Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ross Island: Not Just a Bridge but a New SE Brewery

We recently had the distinct pleasure of attending a sneak peek of Ross Island Brewing. Nearly a year and a half in the making you can guess how excited owners Cartson and Maude Haney are to finally be able to open their doors to the public TODAY at 3pm. 

To start they'll have three collaboration beers available:
  • TNT IPA - A collaboration with Alameda Brewing Co. (where Carston brewed for six years), the 6% beer was brewed with a new hop variety named TNT and should suit hop heads quite well with its pleasant, lingering bitterness.
  • Bad Precedent Vienna Lager - Brewed with Burnside Brewing a week after November's presidential election and aptly named, this interpretation of the style is well balanced and without being overly sweet.
  • Strong Ale - The highest ABV of the three collaborations yet still a drinkable 8.1% it was brewed with Culmination Brewing "in celebration of the camaraderie of all things beer." Long live the collaborative craft beer community!
Collaboration beers are something that seems to be a trend with new breweries and a great way for them to open with something that they made, even in part, on tap before they are able to start brewing on their own system. Beyond the collaborations the tap list is rounded out with a selection of guest beers and cider.

As for the space, a former car stereo installation business, it has been very thoughtfully laid out to maximize the seating. Two bars, one the standard height and the other the required handicap accessible height, each seat four to five patrons and frame the east side of the rectangular space. A third bar-style seating area looks out onto Powell from the north side of the space through large windows. Continuing around the perimeter, the southwest corner offers bench/booth seating for two tables with chairs opposite. The middle is filled, but not over filled, with four-top tables.

The décor has an outdoorsy feel that includes a canoe (aged to decoration perfection albeit no longer water tight) hanging above the bar. Painted in warm tones that compliment the wood tables and benches (crafted from old 2x4s from the space) and slab bar tops (gigantic wood slabs liberated from the shed of a friend's dad) the space manages to feel cozy in spite of the cement floor and a wall of windows.

Located on the busy stretch of Powell Blvd just east of the Ross Island Bridge, their visibility is good but getting there is a tad bit trickier due to Powell's center median and near constant traffic. From most directions (other than having just come east across the bridge), take 11th Ave/Milwaukee Ave. The first westbound street south of Powell is Franklin (the Bear Paw Inn is on the corner if you're more of a landmark person). Take that west to 7th Ave and turn right. Follow 7th as is goes downhill back toward Powell, taking a right onto Powell for just a few feet before taking another right directly into their parking lot.

Ross Island Brewing
730 SE Powell Blvd
Soft opening: 1/26 and 1/27 3pm-midnight

Regular hours: Tuesday-Thursday 12-11, Friday & Saturday 12-12, Sunday 12-11, closed Monday

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