LOMPOC BREWING, PORTLAND OREGON
Tuesday Feb. 24th, 2015 we visited the Lompoc brewery location in North Portland, the Fifth Quadrant. This restaurant and brewery has both a bar area, inside family seating, front-street smaller tables, and outside (smoking) patio/porch that is covered with larger tables. If you want to stay clear of the criPODS, you have to stick to the bar area. Lompoc has a number of locations (bars & restaurants) around Portland and has been brewing beer since 1996. Their recopies have changed a bit over the years and the recent ‘regulars’ have a decent level of complexity and quality that stands against most other mid-sized breweries in the area.
The menu at this restaurant/brewery has a good range of NW food ranging from sammiches, burgers, Pork mole tacos (da-BOMB), and salads. The happy hour is pretty decent as well, and we normally visit it during a weekday prior to 6pm. It’s always busy, every time we’ve gone, so be ready to either sit where you don’t want, or show up early. This time around, we were lucky and got a table on the bar side so we didn’t really have the criPOD effect going on. We ordered happy hour food and a taster tray. NOTE: you have to ask them for the ‘seasonal taster’ and pray that the bartender is willing to pour you one if you want to try the seasonal beers beyond just one or two. Check out the boards above the bar and kitchen for the list of seasonal’s.
As you can see from the pics, we got both taster trays of regulars and seasonals with a couple of duplications between them. We were really happy that they provided the full range of beers for us to sample and take notes on. If you have questions, the servers are pretty knowledgeable and helpful if you can get their attention as they are always busy and bustling around. Sitting at the bar is the best way to have quick service. Overall, this is a great place to go to with a larger group of people, as they have a lot of larger tables and you don’t need reservations. On the flip side of that, it’s also difficult to go to with a larger group since everyone in NOPO knows this. 😉
We were pleased with the samples and overall we think that the variety of styles are solid in their flavor profiles and approach. The winners for the night were the ‘blond stout’, which tasted like a bourbon barrel aged apple cider, and the kick axe on nitro. The full reviews are posted below of the beers we tried. Note that the seasonal beers change quarterly, so if you like something, you have to go frequently to get it or you will miss it.
|Fool’s Golden Ale
Lompoc Brewing • Blonde Ale • IBU: 18 • ABV: 5%
This draft has a golden hue (6 SRM) and a soft white head that has decent retention. The nose is lite hops and sweet (honey?) profiles. The front mouth has a slight citrus hop and soft grassy presentation with a mid-bodied balanced grain build. The mid and back have a bit of effervescence with the carbonation that has high-notes of the hops. Overall, a decent blond ale.
|Kick Axe Pale Ale
Lompoc Brewing • American Pale Ale (APA) • IBU: 40 • ABV: 5.2%
The beer has a mid-dark orange/amber hue (12 SRM) with a bright white head that drops quickly. The nose is floral with citrus (lemon?) end notes. The front and mid mouth are pretty solid with grapefruit rind and other citrus notes with a slight sweet malt character. The body is slightly thinner than I’d like for a pale ale, but overall a decent sipper.
Lompoc Brewing • American Amber / Red Ale • IBU: 32 • ABV: 6.2%
This beer pours as a nice red-amber hue (18ish SRM) with a slightly off-white head that has good retention and lacing on the glass. The malts are really strong on the nose, slightly sweet profile. The front and mid mouthfeel is bread-like grains with hints of sweet and spices like cinnamon. The overall feel is a solid-bodied amber beer with enough sweet and caramel malts that don’t overpower the softer bitterness that don’t show up until the back mouth.
|Pampelmousse Citrus IPA
Lompoc Brewing • American IPA • IBU: 70 • ABV: 5.8%
The draft is a brighter orange hue (16 SRM) and a fluffy white head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The nose is citrusy with a range of grapefruit and orange rinds that have a hint of floral hops that linger and even a hint of wet-woodsy-ness. The front mouth is strong acidic hop esters, the malts are there but drowned out by the strong hop profile. The mid and back have a frothy mouthfeel from the carbonation that allows the hops to linger.
|C-Note Imperial Pale Ale
Lompoc Brewing • American Double / Imperial IPA • IBU: 100 • ABV: 6.9%
Hops: Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger
This is a mid-amber/red colored pale ale (20 SRM) with a slightly off-white head that falls to a nice rim/lacing. The nose presents a range of citrus and fruits from pineapple and oranges to hop resins and pine. The front mouth is slightly sweet malts with hints of toffee at first with the citrus bitters with spruce and pine in on the mid and back mouth. The back and after-taste have a hint of floral and hop resins, similar body and feel to a dry-hopped IPA.
|LSD (Lompoc Special Draft)
Lompoc Brewing • American Strong Ale • IBU: 55 • ABV: 6.9%
Draft is a thinner dark brown (40+ SRM) with an slightly tan head that leaves a bit of foam on the lacing. The nose is somewhat complex with dried fruit (prunes & dates), slight sweet caramel/toffee characters, and hints of a toasted cocoa with vanilla. The mouth-feel is all toasted grains, toffee/caramels, cocoa bitters and limited hops. The malt build is somewhat the focus with the lingering back end has a hint of the alcohol on it with the dry finish.
|Stout Out Loud
Lompoc Brewing • Irish Dry Stout • IBU: 24 • ABV: 4.9%
Purely dark black stout (40+ SRM) with an off-white head that dropped quickly, but left a nice lacing on the glass rim. The nose is pretty strong with roasted coffee, chocolate bitters, and toasted malts. The front and mid mouth are really coffee centered, slight dry fruit (raisins), and a little creamy with hints of chalky resin that is acidic. The mid to back mouth has notes of sweetness that compete with the dry bitters, slight acidic lingering flavors again from the mid/front mouthfeel.
Lompoc Brewing • Stout • IBU: ?? • ABV: 6.6%
Super dark black (40+ SRM) with a little brown head that didn’t last long. The nose is coffee and slight citrus. The front mouth is pretty dry and strong with roasted coffee notes and the mid/back have a soft citrus (orange zest) present behind the coffee bitters. The back and after taste have a dry bitter that lingers.
|The Spy That Dry Hopped Me (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • American IPA • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5.6%
Deep orange/yellow hue (16 SRM) and pillowy white head that leaves nice lacing on the rim. The nose is pretty hop floral with hints of pine resin. The body is solid with front mouth of sharp piny bitters. This is a bit of dry hopped overload on the hopping. Left me with a little bitter beer face.
|Mon Cheri (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • Belgian Pale Ale • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5.5%
NOTE: brewed with Ardennes yeast
Mid-orange hue (14 SRM) with a bright white bubbly/frothy head that lingers and leaves a nice lattice on the rim. The nose is slightly Belgium yeast in character. Front mouth is yeast and slight hop characters mixed with spice of coriander and floral mid and back notes. There is a hint of yeast funk on the back and after taste.
|Dr. Hop (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • Imperial Pale Ale • IBU: ?? • ABV: 5.4%
Nice blond/orange hue (14 SRM) with a flat white head. The nose has a bit of toasted malts/caramel malts that blend with the dry-grapefruit peel hops. The front mouth is dry hoppy citrus and and the mid/back have hop resins that linger. Interesting IPA to sample, not sure we would order a full pint with the odd mix of malts and hops flavor profiles.
|Batch 69 (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • Baltic Porter • IBU: ?? • ABV: 7.7%
Dark brown to black body (40+ SRM) with a tan head that lingers with globs of head on the rim as it goes. The nose is toasted grains and bitter bakers chocolates. The front mouth has a hint of sourness that leaves you with some acridness, but nothing to shy away from. The ash common with Baltic porters is subtle on this mid/full bodied beer that washes over the tongue as a creamy porter chased by burned sugar. The mid/back profile is built around cocoa and coffee bitters that allow the dried fruits to come out (raisins and figs) and play.
|Bourbon Barrel Aged Illegially Blond Stout (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • Blond Stout • IBU: ?? • ABV: 8%
Dark brown/black (40+ SRM) with a small white head that drops quickly and left no lacing on the rim. The nose is all dried fruit and sourness with hints of alcohol. The front mouth is all sour prunes, roasted grains, dark cocoa, and raw oak. The bourbon is somewhat secondary to this sour beer. The mid and back are a bit drier with the sour/tartness of the fruit lingering with the sweet coming from burned sugar malt profiles.
|Dark Ages – Bourbon Barrel Aged (seasonal)
Lompoc Brewing • Sour Porter • IBU: ?? • ABV: 4.6%
Malts: Rolled Oats (added to mash)
Note: Vanilla Beans (aged for a week)
Super lite straw yellow (2 SRM) with a bright full white foam head. The nose is a weird mix of apple, pairs (cider like) and bourbon that has hints of vanilla. The front mouth feel is tangy with bourbon and malt profiles present. Low sour notes allow the somewhat dry hop esters on the mid and back let the fruit stand out. This is an odd beer. We couldn’t quite figure it out, neither good nor bad.