The Belmont Station
My Cost: $6/glass of wine
Since I am a wino, rather than a beer drinker, I almost didn’t accompany my husband & son to this nirvana of hops, malts, and grains. That would have been a mistake. I figured the only reason my boys even asked me along was because they wanted a designated driver. However, participating in one of their beerworld adventures enlightened me to another one of the joys of geezerhood. I realized I had arrived at the stage of family life when your children finally don’t mind being seen with their parents anymore. My son, Jeffrey, actually seemed to want to share the current Portland beer craze scene with me.
Even though there was only two wine selections on the menu, I had an absolutely great time just hanging out with the boys! It reminded me that a really important part about aging is not only the opportunity to optimize your time with your spouse, but to also take every opportunity to get out of the house & socialize with your kids before they are off working, having families, and having crazy schedules of their own. It’s interesting, also, that when you get your 20 somethings out of the house, they become so much more adult-like and you find yourselves discussing life plans, stories, dreams in a different manner than when you’re home in the living room noticing the pile of used glasses and dishes your kids left on the floor by the chair from the day before! Plus I just really enjoy young adults! They are fun and invigorating! Especially when you don’t have to clean up after them!
The Belmont Station has an old style bar environment with a few wooden tables and chairs. It has lots of natural light. There is also some outdoor picnic tables next to a fairly busy street. We chose the inside seating where it was more quiet and very easy to converse. I don’t pretend to know much about beers, ales, IPA’s, etc., but if you like that kind of thing, the Belmont Station seems to have it all. I actually had a lot of fun at the attached market reading all sorts of the funny titles and labels for their bottled goods.
It would probably have been more fun if I liked beer. However, this place awakened me to reason that Portland is known for it’s home brews. There were some ciders—pear and grafefruit—that I may need to try. I purchased a bottle of pear wine at their market, but I haven’t opened it yet. I’m waiting to try it after a long hot day in the garden.
I hate to be smug little Oregonian, but we really do have the best beer in the NW. I have had many a beer in other states and countries and the flavor and variety of NW beers is unsurpassed.
My wife has but two flaws, one of which is she is not a beer drinker. Despite that weakness, she joined my son and I for a run to Belmont Station.
If I go to heaven when I die (and many have assured me that is most certainly not the case) it will be some obscene combination of Belmont Station and Baskin Robbins. Beer and ice cream. Mmmmmmmm.
It was my first visit, but not the last. Not only to they have a metric tonne of beers (over 1200) but a Biercafe with 20 beers on tap.
I screwed up, as is often the case, failing to notice they offered a beer flight of 4 for 10 dollars. Instead I went for a Heretic Petit Rouge Hibiscus Belgian Style Pale Ale. Delicious. My son ordered a Breakside Sour raspberry and, well, I know raspberry beers have been part of Oregon probably since the first McMenamins, but raspberry beer is an abomination. Always. It takes like sour kool aid.
Some additions go well with beer (lemon, grapefruit, hibiscus) and some do not (raspberry, jalapeño). I did buy a bottle of peach beer. We will see if delicious or a sin against man and god.
I finished up with a Stormbreaker Red Ale, giving in to my recent urge for red beers over IPA’s. Equally good. We also tried the Grapefruit cider. Not strong on the grapefruit, more like a champagne. Cost? Depends on the beer and the size.
My son continued to drink the sour beers, he blames his childhood of sour candies as the reason. I suppose traumas when young will warp future behaviors.
The ambience of the station is nicely Portland. Lots of wood. I have the wood gene, so it suited my genetic predisposition fine.
The coolest was all the beer tap handles on the wall.
When I see commercials on tv I am often astounded to consider that there are people who are paid to write and produce them, and not in a good way.
Who makes all those beer pulls? Who designs them? It is someones job, and in this case in a good way.
There are companies on the interwebs who sell beer pulls and, like shoes and watches, I am always astounded at the variety and creativity in common objects. Unlike commercials, these beer pulls are remarkable.
I think that beers of long surpassed hot sauces for clever names. I will admit there will always be a special place in my heart for the Arrogant Bastard Ale bottle. I may not remember by first kiss, but I remember my first hoppy beer and their great bottle:
This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.
At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny – a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!
15 bottles of beer for later, we were out of there.
My son has the goal to turn Kerry into a beer drinker. I wish him luck, because once he is off to school I will need a her to take up the slack in beer runs.