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Horse Brass Pub
Taps: 74 / Bottles: 26
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4534 SE Belmont St
phone: (503) 232-2202
Weekdays: 11:00am -2:30am
Weekends: 9:00am - 2:30am
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Pretty much everything I could say about this place has already been said. Basically, if you're a beer geek, you won't be disappointed in the Horse Brass.
The vibe is low-key, the food is very good and the beer selection, which is the most important thing, is top notch.
I've never been here on a weekend night, so I can't comment on how crowded it may or may not get, but every time I've visited I've had no problem finding a seat or getting service.
I"d echo what a lot of other people feel about this place: The Horse Brass Pub is a must-visit beer institution if you're a beer geek living in, around or visiting Portland.
03-01-2011 19:58:49 |
More by guajolote
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
After much BA research I decided this place was a can't miss during my business trip to Ptown. Took a cabbbie down on Friday about 7pm and the place was nuts to butts. Found an open chair at the bar and swiftly struck up conversation with a fellow BA. Awesome freaking tap list with blind pig and some racer 5 on cask. Fish and chips were delish. I really hope this institution continues its awesomeness in the absence of Mr. Younger. For a Guy from Iowa the Portland scene is just unreal. This place is highly regarded as an institution and it should be. If you have not been here you need to check it out.
02-13-2011 07:36:40 |
More by clonebrewer
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I was just looking for my review, and realized...damn...I've never written one. Within 12 hours (or so) of the Immortal Don Younger's passing, I'll post now.
Between the years 1999 (when we moved to Portland) and 2008, I could count the visits to the venerable Horse Brass on one hand (well, maybe two), despite being a burgeoning fan of craft beer. Something about the smoke, er, I mean the ~~~SMOKE~~~. As a lover of clean air I guess we chose to avoid the place for it's acrid layer of fogginess... and that was OK.
After a Jan 1, 2009 ban on all things smoky + indoors, things changed; we actually LOVED The Horse Brass (despite the protests of publican Younger and his veiled threats to close the place should the banning law pass). We visited the Horse Brass at least once a month since.
So here you have, in my opinion, what could be the most 'authentic-feeling' pub this side of England. Behind an unassuming facade of red brick lies a true gem: blackened wood floors, nooks and crannies galore, booths and benches, yellowed club banners and dart boards. It's a thirty (plus)-year-old pub that feels every bit of a hundred-year-old pub. Behind a mug-strewn, fairly untidy bulk of a bar, 50 or so taps and a healthy selection of cask handles are all manned by an able and often affable barman. Often Mr. Younger was found occupying a stool 'round the right end of the bar. A dark (and frankly kinda dingy) feel, but 'real'...
Horse Brass has its fair assortment of 'house' beers, among them those of Hair of the Dog; it's one of the few places you can always procure a pint of Blue Dot IPA. Besides that, the regular assortment of fine British cask ales can't be beat. Never look at the on-line (of late) taplist, because it's liable to have changed a few times over.
For all the times, I've visited (whether for the occasional Pub Night, the tour for the out of town guest, the late-afternoon 'lunch' or whatever) I've never been anything less than 'comfortable'. Entering Horse Brass feels like 'home' for a beer-drinker, and lovely, oft greasy, comfort foods like the infamous Scotch Egg or, frankly gorgeous, Fish & Chips only extend that vibe.
An institution, and a 'must-visit', when in Portland. It'll just be a little lonelier now that Don's physical presence isn't lingering at the bar... though I trust his spirit will hang around a long, long while...
01-31-2011 21:59:08 |
More by msubulldog25
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
A knockout joint really without being distinctive in any individual category (except being a damn good value!). Good selection of brews, and pricing is very solid. I mean, $5 for an imperial of Fred? That's stupid cheap and invites wanton debauchery. Solid pub fare (scotch eggs!) that delivers the necessary satisfaction for a style that will never wow, but does so veeery affordably. This place is cheap for what you get. Atmosphere is warming and comfortable. Nailed the pub feel. Service was slow/mediocre but knowledgeable which compensates somewhat.
11-26-2010 04:44:04 |
More by oregone
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Great selection of ales, both local and regional. It was also refreshing to have a server know something about the beers, and to recommend an IPA from actual drinking experience. Full Imperial pints were served as well, which is the way it should be.
Atmosphere was a bit run down compared to what I was expecting but it had plenty of personality nonetheless. Restrooms could use some improvement.
Food was alright as far as the boxty goes, and dessert too. Prices were within normal range for Portland area. Easy to find location.
07-26-2010 00:56:24 |
More by yemenmocha
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A dimly lit English style pub. About 40 draughts and usually a couple casks. The majority of the beers are local to the area and aren't extremely hard to find, but still fairly impressive. Come here to unwind, shoot some darts, and have a couple of pints. Had my first Pliny the Elder here!
Bartenders are not rude, but kind of quiet and uneventful. I've never actually had any food here, have no idea if its good or not.
Pliny, Blind Pig, Tricerahops, Hop Lava...Cask version of the Youngers Special Bitter is hard to find anywhere else and it's pretty good.
04-25-2010 19:03:47 |
More by MURF0320
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visited the Horse Brass Pub for lunch while in Portland on business.
This place is located in a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood. The building itself is pretty nondescript form the outside...judging from the architecture and small amount of signage you would never know there was a pub inside unless you already knew about it.
Entering was like stepping into another world. Very dim lighting, lots of well worn woodwork, and loads of English pennants and other "bits and bobs" hanging around. A real dartboard in the corner, English style bar with 25 taps or so, and no TVs in sight. Great atmosphere!
The beer list was not overly huge, and there was some pedestrian stuff on there, but there was also some real gems in there too. I had one of the better pints of porter I have ever tasted and my wife had a pint of bitter. The food was authentic English pub food (scotch eggs, fish and chips, ploughman's lunch, boxty's, etc).
Service was fine, but then again the place was mostly empty on my visit. Prices were extremely fair. All in all a great place that probably deserves the legendary status it has in the beer world.
04-02-2010 19:54:21 |
More by spointon
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Finally made it to the famous Horse Brass Pub! So you walk in through some Iron Gates and through an old wooden door into what I would imagine it would be like to walk into a true English pub...noisy, busy, a bit dark and very rustic. The bar has probably thirty taps along with some basic liquor available for shots but no mixed drinks or anything. The decor is very old and rustic and English, lots of English flags on the ceilings. A dart board in the corner with a chalkboard to keep score on. The furniture is all wooden and worn, very rustic. The quality of the taplist is good, I would say it was great but honestly the variety wasn't all that impressive. Lots of IPA's (typical of the NW) and a few seasonals and a couple of standouts (Supplication) but I was surprised to realize I had tasted the majority of what they had on tap. Our waitress was prompt with our order but after our beer and food came she was like a ghost, tough to track down for a second beer and when we needed the check. The food was pretty cool in that it was true, traditional English pub food. I had the fish and chips of course and they were delicious! Nothing mind blowing but everything you'd want/expect from a pub. The prices were very reasonable...all in all it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back!
03-15-2010 07:31:10 |
More by RedBrewer83
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have mixed feelings about this place. When I first moved to PDX this was one of my favorite sports, but over time it has fallen a bit out of favor, mostly because of the terrible service. There has only been one time in countless trips that the service has been up to standard for everywhere else in town.
The selection is usually pretty solid but since they are pretty web phobic I never really know what I'm going to get into when I arrive. This can be pretty frustrating and it's surprising that in 2010 they aren't more communicative.
Otherwise, the fish and chips are to die for, and the history of the place is amazing.
03-14-2010 05:46:41 |
More by squaremile
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Went here on a recommendation from a fellow beer lover who goes to Portland frequently and were not disappointed. Horse Brass is located on the east side of the city on Belmont off route 30/84. Parking can be found on the surrounding streets.
The inside was absolutely packed on a weekday night. There is communal seating and tables from wall to wall, and a wraparound bar that occupies 2 of the rooms. There are darts in the back too. The place is dark with a lot of wood and British-inspired decor.
The beer selection at Horse Brass is very substantial and changes regularly. There are around 50 brews on tap from regional brewers like Caldera, Speakeasy, Elysian, HUB, Laurelwood, Deschutes and others. They also have a few import taps from Germany, Scotland, Belgium and others. Cask beer is also available. The bottle list is fairly extensive as well with many of the same brewers represented. There are beer menus on the tables that show a (mostly) up to date list.
Service was about as good as can be expected considering the place was overflowing with people. Our server was helpful in letting us know what changes had occurred on the beer menu and made good food recommendations.
As for the food, it is very good. We tried a Scotch Egg based on a recommendation and it was awesome. Our bangers and mash and fish and chips were very good as well.
Overall the Horse Brass is high on the list of places to hit in Portland.
03-09-2010 19:12:12 |
More by Dogbrick
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