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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 657
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McMenamins McMinnville Hotel Oregon
Thursday 18 May 2017   —   Category: Dining Out
In honor of the 18th annual, four-​day Mc­Men­a­mins UFO Festival which starts today at the McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, Oregon, I am posting this article about my first, and so far only, visit to Hotel Oregon ten months ago, back in July 2016.
 
Located in the center of the original downtown on the corner of NE Evans and 3rd Streets, the Hotel Oregon, built in 1905, has housed a hotel, restaurant, lounge, dance spot, bus depot, Western Union office, beauty parlor and soda fountain. Eventually the building was purchased by McMenamins, renovated, and reopened in 1999 as one of their historic hotels.
 


My oldest daughter, Joanne, was joining me before she moved out of the area.

In addition to inside seating, the ground-​level McMenamins Pub at Hotel Oregon features sidewalk tables on two sides of the building.
 
At one of those sidewalk tables I en­joyed a delicious pepper-crusted flat iron steak, roasted potatoes and broccolini meal. Joanne had the same thing.

The steak was wonderfully seasoned, very flavorful and very tender. The potatoes were perhaps slightly un­der­cooked, but the pesto seasoning was tasty. The broccolini was pretty good, seeing that it’s not my favorite veggie; it was sautéed in some sort of fat with nice seasoning.
 
To accompany the meal I ordered a custom-made “Copper­Head” beer. As part of their Oregon Craft Beer Month cel­e­bra­tions, McMenamins was featuring a week of “make your own half / half beer blend.”
 
 
Happy to participate, I choose two of my favorites: their seasonal Copper Moon and their flagship Hammerhead. It was pretty good, as it ought to be with two such fine ingredients!

As part of my McMenamins Passport adventure, I got a special, just-​for-​fun stamp on the Seasonal Beers page of my Passport.
 
After lunch it was time to collect all of the Hotel Oregon Pass­port stamps.
 
Down in the dark cellar, I got a stamp for the rustic Cellar Bar. Too bad we didn’t sit down there and enjoy the old-​fash­ioned atmosphere with a drink.

It is also too bad that I didn’t take any photos of another venue in the building: the Carter the Great Bar. Because I was with my daughter and she’s not really into McMenamins, I didn’t feel free to take the time to really explore and enjoy all that Hotel Oregon has to offer. It just goes to show that I definitely need to go back and complete the experience.
 
In order to get a Passport stamp for a McMenamins hotel, you have to find a certain piece of art or an object and take a selfie in front of it. The clue, which changes from time to time, is generally found at the hotel front desk. Once I had matched the clue to a piece of artwork, I had my daughter take a picture with my iPad Mini, which barely suffices as a camera.
 
Eventually we made our way to get the final stamp at the fifth-floor Rooftop Bar, with its multi-level patio providing the best view in the city.
 
This time we did sit down to enjoy the view, while I sipped a pint of Spring Wheat Fever. According to the brewer:

“This full-bodied version of an American Wheat ale adds a bit of a Pacific Northwest twist. Munich malts give this ale a nice full-bodied mouthfeel up front as well as adding a little more color than your standard wheat ale. A small amount of orange peel adds to the flavor profile and Chinook hops give it a nice citrusy hop punch in the finish that leaves you thirsty for more.” Meas­ure­ments: 4.6% ABV • 36 IBU

My notes from that day read: “A bit on the weak side ... I probably would not have it again.”
 
Before leaving I stopped by the hotel front desk again to claim my prize for having collected all the Hotel Oregon stamps.

I was five stamps closer to finishing my Passport and obtaining official Cosmic Tripster status.
 
Out of the handful of items available, I chose this six-ounce 304 stainless steel hip flask.

It measures 3⅝ inches wide by 3¾ high, not including the neck and cap on top.

The engraved image is the official logo for the UFO Festival.
 
I also bought a $60, 12-bomber-bottle case of Mc­Men­a­mins’ flagship Hammerhead Ale to enjoy at home, where I took this picture as I was writing this article. According to the brewer:

“A classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins standard. This rich chestnut-colored gem is a model of harmony between hops and malted barley. Hammerhead’s signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. This beer has a vocal following; to run out is an unforgivable sin.” Meas­ure­ments: 6% ABV • 44 IBU

This is one of my favorite McMenamins beers. Since that time they have started selling this beer in 16-​ounce cans, and I believe they are phasing out or have discountinued the 22-​ounce bottles.
 
 
During the two hours I was there I took 33 photos. The best 22 can now be viewed in the new McMenamins McMinnville 2016 album.
For more tales about other locations, see My McMenamins Passport Adventure.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 657
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 657
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