Tasting Hopworks Urban Brewery

28 03 2011

I have MANY more local breweries/brewpubs to try in Portland, I guess I just got lazy after Deschutes, Bridgeport, Widmer, Rogue and the 9,000 McMenamins everywhere.  They just started to rotate, and then one day a few weeks back  I’d had enough, I had to find a new one!  Which obviously, is quite easy to do in Portland.  I spoke to my friend about trying someplace new, we researched and both said “Hopworks!” at the same time, creepy.  So off we went on a random Wednesday night…

1st off, this place is popular, very, popular.   We went early and had a 45 minute wait.  The place is quite large so I thought it would go faster, but it didn’t.  That’s fine, we just, well… drank beer.  And if you have kids don’t worry about the wait because HUB is very kid friendly, they even have a play area with chalkboards, trains, toys, etc.  Very cool.   So, your kids will be fine during the wait (or dinner) whilst you drink beer.  The space is open, airy, modern and inviting with a bike theme throughout (they also boast of 60 bicycle parking spots).

I’m not a beer snob or anything, I like it or I don’t, and I don’t like to be too challenged.  So that being said, I love their beer.  Don’t really know what else to say beyond that, I was just very impressed with the quality and flavors.

Don't know which one this was, but it was great.

We had a ton of appetizers that we couldn’t finish, but we just wanted to try a lot of things.  You can see from front to back, “Pint o Pretzels” (very moist and yummy), “Nachofied Organic French Fries” (freaking genius, so tasty and simple), and finally “Batter Fried Chicken Tenders” (I didn’t eat them, but I’m told they were great).

Appetizers 3 deep.

I ordered their homemade black bean burger.  I have low expectations for these things, I’ve had so many average and dry examples over the years (“Then why do you get them?” I’m boring.), but this wasn’t one of them.  Flavorful, not dry, savory, and the fries were perfectly done.  Hell, I even liked the pickle.  There are many other non-meat items to choose from as well.

Hopyard Black Bean Burger.

A dining friend also had the black pepper & garlic beer sausage, and I don’t know if they make it themselves, but it’s juicy, flavorful and yes, peppery.  I don’t eat meat, but it looked so good I had to try a little, it was worth it.  And as you can tell, the portions are gargantuan.  Another person I was with ordered a calzone, and it was seriously the largest calzone I’ve ever seen, literally larger than a football.

Black pepper & garlic beer sausage. I ate some!

So the food, beer, service, building and vibe were all fantastic.  It’s my new favorite, Deschutes moves to #2 (sorry D).  I also need to mention its green side, it’s an all organic brewery… but much more.  Take a look at their green facts, they walk the walk, kudos.

And one last pic.  I told you they had a bike theme…

MUCH better than looking at advertising while urinating.

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