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Cascade Brewing Barrel House
Taps: 22 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
939 SE Belmont St
phone: (503) 265-8603
Sunday - Wednesday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
Thursday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm
"Subject to change with little or no notice."
(Place added by: msubulldog25 on 09-24-2010)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 44 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Bent, past tense, and a hell of a ride in, it was. Now navigated in nineish on a Thursday, no Wednesday (I have no perception of time or space at this point), Belmont, and that must be it there. I think it’s safe to say we’re going to do some time here before heading out to Jon’s, I mean, we’re already going to take some shit for missing dinner; might as well get our sour on…
Parked past and give Phil a few steps to get his smoke on. Brick front building with some yellow baby lighting strung. Up & in, through a garage door; a most common theme in the Pac NW, it seems. And settled in at the bar to the rear; straight, marbled laminate topped with a wood lip, panel base, shiny kick plate, & piping foot rail. Seating for 10 on stainless steel stools, squozen in tightly, and then a shorty sideways end piece seating another ‘3 Davo’ (yes, that’s now an accepted standard unit of measure).
Barback is stainless steel drainage below 3 barrel ends to both sides of center on a split green backing. There are handles everywhere, and it’s um, involved, to tell what’s what and where. To the left side, 2 barrel ends with a single tap each, and a 3rd with 4 taps, and then 2 taps in between each barrel extending from the wall (I think that’s 8); and then the 3 barrel ends to the right hold 4 handles each, and then there are 2 handles in between each of those extending from the wall (so, another 16), I think there’s space for 24 in all. Glassware in a handful of sizes shelved below the length. 4 x 8 horizontal board above, listing draft selections & ABV’s in 2 rows, and smaller boards on the ends listing barrel selections, and bottle, growler, & grenade pricing; track spots highlighting the show.
The room itself is kind of hangerish, with rounded to the ceiling cross beam rafters. Black fabricy ceilings with wide drop lamps, cement floors, lime colored walls and panel windows up front. A few logo label pieces (The Vine & Sang Noir) for the lookin’ at, flats on 2 walls opposite and the far corner, and a swag display to the side side, as well. 5 fabric backed & green leather booths running the far wall; brewery pics mounted above, and lanterns atop. And then barrel tables across the floor in 2 rows of 5. And out front, 6 bar counter spurs on the railings 3 & 3, and nearly a dozen and a half green picnic tables down below barrel penned.
So, it looks like they’ve got 22 taps, a fairly even split between ‘things sour’ (Razberry Wheat, Summer Gose, Strawberry, Apricot, The Vine, Honey Ginger Lime, Sang Noir, 2011 Kriek, Elderberry, Barrel Aged Bruin), and ‘not’ (Portland Ale, Red Eye Rye, Cascade IPA, RyePA, Saison De La Maison, Saison Rouge, Saison Minuit, Saison Fume, Summer Solstice IPA, Summer Weizen, Oblique Coffee Porter), plus 2 live barrels (Cherry Bourbonic Plague, Bourbon Barrel Aged Fruit Blend).
A max of 2 tasters at a time for $2 each. Needless to say, we’re doing pairs due to time restraints, by which I mean, they may want to close up and go home at some point. Pairs; The Vine (white wine grapes, love) & Sang Noir, Elderberry & Strawberry, Honey Ginger Lime (strangely tasty, Phil wants to mix it with Gin, I don’t blame him) & Apricot (I very much so do dig), and the Kriek & Razberry Wheat. And then I moved to done with the (amazing) Summer Gose we had 3 nights ago in Seattle.
Revisiting 2 days later, fuck it; I’m having at the Saisons (Saison De La Maison, tropical fruit & spiciness; Saison Rogue, red saison, sweet fruitiness; Saison Minuit, black saison, chocolate, spices, sweet milk chocolate; Saison Fume, smoke gives way to bandaid phenolics, why do I have to taste them?), and now onto sours once more (Cherry Bourbonic Plague, sour cherry pie, crazy dark fruits; Barrel Aged Bruin, wood, sherry flavors, good Oud Bruin), and another Summer Gose.
All in all, Strawberry, Apricot, The Vine, Honey Ginger Lime, 2011 Kriek, Summer Gose, Barrel Aged Bruin, & Cherry Bourbonic Plague were the best of ‘em.
Board at the end of the bar listing charcuterie, cheese, hummus, soup & daily specials. I had the Italian vegetable soup with orzo, it was amazingly kickass. Phil had the cheese & fruit plate. It came with cherries, pickled things including a brussel sprout I was kind of freaked out by, and some honey he keeps going on about (best honey I’ve ever had!) I had planned on also taking in the cheese & fruit plate on the heels of the soup, but was preoccupied by sours; distracted, derailed, deceived.
And on the revisit, Janet & Ed ordered the cheese & fruit plate, so I got to try the crazy honey and fresh bell pepper hummus (excellent). And the soup is now a seafood chowder (clam, shrimp & crab). I am having a bowl.
Chill house. Lots of friendly folks all revved up for the brewer’s festival tomorrow and tomorrow; a picnic, parade, and 3 or 4 days of bad behaviors. Yeah man, sorry about dinner Jon. Good goddamn sourz things happening here.
11-21-2012 16:00:36 |
More by slander
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by at long last today...
Atmosphere is not this place's best feature. It has a very sterile vibe, with a bunch of metal picnic tables in the front area, some unimpressive booths to the left as you walk in, and a bar area with roughly 10 seats in the central back area. There is also one large overhead TV back by the bar, serving God alone knows what purpose (in fact, they actually put additional flat screen TV's out at night, and had a good size crowd watching Monday night football this evening). OK, so this place isn't going to win any style points for looks... but given what they're pouring on draft in this place, I'm pretty certain most folks are going to overlook that.
On this particular day they were pouring some 18 different beers on draft (you could also order 4 different bottles for take home or on premise consumpation). Things like the porter and pale ale come in imperial pints, while the gose and lower alcohol beers come in 12 ounce "teardrop" shaped glasses. The barrel aged sours all come in 8 ounce chalices. On this particular day the latter included things like Nightfall, Sang rouge and Sang noir, vlad and bourbonic plague. They also typically have 2 beers on at any one time that are poured right out of the wooden barrel. I kid you not, the barrels look as if they're simply tipped on their sides with a spigot stuck into them. I was told that the barrel beers have CO2 injected into them, which surprised me. I ordered a glass of Bain de Brugge, and appearance and mouthfeel-wise, I would have guessed for all the world that I was drinking cask conditioned beer. In any event, suffice it to say that the barrel room has a diverse and interesting selection of beers at any one time.
As for quality.... stuff like the Vine, Kriek, Sang Noir, Vlad and Bourbonic Plague are clearly world class and among the best beers made on the planet. That's readily apparent, and all the more so when one has the opportunity to try these great beers side by side. The sang noir was so incredibly good that I found myself saying something I've never ever done before after having my first glass of this incredible wild ale/sour beer: "I'd like to order another please!"
Service is hard to rate, and I'll readily admit that I'm probably not being entirely objective. The currrent bartender today has worked previously as a manager at Concordia and Laurelwood NW, and she was the bartender at Concordia back when I lived in the area and was a regular there. So it was a treat to see her again in the barrel room, and given her background, it's no surprise to say that she knows her stuff, and was very quick, efficient and friendly. So yeah, service here was pretty darn good today.
I'll be completely candid... the beer here is so damned good, and the selection so incredible, it's hard not to feel privileged just to be able to stop by this place. As for prices, I guess they're on the high side ($6 for an 8 ounce pour is pretty much the norm for the barrel aged sours), but considering what you're getting (beers aged in both wine and whiskey barrels with massive amounts of fruit added, and then an additional couple of years of barrel aging after that seems to be the norm), I thought the pricing was very fair.
Food. Yes they serve it; I didn't bother to order any. It was difficult to even think about food given the beer selection here. So I have no idea if it's good, bad or indifferent.
What can I say? From just a beer selection standpoint, it doesn't get much better than this. Very, very impressive.
10-11-2010 22:55:15 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
A: Stopped in here as they opened up on a Sunday. Already had plenty of customers. Pretty warming place, spacious and inviting.
Q: All Cascade Sours and Saisons are top notch. Not really a fan of everything else they do. Its good but not great. Between having exceptional Sours and average others I call it a good across the board.
S: The dude with the moustache working the beer was fun and on the job.
S: Plenty of sours, some you could get bottle, most I had at some point either draft elsewhere or bottle. However, the Saisons were good, one of them was a new treat for me. I had the Karma Citra. I wanted more but we were having car troubles and had to leave earlier than anticipated. Picked up a Vlad on the way out and a tee.
F: Did not try food, not sure of they had any.
05-16-2011 23:57:23 |
More by barleywinefiend
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
We spent a really long time here on a weekend trip to PDX. The barrelhouse is an attractive building with a nice new brick exterior, tons of outdoor picnic tables and tables/booths on the interior.
There are three tv's throughout the interior that were showing ncaa tournament games. The music selection on this particular night was pretty cheesy.
The tap list was ridiculous. My expectations were very high, and this place somehow obliterated them. Nearly 25 beers on tap, with a heavy focus on barrel aged sours. Blueberry, kriek, pater, sang noire, nouveaux, multiple other blueberry varietals, the vine, and on and on.
There were 3 bottles available for purchase - kriek, blueberry, sang royal.
The food was good, not great. A meat/cheese/pickle assortment was quite nice, but the sandwiches were pretty average.
Incredible place - will likely never go to Portland without stopping here.
03-26-2012 21:59:27 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Wow. This is a brewery that is serious about their beers, particularly sour beers. A fairly small place, the bar hold about 10 people with tables and chairs for several more. Basic no-nonsense decor, with tap handles jutting out from large barrels in the wall. Service was friendly and generally attentive. Lots of good beer to choose from with an emphasis on aged/vintage sour ales. There were two "live" ales on tap when I visited, and they were great as well. A few pale ale and porter selections for the more tender-palated. Food was decent, but definitely overpriced. I would definitely call this a must-hit place when visiting the area.
12-30-2011 04:32:37 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
My last stop in Portland, as I was able to make it here on a Tuesday night when there were specials and more beers, which I was told when I visited the other location. The quality of the beers was exceptional as expected and was amused by the urban animal grazing project across the street. Sampled everything there and prices where a little higher than other places, but you have to pay for quality. Staff seemed knowlegable, but not particularly neighborly... a recurring theme in Portland. On the flip side, it would make a nice place for a leisurely evening and one could drink out front on the terrace. Other than Hair of the Dog, a must stop for any true beer geek.
12-03-2011 06:06:31 |
More by MilwaukeeCrusher
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Diagonal from the Green Dragon in East Portland...or whatever you call it. Large open doors connect the outside seating to the inside. Row of booths along the inside left side. Small bar.
Good selection for sour beers, all have a different twist and are pretty darn good. I had several, but too much sour for and I'm not feeling well. So i stopped.
Service isn't not good, but a bit "quippy". No worries, but some people could be persuaded to leave b/c of this. Not me. I had beer to drink.
Nice prices, although the samples were petite for the price. If you're there to sample all of their beers, better split it between days. It's either a pint or a thimble. Food? Not sure...
07-26-2012 06:50:10 |
More by Mebuzzard
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Limited street parking though you could take your chances in the Grand Central off-street lot next store. Interior features 3 flat screen TVs, 10 seat stainless steel bar, 6 picnic tables and about a half dozen booths, with about 10 picnic tables outside in the converted parking lot, nice use of muted earthtones with several barrels featured prominently behind the bar. The beer is the key here, this is got to be the center of the American Wild/Sour Beer universe in the US, it's hard to imagine a better selection. Service is pretty good, the bar staff is knowledgeable, though the wait staff was still going through a shakedown period. Limited space can't do the selection justice, while there were several one-offs available, Bourbon Plaque, Vlad the Impeller and Sang Noir on tap gives an idea of the tremendous quality. Food features some sandwiches, soups, salads and small plates of nuts, meats, etc. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the food. The most expensive beer on the menu was $6.50, a friggin' bargain. Kudos to Art and Ron for the diligence and vision for making this former produce warehouse into what will undoubtedly be a world class beer destination and a shrine to American Wild Ales. Absolutely essential for fans of the style.
10-29-2010 03:45:02 |
More by jdense
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My buddy and I spent over 3 hours chilling at the Cascade Brewing Barrel House one day this past weekend. The place is situated in a fairly commercial area close to the downtown bridges. Plenty of parking in the corner lot on the left side of the establishment. Lots of outdoor tables with shade umbrella's and a handicap accessible ramp that brings you inside a nice open front bar. Inside you find about 4 booth tables, about 4 round tables, 6 medium sized picnic tables, and about 8-10 bar seats. The bar stools are a really attractive brushed aluminum color which match the brushed aluminum hoops on the decorative wooden barrels that are scattered throughout the place. Our server Amber did a good job attending to us and was beer knowledgeable. The beer menu had some great house choices offered with several pour sizes. The food menu offered some nice small plates and medium plates and the ones we ordered had nice plate presentation plus were fresh and tasty.
09-06-2011 06:04:41 |
More by koopa
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Went here on pre-opening day. Wow!
Been waiting for this for a long time. The interior is great. The exterior patio will be awesome in the summer.
The list was extensive. What an amazing opportunity to be able to get sours on tap fresh and accessible. When you don't want to buy a $20 american wild ale, this is the place to go.
The barrels weren't ready to go yet but I'll be eager to try those out once I can make it back.
The location is a bit buried and hard to find. I worry this will hurt them in the long run.
I didn't try any food. The menu looked decent.
The service was on point. Everyone was friendly and attentive.
Having the doors open on a nice day let in tons of natural light.
The bar stools and tables are nice.
There are plenty of TVs to watch sports. Quite nice!
My only critique is the font and the design of shirts. As a graphic designer, it makes me want to puke.
I digress...awesome place. Highly recommended!!! Very welcome addition to Portland. Been a long time coming.
Atmosphere is good...only thing it needs is an air hockey table or pinball or something to make you want to stay around.
10-17-2010 18:40:45 |
More by djbreezy
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Cascade Brewing Barrel House in Portland, OR
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