Thebeerchaser Tour – One Year Anniversary
It has been one year since Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland Bars commenced. During that year I have reviewed 23 bars, pubs and taverns and the original premise for taking this journey has been confirmed — each bar has had its own personality, ambiance, flaws and character. From the first stop – Brooklyn Park Pub (August 2011) to Lutz Tavern (July 2012) and even the one in Washington (Pourhouse – August, 2012) – all have been worth the visit.
As a result, I strongly disagree with the quote from a review of one of the bars I visited:
“I’m beginning to understand the formula for what constitutes a popular bar in Portland….Make it dark, create some reason for the service to suck and make PBR cheaper than soda….”
Because of the sheer number of Portland bars, my original guidelines were to visit a bar from each letter of the alphabet and then restart the cycle; however, I have thrown that practice out. I go where you suggest or where I happen to see bartenders, bar stools, PBR or microbrews sold, etc. ……The guideline of reviewing only Portland bars also fell by the wayside when I reviewed Pour House – a Port Townsend establishment. It was too good not to share and I will occasionally do future non-Portland venues.
During the last year, seven Beerchasers-of-the-Month (or Quarter when I get lazy) have been designated – an “honor” for which the person may or may not have a direct or indirect with beer or bars – I just wanted to tell you about them. They include:
Craig Hanneman – Former OSU and Pittsburgh Steeler Football Player and Business Executive
The Crew of the USS Constitution
PSU Economics Professor, Dr. John Walker
Retired Oregonian columnist, John Terry
Dr. Harry Frankfurt, Author of On Bullshit
Crime Novelist James Crumley *
Four Portland Bartenders
Retired Chemical Engineer, Harold Schlumberg
* Crumley, a now deceased Montana writer, had an affinity for bars and beer (and gin) and was credited by some reviewers with the best opening line of any crime novel. From his book, The Last Good Kiss:
“When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts, in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”
After reading another of his novels – The Mexican Tree Duck – one gets a taste for Crumley’s perspective:
“I went through so much help that I actually hired a woman so drunk that she had forgotten that I had fired her the week before.”
Bar Joke Update
Occasionally, I have posted a few bar jokes from my collection. This month’s selection is timeless – so to speak….:
“The past, present and future walk into a bar —
It was really tense…..”
% * @ + !
What Distinguishes Portland Besides Its Beers and Bars?
Voodoo Donuts, of course –
and as The Week, a national magazine in its August 17th issue reported on the new Rogue Brewery Voodoo Donut Bacon Maple Ale. “This brew combines the flavors of wood-smoked malts and real maple syrup and bacon to create a ‘smoky, porky, nutty’ taste.”
Makes Thebeerchaser wonder if he should stick to Keystone Light….!
This sign from our visit to a bar named “The Speakeasy” in Phoenix last spring was worth sharing:
John Mansfield Update
A good friend and one of my favorite lawyers and former colleague, Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt’s, John Mansfield, accompanied me on my visit to Mock Crest Tavern last May. John is a patent lawyer and one, like many lawyers, who is extremely literal as contrasted to literate. For example, after reading the phrase in the Mock Crest menu, “Breakfast Served – Any Time,” he tried to order “French Toast from the Renaissance Era.”
Since our visit, he turned 50 and had a wonderful birthday party planned by his wife, Hanna (“John Mansfield Goes to L”) – As pointed out previously, John is a Renaissance Man having majored in music at the U of O before getting his law degree Magna Cum Laude at Cornell. Highlight of the evening was John dazzling the crowd with classical (Dvorak) and then some more contemporary George Gershwin selections on the piano.
He revealed to me another example of an attorney’s tendency to be literal causing a problem. “A lawyer walking to the courthouse is waiting at a corner for a “Walk” signal next to a German Shepherd and a teenage boy walks up. The boy asks the lawyer if his dog bites and the lawyer says “no,” so the kid leans down and pets the dog, who promptly sinks his teeth into the kid’s arm. The boy says to the lawyer, “I thought you said your dog didn’t bite.” The lawyer responds, “I did. That’s not my dog….”
I was glad that John related this tale rather than that of the lawyer he knows whose last case was Budweiser.
Phoenix Sun – Not! And Speaking of Keystone Light….
Most basketball fans know that former Phoenix Suns guard, Steve Nash, was traded to the Lakers recently.
I loved the story from his first trip to SmogTown. Some fans, saw him driving down the freeway.
They recognized him in the back seat of his chauffeur-driven vehicle and shouted to him when they pulled up beside him – both vehicles still traveling at full speed. As the story goes, they proceeded to hand him a Key Stone Light, which he said he appreciated.
Perhaps when he has his first good game, he’ll rate a Stella.