Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Hoppy Brewer: A Reason to Visit Gresham

Gresham is an easy place to poke fun at -my friend who lives there even makes fun of it - but like most places there are not nice parts of town and other parts that are just fine. Downtown Gresham falls into the latter category and is actually quite quaint. My friend who lives there frequents The Hoppy Brewer, a home brew shop/brewery/bar, which is similar to Sellwood's PDX U-Brew. With nothing planned Labor Day Monday we decided it was high time to make the "trek" to Gresham to check it out.

Nestled among a multitude of storefronts on N Main Street in downtown Gresham, we did a quick walk through of the indoor space before quickly settling down at a table on their patio. Nearly before we finished checking out the tap list, the friendly beertender came over to take our order. With only one house-brewed beer on tap at the time, I jumped right on it before giving the name, Fiesta Ceraveza, too much thought. There was no style listed and with an ABV of 5% I was somewhat fearful of a lager or pilsner but was determined that regardless of style I wanted to give Krauski's Brewskies, the name of the brewing entity, a try.

As it turned out I was in love with the beer from the first sip! I'm a sucker for sour beers and this one was refreshing, perfect for the first of the day. I was a bit confused by its listing as a chili beer on Untappd until I had a chance to talk to owner and brewer Steve. Brewed in June, he used mild poblano chilies, which he said were much more pronounced initially. This was the last keg of it and he agreed that the chili flavor had faded, leaving the sourness to dominate. Once the chili seed had been planted in my head I could faintly pick it up.

In addition to the beer, we knew we had to check out the restaurant that shared the patio with The Hoppy Brewer - The Local Cow. Strange name but delicious food! Mag went with our friend's go-to order of caprese sliders with the addition of meat patties and I couldn't resist the pimento cheese-bacon-roasted jalapeno-goat slayer sauce pull of the El Chupacabra. While he enjoyed the sliders, Mag agreed my burger was outstanding and one of the best, if not the best, burger we've found in the Portland area. And their bleu fries certainly rival Breakside's.

So the next time you're looking to try something a little out of your regular flight path, I encourage you to check out The Hoppy Brewer. They'll soon have their 25+ tap set up complete, presumably with more house beers available. Add on a meal from The Local Cow and I dare you to say it isn't worth the trip.

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