Be Careful – or You’ll End up in (the) Pourhouse

The “About” tab of this blog states that the Tour of Portland Pubs and Bars by Thebeerchaser, will essentially be that — reviews of Portland establishments which are so numerous that the goal of visiting all sometimes seems insurmountable.  However, this general guideline can be waived if there are “compelling circumstances.”

A several day visit to Olympic National Park in Washington (a wonderful treasure in our own “backyard”) was followed by a one-night stay in Port Townsend, WA and resulted in a “compelling circumstance.”

The Mighty Olympics

We had picked up a brochure entitled, “Olympic Culinary Loop Adventure Map with a listing entitled Pourhouse stating, “Explore craft beer! Twelve rotating taps and 200 different bottled beers for here or to go… garden on the beach with outdoor games.”  The name of this bar brought to mind prior history lessons regarding Depression Work Farms or scenes of Poor Houses and evoked memories of two quotes from the era:

“Uncle claims that if he files his income tax wrong he’ll go to jail, and if he files it right he’ll go to the poorhouse.” 

Would Probably Drop by Pourhouse

And of course, Will Rogers’ 1930 quote, “The United States is the only country ever to go to the poorhouse in an automobile.”

I’m inclined to think that based on some of his statements on alcohol that Rogers would approve (and possibly even visit Pourhouse if he were still around.)  To wit:  “Communism is like prohibition, it is a good idea, but it won’t work.”


“Prohibition is better than no alcohol at all.”

Riches Can be Found at Pourhouse

On a Thursday night after a superb dinner at Port Townsend’s Silverwater Cafe, Thebeerchaser and spouse decided to check it out, although the innocuous entrance made us wonder if it would  have the same ambiance as our motel — None!

What a pleasant surprise.  Pourhouse – just opened in February 2012 – was hopping.  Yerda (pronounced Gerda) the bartender, was extremely friendly and helpful.  She explained their twelve rotating taps of craft beer and we had two superb glasses:

Yerda – Friendly and Knowledgable

They do not serve food yet but patrons can bring their own or they have take-out menus from local restaurants.  Although there was no band that night, they often have live music, which drew favorable comments in the reviews.

And the claim about 200 bottled beers was no exaggeration as shown by the photo below:

200 Options for Bottled Beer

But what made Pourhouse distinctive was the crowd.  Three cyclists were drinking at the bar and immediately started chatting with us.

The beer garden right on the water and with a nice view of the Olympics was hopping and included tourists and locals (a lot with their dogs) socializing, eating and drinking good beer.

Thebeerchaser and friendly cyclist

And the reviews were unanimous in their praise:

“The atmosphere was so great, beer and really nice wine and a very eclectic crowd who were friendly and totally non-judgmental about pretty much everything.” (Yelp – 7/17/12)

Thumbs Up on the Twelve Rotating Taps

Good beer selection and prices. Right on the water, great place to sit outside on a nice day, but also really cool inside if the weather isn’t cooperating.” (TripAdvisor 8/26/12)

Do You Prefer the Water or the Mountains?

“(The) interior is clean, modern and comfortable with very cool historical photos of Port Townsend….A huge sunny, outdoor space right on the beach with amazing views is what set this place apart….aside from their beer list.  Everyone was incredibly friendly and genuine….This is definitely the bar to hit when visiting or living in Port Townsend.” (Yelp – 2/21/12

The Cool and Modern Interior

“….a small but eclectic wine list.  The prices are crazy cheap compared to what we’re used to shelling out in Seatte……An awesome addition to the town!!  The owners are young, local and have their finger on the pulse.”  (Yelp – 4/3/12)
All in all, this bar “compelled” a spot on the Beer Tour and I would suggest – rather than beg – Be frugal and go to Pourhouse on your next trip to the Olympic Peninsula.

2 thoughts on “Be Careful – or You’ll End up in (the) Pourhouse

  1. And you left out the most important “compelling circumstance”. Twenty five years ago, you and the spouse celebrated my wedding in Port Townsend. Happy Anniversary, Beerchaser!


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