Thebeerchaser’s 2013 Annual Report

Thebeerchaser raising a mug in Amsterdam during our Rick Steves' Best of Europe Tour

Thebeerchaser raising a mug in Amsterdam during our Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour

During the twenty-five + years I worked before retiring in 2011 at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, accountability was “part of the gig,” – the case at most large law firms.  The New Year started with a review of prior year statistics and accomplishments and setting performance goals for the current year.

A Beerchaser tradition at each stop - a photo of the logo - Shelby and Dave Booher at the Solstice Brew Pub in Prineville
A Beerchaser tradition at each stop – a photo of the logo – Shelby and Dave Booher at the Solstice Brew Pub in Prineville

While Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland bars, taverns and pubs, initiated in August of 2011, does not have to worry about billable hours worked, improving client relations or analyzing merger possibilities, the habit of reviewing benchmarks from the past year(s) will take additional time (and more brewskis consumed) to depart my cerebellum.

Slabtown - An important institution in an historic neighborhood

Slabtown – An important institution in an historic neighborhood

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In this spirit (and in preparation for audit….),  I submit the following “Beerchaser Year in Review,” which includes an interesting graphic display by WordPress, the blogging software used.  For those who want to drill down for more detail (there are after all, several tax lawyers who are followers of this blog), you can click on the link below the graphic.

The final part of this posts includes a listing of establishments visited in the last 2.4 years by year and category i.e. dive bar, neighborhood pub, etc and Thebeerchasers-of-the-Month or Quarter who have been “honored” with this recognition.

Brewmaster and Beerchaser-of-the-Month, Jonny Brose and bartender, Camas, with Thebeerchaser logo

Brewmaster and Beerchaser-of-the-Month, Jonny Brose and bartender, Camas, with Thebeerchaser logo

I was pleased that, in 2013, there were approximately 15,000 views of this blog from 143 different countries – primarily the result of my effort to “tag” the names of places visited, individuals, or topics I cover, so people searching on Google, etc. may decide to check out the link.  This compares with 6,700 views from 96 countries in 2012 – so the audience has grown.

Beer with attitude - er, I mean altitude..!  The James Bond Bar at the summit of the Schilthorn in Switzerland

Beer with attitude – er, I mean altitude..! The James Bond Bar at the summit of the Schilthorn in Switzerland

H. G. Wells warned, “Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture….” and notwithstanding that admonition, the following provides some grist for the number-crunchers – note that I am not including bars visited on our Rick Steves’ Best of Europe Tour, but do count the wonderful venues visited on the four-day road trip to Eastern Oregon.   

The bar at the Central Pastime. Patty was camera shy but impressed with the city slickers passing through.

The bar at the Central Pastime Tavern in Burns. Patty, the bartender,  was camera shy but impressed with the city slickers passing through.

Thebeerchaser reviewed 20 bars in 2013, compared to 24 in 2012, which equates to one bar every 18.3 days – slightly less ambitious than the 15.2 days in 2012 and the 17.1 during the partial year of 2011 with eight establishments.

This averages out to a non-weighted mean of 16.9 for the three years with a respectable, albeit somewhat mundane, standard deviation of 1.563 days to accomplish the review of 52 establishments.  And remember, many required more than one visit for the due diligence.

Note for the accountants – this figure does not include “accruals,” if  you will, i.e. the two bars and one brewery that were visited in 2013, but not yet reviewed and posted (will occur in January.)

The Sasquatch Brewing Company from our August visit

The Sasquatch Brewing Company from our August visit

Shown below the WordPress report is a compete listing of the watering holes – by category visited since inception.  Of course, bearing in mind the case of the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches, one should be cautious about using averages.

For example, our European Tour of 21-days was a respite from Portland taverns and thus the 2013 work ethic should not be demeaned.

New City Club Executive Director, Sam Adams, at the entrance to the Tug Boat Brewery - right in Downtown PDX

New City Club of Portland Executive Director, Sam Adams, at the entrance to the Tug Boat Brewery – right in Downtown PDX

Here’s an excerpt from the WordPress report:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Twenty Establishments Visited in 2013 *

A nice part of the de'cor at Beer - a bar with an appropriate name

A nice part of the decor at Beer – a bar with an appropriate name

Neighborhood Bars – Sidecar 11, Belmont Inn , Belmont Station, Beer

Beerchaser and Big Buck-Hunter David Dixon at the Belmont Inn lamenting, "If only I had spent more time shooting and less time studying in Palo Alto...."

Beerchaser and Big Buck-Hunter David Dixon at the Belmont Inn lamenting, “If only I had spent more time shooting and less time studying at Stanford….”

Dive Bars – Slammer, The Tanker

Historic or Classic Bars – Slabtown, Horse Brass Pub,

Grand Cafe

Portland appellate lawyer and former Town Hall Moderator, Jack Faust, with Frank Peters - "proprietor and cook" at the Grand Cafe

Portland appellate lawyer and former Town Hall Moderator, Jack Faust, with Frank Peters – “proprietor and cook” at the Grand Cafe

Bars that Defy Classification – Davis Street Tavern, Church

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Tug Boat Brewery, Sasquatch Brewery,

Bars Outside of Portland – Solstice Brew Pub and Horseshoe Tavern (Prineville), Hideout Saloon and Long Branch Saloon (LaGrande), Bull Ridge Brewery and Mt. Emily Ale House (Baker City) and Central Pastime Tavern (Burns)

*  Does not include European Bars

The Horseshoe Tavern in Prineville
The Horseshoe Tavern in Prineville

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Twenty-four Establishments Visited in 2012

Clearing the Air - Tanya, our Waitress and 4 Environmental Lawyers at County Cork

Clearing the Air – Tanya, our Waitress and 4 Environmental Lawyers at County Cork

Neighborhood Bars – County Cork, Muddy Rudder Public House, Hawthorne Hideaway, Laurelthirst Pub

Dive Bars – Ship Tavern, Bar of the Gods, Dixie Tavern       

The Ship Tavern in Multnomah Village - an outstanding dive bar
The Ship Tavern in Multnomah Village – an outstanding dive bar

Historic or Classic Bars – Claudia’s, White Eagle Saloon, Lutz Tavern, Cheerful Tortoise, Mock Crest Tavern, Goose Hollow Inn and The Twilight Room

Beerchasers-of-the-Month, Jim Westwood and John Terry with former Mayor and Goose Hollow owner, Bud Clark

Beerchasers-of-the-Month, Jim Westwood and John Terry with former Mayor and Goose Hollow owner, Bud Clark

Bars that Defy Classification – 1856, Gold Dust Meridian, Bottles, Interurban, Ash Street Saloon

Beerchaser, Chuck Mitchell with bartender, Matt at 1856
Beerchaser, Chuck Mitchell with bartender, Matt at 1856

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Migration Brewery Pub

Beerchaser Dave Booher enjoys a draft and a bucket of fries at the Desdemona in Astoria

Beerchaser Dave Booher enjoys a draft and a bucket of fries at The Desdemona in Astoria

Bars Outside of Portland – Embers Brew House (Joseph), The Desdemona and Wet Monkey Café (Astoria), PourHouse (Port Townsend, WA)         

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Eight Establishments Visited in 2011 (August – December)

The Brooklyn! -The very first stop on Thebeerchaser Tour

The Brooklyn! The very first stop on Thebeerchaser Tour

 Neighborhood Bars – Brooklyn Park Pub, Gladstone Street Pub,

Dive Bars – Yukon Tavern, Joe’s Cellar

The Yukon Tavern - one of the proverbial Dive Bars visited in the first year of The Tour
The Yukon Tavern – one of the proverbial Dive Bars visited in the first year of The Tour

 Historic or Classic Bars – Buffalo Gap Saloon

Bars that Defy Classification – Prost

Getting the Boot from Emily the Bartender at Prost in 2011

Getting the Boot from Emily the Bartender at Prost in 2011

Breweries/Brew Pubs – Amnesia Brew Pub, Coalition Brew Pub

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Beerchaser Honorees

Several times during the year (we fell down slightly on this goal in 2013), Thebeerchaser names a person, group or organization as Beerchaser-of-the-Month or Quarter.  These may or may not have any relevance to the primary goal of this blog, but deserve to be “honored” or recognized in some manner.  They are shown below and we can all be confident that they do not update their resumes to reflect this acclaim.

Lt. Jud Blakely USMC in Viet Nam in 1965

Lt. Jud Blakely USMC in Viet Nam in 1965

2013 – Jud Blakely (Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient in Viet Nam War), Johnny Brose, (OSU Graduate and Brewmaster at Bull Ridge Brewery in Baker City), Jim Westwood (Portland lawyer, civic activist and former captain of the GE College Bowl Team from Portland State College).

Jim Westwood, Coach Padrow and the PSU College Bowl Team

Jim Westwood, Coach Padrow and the PSU College Bowl Team

                 

Former OSU and NFL start, Craig Hanneman on successful Mt. Everest climb in 2012

Former OSU and NFL start, Craig Hanneman on successful Mt. Everest climb in 2012

             2012 – Forrest Green (Musician and consultant), Coach Mike Riley and the 2012 OSU Football Team, Craig Hanneman (retired Willamette Industries executive and former OSU and NFL football player), The Crew of the USS Constitution, Dr. John Walker (Professor of Finance at Portland State University), John Terry (retired history columnist and reporter for The Oregonian) and Dr. Harry Frankfurt (Emeritus Professor of History at Princeton University and author of the book On Bullshit)

Late crime novelist and beer drinker, James Crumley

Late crime novelist and beer drinker, James Crumley

2011 – James Crumley (late crime novelist from Montana), Harold Schlumberg (retired chemical engineer), Phoebe, Emily, Dave and Natasha (bartenders at the bars the Brooklyn Park Pub, Prost, the Twilight Room and the Gladstone Street Pub.

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I appreciate the followers of Thebeerchaser for their comments and suggestions and am especially thankful to Janet – Thebeerchaser’s spouse of 33 years for letting me indulge in this retirement hobby.

Thebeerchaser and Janet in Paris - summer of 2013

Thebeerchaser and Janet in Paris – summer of 2013

While reviewing 52 establishments in 2 years and five months is noteworthy, the fact that Portland has approximately 750 bars, taverns and pubs is somewhat overwhelming and begs the question as to whether retirement should have started while I was in my twenties…..Convey your suggestions regarding future venues in the blog comments.

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas from Thebeerchaser – Beerchaser Miscellany VI

The perfect bicycle for one who has everything

The perfect bicycle for one who has everything

Last Minute Christmas Shopping – If you have not found that perfect present, why not consider the bicycle in the above photo.  This is one of over 40 bicycles featured in the Portland Art Museum’s exhibit, “Cyclepedia,”  earlier this year.  Each represented different structures, materials and functions for bicycles from the 1920’s to contemporary design.

The exhibit “….included racing, mountain, single speed, touring, tandem, urban, folding, cargo, curiosities, and children’s bicycles.”  Portland was the only city in the US to host this exhibit, in part, because of the affection Portlanders have for bicycles and the number of cyclists per capita – reportedly, the highest in the US.

The bike above was Thebeerchaser’s favorite for obvious reasons.  Can you imagine touring on this mobile platform which has a keg, a tap and undoubtedly a holder for a glass of your favorite microbrew.

Scales of Justice

A Good and Zany Read – Given that before retiring, Thebeerchaser spent almost forty years of his career working with lawyers, I confess that I still enjoy the American Bar Association Weekly Journal (on-line) each week.

It has a listing of interesting cases, and includes the zany and bizarre judicial matters that pop up regularly. And while the sample below may strain credibility, anyone who has worked in the legal environment can attest that they occur:

3/27/13 –Man stranded on Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’ ride, wins pain and suffering damages.”

7/26/13 – Banned from campus over ‘Hot for Teacher’ essay, college student loses free speech suit.”

11/5/13 – “Lawsuit for traffic stop resulting in 3 enemas, 2 X-rays and 1 colonoscopy in cops’ fruitless search.”

I love lawyers and they are, in general, a very smart, dedicated, competitive group of professionals, but the work environment breeds some interesting results:

7/10/13 – “Lawyer leaves $200K Ferrari in floodwaters to make it to hearing on time.”

9/16/13 – “Attorney who billed for 29-hour day, did the work, his lawyers says.” This one reminded me of the Wall Street associate in the ’70’s who wanted the record for billing the most legitimate hours in his firm, so worked a 24-hour day and then continued his work on a plane flight to Los Angeles for an actual 27 hour billable day.

12/9/13 – “Unwitting lawyer is suspended for arranging client loans to secure Nigerian inheritance.”

And finally, if you or a relative is considering law school as a career option, you  might want to check out this post from December 9th:

“One law school’s credit rating drops to junk-bond status.”

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Lighter face beerchaser headerThebeerchaser Logo – A New Look – Let’s raise a $2 mug of PBR to Jud Blakely, who designed the new logo you now see as the background or header for this blog.

Followers of this blog will remember that my SAE fraternity brother, Jud, was Thebeerchaser-of-the-Quarter (September 16, 2103 post ) where I saluted him for his heroism in Viet Nam (Bronze Star with Combat V and Purple Heart) and his subsequent exploits – as a member of The Gulf Coast Humanities Consortium, on the executive staff at Tri-Met, as a communications consultant, on the basketball court, etc. etc.

1965 Bronze Star Award Ceremony for Captain Blakely USMC
1965 Bronze Star Award Ceremony for Captain Blakely USMC

He obviously has developed new talents in the technology area.  Thanks Jud.

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The Yard House – Coming to Portland — While in Seattle, my wife and I dined in the new restaurant/bar that replaced the Borders store near Westlake Plaza.  Reportedly, one is in the works for Pioneer Square in Portland.

Would you believe over 100 beers on tap??

Would you believe over 125 beers on tap??

While Thebeerchaser typically avoids restaurants rather than a single purpose bar or tavern, this one was notable because it had over 125 beers and hard ciders on tap.

And that doesn’t count some of the seasonal specials such as the Sam Adams Merry Maker that I tested and thought was a winner. (“Heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of wheat.  But it’s the intensity and spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, & ginger that add a wicked kick for a jolly playful brew full of merry mischief.”

The "hydraulics" to get the brew from the kegs to the taps would be a good science project....
The “hydraulics” to get the brew from the kegs to the taps would be a good science project….

And the interior was fascinating“The glass-enclosed keg room is essentially the pulse of the operation housing as much as 5,000 gallons of beer at a time. Three to five miles of individual beer lines stretch overhead from the keg room to the island bar maintaining a constant temperature.”

The menu was robust and there was not an empty seat in the restaurant or bar.  Stay tuned for the Portland opening.

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Joe’s Cellar Moves Up –  We are pleased to report that one of our two favorite dive bars – the other being The Ship Tavern (December 10, 2012 post) in Multnomah – reopened this summer.

Joe’s Cellar, originally opening in 1941 and a great watering hole in the NW Industrial District (they had a Happy Hour at 7 A.M. for the workers getting off the night shift) had building structural issues that caused Multnomah County building officials to shut it down earlier this year.

Moving Up.......

Moving Up…….Step Up to Joe’s Cellar

Fortunately it is now back under new ownership and as Thebeerchaser advised you in the September 17, 2011 post, “Step Up to Joe’s Cellar.”

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Bar Jokes – We can’t end the year without at least one or two of our favorite bar jokes – the first from The Oregonian’s Edge column:

A duck walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “You got any bread?”

Bartender “No.”

Duck: “You got any bread?”

Bartender (looking annoyed): “No!!”

Duck: “You got any bread?”

Bartender: “No – and if you ask one more time, I’m going to nail your bill to the bar!”

Duck: “You got any nails?”

Bartender: “No.”

Duck: “You got any bread…??

######

guy walks into a bar

A guy walks into a bar — He really hurts himself…….

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Lumpy's Landing - a delightful dive on Highway 18 on the way to the Oregon Coast
Lumpy’s Landing – a delightful dive on Highway 18 on the way to the Oregon Coast

How Cold Was It……? – Sign outside the door of Lumpy’s Landing – a wonderful dive bar in Dundee, Oregon.

This is the tavern where the original idea for Thebeerchaser Tour of Bars, Taverns and Pubs, originated while I was eating natchos and drinking a Budweiser on the way to the beach:

lumpy's sign

How Cold Was It??

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Most Outlandish Simile:  And finally, while having written over sixty reviews of bars since Thebeerchaser blog commenced in August of 2011, I understand that sometimes “writer’s block” can shroud one’s brain like a San Francisco fog. 

However, a critique of the El Modernito Restaurant/bar by Martin Cizmar, a reporter for Willamette Week (which is a good resource for this blog and usually has informative and reliable reviews) contained what is probably one of the most pretentious and/or ridiculous descriptions of a cocktail, ever to hit print:

“Oh, but the chorizo and cocktails.  They’re united in a margarita made with sausage-flavored tequila and a salty foam that tastes like a wave perpetually suspended at the point of breaking.” (emphasis supplied).  Enough said – back to journalism school, Martin!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Thebeerchaser