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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 636
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A SW Portland McMenamins Mini Pub Crawl
Thursday 23 March 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
After helping my Swiss daughter move to the Portland area on Swiss National Day (August 1st — kind of like our 4th of July), I headed to the city’s Southwest quadrant for a McMenamins mini pub crawl.
 
First up was the Hillsdale Brewery and Public House on Sunset Boulevard just north of Oregon Route 10, in the Hills­dale neighborhood.

Opened in February 1984, it was Mc­Men­a­mins’ third location, and in Oc­to­ber 1985 it became Oregon’s first brew­pub since Prohibition. Hillsdale brewery was also the birthplace of several of their classic beers: Hammerhead, Ruby and Terminator.
 
Because I had already tried those classics, I opted for something new: a pint of Lizbie Browne. According to the brewer:

“This light English-​style Brown Ale pours on the nitro tap and tastes smooth and nutty. Don’t hesitate to order a pint now be­fore the opportunity passes you by! ‘But Lizbie Browne, I let you slip; shaped not a sign; touched never your lip with lip of mine, lost Lizbie Browne. So, Lizbie Browne, when on a day men speak of me as not, you’ll say, “And who was he?” Yes Lizbie Browne!’” Meas­ure­ments: 5.1% ABV • 28 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It was OK, but a bit on the watery side (28 IBU) ... I don’t think I would have it again.”

Perhaps even tastier than the beer was collecting another lo­ca­tion stamp for my McMenamins Passport adventure!
 
With my Lizbie I enjoyed a delicious gyro with a side salad. The menu de­scribed it as “seasoned beef with tzatziki sauce, cucumber, red onion, tomato, let­tuce and feta cheese in a warm Greek-​style pita.” I love this sandwich!
 
 
The next stop was only half a mile east (as the crow flies), at the Fulton Pub and Brewery, on SW Nebraska Street just west of Oregon Route 43 (Macadam Av­e­nue), in the South Portland neigh­bor­hood. Seeing that I’m a Byrd but not a crow, I had to drive a longer 2.5-​mile route in my truck.
 
Although the interior is cozy and in­vit­ing, on a warm, sunny August afternoon it seemed a pity to sit inside. So I headed back outside and claimed one of the empty sidewalk tables.
 
To wet my whistle I had a Bricktop ESB (Extra Special Bitter) beer, brewed on-​site. According to the brewer:

“This Extra Special Bitter is a balanced offering in the deep-​orange to copper color range. The first flavors that wash over the palate are of mellow burnt sugar followed by a citrusy hop bitterness. The bitterness evens out with a bready malt quality. Neither flavor threatens to overwhelm the other as they glide together towards a pleasant, lingering, flowery hop finish.” Meas­ure­ments: 5.4% ABV • 40 IBU

My notes from that day read: “It was extra special! This beer was pretty good — a nice taste without being overpowering. I would definitely get it again! Really good!!! One of the best McMenamins beers! Only at this lo­ca­tion!”

One more beer was added to the list of McMenamins beers I have tried, and one more location stamp was added to my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport.
 
 
Eventually I headed down the I-5 towards home in Albany about 70 miles to the south. When I reached the south­ern Portland metro area suburb of Wilsonville, I stopped at the McMenamins Old Church and Pub. Since it is not located within Portland itself, and because I have visited that location a number of times since then, those stories are told in McMenamins Wilsonville on Swiss National Day and McMenamins Wilsonville 5th Birthday Bash.
 
To round out today’s article, I will finish with my visit, a couple of months later in October 2016, to the Mc­Men­a­mins Mar­ket Street Pub, located in South­park Square — bounded by SW Clay & Mar­ket Streets and SW 10th & Park Av­e­nues — on the Portland State University cam­pus in the southwest section of down­town Portland.
 
The pattern of this October outing was quite similar to another trip I made in June 2015. I drove an hour from Albany to Wilsonville, took the WES Commuter Rail to Beaverton, caught a MAX train to Washington Park, and then took a bus to the Japanese Garden.

After taking pictures there for a couple of hours, I took a bus and MAX to downtown Portland. For more details about what all that involves, see my article Transportation and Dining in the Big City.

This time around, I got off MAX at the Goose Hol­low / Southwest Jefferson Street Station, in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, and then walked about two-​thirds of a mile southeast to Southpark Square and the Market Street Pub.
 
Because I arrived a bit before Mc­Men­a­mins opened at 11:00, I took some time to explore the inner courtyard. As you can see in the photo to the right, much of the block is occupied by the 164-foot, 13-floor Southpark Square apartments.
 
In the center of the courtyard is a pleas­ant fountain. In the right-​hand back­ground of the photo to the right you can see the patio of the McMenamins Market Street Pub.

As with all of the photos on this page, you can click on the picture to see a larg­er version with more detail.
 
Promptly at 11:00 I headed over to the pub’s patio, just off the central court­yard. Because I was the only one there, I had a wide selection of tables.

Scanning the tap list, I did’t see any new beers I wanted to try. So I went with one of my McMenamins favorites, their sea­son­al Copper Moon ale. According to the brewer:
 
“Copper Moon has a coppery-orange luminescence radiating out of the pint glass, originating from three different organic malts that impart a flavorful yet summery smooth sweetness that quenches your thirst while tantalizing your taste buds. The up­front hop bitterness of Copper Moon is relatively low, com­ple­ment­ing the malts without being overpowering. The hop flavor and aroma are another matter, as the Perle and Chinook hops used in the latter stages of each batch intermingle to generate a dazzling, citrusy, floral experience, in addition to slightly spicy notes. All of these qualities blend into a refreshing, flavorful organic summer pale ale.” Meas­ure­ments: 5% ABV • 44 IBU

My notes from that day read: “As this was the sixth time I had ordered Copper Moon, I could definitely confirm that I really like this beer!”

One stamp closer to finishing my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport!
 
For lunch I tried a “Baby Got Baby Back Grilled Cheese Sandwich” and fries. The menu described it as “Hammerhead BBQ pork, mac & cheese, caramelized onions on brioche with fresh-​cut fries.” It sounds like a weird sandwich, but it was really good!
 
 
 
In fact, I like the Hammerhead BBQ pork so much that right after lunch I made a beeline to go buy a bottle of the sauce! Just a few dozen yards down the block from the Market Street Pub is the SW 10th & Clay stop for the Portland Streetcar NS Line. I rode it to the end of the line, where I got off at the NW 23rd & Marshall stop in the Alphabet District.

From there I walked seven blocks north on NW 23rd Avenue to the McMenamins 23rd Av­e­nue Bottle Shop, which has one of the largest selection of McMenamins products and par­a­pher­na­lia of any McMenamins location, except for their online store.

A 14 oz bottle of their Hammerhead Barbecue Sauce set me back $7.50, which seems pretty spendy. I could swallow that price once, but in the future I will need to find a cheaper equivalent in a regular grocery store. Or, as a gourmet chef wannabe, perhaps I should try to make my own.

Since that outing I have made pulled pork sandwiches with Hammerhead sauce at home, and they turned out really good. But I’ll have to tell you about it later because I have not had time to process those photos and write that article.

During these two mini pub crawls in August and October 2016 I took a total of 43 pho­tos. The best 18 can be viewed in the new McMenamins Portland SW 2016 album.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 636
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 636
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