Day 69 – Eugene to Portland, OR (Pour-tland?)

Miles Biked: 6

Total biked – 3319

Days to Party: 6

We woke up to Shane’s homemade maple and pecan scones fresh from the oven, did quick fixes to the slow leaks on Sara and Anders’ tires, and rushed off to the train station to escape the impending torrential downpour. The storm we had heard about for days was well on its way. The Cascade train was great, bike racks and all, and we enjoyed a scenic trip into Portland with nary a drop of rain…right up until we pulled into Portland’s Union Station.

Upon arrive in Portland the sky immediately opened up. Our “Portland Ambassador,” Dat, was there to greet us, and we hung around the station waiting for the rain to let up. Two hours later, the streets were flooded and it was still pouring down buckets. During these two hours, though, Anders and Dat braved the weather and cycled over to a bike shop to have Sara’s front tire fixed. By the time they came back soaked to the bone, Sara’s friend, Heidi, had arrived from Seattle with her friend Jess to hang out for the remainder of the day.

We all decided we could not stall any longer and made our way in the rain over to Upright Brewing Co. a mere half mile away. Upright is a new brewery in Portland, having opened just this past spring. They have a cool little space and brewer Alex Ganum gave us a great run through of their process.  They brew with open fermentation, and it was the first brewery on this trip at which we were able to actually see this process with our own eyes.  They had also just tapped a crazy new sour beer, the Fatali Four, made with local chilies when we arrived, and it became an immediate favorite! We are still trying to figure out how Alex created a tasty and drinkable sour beer with hot chilies – not your typical flavor combo.

From there we made our way over to our Portland home. Oakshire Brewery’s owner Jeff had most generously opened up his Portland apartment to us. It was ideal for our visit, and we quickly set up shop and got to know his amazing housemates. After drying off we headed over to New Old Lompoc’s 5th Quadrant for drinks and snacks with Heidi and Jess. Over brews we discussed our best options for getting ourselves out to the suburbs to attend a beer tasting dinner we’d been invited to by Ninkasi. The dinner was 13 miles outside the city and not particularly accessible by public transport- but we had never been to a beer pairing dinner and we were excited for the opportunity. We debated a 13 mile bike ride in the rain, in the dark, and over the huge west hills of Portland vs. a 2 hour journey on public transport… but ultimately decided to pile 6 people into Heidi’s VW Bug and have her drop us off at the restaurant.

In retrospect, perhaps the twig was trying to tell us something (did this seem too difficult?) but we made our way out to the suburbs of Portland and arrived right on time for the Ninkasi beer-pairing dinner at Bethany’s Table. The event proved to be a masterful encounter of extraordinary food and outstanding beer, albeit perhaps too elegant for four humble cyclists.  Jamie, owner and brewmaster of Ninkasi, was inspiring and taught us more than a few new things about beer and pairing. Did you know that hops lift the oils from spicy foods off the tongue? Thus a hoppy brew like the Tricerahops makes an amazing combination with spicy sweet potato, chili, and cocoa soup.

Day 1 of 3 in Portland had been eventful, and we were all anxious to see what more was in store for us!

Isadora, Missy and Shane in Eugene

Isadora, Missy and Shane in Eugene

Arrival in Pour-tland

Arrival in Pour-tland

Upright Brewing Co

Upright Brewing Co

Open Fermentation - no sneezing!

Open Fermentation - no sneezing!

Ninkasi/Bethany’s Table Beer-Pairing Dinner Menu:

1st Course
Beer:  Autumn Wheat (New)
Food: Pear Salad

2nd Course
Beer: Tricerahops
Food: Sweet Potato, Chili & Cocoa Soup

3rd Course
Beer: Believer Double Red
Food: Caramelized Pork Belly, Italian Corona Beans & Mustard Greens

4th Course
Beer: Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt
Food:  Angus Rib Eye with Bacon Molasses Butter & Roasted Root Vegetables

5th Course
Beer: Oatis Oatmeal Stout
Food:  Oatis Ice Cream with Dark Cherries and Chocolate


 
 
 

Leave a Reply