Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tugboat Brewing

After telling people I was going to check out Tugboat Brewing, the unanimous response was, "where/what is that?". Tugboat may be the only brewery in town that, seemingly, no one has heard of. It is tucked neatly, downtown, on a side street just around the corner from Mary's Strip Club. I wanted to try more of their brews, but, out of the four they had on tap, two were sold out, and the other was a porter, which on a warm night, didn't sound too good. So, by default, I tried their Summer Slam. It was a light, low hop beer, with a distant sweetness, that was nice on a warm night. But, I saw no need to order two, if you catch my drift. I instead decided to move on to their nice guest tap selection, which I thought was odd, being it outnumbered their own brews. I digress. I had a pint (not an honest pint mind you) of Klamath Baisn Brewing's 8 Second Ale. Even with all my trips to Green Dragon, Horse Brass, and Belmont Station, I have never seen this on tap, let alone heard of this brewery. Now this was a good beer. Balanced, light , hoppy, and damn tasty. Apparantly, I may have to return to Tugboat just to get more of this beer. I will not be driving to Klamath Falls anytime soon.
So, this cash only place passes muster as a downtown dive-y place, with what seemed to be a nice little food menu. The beer they make, or should I say, the one I had was drinkable, but nothing to write home about. I was tempted, in part, by their claim to make British style strong ales on their website, maybe next time they will actually have some. The British claim also raised my hopes for a proper dart board, of which there was none.
For those who frequent Bailey's Taproom, this is directly across Ankenny. The people in Bailey's looked like they were having more fun then me, but they also looked like a bunch of beautiful people that make me want to start randomly slashing Range Rover tires. And if your possibly purchasing a pint at Bailey's you pretty pussy, then gander over, you may just see my ugly ass staring back at you with a pint of Klamath, a knife with tire rubber dangling from it, and a smaller bar tab.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quimby Lucky Lab

The NW outpost of the Lucky Lab mini-empire reminds me, yet again, why I enjoy Lucky Lab. The Lab loves the big spaces, the beer is always phenomenal, cheap peanuts, and darts. For some reason,I had never ventured to this location before, but made it a stop on the way back from St. John’s one day. Now, this isn’t a place you may happen upon, it is tucked away on the the fringes of the Pearl, and just far enough away from the NW 21st-23rd crowd to make For me, and my neighborhood snobbery, it was an oasis of SE, in NW. They have two dart boards, like the Hawthorne Lab, side by side. The outside seating is ample, and the inside has the same last supper-ish communal tables as the SE location.
We didn’t happen to have our darts with us, but we will definitely go back just to play there.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hood Canal Brewery

Not many people would make the trip all the way up the Kitsap Peninsula from Portland to try some beer, but, for you, I would do such a thing. I even suffered, for the reading public, through days of salt water kayaking, manly meals of potato chips and peanuts, and an embarrassingly large of amount of Olympia consumption. What did I come away with, besides a soaking wet tent and a two day hangover? Knowledge of some of the best beer I have had here in the Northwest. You probably haven't had it, being that it rarely, if ever, makes it this far south. But the lucky of Northwest Washington get to have this, and you should make the drive to get what they got.
Hood Canal Brewing was started by an ex-teacher, with a dream. Now, the dream had moved from his 800 square foot garage, into a sizably larger industrial building outside the blink-and-you-miss-it town of Kingston. The beer he creates is superb, as you can taste in his tasting room. Supplied with free pretzels and peanuts (take note Full Sail....wankers), you can have pint "tasters", before you leave with a growler, 120z, or 22 0z bottle. Brian and I tried everything they made, even their barleywine, which normally we are not fans of. Even that was good!! I love small breweries, where you can see the brewer/owner/server. You can really feel that they love what they are doing, and they have one of those...what are they called, smiles when they work.
If you ever get a wild hair up your Portland ass for a road trip, make the drive to Kingston, pass Silverdale and the "Olive Garden-esque" Silver City Brewing, and grab a pint or 5 of some quality brew at Hood Canal. No darts, but well worth the trip.