The Widmer Brothers Brewery Tour

16 03 2011

The Widmer Brothers Brewery

Well, things are starting to warm up, the rains have returned, the daffodils and crocuses are blooming… and people are getting back out and doing things.  Like me!

Well when I went to the Gasthaus Pub recently, I was walking down the block to it and saw a bunch of commoners walking around inside the brewery… they were on a tour!  So I decided I needed to do that, soon.  So I made a reservation for a Saturday and spent a little over an hour seeing and tasting the sights.  It was fun and the tour guy was full of knowledge.

You get to hear the story of the brewery and the brothers, taste 5 of their beers, and learn about their brewing process.  Then you head out and see where it’s made.  It’s actually surprisingly small for the amount of beer that they put out, but the size of the vessels are quite impressive (see below).  And at the end of the tour you get, or at least we got, a logo pint glass and a key chain.  Very cool and quick tour, definitely something everyone in Portland should do.

Where all the mixing and cooking and stuff is done (I paid attention eh?)

3-story tall beer holder fermentation thingys.

And finally, all the beers 🙂

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Tasting Widmer Brothers: The Gasthaus Pub

5 02 2011

Who knew Widmer had a restaurant? Well, probably everyone but me.

I happened to be driving on the Northeast side of Portland a few weeks back, and noticed that I was driving by the Widmer Brother Brewery.  But what really surprised me is that they have a restaurant across the street!  I had no idea, I thought they only made beer.  So, I decided to return and check out The Gasthaus Pub.

It’s in an awesome old brick building, as you can see by the picture.  I’d call their food American pub food with a German twist.  For example, the appetizers contain staples like quesadillas and pretzels, but also feature bratwursts,  kielbasas and weisswursts.  Entrees include sandwiches, burgers and pastas, but also include schnitzels and goulasch.

Yay, free small beer too!

I usually don’t order Pale Ales because I don’t enjoy too much bitterness and challenge in my beer, but I can honestly say that their Drifter Pale Ale was one of the best Pale Ales I’ve ever had, it wasn’t bitter at all and was full of flavor.  The sampler next to it was a seasonal beer… the uhh… I forgot, but it was pretty good.  Not sure I could have had a full pint of it though.

My delicious fake reuben.

Food-wise I ordered the pretzel with fondue for an appetizer that you see in the rear of the picture (I always have to order them, I mean… what goes better with beer?).  The fondue was one of the best cheese dips I’ve had with pretzels.  For my entree I consumed a surprisingly good vegetarian reuben.  So what was substituted for the corned beef/pastrami?… tomatoes!  And you know what, it was genius.  I almost didn’t notice, except that the slices were slightly too thick, a little thinner would have worked a bit better.  It also came with some excellent (and quite “dilly”) German potato salad.  It was a great meal and I very much look forward to returning to try some more dishes.

So, now that I’ve been to all of the major breweries’ brewpubs in the area (Widmer, Deschutes, Bridgeport & Rogue), I guess it’s time to explore the smaller players.  Stay tuned…


Widmer Gasthaus on Urbanspoon