Earlier this week we gave into the buzz going around and checked out Fat Head's Brewery in the Pearl District. I had been "warned" that the place was big but I don't think I was properly prepared for the cavernousness of it, loosely portioned off into bar, bar seating and restaurant sections.
We grabbed a high top in the bar seating area and dove into the beer menu. At the time they had six of their own beers on tap as well as a fairly extensive, and well-curated, guest tap list composed primarily of Portland craft beers. Knowing we would have to try them all we ordered a five-beer sampler, waiting to taste our way through those before ordering the pale ale.
Bumbleberry Honey Blueberry Ale - With a slight blueberry aroma and flavor, it reminded me of Sea Dog's blueberry beer, and was much tastier than many establishments' "I don't drink craft beer" offering.
Boogaloo Belgian Blonde - It smelled and tasted exactly like it should, just not a favorite style of mine.
Zoobomb Dortmunder - Nicely mild German beer that Mag described as "a bit rank," leading me to wonder what hops were used.
Ultra Pils - While true pilsner lovers might be underwhelmed, it was mild enough for me to enjoy it.
Oompa Loompa Chocolate Cream Stout - A roasty, slightly sweet stout, this was a favorite for both of us.
Pack-A-Wallop Pale Ale - Really stanky for a pale ale, with a citrus hop punch up front. This avowed hop head loved it and wouldn't have had any problem if it had been labeled an IPA. (Multiple pints were ordered by our group.)
The food menu is as extensive, if not more so, than the beer menu. If you can't find something on it that doesn't sound good then you just aren't trying. We started off with an order of fries with our beer and were shocked by the nearly Easter sized basket of fries that came along with your choice of sauce. Giant in size and good enough in flavor, this is an easy pick to share with a group. One friend ordered the perogies, which he raved about, and after trying one, I have to agree. The pulled pork chili I ordered and the burger with chips (again huge) Mag got were fine but nothing special.
So, would I recommend trying them out? Sure. Go for the beer (a little high priced for PDX but not outrageous) and if you happen to need some food you'll find the portions generous even if the quality isn't on par with that of the beer. And you probably should go sooner rather than later because even though they were busy enough for a Tuesday evening, the space is huge and I'm sure the rent is, too. I wish them well, and look forward to trying more of their beers, but I suspect they face much fiercer competition here than most of their other locations.