Brewvana, the Portland Beer Tour = a beer lovers paradise.
It’s hard not to drink beer when you visit Portland, it is the craft beer capital of the world with over 53 breweries in the city limits. Can you imagine having 53 different beers to choose from and they are all local. Its amazing and for a first timer in Portland it’s a daunting task. Do what I’ve decided to do and take the pressure off by joining what I expect to be one of the rowdiest tours I’ve ever done, Brewvana. It’s not the first beer tour to take place in Portland but it’s rumoured to be the best and if your going to do a tour do the best one you can find. 30 Days In Portland is ready to drink some beer, let’s hop on the bus and go to Brewvana.
Since I’m already in downtown Portland I opt for pick up at the Riverplace Hotel which is located at 1510 SW Harbor Way. I’m not sure what to expect but I’ve been told the tour is all inclusive so all I have to do is wait to be picked up and all the rest is taken care of. I’m wearing comfy shoes and stretchy pants, as I expect to be drinking a lot of beer and perhaps eat some bar snacks. I am prepared. Right on time our tour host Ashley Rose shoes up in the Brewvana bus and we all load in. The bus can hold a max of 14 but for todays Sunday FUNday Tour there are 11 of us. Canadians, locals from Portland, other Americans,a Japanese couple and even a couple from Panama, we are an international tour.
On the bus we get a very quick housekeeping talk from Ashley about what’s going to happen and what to expect, FUN! We can drink on the bus but no open alcohol on the streets, love Portland. Before we take off though Ashley has a treat for all of us, a pretzel necklace so that if we need a snack we have something to munch on. Awesome!
And off we go. First of our three brewery stops is Gigantic Brewing Company. An outdoor patio, 5 in house made brews (only $4.50 each) and 11 new friends makes for a fun first tasting. I tried 4 beers in total – Firebird a smoked Hefeweizen, 527: The Angry Neighbor a Pale Ale, Ginormous an Imperial IPA and last but not least Too Much Coffee Man an Imperial Black Saison with guess what, a hint of coffee. Unless I was versed in the craft beer scene of Portland I never would have known about this place, it’s not a place I would have looked at twice if I drove by yet they brew some tasty beers and the tasting room was a constant buzz of activity while we were there. Great first stop Brewvana.
Loading back into the bus for our second stop I can tell we are all relaxed and having a good time, we are all measurably louder than when we started the tour. Our next stop is Bridgeport Brewing Company which is Portland’s first craft brewer and celebrates 30 years of brewing in 2014. What goes better with beer than pizza and chips with dip, almost nothing. Along with all the fine pub grub we enjoy 4 more beers starting with the Long Ball Ale (a golden Ale), Trilogy 1 (Pale Ale), Kingpin Double Red Ale ( just like it says a red Ale) and last but not least a Bear Hug which is an American Stout. I’ve got to admit I’m starting to lose track of what I’m drinking, thankfully I’m documenting it all with my Untappd APP. Aside from the beer they brew I bet Bridgeport is a rocking place after work. the food is great and from what I remember the beers are fantastic
Our last stop on the tour is another micro brewery called Stormbreaker Brewing. I’ve just realized that what they all have in common aside from brewing great beer is that they all have brew pubs attached. We need more of these in Vancouver. Back to Stormbreaker, there’s a cool story here that Ashley shares with us. The head brewer and owner of Stormbreaker, Angry Rob, used to work for the former owners and bought the brewer with a vision to make it the best craft brewer in Portland. Now he spends his time doing everything and it’s showing. According to Ashley customers come as much for the food as they do the beer. Rob came out to the big tents that cover the patio and pours us a few glasses and shares his thoughts on Stormbreaker and where he plans to take it. Luckily I only have two beers to try here a Kolsch they call Total ReKolsch and a Mississippi Red Ale. I really like the Kolsch, easy drinking and a perfect beer for me to end the tour with.
We are done. 3 hours, 10 beers and I don’t know how many miles we’ve covered but it was a lot. All of that equals a very good time. Whether you are a seasoned beer drinker or just a newbie to the craft beer movement like me you need to do this tour. Brewvana isn’t just about beer, it’s about celebrating and exploring awesomeness. Do we have something like this in Vancouver? I’m not sure but we should. Until then I’ll just go back to Portland and take another Brewvana tour.
I want to thank my sponsors Roam Mobility and GM Canada for helping me make this series possible. Roam of course for their awesome product to help me stay connected at a reasonable price and to GM for providing me with a sweet ride to make the road trip in. I don’t know what I’ll be getting yet but I’m looking forward to exploring and test driving a brand new GM.
Roam Mobility is a Canadian wireless company that eliminates US roaming fees by connecting you directly to its nationwide network in the USA. To get started with Roam, all you need is one of their USA Travel SIM Cards or devices, then you can enjoy unlimited talk and text, plus data anytime you cross the border. Just pick a plan that fits your needs, schedule when you want it to start and travel free from USA roaming fees with Roam Mobility! To learn more, visit www.roammobility.com.