Monday, March 19, 2007

Get on the Brew Bus!

We celebrated St. Patty's Day in style by getting together with a bunch of friends and taking a tour of Portland's microbreweries by yellow school bus. The Brew Bus tour is lead by Jim Long, a Portland resident, historian, and beer lover with a belief in leprechauns and very long hair. We stopped at Bridgeport (the oldest microbrewery in Portland), Pyramid (one of the larger and fancier breweries), Lucky Labrador (a dog friendly Portland pub chain with approximately 20 cleverly named beers on tap - featured in the photo) and Roots (an organic brewery that makes heather beer, an acquired taste). Here are some of the highlights from our extensive tasting: Bridgeport IPA (hoppy, bitter, award-winning), Beer Town Brown (Bridgeport's unique brown ale with hints of coffee and chocolate), Pyramid's Curve Ball (a kolsch style beer that is likely available at your local grocery store), Pyramid's Apricot Weizen (Paul does not like fruity beer, but he liked this.), and, if you can ever make it to Portland, Lucky Lab's Double Dry Hopped Alt (quite possibly world's hoppiest beer). Most of these beers are available outside of Portland. Seek them out. If you want to get yourself on the bus, check out

Portland is also a great food city. For some of the best pub grub around, check out the Doug Fir. This hip pub conveniently located above a club and next to the Jupiter Hotel (where there are discounts for those checking in after midnight), serves the Fir Burger, which is possibly the best hunk of red meat and melted cheddar cheese on the planet. For breakfast, head off the beaten track to Petite Provence, where the eggs benedict is served on one of their flaky croissants, the omelets are artistically filled, and a woman comes around with samples from the saliva-inspiring patisserie counter. Pambiche is the place to go for cubanos and other sandwiches served on pressed cuban rolls with a side of fried plantains and a tall glass of sugarcane lemonade. An ideal pre-brew bus lunch.

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