Recently Mrs. K Dub and myself celebrated our 1 year anniversary by making a weekend trip to Portland, Oregon. After my trip to Portland last year for my bachelor party (another entry all together, ask Sirron) she's always wanted to go, so off we went. We went to try some seafood, enjoy cool weather and of course check out the great beer scene. Well, the seafood was great, the weather was similar to Texas (Epic Fail) and the beer was uh-mazing, especially the brewery shown in this little picture to the left.
I modeled an itenerary after one created by Sirron for my bachelor party and it was quite strong. But on the second day we deviated from the schedule at the recommendation of a nice young lady at Cork (a bottle shop) on 1715 NW Lovejoy. After checking out the awesome beer selection I found a farmhouse ale from Portland that I've never heard of so I thought, "What the hell, I'll try it." I placed it on the counter and the young lady had a look on her face like a little kid in a candy store and told us about the brewery. She said, "Have you heard of Upright Brewery? You should totally check them out, they're brewing farmhouse style ales and are located in the basement of a really cool building called the Leftbank Building." Those were probably some of the greatest words that Mrs. K Dub and I had heard all weekend.
So from Cork (a bottle shop) we stopped at another brewpub, as it was right down the road, and the only thing I could think about was getting to Upright. I was giddy with excitement and just wanted to irresponsibly dispose of those brewpub offerings (ie. shooters baby) so that we could leave. After enjoying the sampler and finish watching the Wisconsin vs. Fresno State game we caught a cab to the brewery.
Which I have to ask, what's the deal with cab drivers? They drive about as well as I did when I was twelve and they drive everyday. What's the deal?
After arriving at the brewery we walked into the tasting area and greeted by another nice young lady in charge of pouring the samplers. She explained to us that they're regular beers on tap are numbered Four, Five, Six and Seven and that today they had two special ales on tap, a Gruit and their Four aged in barrels. Short and simple, they were all great, including the Gruit which I was very skeptical. Side note: Gruits are ales brewed with spices other than hops, I've had other Gruits and have not been impressed, but holy jeez, Upright's was awesome. Other beers available in bottle for tasting were the True Wit and Flora Rustica. After tasting we were led on a guided tour by owner and brewer Alex Ganum.
The tour included viewing the 10 Barrel (one barrel=31 gallons) brewing system, their two open fermenters and conditioning tanks that are all used to brew their tasty ales. Alex was kind enough to break out a bag of Hallertauer whole hops from the freezer for us to rub in our hands and smell, kind of like that other brewer/owner guy from the East Coast. The open fermenter were cool for me because these fermenters are stored in their own room that is kept under positive pressure relative to the surrounding room. I believe brewers do this with the pressure thing on open fermenters so that bacteria, wild yeasts and nasty things don't float their way into the fermenting ale spoiling it. Some beers call for this 'spoiling', but not all.
After the touring we spoke with a nice gentleman that was Treasurer of a local homebrew club, we spoke of great beer, good times and adventurous ideas. But alas, time was against us to go visit another establishment and another friend so unfortunately we had to depart. Before leaving we bought some merch and some beers for the trip back to Texas.
Mrs. K Dub and I have been talking about Upright ever since we got back and if you ever get a chance to visit Portland you should check out Upright Brewing, they pretty much kick ace.