Horses – A Weekend in Portland
  1. Cana Flug
    June 25, 2012 | 11:36 pm

    You make me want to vacation in my own town! It was such a pleasure meeting you and your lovely wife – it was our honor to help you celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary. It was wonderful to hear how well your Uinte Dubhe imperial black IPA paired with both the pork entree and the chocolate dessert, I am going to pass your experience on to our Beer Steward. We look forward to having you visit for one of our epic beer-paired dinner events.