Zwickelmania 2013

This is a zwickel.

 

zwickel

 

 On the 16th of February all of Oregon celebrated Zwickelmania. It’s pretty much a day where all the breweries in Oregon open up their breweries for tours and/or special tastings.

We started at McMenamins Crystal Brewery. We were their first guests and they were our first stop. They brew beer in the tiniest room they have above the Crystal Ballroom. They offered us samples of a delicious IPA and some other beer that was not so delicious. I’ve never seen more colorful tanks of beer.

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mcmens2

Our second stop was at Deschutes. Their tour is so popular they hand out slips and have tours running every 15 minutes. With tour capacity being just 15 people, we made a mad dash to grab our tour slips. The IPA they gave us isn’t yet on the market and it was heavenly. Such a tease not being able to buy something you like. The tour was very informative and interactive (we got to play with hops).

deschutesmashtun

deschutesrawmats

deschuteskegs

For our third tour, we headed over to Bridgeport Brewery. I loved their history and how enthusiastic they are about being sustainable. They are a surprisingly small operation considering they process roughly 315 bottles of beer a minute. Color me impressed. Also, I peeked out a bit when we got to go in their hop cooler.

bridgeportbottling

bridgeportbrewing

hopfridge

For our last stop, we headed to Lucky Labrador. When we got to Lucky Lab there was a sign on the door that said “We’re brewing. Come on in”. It was pretty much a beer drinking hangout with the tanks. They were boiling wort and pouring barley wine. We even got to taste beer right from the tank. It was the best way to end our day of touring. And their pizza is the best.

beerhere

barleywine

wort

 

 

 

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It’s Friday, you should grab a beer

Don’t know where to grab a beer on a Friday? Try a beer bar. Portland has some of the best beer bars in the country. Since I’ve been to Bailey’s and it’s pretty awesome, I figured we should try Apex sometime.

Last weekend Adam and I found ourselves on the Eastside so we gave Apex a shot.

As you can see, Apex doesn’t have a parking lot (for cars). So when we were on our way back home from New Seasons and decided to stop, we had to hunt down street parking in a neighborhood we weren’t familiar with. The neighborhood is not sketchy, at least I don’t think so, but I hate circling for parking and not really knowing where I’m going.

Once we found parking we sidled up to the bar to check out their offerings. They’re (quite nicely) displayed on a flat screen TV behind the bar. Since we didn’t plan on visiting Apex, we hadn’t checked out their live menu on their site (cool, right?). They also have hundreds of bottles available to go (they even have SIerra Nevada Hoptimum- try it, you’ll love it).

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They have a good amount of tables inside. We went on a Saturday afternoon and didn’t have a problem snagging a table. They have a ton of tables outside which would be an awesome idea in the summer but seems like a waste of (parking) space when it’s freezing out. I bet it’s lovely sitting out in the sun when it’s not 35 degrees out.

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Also they have pinball.

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Overall Apex was awesome. It’s hard not to compare and contrast with Bailey’s but Apex is its own beer bar. Would we go back? It’s definitely a drive for us and driving and imbibing is a no go, so probably not for anything more than one beer. They have so many different types of beer on tap, why just try one! If you’re on the Eastside and have a safe way home go have some beer at Apex.

Hoppy Holidays!

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by drinking beer?

It’s not just any beer, but specially made winter ales with high alcohol percentages to warm your insides on cold winter nights. For just $30 a ticket we got 10 beer tickets and, a mug, and free re-entry for all 5 days of the fest. Last Thursday, Adam and I braved the elements and headed down to the Holiday Ale Fest at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

 

Celebrate Beer

 

We are celebrating beer

 

Clear tent

It was awesome! The whole square was covered in white tents so everyone could stay warm and dry and enjoy their beer. We walked around a bit and explored, mapping out where the beer we wanted to try was and what we would save for another night. After three tasters each we called it a night and planned on going back for round two on Saturday.

Going back on Saturday night was one of the worst decisions of our lives. I had only taken a few steps into the tent when I nearly got knocked over. Then I took a few more steps and almost got knocked over again. We decided that tasting probably wasn’t going to happen since there were about 200 more people there and the lines looked like mosh pits.

 

mosh pit lines

 

 

 

We stood in line for an hour and only got one beer so we dejectedly left the tent.

one beer

 

one beer

 

Instead of sticking around and being grumpy, we headed for a place we knew we could get beer in peace.

Baileys

 

Bailey’s Taproom, as always, was at capacity and it was only 7pm (yes, we go out that early). We had a quick beer and we had to leave; Bailey’s doesn’t do food. So we headed over to a cute little place that just opened- Portland Penny Diner. I’d been eyeing it on my way to get my hair done since it opened. They lured me in with their good prices and yummy sounding sandwiches. When Adam and I went to order, the cashier said they were running a special- fried chicken oysters. If you know anything about me, you know I will literally fight someone for chicken oysters. So with that being said…

Portland Penny Diner

 

And we were home in bed by 9:30. That is my kind of night.

 

Hugs, Hops, and Happiness!!

I just keep on going

As I sit here sipping my espresso at Salt and Straw, waiting for the brake shop to call me about my car I look back on the whirlwind that was this past week.

On October 26th Adam and I acknowledged our 5th anniversary. We would’ve celebrated but it was a Friday and I worked til midnight. When I got home I had a small taste of the dinner I made Adam as we sleepily sipped champagne.

THE GIANTS WON THE WORLD SERIES.

We got in the spirit of Halloween (my favorite day of the year besides my birthday) at OMSI. I loved how everyone was in costume. We explored the new Grossology exhibit and sampled local gin.

And then October turned into November and we gave Sierra hugs and kisses amd told her how we adopted her two years ago, right after the Giants won the World Series. She already thinks we’re nuts but her adoption day really solidifies that when we talk to her like she has any sort of grasp of the English language.

On Saturdays I run with a group of amazing women I’m lucky enough to call my friends. We blog and we run. We’re Roggers. Last week I walked with Macey. I was getting over a sinusy thing and shouldn’t have been running anyway. But as I kept bouncing along she said I was like the Energizer Bunny.

And then daylight savings completely knocked me on my ass. I currently have no idea what time it really is and I’ve managed to already plan out my week. You might as well call me E.B. because I have no plans on slowing down.

I live in Portland now

You read that right.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed by unpacking and buying furniture and sneaking cut up cardboard boxes into the garbage shoot.
Don’t worry, you haven’t missed much. We’ve only been here since Labor Day weekend and all we did that weekend was impress Adam’s parents with the insane amount of amazing food and beer Portland has to offer. But this is our first weekend where we didn’t have to put together a couch or make an Ikea run to buy a dining table. We just got to enjoy our time in this wonderful city.

To celebrate the first paycheck as a Portlander, Adam and I went out! Partially because it’s Friday and partially because I wanted to put off doing laundry for the fifth straight day in a row.

We walked (because we missed that $%&#@-Ing streetcar by five seconds) to a place called Bailey’s Taproom. If you guessed they served beer then you guessed right! They only have 20 beers on tap and that’s all they have. Find out what you do and do it well, right? We had awesome beers! The drawback? Only one Tv. The awesomeness? Only one TV- showing what beers are on tap and how much longer until the keg is tapped.

Saturday was a shopping day. After we hit the PSU farmers market (and Adam wasn’t embarrassed that I had ice cream before clocks hit the PM mark), went downtown to contribute to our local economy. We both needed some new shirts so we headed downtown and tried to find the Gap. Turns out there’s this huge underground mall downtown and we had no idea.
I swear this ice cream and cookie combo is magical.

Today we headed out to brunch because Sunday is for brunching! And football. We went to a sweet little place called Morningstar Cafe where Adam fell in love with their spicy bloody Mary and house made corned beef hash and I fell in love with their special-bacon avocado benedict (and their gigantic mimosas).

Don’t worry, dad…I did my laundry this morning. Finally. I’m totally an adult.

Road trip! Day One..

Yesterday Adam and Sierra came to visit!!!

We are staying in the Gaslamp District of San Diego at a hotel chain that we absolutely love. It’s Sierra’s first hotel stay and I was a little scared she wouldn’t like elevators or being in a hotel room. But she actually enjoys elevator rides and the big comfy bed.

After we got settled, we walked Sierra around the block. A lady with a dog told us about The Park at Petco Park. As it turns out, it’s only a block and a half away from the hotel so we took a nice little walk through the park and Sierra loved it.

We went to a fun little gastropub last night that we’ve already decided to frequent while we’re in town. Partially because of the shuffleboard and partially because their mac n cheese is to die for delicious.

Stay tuned for day two…