Review: Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, OR

Review: Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, OR On April 6th we visited one of the more successful and somewhat newer breweries here in Portland, Ecliptic Brewing. Located at the south end of the Mississippi St. district of north Portland, Ecliptic has provided a much needed boost to the neighborhood and local brewing scene. Founded by well known and respected brewer John Harris, who happens to be the guy who came up with the recipes for Deschutes beers: Mirror Pond, Obsidian Stout, Black Butte Porter and Jubelale, John’s now creating his own award winning brews at Ecliptic. The name might be challenging to say and spell (or know what it means), it’s based on John’s love of astronomy and the term ‘ecliptic’ is defined as the earth’s yearly path around the sun. The brewery location includes both the production and bar/restaurant. It has a large parking lot (which is always full) and some limited on-street parking. If you go during peek hours, expect to walk a bit from where you park and wait in line for a table. As you can see, they do have a large outdoor patio area that doesn’t have much coverage, so if Portland’s wet weather isn’t your thing, …

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Review: Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver WA

Review: Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA During one of our Tuesday ‘happy hour’ adventures, we started in Vancouver and found ourselves at one of the more established breweries, Loowit Brewing Company. Opened in 2012, Loowit has been producing, and more recently (past few years) bottling, and distributing a few of their beers widely across the SW Washington and NW Oregon regions (you can find them at grocery stores). Their brewery/taproom has a definate local vibe they do offer a decent line-up of house beers, which you can get to go in growlers during normal operating hours, the location is just a taproom, they don’t offer any food. As shown, they have a small seating area at the front, along with the bar seating and a back room where the brewing production takes place along with a few picnic tables, and high-tables. They usually have local sports teams on their TVs (Timbers, Sounders, Blazers, Seahawks, etc.) when games are on. Since they don’t offer any food (except some bar snacks), you are welcome to bring something in and enjoy something with their beers. They do have a mug-club and weekend specials on their beers, so it’s a good place to stop …

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Review: Trap Door Brewing, Vancouver WA

Review: Trap Door Brewing, Vancouver, WA On Friday, March 3rd, we hit one of the up-in-comming breweries in downtown Vancouver, Trap Door Brewing. Opened in 2015, Trap Door has gone through some evolution in their beer quality and they have made some improvements to their location, adding in more food carts and a refined patio space. The great part about the craft beer industry, is that there’s room for everyone. I’ve had the conversation with many beer-geek friends and while you may not have the best product, the greatest location, or the most awesome food, there’s room for you if you’re doing it right. Their location in downtown Vancouver is quickly becoming a craft beer destination with a few taprooms and other smaller microbreweries opening up tasting rooms nearby. Trap Door fits into the Vancouver brewing scene as having a line up of beers that can hold their own and are appealing to their audience that are quickly learning that craft beer is worth the trip to find. I must say that Vancouver’s scene is just starting out (compared to Portlands) and we need to give them room to grow and should allow them to improve over time. For breweries …

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Review: Trusty Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA

Review: Trusty Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA The second brewery visited on Friday, Feb. 10th in downtown Vancouver was Trusty Brewing Company. Located just down the street from Old Ivy Taproom and Brewery (prior review to this one), Trusty is in the old Dirty Hands Brewing location at the corner of Evergreen and Broadway. The brewery/restaurant has a small outdoor patio with tables out front and a few rooms with different sized tables to accomodate small and larger parties. The interior as you can see is a lot of old wood, classic and retro decor, a couple of large boards with the available beers and some food listings and a smaller bar to sit at. The food prep area is just next to the bar, so you can watch them make your food if you so prefer. This visit was the thrid time I’ve been since Dirty Hands sold. The first couple of times the beer wasn’t as good as it was this time around. My friends and I spent about an hour talking about them and the evolution of some of the other breweries downtown. I appreciate their low beer and food prices, while offering a decent variety of beers. …

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Review: Old Ivy Brewery and Taproom, Vancouver, WA

Review: Old Ivy Brewery and Taproom, Vancouver, WA Located in downtown Vancouver, the Old Ivy Brewery and Taproom has been around for a few years with a strong lineup of beers and a newly renovated food menu. This is one of the many stops that I visit on Fridays with my “Couve Crew” after work, we usually start here or at one of the other breweries in the downtown area. If we don’t start there, we’ll typically make a stop there for at least a pint over the course of the evening. This time around, I visited them on Friday, Feb. 10th solo before meeting the guys down the street at Trusty Brewing (which will be reviewed next). I’ve got to say that the Old Ivy head brewer, Chris Spollen, has done a tremendous job of making some solid, consistent beers. I was lucky a few years or so ago to home-brew some beer at a mutual friends (Erin Stephens) and got to chat with Chris about his approach to brewing and see his skills first hand. The taproom and brewery has a great paito space that is wonderful during the summer months, but not so much when it’s rainy …

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Review: Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR

Review: Great Notion Brewing, Portland, OR One of the great new additions to the Portland brewing scene in 2016 is Great Notion Brewing. I have been able to visit them a few times since they opened and most recently on Feb. 7th, 2017 with a few of my beer loving friends for happy hour. Great Notion is known for pushing the flavor boundaries of barrel aged and unfiltered beers, most notibly their fruit and sour beers. The one warning I have to give about this great brewery, is that they are an all ages restaurant, so unless you can handle being around a lot of kids, you might want to try and visit them during later hours. The brewery is located in the former “Mash Tun Brewing” location on NE 22nd, just south of NE Alberta St. next to Pine St. Biscuits. They are in the heart of the Alberta Arts District and have a lot of local customers but their parking is limited to on-street so you may have to walk a little bit to get there if it’s during regular dining hours. The front of the business is pretty non-descript with a sign above their front door and …

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