Saturday 18th June 2011
Whilst walking north in the West Side Industrial District I noticed (or thought I did) a familiar-looking premises on Morrison Street, see the photos below. It was the Morrison Hotel. I crossed the road for a closer look. Well, the sign-writing on the windows certainly looked like the cover of the Doors' Morrison Hotel album of 1970, their fifth, and a very good one, too. I didn't think that the Doors had any particular connection with Portland, being based in Los Angeles and that, it transpires, is where the photo was taken.
Under normal circumstances I would have gone in and had a beer. Being Portland it would be almost certain that they would have offered something from one of the many local brewers, but I had a very tight agenda to follow, maybe next time. Regarding the photos above: guess, original or imposter, left or right? No points given. Clue: the late Jim Morrison is in one of them.
During the walk to Burnside Brewing, my next watering hole, there was a heavy shower from which I had to hide. I couldn't help singing "Riders on the Storm". Or maybe it was the voice of the drink? Luckily there was no-one else around.
My destination was at 701 E Burnside Street, eight blocks north. It was the former Alchemy Brewery and changed names this year. I took the sampler tray which consisted of IPA (6.7%), Oatmeal Pale (5.5%), Sweet Heat (sic) (5.0%), Berliner Weisse (3.4%), Stock Ale (5.8%), Stout (5.4%).
It's fantastic that a now-departed Kentish style of beer, Stock Ale, should be brewed so far away from its origin. A memo to Kentish breweries: revive this beer soon. I wanted to stay a bit longer to take a pint of the IPA. However I would not have finished the day's plan had I succumbed to this temptation. It was superb and with 75 IBUs (International Bittering Units), was mouth-crinkingly bitter. They have a "Fruit of the Day" beer and this was from the Laurelwood Brewery. I passed on Mango Mint Pale Ale, no surprise.
I then caught the no 6 bus northwards. Southbound buses run down Martin Luther King Boulevard, another block to the west. Both streets already have rails embedded in the surface in anticipation of the Eastside Streetcar (Tram) which opens in 2012 and connect all the pubs I had visited today with the downtown area. As it will run over the existing tracks of the Portland Streetcar downtown the number of breweries and brewpubs it will serve will reach astronomical numbers. I alighted at NE Broadway and caught a no 9 bus to NE Wheeler Avenue to visit the Upright Brewing Company. The streetcar will make the whole journey without a change.
Burnside Brewery, 1700 NE Broadway, Portland OR. 97214. Tel: 503 946 8151
Open: Sun to Tues 15.00-22.00; Wed to Fri 15.00-24.00; Sat 12.00-24.00
The pub is on the corner of E Burnside Street and NE 7th Avenue.
The No 20 bus runs from the city centre along E Burnside, alight at the 8th Avenue and walk back one block. This bus returns to the city along NE Couch Street, one block north, and there is a stop at NE 7th Avenue.