Tasting The Columbia River Brewing Company

14 10 2010

I didn't take this shot, but yep, this is what the front looks like. Kind of like it was an old drugstore or something once.

Simple dining area. Very family friendly.

Really good beer, you'd never know they just started brewing it earlier this year.

Tasty and interesting veggie burger!

Good pizza, but it's hard to screw up pizza. Well, I guess there is CiCi's.

I needed to do a CSI on why all of our fish died in one day, and the best place to do that was in the Hollywood District’s, The Wet Spot.  But before the investigation was to start, I needed sustenance.  Like so many times when searching for restaurants on Google Maps, my eyes were curiously drawn to the word “brew”.  Turns out that just down the street from my destination was The Columbia River Brewing Company, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I think the first thing I noticed when pulling up and walking in  was how simple the space  was, not highly decorated like Deschutes, or highly polished like Bridgeport.  It was a very humble place, and looked like it was once an old general store or pharmacy or something in the 40’s.  There was something endearing about the simplicity, it gave it a neighborhoody warmness.

Our attentive dreadlocked server took our beer order, to which I started with the CRB Pale Ale.  It’s described as “Light in color – Big in taste.”  And that’s no joke because I couldn’t differentiate it from my dining partner’s HollyWood Hefe, both looked like unfiltered wheats.  Both were very good, and the Pale Ale did have tons of flavor.  The description of the hefeweizen was also spot-on with “light with banana and clove characteristics”, because it was a tad too cloveish for me (not a clove fan).  The True Blonde was a tasty “after mowing the lawn” kind of beer, which is what I so often lean towards.

The food was very tasty as well, everything seemed to have a twist to it.  For example, my homemade veggie burger was comprised of “garbanzo beans, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, oats and organic brown rice.”  Broccoli?  But it worked!   Fries were full of potato flavor, although I prefer them a bit crispier.

I was really in the mood for nachos too, a boring pick I know, but they were exactly how I like them, perfect ratios of whole beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream with tons of jalapeños.  Next time for an appetizer I’ll try the Columbia River Jalapeño Fritters or veggie sushi rolls, diverse stuff eh?

Beyond all that have pizza (which we had and was good, it’s hard to mess that up) a mixture of sandwiches, salads, pastas, burgers and assorted “banger” dishes (I read the owner lived in England for a bit, so I assume that’s why).

Interestingly, as I found out afterwords this was actually the location for an old Laurelwood Brewpub, and that Columbia River only been in business since this summer!  Judging by the quality of their beer and food, I would have guessed they had been around for years.  Which makes me want to go back even more and see how Columbia River Brewing Company evolves…



Columbia River Brewing Company on Urbanspoon




3 responses

15 10 2010


30 11 2010

There’s a similar place where I live called the Montana Brewing Company, and it’s easily my favorite restaurant within a 50 mile radius….and their Scotch Ale is the best beer I’ve ever had. There’s a good chance I’ll be visiting Portland next summer, so I’ll definitely have to check out the Columbia River Brewing Company while I’m there.

30 11 2010

Definitely check it out, but also check out the other brew-pubs I’ve listed, I think Deschutes has always been the most consistent as far as beer and food go. And well, there are like 100 others here that I haven’t even made it to! Enjoy your trip!

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