Hair of the Dog Brewery – Portland, OR

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Portland.  City of craft breweries.  50 of them.

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And I had the time to visit one (1).

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So, I turned to craft beer websites, looking for breweries with highly rated beers in styles that I prefer... AND that don’t distribute to my area.  It was a close call, but Hair of the Dog won out.  Not an appetizing name, right? 

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The above picture was taken at the end of my visit, after the place had cleared out a bit.  As you might notice in the earlier picture, a number of people enjoyed drinking outside.  Why?

Well, the weather was on the pleasant side of hot.  If you’re outside with even a gentle breeze.  But inside, it was stifling, and this was the air-conditioning.

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This ol’ Georgia boy knows something about heat, and they had it.  But it wasn’t just me.  My associate has lived there for years... and it was uncomfortable for him as well.

So, what’s all this griping about a venue when you go to a brewery?  Talk about the beer, man!

Yeah, yeah.  I liked the place.  I’d like it better in the Autumn.

I started with a flight – a series of 3 oz. samplers.  Miniature gripe – I need to pay more attention.  The “Walk the Dog Tasting Flight” included the below: 

  • Ruth – an American Pale Ale, with organic pilsner malt and northwest hops.
  • Lila – Maibock, a well balanced Lager, dry hopped with Spicy Noble Saaz
  • Fred – Golden Strong Ale produced with Rye and Belgian candi sugar (10% ABV, 65 IBUs).
  • Adam – dark and rich, notes of chocolate, leather (?) and smoke. (10% ABV, 50 IBUs).

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Now, that fine print.  $9 for a flight of 4 is just fine.  But, 3 oz. samplers were only $2.25 anyway, so I could have chosen any four I liked for the same price.  On the bad side, there were disappointingly limited options on draught, a total of 8 beers.  I don’t know that I would have chosen much differently, from those offered.  All four were very good – an edge to Fred and Adam due to the styles I favor.

Besides, we were having dinner, which was distressingly ordinary.  (Pastrami sandwich was fine; beef brisket underwhelming).  In any case, dinner extends a visit, providing a quite sober option for further tasting, namely Blue Dot – a double India Pale Ale (7% ABV, 80 IBUs) without being overly bitter.  Adam was probably my favorite due to the flavoring, but this was close.  I’d probably have liked it even more if they hadn’t restrained the bitterness.

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Hair of the Dog is also known for aging their beers in liquor barrels, and the available selection of the night was Fred – “from the Wood.”  This was very well done, with a nice balance of flavors.  Sometimes, I drink before remembering to take a picture...

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Overall, I chose wisely.  The beers were consistently good, but I wasn’t blown away by any single one of them, and I was really, really hoping for the Anointed One that I could brag about to my beer loving buddies.  The Alchemist still reigns.

For others who may travel to Portland by air, a wide variety of local beers are sold (at reasonable prices, tax free) in the terminal after baggage check, so you can carry them home on your flight.  Hair of the Dog beers are not sold there, however.  Best pick them up and pack them in your checked luggage... carefully.

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And some interesting context for the brewery, which I read after I had written the above.

1 comment :

  1. Sounds tasty! Thanks for sharing. If you get a chance, try Sixth Glass Quadruple Ale (Boulevard Brewing Company). I'd like to know what you think (and it is available locally!).
    ;-)

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