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: Wayfinder Beer, Portland, OR

Review: Wayfinder Beer, Portland, OR We set out on Sunday 20th November 2016 to visit 4 breweries that were new and unknown to us in the Portland/metro area. The first stop was Wayfinder, they had the best (only) food reviews of the four breweries we intended to visit, so that’s where we started. They are located in the SE industrial district of Portland, about 1/2 a block from Produce Row on on SE 2nd. They have a huge patio and walkup to the front of the brewery/restaurant, and inside, they have a bar area, restaurant area, brewing production area, and overall commercial vibe. The unfortunate thing was that they were not producing beer on site when we visited in Nov. They were doing collaborations with various other breweries, and still are to this day. We were able to find a table in the bar area, and ordered a lineup of tasters of their beers (all 4 of them) and some food for lunch. The menu changes between lunch and dinner, so depending on when you go, it will range from decent ‘top end’ bar food, to really good dinner food. The beer list is quite extensive with imports from Europe …

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2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula, MT (July 9th, Brewery Stop #34)

2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula, MT (July 9th, Brewery Stop #34) (recovered post) The 34th brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) was Big Sky Brewing Co. in Missoula Montana. After visiting family in Bismark North Dakota, we hit the road west and crossed the great barren north, or ‘Fly-over’ country as most call it. We got into Missoula in the afternoon and checked into our hotel, and to refridgerate the beers we had in our trunk. The brewery scene in Missoula wasn’t totally unfamiliar to us as we had visited it a year prior for a few days while on a work trip. We knew that tasters were limited and the amount of beer they could serve a person was restricted per visit, so we planned on just hitting a few breweries for tasters and then finding dinner and going from there. The first brewery we hit as it was closest to the hotel we stayed at was Big Sky. It’s located on the edge of town just off the freeway and it’s pretty easy to find. The production facility and tasting room look like a big …

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2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #33)

2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #33) (recovered post) The 33rd brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) and last brewery visited in Minneapolis was Dangerous Man Brewing Co. We are really happy that we found this brewery was open, as it really had more of the environment we were looking for during our roadtrip. There were a few other breweries in the downtown area that were closed the day we were in Minneapolis, this just gives us reason to go back some day to try the one’s we missed. After leaving Surly, we headded back towards downtown to the Northeast Arts District, were we admired this historic neighborhood with really cool with a local vibe. The stark contrast between the two brewery settings is like comparing a small mom-and-pop shop to that of wallmart. It’s a reality of being successful in that you grow, succum to the drive to produce more with increased demand, expand, produce more, then cycle repeats. This is how the industry works, unless you actively choose to stay smaller and keep your quality high. There are a few examples …

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2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #32)

2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #32) (recovered post) The 32nd brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) and second in Minneapolis was the Surly Brewing. After spending an hour or so at Fulton Brewing in downtown, we decided on driving out to Surly next. We had only heard of Surly through reputation, be it that they do distrubute around the mid-west and east coast and have a pretty large production as compared to smaller ‘micro’ breweries. They are located out in an industrial park, sort of off the beaten path. You need to use navigation or have a good map to find them. When we pulled up, we found that they have ample parking and lots of warehouses and a humongous production facility. We figured they would be busy, but we had to park almost a full block away they were so busy. The parking lot(s) are really big. After walking up, we realized they were a bit more ‘corporate’ than we anticipated, in that it looks super slick, overproduced, and expensive when you go inside. They have lots of artwork up along the …

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2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Fulton Beer Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #31)

2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Fulton Beer Company, Minneapolis, MN (July 7th, Brewery Stop #31) (recovered post) The 31st brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) and first in this city was the Fulton Beer Company in downtown Minneapolis Minnesota. After driving up from the Chicago area, we were ready to take a break from the car find some lunch and a few beers. We first stopped by the YardHouse outside of downtown so Gary could meet up with one of his former students and to sample some of the local beers and grab some food. We were able to try a few local brews at Yardhouse that were pretty decent that were from breweries that were not open that day, which was a bonus. After eating, we headded back into downtown and stopped by Fulton, hoping they would be open (typically they are not unless there is a ball game that day, which there was). Luckily they had just opened so we grabbed a nearby parking spot (which is not easy in that neighborhood) and made our way in. We chatted briefly with the hostest about their establishment as we were curious …

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