Sunday, August 3, 2014

Americana Series Part III: PART II BEERVANA Exploring the Pacific NW with Gringo G ... Portland!

The Beer: Gringo G loves good beer. So obviously a city nicknamed Beervana is like a playground for him … and let me tell you Gringo G definitely played a lot during his visit to Portland.

The first stop was at the Rogue Distillery and Public House in Downtown Portland. Rogue has become world famous for its West Coast style IPAs and has a very wide variety of different beer ... which can even be found in Mexico City (Beer Box, La Belga, etc.) so get on it Mexico City foodies ... plus the pub food is pretty decent at the Public House .. good for catching a game. Which is exactly what the Gringo G did when he watched the Argentina vs. Germany FIFA World Cup Final there.

Taster - Left to Right Oreganic, Chipotle, Brutal IPA, Hazelnut

The last two stops can be found by taking the breathtaking, winding drive along the Columbia River (made immortal in the opening scene of “The Shining”) to the town of Hood River. The breweries where Gringo G enjoyed some pleasant libations are Full Sail and Double Mountain both located in downtown Hood River overlooking the picturesque Columbia River Gorge.

Double Mountain Brewery has a wide-collection of West Coast Style hoppy beers and is famous for its nice take on the traditional IPA its India Red Ale which has a wonderful ruby color and is just as hoppy as any other beloved craft IPA. However, the Gringo's favorite was by far the Hop Lava West Coast IPA (Oregon has volcanoes and lava fields!!) ... it was a delicous blast of hops for the Gringo both at the Brew Pub and back home in the DF.  The pizzas served are artisanal and accompany the beer perfectly. The Gringo G's favorite was the pizza with green shallots, ricotta cheese and white truffles ... which was par excellence with the beet tasting he had there.

Wonderful Double Mountain Taster
NJ Style Pizza
Pizza with ricotta cheese, white truffles and shallots
Gringo G always represents the best ... Stone at Double Mountain!

Full Sail Brewery has both a wonderful view of the kite-surfing taking place in the windy Columbia River Gorge outside and a full-scale offering of traditional pub fare to accompany its wide assortment of beers. It even won the 2014 Craft Brewer of the Year award from Beverage World Magazine. The Gringo only had time to stop in, enjoy the view and buy a beer to pack in his suitcase ... which he will enjoy soon in his humble Mexico City abode.

What a beer journey it was in the Portland area … Gringo G truly found Beervana!

Things To Do: 

Soccer, Footy whatever you want to call it:
Portland being Soccertown, USA and all it is appropriate that the local soccer bars represented a part of Gringo G’s visit … if you want to watch a Premier League match, or a Champions League match or an MLS match or even a FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina & Germany … it was one of the cities shown at halftime of the Final with its crowds watching the game.

Here is a list of links to the best of the best in Portland to catch a match and down a few cold ones while enjoying your footy:

Smell the Roses:
The most common nickname for Portland (not the nickname Gringo G prefers, Beervana) is the City of Roses … no the city is not named after the famous Rose Garden Arena where the Trailblazers play … Portland is named after their world famous rose gardens which the Gringo had a chance to visit before the FIFA World Cup Final. The rose garden was amazing but the real highlight was the adjacent Japanese Gardens which was a veritable jungle of well-manicured plants and offered amazing views of Portland below and Mt. Hood in the distance … this is the best view in Portland!

Catch a movie … with beer and pizza!!:

Portland has several Brew-N-View Theatres where you can go from grabbing a slice and a craft beer all the way to having a full on gourmet four-course meal while catching a flick. The Gringo G went to the Laurelhurst Theater and was very satisfied with both the pizza and the beer. Nice way to pass an evening if I say so ... particularly with the nice bars in front of your seat that let you prop your beer and pizza while watching a Wes Anderson or Jim Jarmusch flick!

The Laurelhurst is one of the many establishments of the McMenamin Brothers that now have a cult following ... they have renovated historic buildings all over Oregon and Washington States and converted them into fun hotels, restaurants and movie theaters ... checkout the picture $5 turkish bath in the converted Catholic elementary school in Bend, Oregon (coming up in another episode) below.

Take a Hike:
Speaking of Mt. Hood it is well worth the drive up the Columbia River to visit Hood River and see the mammoth Columbia River Gorge (not just for the beer, not just for the beer … keep saying that to yourself Gringo) and then head up to Timberline Lodge (from The Shining) for a coffee or a meal and maybe a hike around the base of Mt. Hood.

In the end the Gringo really enjoyed his experiences in Portland and recommends a visit to anyone interested seeing a beautiful and unique city through the lens of a Mexico City Foodie!

Coming Next: Americana Series Part IV: Exploring the Pacific NW with Gringo G ... Seattle & Vancouver, British Columbia!

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