Portland Beervana? Rogue Distillery & Pub

Unlike our first Portland brewpub experience nothing was accidental in our choice of the fourth: it was completely by design. Like when you visit Burlington, Vermont, you have to visit Ben & Jerry’s, right? So it follows that when you visit Oregon, you must make a pilgrimage to a Rogue Ales brewpub.

Can you tell we’ve become big fans of Rogue – thanks to our experiences at Issaquah Brewhouse we had high expectations and they were completely satisfied in Portland. And yes, there’s that allusion to Ben & Jerry’s again.

Anyhow, our trip was nearly over – we just had the afternoon to kill before heading back to Seattle. We set aside this time for our Rogue experience; their Portland pub being an easy walk from our hotel, and it put us within an easy walk of Union Station where our evening Amtrak Cascades train awaited.

We were seated in a comfortable booth with space nearby to stow our backpacks. The Rogue pub is much like the Issaquah Brewhouse – similar look and feel, casual and friendly vibe, filled with Rogue stuff to look at and Rogue stuff to buy.

IMG_3860As usual, we tried the 4-glass sampler – the beers we selected were every bit as good as those we enjoyed at Deschutes (which makes both Deschutes and Rogue about as good as you can get). And, perhaps just as importantly, Rogue’s excellence vidicated Portland as deserving of the Beervana moniker after our horrific Bridgeport experience.

IMG_3868We followed our sampler with pints of our favorite brews from the sampler: for spouse this was the Hazelnut Brown, while for your’s truly it was Santa’s Private Reserve.

The bathrooms are typical Rogue – marked Hops and Barley. A fun pastime is to watch Rogue newbies figuring out which bathroom is theirs. It has to do with bitter and sweet, and even though there’s a little ♂ on the hops sign, and a ♀ on the barley sign, folks still stand and wonder.

All of our food selections were great. As I’ve said before, Rogue isn’t cheap – the beer is expensive and food is at the upper end of brewpub prices – but the quality is there – you get what you pay for.

This makes three Rogue pub visits for us, with three great experiences. Before we left the spouse and I signed up for the Rogue Nation – and now we’re card-carrying members.

So, Rock Bottom, much as we love being Mug Club members, with all of its privileges, be aware that we’re hedging our bets in case your merger with Gordon Biersch has negative consequences.

Rogue’s Portland pub is located in the Pearl District close to the Deschutes brewpub – in fact less than a quarter mile apart.

Now we’ve reached the end of our first visit to Portland, where we’ve managed to sample four brewpubs, is Portland truly Beervana? We know we’ve only scratched the surface but so far the claim seems reasonable to us.

Next time we’re going to try and visit other central downtown options like Tug Boat, Full Sail, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, just to name a few. And we’ll also be looking across the Willammette River to nearby East Portland where hopefully we can check out the likes of Widmer, Green Dragon (now a Rogue pub), Hair of the Dog, Lucky Labrador, Coalition, and the one everyone talks about – Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Can’t wait to be riding that train again. 🙂

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