Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Breakside's Newest Location Opens in Happening Slabtown Area

Owner Scott Lawrence and brewer Ben Edmunds talk about the new space.
Last week we got a preview of Breakside's third location, in the very happening part of NW known as Slabtown, that opened to the public yesterday. It takes up residence in the same block as New Seasons and Besaws, which is bordered by NW 21st and 22nd, Quimby and Raleigh. As with the other two locations, it houses a brewery, this one a 10bbl JVNW system that will produce hop-focused beers. While beers brewed on the system have yet to hit the taps, six Slabtown-specific recipes have been developed and are on tap (brewed at the other locations to begin) along with 10 other beers, plus two wine taps. We had an opportunity to try those six beers, sample some appetizer items and take a look around the space.

Since the beers are obviously the most important thing that's where we'll start.
Wilsner - A West Coast Pilsner, it is lemony yellow in color with a creamy mouthfeel and a moderate Pilsner aftertaste. Quite pleasant, this is a drink-all-day beer that was awesome with the cheesy chorizo jalapeno poppers.

Oro - A blonde that appears somewhat hazy, it is sweeter than one might expect for the style. In our opinion could use more hops to balance that sweetness and increase the drinkability but we're hop heads so take that with a grain of salt.

Tropical Gose - A take on their plum gose, it starts with an incredible salty aroma which follows through the flavor and into the aftertaste. At first the coriander popped out heavily but with subsequent sips the many flavors of the beer become more balanced. The velvety mouthfeel adds to the overall loveliness of it.

Ginormous tator tots and jalapeno poppers
Mexican Coffee Stout - Starting with a roasty/burnt toasty aroma that brought an immediate smile, the flavor comes in with more bittersweet chocolate notes and a touch of cinnamon. Its smooth drinking is reminiscent of their Salted Caramel Stout but with greater heartiness. On any but hottest of days this could be enjoyed pint after pint. It also is a great pairing with the ginormous tator tots that contain pork belly, brie and Swiss.

Something Wicked - This NE style IPA presents hazy as expected with a bold, citrusy-juicy aroma. While the Mosaic and Citra hops are pronounced they are also nicely balanced by the malt profile. A part of Breakside's Seeker series, this is another great pairing with the poppers.

Precious Snowflake DIPA - A bit of restrained aroma for a DIPA, albeit one on the lower end of the ABV range for the style at 8%, the flavor is spot on with obvious sweetness but enough hop bitterness late on the palate and into the finish to make one want to keep drinking it.

A couple of the appetizers sampled have already been mentioned above with the beers they nicely complimented. The other two - nachos and hummus plate - are brewpub standards, each here shining due to particular components. The nachos start with fresh fried corn tortillas and come topped, in part, with really good guacamole. We're pretty harsh on any guacamole that doesn't come out of our own kitchen so this if a big compliment. The hummus, with pitas and roasted vegetables, gets a boost from the just-right-salty tapenade it's topped with.

Moving on to the space itself, there's two levels of indoor seating (including a private room with floor to ceiling windows on the second floor above the brewery), rooftop seating and a street level patio which combine to accommodate 350 people. The brewery, while appearing larger than just 10bbls, takes up every last inch of space that was allocated for it. That tightness, however, allows the brewer to control it all from the brewing deck (which is accessed by ladder-like steps). Production capacity is 2,000bbls and although there are no barrels to age beer on at this facility, it isn't out of the question that some of it will be brewed and kegged here, destined to find a woody home at the Milwaukie location.

Finally, you may have noticed that Breakside has started rolling out a new logo. It is slowly replacing the "cost us $300 logo from 99designs.com" they started with when money was much tighter. Designed by local brand agency Sockeye, a year long market research study was done in preparation and it is meant to represent the desire to seek and enjoy...beer, food, vacations, adventures...life. So get on over to NW and seek out what Breakside has created for you to enjoy.

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