Friday, August 24, 2012

Kells Grand Opening

The grand opening of the second location of Kells, on NW 21st, and release of three house-brewed beers is today. Seeing as how I was out and about in the morning I figured I could swing by mid-day before they got busy and the traffic/parking in NW became unbearable. Although the day was slow to warm up I couldn't pass up their patio (although come the rain of winter the beautiful wood interior should make for a cozy setting).

Sitting down at a small table I was surprised by a few things.
1) The waitress didn't have a beer menu because apparently their taps turn over too quickly.
2) I had to be the one to ask about their house beers.
3) I had to specifically ask for a tasting tray (which although she was agreeable to bringing isn't something they apparently do on a regular basis).
4) When the tasters came out there was not accompanying description of the beers or information regarding ABV, etc. Clearly they're not yet used to or prepared to be visited by beer geeks.

On to the beer...
In lieu of having information straight from them I had to go scouting about, checking John Foyston's bit in the Oregonian, attempting a fruitless search on their website and finding meager information on their Facebook page. So take the names I assign them with a grain of salt and if you want more actual details...well...good luck.

Lager - Going by appearances alone this is a beautiful golden blond that while not cloudy is slightly opaque. The honey aroma is pleasant but for one who doesn't like a lager aftertaste, drinking it was less pleasant than looking at it or smelling it.
Red - Easily discernible from the Hoppy Red even though they are the same color it gave off the sweet aroma of typical red ale. The flavor was on the bland end for a red but to its credit, the lack of sweetness and maltiness made it an easy drinker.
Hoppy Red - Lacking much hop aroma, the initial flavor was pretty good - hoppier than a standard red. Unfortunately time/warmth is not its friend as it loses much of its appeal as the temperature rises.

While the beers themselves won't do much for a beer geek they'll probably pass muster with the average drinker and with a location in the heavily trafficked NW area they probably won't be hurting for patrons. That's good because although there was nothing off or bad about the beers, there certainly isn't enough to convince me to make a return trip.


  1. If your looking for more info on the beers I wrote about them beforehand with info straight from the brewer/consultant Dave Fleming:

    1. Thanks, Ezra! I may have seen your preview of the beers but will have to go back and read it again now that I've tasted them.