Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Old Market Pub & Brewery

The Old Market Pub & Brewery has been around since 1994 and although they show up from time to time at festivals (notably Berried Alive in 2011 and Cherried Alive in 2012 at OBF) for the most part it seems that they quietly go about their business. No doubt contributing to that is the fact that they're located in far southwest Portland and even though their second location, The Broadway Grill & Brewery, is more central (1700 NE Broadway) I've yet to hear about an event or beer release there. So in such a beer soaked town as Portland if you're not tooting your own horn it's easy to get overlooked, which is just what we'd done up until recently.

The drive from my inner southeast residence to Old Market isn't long and since Multnomah Blvd nearly sideswipes the pub and brewery it's easy to find. With a large parking lot, large patio and a cavernous interior it feels more suburban chain restaurant than Portland-esque brewery. A quick look at the tap list shows that even though you can get a BMC or a Killowatt Energy Drink on tap, they ARE in the business of beer with 13 house brews pouring.

Following the usual routine when visiting a new location we ordered a sampler tray, consisting of nine beers, plus four additional to ensure that we were able to try the entire lineup. The beer offerings included all of the standards - a golden, IPA, stout - as well as a couple of potentially gimmicky ones - Hot Tamale and Ol' Granny Smith. You'll have to go there if you want to know about all 13 but here are a few I found to be worth noting.

Rauch Bier - This smoked lager, not generally a style I'm thrilled with, turned out to be very smooth, so smooth that I would have guessed it was served on nitro. It isn't and although there is that liquid smoke character to it, it's pleasant for what it is.
Mr. Toad's Wild Red - While I wouldn't consider it a red, there are considerable coffee and roasty flavors not typical in a red, I enjoyed it.
Hop On - As with Mr. Toad's, this isn't what one would expect from an amber. Instead it is a hoppy - dry-hopped in fact - bugger that is far from balanced and I loved it. This is an amber for hop heads only and was my favorite of the day.
British Bombay IPA - Billed as a NW style IPA, it was more balanced and less hoppy than Hop On yet still tasty. This one would likely appeal to most IPA fans.
Hot Tamale - Our waitress gave fair warning that really this would be HOT and I was prepared to be walloped. With no aroma and virtually no flavor the only thing you'll find in a glass of this is capsaicin and pain. Not one to waste beer, I ended up having a bloody mary made with this sample, less the two small sips that had been consumed.

Overall their line up is a solid one without any real stinkers. The Old Market won't be making it on my list of regular places to visit but if I find myself in that area of town I'd happily stop in. And when I see an offering from them at a beer festival, you can bet I'll give it a try.

Have you been to The Old Market or their Broadway location? What did you think of any beers you've had from them?

1 comment:

  1. I feel ya.