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

Sidecar 11 — Worth the Ride and/or the Drink?

An Inconspicuous Entrance

An inconspicuous entrance which does not reflect the character of the interior

While there are some expansive Portland bars such as the Horse Brass Pub, Joe’s Cellar (RIP..) and The Twilight Room, there are some interesting establishments occupying confined “hole-in-the-wall” type spaces.

Thebeerchaser has visited a number of these watering holes including Belmont Station, Beer and Hawthorne Hideaway. The latest is a wonderful little bar on N. Mississippi Ave. – Sidecar 11.

According to the owner, this contraption is also a rationale for the name of the bar.

According to the owner, this contraption is also a rationale for the name of the bar.

I was fortunate to share this new venue with my good friend, Larry Paulson.  Larry is the long-time and recently retired Executive Director of the Port of Vancouver.  He is also a former General in the Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps.  As have been the majority of those I’ve raised mugs with on this Tour of Portland Bars, Taverns and Pubs, the General is also a lawyer.

"The General" in a Turbine -- (He thought it was a keg....)
“The General” in a Turbine — (He thought it was a gigantic keg….)

 While the entrance to Sidecar 11 is very understated and quite frankly, could be enhanced, one is immediately struck by the character of this little place based on the personalities of the owner and bartender, the décor and, the variety and contents of the cocktails served.

Virtually all the printed comments on this bar are really good and it stands out among the multiple taverns, pubs and bistros which have sprung up on N Mississippi like cavities in non-fluoridated cities (Since Thebeerchaser doesn’t get to vote in the City of Portland, this is a political statement in lieu.)

A nice setting and bartender, ___, makes one feel welcome

A nice setting and bartender, ___, makes one feel welcome

For example, the following two reviews from Yelp in 2012 and 2013 are typical and echo our sentiments:

“Every time I am in the neighborhood and have the time to spare, I will come into Sidecar.  The bartenders are super knowledgeable and really have a passion for what they are doing. 

I never know what to order because everything looks so good. I have my default Manhattan (they make a killer one here) but I will always take the suggestion of whoever is working for a mystery libation.”

“The service has always been on the mark.  The space is small, but well laid out.  If they are busy, the bartender makes a point to communicate that with you and that they will help you. I highly recommend going here, it really is a lovely little bar”

The General and Aaron with Thebeerchaser Logo

The General and Bartender, Aaron, with Thebeerchaser Logo

Both the bartender, Aaron, and the owner, John Cooper, were extremely helpful in the service and telling us about the origin of the bar which opened just in 2011 and was named after its signature drink – the Sidecar.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Signature Cocktails – While Sidecar has some good draft beers – Larry had a Leavenworth Bier’s Bakke Hills Black Lager – it differentiates itself by its signature drinks.  I had an outstanding Lavender Martini (Lavender vodka, Crème de Violette, lemon, sugar and peychaud’s bitters).  Larry “chased” his beer with a superb, Old Fashioned, and I encouraged him to recount (briefly…) some of the memories of his dual careers.

The namesake of this great little bar
“Mississippi Sidecar” – the namesake of this great little bar

Larry Paulson was known in SW Washington as a collaborative leader at the Port.  He  had extremely cooperative relationships with the Longshoremen’s Union and other bargaining units while he was there and they publicly stated their respect at his retirement dinner, which was attended by Washington Senator, Patty Murray.

Paulson espoused Dwight Eisenhower‘s philosophy of leadership: “You don’t lead people by hitting them over the head – that’s assault not leadership.”

And as a military lawyer, he helped resolve problems like jet jockeys flying too low and “strafing” cattle in Eastern Oregon during flight training exercises.

1966 Bordeaux - Aged but not ready for burial....

1966 Bordeaux – Aged but not ready for burial….

 

The Wine – They feature some excellent and older bottles of wine.  Aaron showed us their featured “old” wine – a 1966 Chateau Talbot Bordeaux – which they opened for tasting on March 5th and the adjective “old” brought me back to reality because it was the year of Thebeerchaser’s graduation from high school….

Adding to the ambiance and the education of the patrons each week is “Tasting Tuesday” – complimentary tasting and discounts on wine – sponsored by various NW wineries.  That night the featured libations were two Prosser Washington, Airfield Winery products – their 2010 Runway Merlot and the 2011 Runway Syrah.

An impressive assortment of wines

An impressive assortment of wines

Of course, the “Airfield” reference evoked a look of nostalgia from the General, who quoted his favorite section of the Air Force Flight Manual: “It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed,” although he admitted never having to litigate the situation.

ArtworkDifferent galleries are showcased every other month. Numerous quality works of art adorned the walls and we met Molly Kovaka, the owner of Studio KO, who was there to comment on each piece of art from her gallery – nice person and a nice touch.

Molly Kovaka - Artist "In Residence" at Sidecar

Molly Kovaka – Artist “In Residence” at Sidecar

The food menu is limited, but we had a great cheese plate and this Yelp review from 2011 is a fitting way to end this post and describe the bar and its menu:

 “We stumbled upon Sidecar 11 during a stroll though the Mississippi neighborhood.  

It turned out to be the best discovery we’ve made in the past year.  The cocktails are AMAZING….Definitely not a drink for the timid… 

All four of us ordered a different salad and loved it.  The salads were simple but at the same time fresh and creative.  The apple, pear, red quinoa salad with maple dressing was the best of the bunch, but all were good.  And the garlic cheese bread?  Killer!”

Sidecar 11        3955 N Mississippisidecar art