We (thebeerchaser and his environmental lawyer friends) decided to hit another bar on NE Fremont street about thirty-seven blocks east of County Cork, where we started the evening.
Bottles looks very plain externally although the great aroma wafting from the barbecue roasters by the front door, encouraged us to not only have some beer, but partake in the flamed fare.
Shaun, a co-owner, and who was our bartender and waiter (and excelled at both) briefed us on the bar which opened in 2011 – it used to be a small Turkish import store – and offers between 450 and 500 different bottled beers. Before one gets disappointed, there are also eight draft beers, which according to the Bottles website “rotate daily — or sometimes hourly.” As one impressed reviewer commented, “The rotating taps are always full of great selections, and have led me to try several different beers I never would have tried otherwise.”
Since the beef and pork are from Carlton Farms and they serve Draper Valley Chicken, it is suggested you not visit Bottles on a Monday because it is the only night they don’t serve barbecue. After devouring the chicken slider (a heaping portion because it was the last one that evening), we were stuffed.
We concurred with the reviewer who was delighted with the food, “The BBQ is delicious…..The Mac & Cheese is also amazing. The hot sauce is a fantastic accompaniment to all their food. Indeed, I always take a straight mouthful on every visit. Their spicy mustard is quite amazing as well.”
While imbibing, I conveyed to my environmental friends, the contemporary version of an old adage about personal development: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will be dead of mercury poison in three years.”
The Beer – It is doubtful there are many, if any, NW bars with this wide an assortment of bottled beers, while also serving great draft beers. Indeed they take their beers seriously.
They have an excellent section on their website entitled, “Education” which list beer styles (Ales, Lagers, American Lagers and Specialty Beers) with variations of each style and then a detailed description of each type. For example under Lagers: “Bohemian Pilsner – Similar to German Pilsners, however, Bohemian Pilsners can be more full-bodied and darker in color.” There is also a section with detailed elements of taste i.e. Aroma, Flavor and Texture.
The Display – It’s eye-catching with several glass cases are totally filled with different beers. They even had the Lucky Buddha Beer I had heard about but had not been able to find elsewhere.
Other nice additions to the bar were a very large patio (dog friendly…), a sitting room with big screen TVs and space for darts, video games and shuffleboard.
We decided it was time to leave Bottles and were reassured by another unusual feature. A coin-operated breathalyzer machine called “Alco-Buddy.” It allowed us to ensure we were sober although that was facilitated by the final environmental joke of the evening:
“An environmental lawyer and a non-renewable resource walk into a bar and sit down for a couple of pints. After a while, the non-renewable resource orders two more beers. The bartender turns to the lawyer and says, ‘I’ll serve you, but not your friend, he’s getting wasted”