Brian's Photo Blog — Article 574
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Portland North Mississippi Avenue Mini Pub Crawl
Friday 1 July 2016   —   Category: Dining Out
In my last article I recounted my seven-​mile photo-​hike outing in North Portland on Vancouver, Albina and Mississippi Avenues. The last part of the walk was through the lower segment of Mis­sis­sip­pi, most of which comprises the Historic Mississippi District. Along this section I either passed or stopped at a number of pubs, so that my hike turned into an im­promp­tu Mississippi Avenue mini pub crawl.
My first stop was at Prost! German pub, located in a historic (built 1894) former drugstore, on the corner of Skidmore Street, which forms the northern border of the Historic Mississippi District. After having walked about six miles, it was really a sight for dry throats! I wasn’t ready for lunch, but I sure was hot, thirsty and tired.
To cure my ails I ordered a glass of Hofbräu Original Helles Lager. According to the brewer:

“More than any other, Hofbräu Original embodies Munich’s character as a city of beer, spreading its fame throughout the world. Full-bodied with an ABV of 5.1%, and offering a truly fine hops aroma, it is a superbly well-balanced lager. A Munich beer with character! Type: Bottom-fermented Lager — Münchner Helles.”

This is a good beer ... I would order it again.
Adjacent to their small indoor pub, Prost! has a large patio area, part of which is shown here.
After being inspired by the quirky The Best Places To Pee: A Guide To The Funky & Fabulous Bathrooms of Port­land book, now I am always on the look­out for an interesting bathroom shot.

It seems like the facilities at Prost! are used for some extra storage, unless those are just decorations!
Just a block south of Prost! is another bar with the same owners: Interurban. I didn’t stop there, but at least it provided this interesting photo op.
A few blocks further south on North Mississippi Avenue brought me face to face with StormBreaker Brewing on the corner of Beech Street. I hadn’t been planning on doing a pub crawl on this outing, but since I was there I figured I might as well go with the flow and let the beer flow.
There were a few possibilities that looked interesting, but I finally settled on their Mississippi Red Ale. According to the brewer:

“An homage to our street we now call home, this Citra dry-​hopped Red gives the appearance of an IPA on the nose, with hops apparent on the palate, but balanced with caramel flavors for a smooth finish. Red perfection!” Meas­ure­ments: 5.8% ABV • 29 IBU

My notes from that day read: “A little hoppy when first on the tongue, but pretty good after that. The description seems accurate. I was going to try another beer — Total ReKölsch — but since I’m walking Mississippi today, I decided to get this beer in honor of the street.”
The restroom at StormBreaker was very dimly lit, but I did manage to get a shot of this curious message.
Leaving the Historic Mississippi District behind, I continued south on North Mis­sis­sip­pi Avenue towards the Widmer Brothers Brewpub where I planned to have lunch. Along the route I passed by a few places I would have liked to stop at, but there is a limit to how many beers per hour my system can process. So many Portland brew­er­ies, so little time!

The next place I had to skip was Ecliptic Brewing, between Fremont and Cook Streets.
One more establishment I skipped was Liberty Glass Bar, near the corner Cook Street.

I’ll probably visit Ecliptic Brewing one day, but I’m not so sure about this one. I think I’m more into brewpubs than bars.
I know that I will for sure be having a beer at the historic (built 1905) White Eagle Saloon and Hotel later this year, because it is one of the stops on my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport adventure.
At the end of my seven-mile, four-​and-​a-​half-​hour walk, I finally arrived at the Widmer Brothers Brewing complex, just a block west on Russell Street from Mc­Men­a­mins White Eagle.

A portion of their complex, including the brew­pub, is located in the historic (built 1893) Smithson Building shown here.

It was such a sunny day that I decided to enjoy my meal at a sidewalk table. For­tunately it was mostly shaded by a large umbrella, but my poor beer had to pose for this picture in direct sunlight! Ac­cord­ing to the brewer, their gold-​medal-​winning PDX Pils is:

“A northern German-style pilsner that is brewed in the northern part of Port­land, dry-hopped with Columbia hops, displaying firm and lingering bitterness complemented by flavors of graham cracker and lemon zest.” Meas­ure­ments: 5.7% ABV • 31 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It was pretty good but a bit bland ... that’s what I get for choosing a ‘safe’ low-IBU beer. On the other hand, it went great with the food.”

For my first-ever meal at Widmer’s I had their chicken schnitzel, which the menu described as: “A Widmer Brothers clas­sic. Breaded chicken breast grilled gold­en brown and served with sautéed spätz­le, seasonal vegetables and lemon beurre blanc.” It was very, very good!

A funny thing happened on the way to the restroom. I went inside the brewpub and was scanning the back of the dining area for the restroom sign. Therefore I didn’t see the single step down, right in the middle of the brewpub, but I sure felt it! The next thing I knew I was on my hands and knees, staring up sheepishly into the astonished faces of nearby cus­tom­ers. I felt really stupid!

Fortunately I had put my camera and iPad into my photo backpack, so none of my equipment was damaged. But I had twisted my ankle, and even though it wasn’t too painful at first, I was hob­bling around on it for a few weeks.

Next time I’ll watch where I’m going instead of looking for the restroom sign. Despite my little accident, I did manage to take this picture in the men’s room to add to my collection.

Well, that wasn’t the best note to end my North Mississippi Avenue mini pub crawl on, but this is real life and not a fairy tale. I was happy to explore that little slice of the city, and since I’m pos­i­tive­ly passionate about Portland, I know I’ll be back!

You can view all 20 of the photos from this pub crawl in the Portland Van­cou­ver/​Mississippi 2016 section of the Or­e­gon Pub Crawl 2016 album.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 574
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