The week was wrapping up, and We were gifted with some lovely weather, and so on Friday, after class. I was at it! I started by hopping on my bike and heading to Threshold Brewing and Blending, via Southeast Portland. I really enjoy riding up the assortment of pavement and dirt on Mount Tabor, and then coming down the other side and making my way north through the Montavilla neighborhood. There are a lot of great spots here. Roscoe's and the Beer Bunker are great beer bars, and Montavilla Brew Works has been making and serving wonderful stuff for a few years now. But new to the mix is Threshold Brewing and Blending. They opened in February.
It's a small, intimate taproom. It feels cozy, but clean. The space seems to prompt conversation, though there are quiet corners to be found too. This was not my first time here, and I'll be back pretty regularly.Every time I've been in, I've enjoyed chatting with brewer Jarek Szymanski along with other staff and fellow patrons. And I've enjoyed the delicious beer.
My favorite here probably remains the Day Runner, a hazy but dry IPA weighing in at 5.5%. Pictured here, though, are three that I'd not tried. From right to left, What's Sabro?, Night Runner (Day Runner's big brother), and Genetic Mosaic. As you might imagine, the last of these features the Mosaic hop, which IPA nerds come across with some frequency. This was the first time, though, that I've ever tasted or even heard of the Sabro hop. It's brand new, and it has an almost coconut taste. The sun was out, and I was already in a tropical mood. Sabro completed that journey for me.
Threshold makes several IPAs, but they've also got stout thich with Mudworks coffee and a breezy but flavorful grisette. In addition, they boast a number of guest taps, one of which is dedicated to Happy Mountain's kombucha.
But even with so many options before me, I took it easy at Threshold, because I was shortly on my way to Stormbreaker Brewing, to meet my wife and watch the Blazer game. Stormbreaker (the original location, on Mississippi) is our Blazers spot. They have a tent with a big screen, great food options, attentive and warm servers, and delectable beer.
There is an finely tuned balance to the perfect sports spot. For us, we like it when a good section of the pub is dedicated to the game, with a big screen and sound that is audible but doesn't nullify the possibility for conversation. It's great when there are other fans also enjoying the game, but not making too much of a ruckus. Shoulder-to-shoulder isn't our thing--we like to have room to lean. But it's neat when you're at a place where said leaning could be employed to strike up a casual conversation with your neighbor about how CJ is awesome and how Rodney Hood shows a lot of promise. You've got to be able to jump and clap and have it not be weird, but viewers jumping and clapping should be an event, an occasional bit of punctuation, rather than a constant occurrence. Yeah...we're finicky. But as much as I make it sound like we have a checklist that we go through whenever we watch a game somewhere, the above really is more me trying to break down why we like the vibe at Stormbreaker. When we go out to watch the game at a brewpub, it's almost always here.
But let's talk beer
Mocabe Lo Sabe is a coffee pale, and one of my faves here, so I went with that to start. But their menu also included their award winning Triple Double IPA, made hazy (it's usually clear, west coast style), and aged in gin barrels. I had to have that. And WOW does that beer have a lot going on. For the record, I think I prefer the original recipe, as it's one of my favorite doubles, but I was pleased to get to try this.
When we come for the Blazers, we sit in the tent. But Stormbreaker sports a wonderful patio with FIRE!
The inside is great too, woody and welcoming. But the moose with googly eyes in the bathroom frightens me.
So my most memorable beerstravaganza from St. Patrick's Day weekend didn't even happen on the 17th. I think that there's just something about Friday. I wore green on Sunday, but on Friday, I was wearing white, black, and red, riding Tabor, crossing the Threshold, and Breaking the Storm.