I’d like to say that choosing the next brewery to visit was a very calculated and planned decision. Yes, I’d LIKE to say that, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Standing in downtown Portland, Oregon, I couldn’t decide which brewery I should target next. Decisions, decisions… so many good choices! After all, they don’t call this town Beervana for nothing! I felt overwhelmed by the quality options so I did the only thing I could think of – I turned on my phone’s GPS app and said “brewery”. The kind voice guided me turn by turn to the nearest place. And that’s how I came to the door of Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB).
HUB is considered an Eco-Brewpub; they are “100% renewably powered and cradle-to-gate carbon neutral… serving organic beers and fresh, local ingredients, all served in sustainably-built and operated buildings.” They even grow some of their own hops out in the back lot. As a self-proclaimed Bike Bar, you can see by the décor and t-shirt artwork that this is true– they LOVE bicycles.
A few of the brews really stood out for me.
The Velvet ESB is a popular beer here and rightly so. It is made with organic oats from Bob’s Red Mill, which gives it a soft, velvety texture. I liked this one.
They also have a special beer, Give Me Liberty, which is the fresh hopped version of the Velvet ESB, plus they’ve used their own hops! This brew had a particularly fresh and green taste.
Ace of Spades was another of my favorites. This imperial IPA has a citrusy nose and a strong 9.7% kick. It’s a good, hoppy beer – the kind I think of when I think of a NW Style IPA. Delicious.
HUB has an interesting and creative single-hopped IPA series going on right now, the IPX Series. Starting with their award winning IPA, they are creating new brews by playing with the hops. Their current IPX offering, Falconer’s Flight, had a particularly floral aroma which drew me in right away. I’m definitely interested in exploring more of this series!
Joining other craft breweries, HUB has begun canning their beers. The HUB Lager and HUB IPA are now available in cans, and soon their infamous winter seasonal ale, Abominable, will be available in cans as well.
While scribbling my notes and snapping pictures, I enjoyed my beer, ate my lunch, and learned all things HUB from the knowledgeable bartender, Jacob.
About this time the bar began to fill with the Sunday afternoon crowd – people arrived to fill their growlers or watch football. A few familes came in for lunch and a large party arrived for some sort of celebration. I struck up a conversation with a friendly couple sitting next to me at the bar. They were obviously regulars that appreciated craft beer and it turned out they were passing through town again, but they always stop at HUB when they do.
After nearly two hours of talking, drinking, and some shopping through the t-shirt wall and the beer fridge, I left with a few gifts for friends, some swag for trading, and a few bombers for my beer cellar.
All in all, I had a great afternoon and an awesome beer experience. And this was all by luck of the draw – or luck of the GPS, whatever.
2944 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202