One Hundred McMenamins Beers and Counting
Saturday 19 August 2017 — Category: Dining Out
Back in February 2017 I wrote two articles in which I announced my two new McMenamins Web pages and my five new McMenamins photo albums. One of those pages is a detailed listing of all the McMenamins beers I have tried, and one of the albums is McMenamins Beer (All Years).
While on my McMenamins Passport adventure, as I collect a location stamp from each of their 100+ venues, I try to at least have a drink at each location, and often some food as well. And because I want to maximinze my Passport adventure experience, I try to have a McMenamins beer that I have not had before.
Earlier this week, as I was finishing up visiting all the McMenamins in Washington state, I had my 100th different McMenamins beer. Later in the day I reached 102. And I’m still going, be-cause I won’t finish my passport until the end of October (but that’s a whole nother story!).
Not everyone trying to complete their McMenamins Passport makes the most of the experience like I do, with plenty of food, drink, photography, admiration and exploration. Some Passporters want to finish as soon as possible, without really experiencing what McMenamins is all about. They just walk into a location, get their stamp, and then immediately walk out. That’s no fun!
This approach does not work at every venue. As I have mentioned previously, mostly at their hotels, but at a handful of other locations as well, you have to find out what the current clue is, find the object at that venue which matches the clue, and then take a selfie with the object. This “discovery hunt” is all part of the McMenamins Passport adventure.
As of this week, McMenamins has announced that this kind of discovery hunt will now be required for every location stamp at every venue. Here is what they wrote in an e-mail:
Have you noticed that when you spend some time looking around a pub, there are treasures you could have never imagined? It’s that unexpected pipe elbow smiling back at you, or tiny multifaceted lights with bulbs of different colors. Everywhere you turn, there’s something new or different to discover. So in the spirit of taking a moment, soaking it all in, and discovering something you may have never seen before we’re making a change to the passport rules.On the McMenamins Passport Web page the details seem slightly different:
In order to receive your location stamp — whether it be a pub, hotel or small bar — you will need to see / touch / find one of these treasures in that location. It’s as simple as a piece of art, a light fixture or a hand painted orb. How do you know what to look for? Just ask one of our pub staff.
Remember it’s about the journey, not how fast you complete it.
Q: These tasks or hunts at each location — do I need to take a photo, or how does that work?Because I am almost done with my Passport, this new rule will not affect me very much. And even if I still had a lot of location stamps to collect, it still would not affect me or bother me be-cause, as I explained above, I want to explore and experience each McMenamins location. So I think it is a very good rule and a welcome change.
A: No, these tasks are meant to be simple ways of exploring the pub / small bar / what-have-you. Ask your server what the task is and they will tell you. Once you do that, you’ll get the stamp. Simple as that.
Back to the 102 McMenamins beers I have tried ... the main rea-son I’ve been able to taste so many different beers is because McMenamins operates 25 separate small breweries, and each brewmaster is free to experiment and invent new beers. For example, in 2014 alone they created 250 new beers.
But don’t imagine that I have liked all of them. I would estimate that about two-thirds of the 102 I have not cared for — as this photo my wife took while I was sampling their Pamela Amberson demonstrates. On the page listing all the McMenamins beers I have tried you can read my tasting notes for each beer.
In the end it’s all part of the McMenamins adventure. I know for sure that my beer horizons have expanded and my tastes have definitely changed.
Before I finish I want to mention one more thing. If you compare the McMenamins beer listing to the contents of the McMenamins Beer (All Years) album, you might notice that the album has a different number of beers than the listing. That’s because I forgot to take pictures of a handful of the beers I have tried, and so I don’t have photos of those beers to go into that album. I’m disappointed, but it’s too late to do anything about it because those beers are no longer in production.
Well, I will be adding to the McMenamins beer listing and beer album as I have the opportunity to try any new McMenamins beers. I already have an idea of what number 103 might be. Find out the details in my next article, Living and Photographing in the Path of Totality.