Friday, December 07, 2007

The Latest from Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)

Dave and the neighbor have been driving all over Portland looking for some of the new brews from Hopworks Urban Brewery that have been popping up on taps all over town. But upon hearing that all he had to do was take his keg over to the brewery to get some of his very own, we were in the car with an empty corny heading over to SE Powell.

And who should meet us at the brewery door but Mr. Christian Ettinger himself, offering to take us on a tour of the vast new pub and brewery in the former Sunset Fuel building. This vast space, with its curving dome of a ceiling using recycled wood for the bar, copper-topped tables from a former Stanford's restaurant and even the old vault transformed into a private dining space, is the culmination of Christian's dream of a green, neighborhood and family-friendly place to quaff his amazing brews.

He's even taking old bike frames and fashioning them into some wacky sculpture that'll be installed over the bar, and they're just getting ready to pour the concrete for the large cantilevered deck on the south side of the building, with a killer view of the west hills. Count on this spot to be the premier place to hang this summer at sunset. He's targeted January 15 for opening day, and you can sign up on the website to be notified about breaking news and special offers.

And the beer? After picking up the keg we headed over to the Muddy Rudder for a bite and a beer, and coincidentally found Christian's HUB IPA on tap. Even better than the ground-breaking Boss IPA he created when he was at Laurelwood, this has that same hyper-hoppy bite but with a fuller, more well-rounded flavor and the luscious full body that his beers are known for. As far as IPAs, this has hit the top of our charts.

The keg is now full of his Abominable Winter Ale, and while we've been loving this year's Deschutes Jubel Ale on tap at various pubs, HUB's winter brew doesn't have the same spiciness that you'd find in the Bend product or in Wassail from Full Sail. Instead it has a clear, amber color, nutty flavor and a balanced bitterness in the hops, with that same full body mentioned above. So call us zombie slaves, but this guy has yet to go wrong in our book. And we can't wait for the HUB to open!

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