Brian's Photo Blog — Article 637
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My Birthday Lunch at a Corvallis McMenamins
Thursday 30 March 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
For my 55th birthday a couple of days ago, my wife, daughter and I went to the McMenamins Monroe Brewpub, across the street from the Oregon State University cam­pus in nearby Corvallis.

Not only was I looking forward to having a nice meal, but I was also eager to continue my Mc­Men­a­mins Passport adventure by get­ting my final “experiences” stamp in my McMenamins Passport.
I had wanted to get a Kind Sister Wheat because the last (and first) time I had that beer I had liked it, but I had forgotten to take a picture. Unfortunately, it had recently gone out of pro­duc­tion and the menu had not yet been changed.

After perusing the somewhat-​short list of alternatives, I chose a Griff’s Porter. According to the brewer:

“This porter is a kinder, gentler beer than the more aggressive Terminator Stout. The Blackprinz malt is dehusked before it is roasted. This removes the astringent bitterness, and leaves in the dark color and sweet flavor. I named this brew after a good friend of 35 years. Porter is his favorite beer, so cheers Glenn.” Meas­ure­ments: 5% ABV • 29 IBU

It was OK, but nothing great ... slightly watery ... perhaps too kind and gentle! My favorite McMenamins porter so far has been Seaside Porter.
My wife and I decided to share two different dishes. The first was a Shrimp Louie salad. According to the menu, it consisted of “chopped egg, poached and chilled shrimp, tomato, cucumber, wedg­es of iceberg lettuce, and “Thousand Is­land dressing.” It was really big and real­ly good, with lots of shrimp!
The other dish was a Brewer’s Crab Fon­due Pot. It was described as “sharp ched­dar cheese, Hammerhead ale and chunks of crab, served with soft pretzel sticks.”

Although it sounded good, I didn’t like this very much. It contained way more crab than I had imagined, but it had such a strong fishy taste that I could not even taste the cheese! I would absolutely nev­er try it again!

However, my wife liked it. But that’s not surprising because she also likes an­cho­vies on her pizza.
My daughter also had a bit of a challenging time during the meal. The ginger ale she had ordered was very, very strong and spicy! Maybe it was Blenheim Ginger Ale.

She poured some of it into a glass of ice water, but that diluted version was still too strong. Then she put about a tablespoon into yet another glass of ice water, and it was, according to her, just right.

With both the crab fondue and ginger ale we were stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new. Over the past couple of years I have really enjoyed discovering new dishes and tastes. Once in a while I strike out. But if I had not taken those risks, I would have missed out on a lot of new delicious meals.
Once we got back home I really wanted to try to purge that crab fondue from my taste buds, stomach and mem­ory. In the fridge was a 22 oz. bomber bottle of Rogue Paradise Pucker, a Hawaiian-​inspired sour ale brewed with passion fruit, orange and guava.

According to the friend who gave it to me for my birthday, this beer is sold in bottles only in Hawaii but when they were visiting the Rogue Brewery in Newport, there were some “extra” bottles of it which did not make it to the island and so were available in Oregon.

It was very kind and thoughtful of her to snag a bottle for me. Regarding the taste, it was OK, fairly sour, but I didn’t really care for it any more than the two Mc­Men­a­mins fruit beers I have tried: Purple Haze and Ruby Ale. In general I like to keep my beer and my fruit separate. Once again, you win some and you lose some.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 637
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