Horse Brass Pub
Taps: 74 / Bottles: 26
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 96 | Show All Ratings:
3.68/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have mixed feelings about this place. When I first moved to PDX this was one of my favorite sports, but over time it has fallen a bit out of favor, mostly because of the terrible service. There has only been one time in countless trips that the service has been up to standard for everywhere else in town.
The selection is usually pretty solid but since they are pretty web phobic I never really know what I'm going to get into when I arrive. This can be pretty frustrating and it's surprising that in 2010 they aren't more communicative.
Otherwise, the fish and chips are to die for, and the history of the place is amazing.
03-14-2010 05:46:41 | More by squaremile
4.18/5 rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
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
4.43/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The atmosphere is my favorite part of the Horse Brass...especially since smoking was banned indoors in Oregon. Awesome decor on the walls...pictures...beer related signage, etc. Lots of wood and a very weathered and comfortable feel. The lighting is not too bright, which is always nice.
There are some dart boards and chalk boards to keep score. The dart boards are cork, as they should be.
There are many different table types and plenty of seating. Not too many health food selections on the menu, but definitely delicious pub food to be had. A good selection on the menu.
My favorite event at the Horse Brass was the 06/07/08 vertical tasting of Abyss. Pretty awesome and a rare opportunity.
02-19-2010 02:54:31 | More by djbreezy
4.38/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Third stop on a two day beer tour of Portland.
Place was busy but didn't feel crowded. Service was good -- prompt, no errors, attentive, called a cab for us.
An excellent selection of very good beers on tap (a little of the "kid in a candy store" feel). Lots of local stuff, some obscure and hard to find stuff, some big name stuff, all over the board. Whatever you like, you can find something there.
We had the fish and chips, and I will probably have the fish and chips each and every time I go back. They're the best I've ever tasted.
02-02-2010 15:11:57 | More by snaotheus
4.03/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$$
one of the last stops on le grand tour de la citie des ponts. the city of bridges is always good to us, although they did kick us out last time, and rightly so. bartender was a good man, we were there during the daytime on a monday after a tour of bridgeport. the selection was indeed splendid, a match of everything from a traditional english ale to some of the newer bolder american models (we do what we do). they had a fresh batch of pliny but, bored with that, i went for the double rocket from bear republic, which i'd not had before. a lot of fun stuff, some good stuff, some standard stuff, some bottled bullcrap. a little something for everyone. darts, pool, no tvs. what a bar should be.
the food was very average pub food. i wanted a burger, i got a burger, it was pretty good. win-win.
the regular mail-lady for that area is enormous
ly attractive. hi-5!
01-31-2010 05:21:46 | More by olympuszymurgus
4.3/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I really like the horse brass these days. My first visit was before the smoking ban, and while I enjoyed it then, there were too many other good options in town that were smoke free, so I didn't return until later. Now it's a regular stop for me.
I love the atmosphere here. It's a dark, cozy, unpretentious, english style pub. While this bar is fairly large, it's usually relatively full, with both customers and cheer. Most of the decor is vintage UK breweriana, with some older oregon brewery stuff for good measure.
The quality for both food and drink is very good. While there are a pretty extensive number of taps, you'll only find craft micro's and imports on the list. The halibut fish and chips is my favorite in town (sorry hawthorne fish house!), and the daily specials never disappoint. On numerous visits, I couldn't help buy feel like I was eating a good hearty home cooked meal.
The service here is generally pretty good, but when it's busy, it can get a little slow. Any time I've had a question about a beer, the bartenders and servers have been knowledgeable about the products their serving.
The selection here is constantly changing, but is generally pretty great. My only pliny the younger was from the brass. They are the only place in town that got russian river publication. Their deschutesapalooza event had more vintage deschutes beers than deschutes has ever had on tap in their own pub.
I already mentioned the food, but I'll go one step further. If I'm on the east side, and want good beer AND food, this is usually my pick. I think the food is always solid, and you can't beat the prices on it either - leaves more for beer!
That brings me to value. I think the beers are always priced right, and the food prices are even better. Combined with the atmosphere, quality, and service, I'm never unhappy when I get my tab.
If I had to complain about the horse brass, there are a couple of things I could see improved.
While they get some great beers in, and I've never come in without seeing something that I really wanted to try, it seems like the overall quality of the tap list has slipped a little bit. All good stuff, but not always all GREAT stuff. This could just be due to my tastes in beer, and how far I've come in my beer journey though. What I mean is that maybe it's as good as it ever was, but I'm just harder to impress these days. Also, when it comes to the selection; it often seems like the taplist is lacking a little balance. Lately, if you're a hophead, there are tons of great IPA's to choose from, but if you're into other styles, you'll have far fewer to choose from.
Still, complaints aside, I like the horsebrass, and visit it as often or more so than the other beer bars in town.
11-21-2009 03:21:46 | More by portlandjeff
3.53/5 rDev -17.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$
Well, this review will have a ying/yang quality to it. On balance I am not sure where I stand on the Horse Brass. The beer selection and atmosphere were awesome. Among the elite. However the food and service were just terrible. I simply can't explain how bad our server was. There is a restaurant in Boston where the servers are intentionally supposed to be grouchy and mean to customers. I almost got the sense that this was the case at Horse Brass as well. I can assure you I went with one other person and we just came from a business meeting. So we were not acting out of line or intoxicated at all. The server had a bad attitude, would barely engage us or answer any questions.
The guest tap list and regular tap offerings were awesome. The beer was/is clearly top notch. We had a chicken pot pie and also a grilled chicken sandwich. The sandwich was passable the pot pie was terrible.
This place does look like a genuine British Pub and as mentioned above the atmosphere was fantastic.
My strong suggestion is to sit at the bar and eat either before or after you visit the Horse Brass. This is what I'll do on my next visit to Portland.
11-11-2009 15:39:48 | More by Reagan1984
4.45/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
My initial impression of Horse Brass was different than my expectations: that it would be a dark and dank hole-in-the-wall with a lack of adequate space for its many loyal patrons and beer tourists. Now, it is dark, but the space is much, much larger than I had expected. Quite comfortable, actually. The large bar is centrally located among numerous tables and seating areas. Brewerania abounds (on the bar, walls, and ceiling) enveloping the many beer drinkers. Tons of character. All ages of customers were seen enjoying their pints.
No problems with service. We sat at a table and didn't really get a chance to chat beer with our server. But he was attentive and helpful with anything that we needed
Ginormous tap selection of Pacific NW and West Coast offerings with a few European choices sprinkled in. It's easy to get lost in the numerous quality beers at your disposal. Knowing I'd probably never have the chance again, I went with Russian River Publication while the wife had the Portland standy, HOTD Fred. Several casks to choose from as well.
UK inspired food menu. The Scotch egg and Shepherd's Pie treated us well.
To sum it up, Horse Brass is a must visit for the craft beer enthusiast. A classic pub...one of the best in the country.
09-18-2009 18:48:59 | More by wolffman17
4.35/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Here's a little piece of England, buried in SE, with some Oregon flair. When you walk in you're presented with a setting that should be familiar to you if you've ever been to a pub in the UK, with the exception of the insane number of beers from all over the place.
The bartender will hand you two menus: the 'normal' menu, of which everything is basically always there, the secod is the 'specials', which contains hand written notes and slashes through the kegs killed since the flier was printed (which is usually not that long). The selection is downright great, with their house beer being an ESB from Rogue, you know you can't go wrong. Last time I was in there i had the Ft George IPA (yum) and their house stout, Hogs Back, from Mt Hood in Government Camp.
09-06-2009 06:30:12 | More by chwilliams
4.36/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here as the last stop for our night in Portland. It was on the to do list but my friend there insisted we spend some time there. It didn't disappoint! Real cool looking old building, great pub atmosphere inside. Lots of wood, big bar, didn't really see any TV's, friendly patrons and staff. Had a few pints and can't remember exactly what I had, but the Leafer Madness on cask was pretty delicious. Definitely a top notch tap list, good service, and just a really cool vibe all around. One of the better US pubs I've been to. Didn't try the food but it looked reasonably priced, and the pints were definitely good value. This is a must stop for anyone in Portland.
08-27-2009 20:35:35 | More by Viggo
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Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR
95 out of 100 based on 100 user ratings.