Cross-country road trip: Wish you were (drinking) here, part 1

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

As I alluded to in a few earlier posts, J and I took a big road trip in August. Big, as in 5300+ miles big. From our home in Wisconsin, we made our way across the Great Plains to Oregon, down the Pacific Coast to the San Francisco Bay Area, and then hightailed home again so that J could be back at work for some commitments he couldn’t get out of. In roughly chronological order, here are some of our craft-beer highlights:

Montana Ale Works: With a very nice tap list, good food (more on that another day), and a cool space in a former railroad freighthouse, I can see why folks like it here. Oh, and did I mention the super reasonable prices of the beer? Four-dollar pints of delicious craft brews! J had Bozeman Brewing Company‘s Hopzone IPA and something else hoppy that was a new addition to the menu, while I had Bozeman Brewing’s Plum St. Porter and (or? I can’t quite remember) Snake River Brewery‘s Zonker Stout. (Some details get sketchy when this blogger gets into full-time vacation mode!) One of the few souvenirs we came home with was a pint glass sporting MAW’s logo of a gear surrounding a red and black yin and yang.

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Breakside Brewery: Although we didn’t spend the night in Portland, we did have a chance to stop by Breakside’s restaurant and pub, which had been recommended to us by a friendly, beer-loving Portland couple. They were on a road trip of their own, and we chatted with them at the Montana Ale Works bar. I enjoyed Breakside’s Imperial Apricot Sour and a small pour of their Oatmeal Stout, while J unsurprisingly tried a couple of their hoppy brews, whose names I have forgotten. While perusing their swag list, I realized that I had forgotten to pack a ball cap, which I would need for sun protection in the coming days, so I snagged one here. With trucker cap newly in tow, all I was missing was a hipster mustache and I too could look like a true Portland man!

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

1856: J was supposed to drive us away from Portland, but his Breakside beers were too potent and left him ill-equipped to do so safely, as did mine. So, we seized the opportunity to stroll through Portland on a sunny (thank you, trucker cap!) afternoon and headed to this small wine and beer shop. Their selection was limited, but I was very excited to find something unique that I otherwise would not have had a chance to try: Logsdon‘s Cerasus. As their website describes, “This is our organic kriek beer, a barrel-aged Flanders style red ale with two pounds of fruit added per gallon of beer. We added both sweet and tart Oregon cherries during the aging process with a combination of several yeast strains and lactic bacteria to develop a secondary fermentation.” In my opinion, it wasn’t as good as the dearly departed Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus, but I was glad to have tried it.

used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Another nice discovery at 1856: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.‘s Smokestack Series. Head here for a look at this Kansas City, Missouri, brewery.

used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

More Oregon brews: Our Oregon drinking also included beers of the west like 10 Barrel Brewing Co,‘s Apocalypse IPA, Green Flash Brewing Co,‘s West Coast IPA, and Deschutes Brewery‘s Black Butte Porter, all of which were highly enjoyable.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, which will feature some fine Willamette Valley wines and more great beer adventures.

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