Brian's Photo Blog — Article 620
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McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse 2016 Brewfest
Saturday 21 January 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
Back in May 2016 I made my first visit to the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Road­house (CPR) property in Hills­boro, Or­e­gon, in the western Portland metro area. This was also the time and place that I began my McMenamins Passport ad­ven­ture by purchasing a McMenamins Pass­port and getting my first three Pass­port stamps.

One of the “experiences” stamps I want­ed to get was “Attend a Mc­Men­a­mins Brew­fest.” Therefore, on 16 July 2016, I re­turned to CPR to attend their 15th An­nual Roadhouse Brew­fest. It was also the 150th anniversary of the property’s historic (built 1866), three-story, Italian Villa-style Imbrie farmhouse, as seen in the first photo to the right. Twenty-four regional beer and cider crafters were on hand to share their wares.

Realizing that I might feel a bit sloshed by the end of all the beer and hard cider samples, I decided to park at the Sunset Transit Center and then take a Route 48 bus seven miles west along NW Cornell Road to NW Cornelius Pass Road, and then walk north three-quar­ters of a mile to McMenamins. That way I wouldn’t have to drive right away once I left the brewfest.

After a two-and-a-half-hour journey from my home in Albany by car, bus and foot, I finally arrived around noon. The $17 en­trance fee bought me a wristband ticket, ten tokens for tasting (one token per sam­ple), and a sou­ve­nir pint beer glass commemorating the event (photo below).

With that taken care of, it was time to get started on the real  business of the day. First stop: lunch and a pint of beer.
After considering all the options, I finally settled on a Snow Fly Honey Rye beer. According to the brewer:

“This tasty beer’s namesake refers to the best kept secret in Mon­tana fly fishing. This brew is the perfect libation for sum­mer. It’s light-bodied and crisp with gentle citrus notes and a mellow dryness for the palate. Combined with Honey Malt, the unique spicy rye flavor gives this beer that little ‘something different.’” Measurements: 4.9% ABV • 34 IBU

My notes from that day read: “Citrusy like they said ... pretty good.”
From the many food options I chose a Goat Cheese Torta. According to the menu, it consisted of “goat cheese, sun-​dried to­ma­to, fresh basil, roasted garlic, olive oil, bal­sam­ic vinegar and grilled baguette.”

My notes from that day read: “Wow! Very different and good! Filling! The look and consistency of the balsamic vinegar reminded me of Worces­ter­shire sauce.”
Next up was my first McMenamins Discovery Hunt. Decipher a clue to find the object it refers to. Take a selfie in front of the object. Find all the objects corresponding to all the clues, and you get a special stamp in your McMenamins Passport as well as a prize. The hunt can be fun or frustrating ... or both!

I was able to complete the Discovery Hunt without too much trouble. It helped that I had been here before. Still, it was important to read the few printed sheets of history. You can find PDF versions on the the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse history page.

After showing my crappy and em­bar­rass­ing selfies to a designated employee, I was rewarded with a just-for-fun stamp on the “Bragging Rights” page of my McMenamins Passport. I also received a neoprene beer-​can sleeve as an event souvenir, as seen to the right (un­for­tu­nate­ly, the can of Hammer­head beer was not included). McMenamins sells similar sleeves in their online store.
It is really ironic that I need to take self­ies in order to participate in a Discovery Hunt, because I almost never  take a selfie. I have even written an article ranting about the stu­pid­i­ty of selfies. And now, here I am, taking selfies!

The selfies taken with my iPad Mini are not very good, but they get the job done. I have found that when trying to take a selfie with an object in the background, it is hard to get a good expression on my face, which makes the selfie all the more embarrassing. If you would like to read about the riddles I had to solve and my comments about them, click on the mini-​selfie-​collage to the right to go to the detailed caption of the full-sized collage.

It is very unusual for me to make collages from my photos. Even more rare is two collages in the same article / album. But that is exactly what I have done with both my selfies and with the cider- and beer-​tasting pictures, none of which were im­por­tant or interesting enough to be displayed individually.

As with the selfie collage, I’m not going to repeat the details of the tasting collage here. You can click on the above collage to see a larger version, and to read all the specifics of each cider and beer sample I tried.
Later in the day, after all those samples, I was ready for some more food. As I was wandering around the property, I came across a whole pig being roasted. In my 54 years on this planet, it was the first time I had seen such a sight in per­son. It will probably inspire you to be either a car­ni­vore or a vegetarian!
From a pig roasted the day before, I had a pulled pork sandwich (with Mc­Men­a­mins’ Hammerhead BBQ sauce, topped with coleslaw) and a bag of Lay’s chips. I have never been a fan of pulled pork (or shred­ded beef), but this sandwich was really good!
To accompany my food I had ... more beer?! Well, I had to wash it down with something, and it for sure wasn’t going to be mere water! Therefore, I had a Summertime Dark Farmhouse Ale by Ambacht Brewery. According to the brewer it is:

“A dark ale, light in body, smooth in taste. A balanced ale made with organic malts and hops, keg-conditioned with honey.” Meas­ure­ments: 6.5% ABV • 17 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It was OK, but I wouldn’t get it again... maybe a bit too hoppy, even though it has a low IBU.”

But at least I got to try out my new commemorative souvenir glass!
In addition to all of the ex­pe­ri­enc­es I was enjoying, I also got to visit the inside of two historic buildings which were unavailable on my last visit.

The Little White Shed bar was orig­i­nal­ly a milk storage shed where the milk was taken after the cows had been milked in the barn. From what I can see, milk is not on the Little White Shed menu.

Speaking of barn, the historic octagonal barn, now a special-​event hall, is very impressive. When I stepped inside, The Old Yellers were performing.

Here is a four-minute video I recorded of them playing “Give Me My Medicine.” I can relate to the catchy chorus: “Give me my medicine, Lord knows it ain’t no sin. Give me my medicine, can’t you see the shape I’m in?”
Well, after four and a half hours at Cornelius Pass Road­house, I had swallowed plenty of “medicine” and now it was hard to say exactly what kind of shape I was in. Since I had literally had my fill, it was time to totter the three-quar­ters of a mile back to the bus stop. I was quite content to let someone else drive me back to my truck.

I was also very happy to get two more entries in my Pass­port, in addition to the two I have already mentioned above: an “ex­pe­ri­enc­es” stamp for the brewfest itself, and a just-for-fun “Cornelius Pass Roadhouse 150th Birthday and 15th Annual Road­house Brewfest” stamp.

Besides my selfies, I took a total of 54 photos during my visit. The best 17 have been added to the already-​ex­ist­ing Mc­Men­a­mins Cornelius Pass 2016 album.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 620
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