Guess who made their way up to Stumptown? And I’m making some pit stops to the local craft beer watering holes. For the record these taste summaries are purely anecdotal (as all taste summaries are) but I hope you can find them useful when considering what to try.
Bridgeport claims to be Oregon’s oldest craft brewery and ranked 47th in the nation for beer sales in 2009. Fun fact? The establishment was also fictionalized in the heist series ‘Leverage’.
To get an idea of the atmosphere the speakers played an upbeat mix of what I would suspect was electric r&b, trance, and fusion. Opaque charcoal tables and abstract artwork lined the walls. You could call it modern because of the music, open space, and minimalism, but they also managed to deliver coziness with having exposed brick and wooden pillars.
I have to say Bridgeport Brewing’s hospitality was top notch, from phone to table.
In so determining their hours I called first. There was a noticeably friendly and humorous person on the line. When I said thanks on the end of the call he said, “But of couuuurse,” in a tongue-in cheek character voice I couldn’t help but laugh at.
At the door the host was generous when explaining the option to go upstairs to the open seated area or be provided a dining table. I didn’t feel pressured in the least to go to the bar. Being a lone wolf with a computer, up I went. Because, courtesy.
Do I order at the bar, or seat myself? I asked the bartender. Cheerfully, she clarified I could get service from any table in the room. Oh, and she had the cutest voice! Think maybe Jennifer Tilly, or Carol Kane. The waiter was thoughtful and checked in at appropriate times. He hooked me up by adjusting the set flight to my preferences, too.
Here’s what I tried.
Mosaic Hopped Cream Ale
The cream ale made my top 3 on this visit for its creamy mouthfeel and flavor. A bitter tone was just noticeable on the surface, thanks to the Meridian hops. The tropical note on the end from the mosaics topped the beer with a subtle but smooth finish.
Tiny Horse Pilsner
This is Bridgeport’s spin a on pilsner brew. Tiny Horse is a little hoppier than a traditional flavor. You also get that tinge of sweet corn (Dimethyl Sulfide) found solely from pilsen hops, then curved in the aftertaste by a bite of spice.
The Original IPA
Bridgeport claims setting the standard for this beer style, in this case combining 5 variants of hops grown in Oregon. At 50 IBUs, it actually had quite a bit of depth between the floral aroma and the bitters.
Swapped out this beer instead of the Candy Peel IPA in the flight. On first sniff I got some toasty biscuits on the nose. The kick is in the chocolate. The appearance and lack of froth gave me the impression that the beer was going to be boozy and dense. Not the case, but later became a little alcoholic after a couple of sips. 4.25/5
Kingpin Double Red Ale
The impression I got from this red ale is nothing exciting. Kingpin seems to be a standard red ale, plus more hops. The spicy aspect of this red ale does become magnetized by the added hops, but the floral flavors do manage to shine through.
Multi-Ball Double Ipa
Wasn’t sure whether this beer’s potential would be masked by bitters from all 7 hop varieties used to make it, but it turned out to be one of my favorites of this visit. The nose to palate start out with malty coated bitters that pique with remnants of caramel. Expect to go from malty to bitter to citrus to spicy to floral in a heartbeat. Multi-ball nails the name.
Bullpen Session IPA
There’s a burst of citrusy hops then smoothed down by two-row pale malt, honey malt, and golden oats. Balanced and fits right into the dangerously drinkable category, so rightly a ‘session’ beer.
Ebenezer Ale –
Also one of my favorites from this visit. Something that I found especially festive about this beer is its allusion to traditional soda. The light hoppy aroma on the nose, fizzy carbonated mouthfeel, and caramel finish alluded to coca-cola to me. 4.25/5