Review: Ancestry Brewing, Portland, OR

Review: Ancestry Brewing, Portland, OR In late April 2017 we visited Ancestry Brewing’s Sellwood (SE Portland) neighborhood location. We had been to the SW Portland location a few months prior and were exicted that there was a closer in location. They provide the same lineup of beers at this location, but no production on site. It’s just a taproom and restaurant in a newer commercial building in the Sellwood neighborhood. You may have to walk a bit if you go during peek hours as there is only on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.

There is a dining room (kid friendly), to-go fridge (off sale), and small bar you can sit at next to the open kitchen. Their menu ranges from sandwiches, seafood, burgers to salads, pretty traditional fare without breaking the bank. They do offer up a full lineup of beers, we decided to go with the all of their tasters which came in a few rounds. The server was super friendly and chatted with us about each set of tasters that she brought.

They do have a couple of large TV’s that they have sports on most of the time, so if you’re wanting to watch some soccer, baseball, football or whatever, it’s a great place to do so with a great lineup of beers and food. It only took about 10 minutes after ordering for our lunch to show up so we ate as we tried the first set of tasters. No complaints on the quality of the food we had nor the quality and variety of beers.

As you can see below, there were 20 beers on draft and that took us a bit to get all the way through and a majority of them tend to be in the British style, which is nice. We asked the server to pick the appropriate order for them to come out in, preferring the flagship and standards first, then the specialty/seasonal beers. We had three sets of six taster trays and two singles at the end to enjoy. We didn’t have to order a pint at the end as it was a bit more beer than we had anticipated. The reviews below go left to right as pictured. Overall my favorites were the Dark Irish and the ESB as I enjoy these styles more than others, but their lineup included a great expression of IPA’s and more mild Belgian styles that you will find something you enjoy as well.

Ancestry Brewing
8268 SE 13th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503-946-8424


Cream Ale
Ancestry Brewing • Cream Ale • IBU: 20 • ABV: 5.8% • SRM: 3
Appearance: Clear straw yellow with a bright white frothy head. Decent lacing of large/small bubbles and good retention to the end.
Smell/Aroma: A bit of milled corn, sweet raw sugar, mild pine and fresh apple.
Taste: Decent amount of cereal dry malts and dry hop (pine and resin) with hints of fresh fruits.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly chewy and medium bodied, soft on the palette and approachable.
Overall: This sweet creamy ale is a great starter beer for those that are afraid of strong bitterness and overcarbonation.
Belgian Blonde
Ancestry Brewing • Golden Ale/Blond Ale • IBU: 10 • ABV: 5.0% • SRM: 3
Appearance: Light yellow hue, minor small bubbly head, some lacing but low retention.
Smell/Aroma: Some Belgian yeasty esters, corriander and hints of wild yeast funk (dirty socks).
Taste: Sweet and really mild on the tongue. Cereal grain malts, shallow and drier than expected. Minimal hop cone resins.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, minor carbonation, dries way out on the back also.
Overall: Great starter beer for those not fans of Belgian styles. Yeast is super mild on the tongue, while holding enough sweet/driness characters to make you remember it.
English Mild
Ancestry Brewing • Mild Ale • IBU: 15 • ABV: 4.5% • SRM: 20
Appearance: Pours dark amber/red with a slight off-white/tan frothy head. Lots of retention and lacing on this one.
Smell/Aroma: Dried cereal and fruits, dry hop vibe.
Taste: Lots of strong malt flavors ranging from biscuits to dried cereals. Dry on the tongue all the way front to back with some minor dried fruit showing up. Minor hop resins express on the mid.
Mouthfeel: Decent bodied with low carbonation.
Overall: This is a bit strong for some, more of a traditional ale than English Mild in approach, but it’s got lots of flavor and decent driness.
Ancestry Brewing • Premium Bitter/ESB • IBU: 33 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 12
Appearance: Lighter copper hues, slight off-white foamy head, lots of retention and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Nose had a complex mix of dried orange peel/pith, pine resins and some dark sugars/toffee notes.
Taste: Lots of strong caramel/toffee malt notes without being overly sweet with the dried orange zest that shows on the front, supportive resinous/grassy hop notes express towards the back.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation but decent chew front to back.
Overall: Really great representation of the ESB style, hits the stronger roasted malt flavor and slight dry bitters as it should.
Ancestry Brewing • Amber Ale • IBU: 21 • ABV: 5.4% • SRM: 28
Appearance: Darker red with a slight tan/off-white head. Lots and lots of small bubbly lacing and retention to the end.
Smell/Aroma: Rich toffee and caramels, slight hop cone/resins, burned toast and rich grains.
Taste: Great range of roasted grains with a slight sweetness to hold the grassy to herbal bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Strong flavor profiles, decent head and chewy on the back with a minor watery vibe at the end.
Overall: This is another great example of an
Collaborator Bock
Ancestry Brewing • Dunkler Bock • IBU: 27 • ABV: 6.3% • SRM: 28
Appearance: Dark red/brown hue with a tan creamy head, tons of lacing and great retention.
Smell/Aroma: Nose is strong burned/roasted grains and breads, hints of coffee and some ashiness. Dried fruit and spice show up also.
Taste: This is a strong beer, with lots of complex flavors on the malt and hop ends. Sweet hits on the front, fade to dry bitterness on the back. Herbal and pine hop resins, mild yeasty and dried rye toast.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewy on the tongue, great creamy approach and smooth back.
Overall: Another winner here, this is a great Bock with a strong presence, complex and sharp notes that blend well together.
Scottish Ale
Ancestry Brewing • Scottish Ale • IBU: 20 • ABV: 4.4% • SRM: 19
Appearance: Clear amber colored draft, slight off-white small bubbly head. Tons of lacing, minor retention.
Smell/Aroma: Dried fruits, plumb and tobacco, toasted breads.
Taste: Decent amount of sweet caramel and the dried fruit notes carry it to the back. Minor hits of hop resins/vegital flavors, roasted nuts lend more bitterness at the back. No smoke or peet present on the front, hints of roast on the back.
Mouthfeel: Slight chew, a little bit creamy.
Overall: This goes down super smooth, quality present in the range of complex flavors, low ABV makes this a great session beer.
Black Cap Wheat
Ancestry Brewing • Wheat Ale • IBU: 15 • ABV: 5.6% • SRM: 16
Appearance: Pours a clear red/copper hue, bright white frothy head, tons of lacing and dropps to a sheen after a few sips.
Smell/Aroma: Sweet berry, almost lingers to a syrup like sweetness, juicy.
Taste: Tart and dry front, mild acidic hits from the fruit. Minor hop presence with more toasted white bread crust on the malt side. Dries out more on the back with the tartness shining through.
Mouthfeel: Bright and dances on the tongue with lots of carbonation, but end smooth.
Overall: Interesting berry wheat beer that has more sweet flavors than tartness. Malts hold the fruit at bay, so this is a good starter beer as it’s more juicy than not.
Galaxy Pale Ale
Ancestry Brewing • American Pale Ale • IBU: 30 • ABV: 5.7% • SRM: 10
Appearance: Draft is golden in color with a medium bubbly frothy head, tons of retention and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Strong fresh cut grass, slight perfume (flower petals), hits of citrus zest.
Taste: Strong and hoppy with tons of citrus and tropical notes front to back. Dry and yeast lends to the supporting crackery malt back. Bitterness lingers way past.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and light bodied, decent carbonation, good sipper.
Overall: This is a classic Pale Ale with a forward hop presence with enough malts to hold it at bay.
Piney IPA
Ancestry Brewing • India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 61 • ABV: 7.1% • SRM: 16
Appearance: Darker orange draft with a larger bubbly, slight off-white head. Decent spidery lacing and retention.
Smell/Aroma: Lots of pine and and resins, slight dried fruit and some hits of roasted nuts.
Taste: The hops are overpowering and lend to almost a soapy flavor in the front/mid. The back competes between the citric acids and hop resins. Lower malt presence doesn’t help.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with minor carbonation. Has a watery back.
Overall: This is a strong spruce hop presence, like chewing on some pine tar or tree bark. Not a starter beer.
Best Coast IPA
Ancestry Brewing • Imperial IPA • IBU: 77 • ABV: 7.0% • SRM: 13
Appearance: Golden to light orange hue, solid white foamy head, lots of retention and spidery lacing on the rim.
Smell/Aroma: Pine and sharp resins, earthy hits, slight citric zest.
Taste: Bright and strong hop presence, pine and citrus compete all over. Minor malt bill that has some caramel notes, doesn’t do enough.
Mouthfeel: Clean on the tongue, but strong acidic hop hits make this a challenge if you’re not used to it.
Overall: This will give you bitter beer face.
North Beast IPA
Ancestry Brewing • India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 73 • ABV: 8.0% • SRM: 6
Appearance: Clear, light orange/golden hue, bright white and frothy head. Plenty of retention and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, and floral hits with some dry straw and syrup sweetness.
Taste: Lots of citrus juice that includes a grapefruit and orange zest that migrates to a grassy and vegital type hop profile. Malt bill is secondary and provides enough sweetness to hold back the strong hop resins.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, mild chew, some bright alcohol notes and strong carbonation.
Overall: Typical of NE style IPA’s, this beer is bright, dry, and the bitterness lingers way beyond the swallow.
Fruit Lupulin
Ancestry Brewing • American Pale Ale • IBU: 58 • ABV: 8.2% • SRM: 5
Appearance: Clear light orange/yellow hue, white full frothy head with lots of retention and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Tropical fruits (guava) and dry candied sweetness come from the dry grain presence.
Taste: Thin malt build, strong fruit hops from tangerene and guava, mild tropical, and some dry bitterness at the back.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slight wet/watery back with a slight alcohol approach.
Overall: This is an interesting approach on a tropical hops pale ale. Strong flavors, mild malts, dry overall.
NW Copper
Ancestry Brewing • American Strong Ale • IBU: 80 • ABV: 7.8% • SRM: 24
Appearance: Medium clear reddish/brown hues, slight off-white/tan head with tons of soapy bubbles and lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Strong hop presence with a mix of pine, tropical, and citrus dancing around. Some sweet caramel notes expressed also.
Taste: Solid hop front, bright esters and resins show off the pine to citrus profiles. Full caramel malts help bring enough body and sweetness to counter the strong hops.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, full bodied, great lingering flavor profiles.
Overall: This is a super classic NW style copper/red beer. Tons of flavor, bright hops, chewy/sweet breads.
Dark Irish
Ancestry Brewing • Stout • IBU: 20 • ABV: 6.3% • SRM: 30
Appearance: Dark brown, almost opaic with hues of red/copper edges. Tan large bubbly head with some great spidery lacing and plenty of retention.
Smell/Aroma: Lots of dried cocoa and burned toast. Minor hits of old coffee grounds and sweet sugars.
Taste: Alcohol forward, some dryness with the hop resins, the malts and burned grains really show up. Not as coffee forward as other Irish stouts.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, full bodied, alcohol bright dry approach.
Overall: This is a strong flavored cocoa and dried toast (roasted) stout. Great if you don’t like coffee stouts.
English Brown Porter
Ancestry Brewing • Porter • IBU: 40 • ABV: 5.3% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Dark brown/black with a small foamy tan head. Plenty of lacing and medium bubbly retention.
Smell/Aroma: Lots of complex notes ranging from coffee grounds, earthy acidic and ashy notes. Slight spice and roasted grains.
Taste: Has a bit of smoke and over-roasting on the front, mild coffee hits and bitterness from the burned notes.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied and some bright carbonation. Slight watery vibe on the back.
Overall: This is a thinner version of a stout in flavors, but it does hold it’s own with a range of burned/ashy notes.
Oat Stout (Nitro)
Ancestry Brewing • Stout • IBU: 45 • ABV: 6.7% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Completely dark black/brown, solid nitro creamy brown head, tons of lacing and retention.
Smell/Aroma: Raw grains (oats), slight lactose notes, some minor peating and acidic/mineral hits, burned biscuits and mild vanilla.
Taste: Really bitter for a nitro pour, lots of sweet molasesses and burned sugars. Toast and mild vegital hops behind the vanilla tongue coating.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied, alcohol forward, low carbonation.
Overall: This nitro stout has plenty of character and showcases the burned malt characteristics against the slight coffee/toffee bitterness.
Cafe Brown
Ancestry Brewing • Brown Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 5.9% • SRM: 30
Appearance: Dark black/brown/reddish hues, almost opaic, super creamy tan small bubbly head with tons of spidery lacing and retention.
Smell/Aroma: Dried cocoa, wet old coffee grounds, strong dry bitterness.
Taste: Roasted coffee and vanilla bean sweetness, mild burned sugars and cocoa flavors.
Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, slight watery on the tongue, medium carbonation.
Overall: This is a super roasted coffee forward beer, tons of bitterness that makes it a challenge for those non-coffee drinkers.
Imperial Stout
Ancestry Brewing • Imperial Stout • IBU: 45 • ABV: 10% • SRM: 40
Appearance: Solid opaic black, tan large to medium bubbly head and slight leggy lacing.
Smell/Aroma: Strong dark bakers cocoa, dried coffee grounds, slight spice and smoky hints.
Taste: Slight smokey, coffee, and burned sugar sweetness that carries through to the back.
Mouthfeel: Strong full bodied, chewy mid, mild carbonation, smooth finish.
Overall: This is a classic Imperial stout that hides the alcohol level well.

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