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Tugboat Brewing Company
Active Beers: 5
Beer Ratings: 21
Beer Avg: 3.59
Taps: 15 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
711 SW Ankeny St
phone: (503) 226-2508
Tue-Thu: 4pm-12 midnight
Fri - Sat: 4pm-1am
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $
Day 2 & Stop 2 of the Portland Pub Crawl. With the door shut, the place looks like a back alley movie theater. When you walk in, it looks like grandma's house. Old, dusty, and lots of worn books. But...that's the charm of the place. It's a dive brewpub that works. Greeted when we walked in by a nice bartender and a local. I went with the Chernoybl Stout in a 8 oz glass, and both commended my choice. My wife had the porter. Pretty good selection of beers, and quite a lot of guest beers available also. There were a few items on the food menu. Grabbed a booth seat, and noticed all the board gamed. Ended up playing "Operation" for half an hour. It was quiet, the beers were cheap, we had a good time in this darkly lit place. I applaud this place for being different and downtown.
07-17-2009 23:39:26 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$
We went here for one reason and that is because we noticed it was right across from Bailey's, otherwise we probably would not have stopped, would have been fine with it either way after visiting, this was a weird place inside, books lining the walls, old wooden tables with big booths, very dark inside, looked like bands play often with some kind of stage area in the back of the establishment, run down bar area, did not seem like any brewing went on here, bathrooms were disgusting to put it lightly, we each had a glass of the Chernobyl Stout, a ten ounce pour was a little over five dollars, it was a damn good beer, at thirteen percent it really packed a punch, they had a few of their own brews on tap in here, also a few Alameda offerings, the one guy working at time was pretty rude and in a hurry even though nobody else was in there, probably would never go back, did not try any of their other beers but heard that the one we had is the only real reason to step foot in this place, might be worth visiting
06-09-2009 02:46:59 |
More by Floydster
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
The Little Brewery that Could....
Last stop before the TV on the Radio Show. One of Oregon's smallest breweries. While I didn't try any of the house brews, the Chernobyl Stout bomb (13% abv!) appeared to be the flagship, though served in small doses. The barkeep seemed to be genuinely enjoying his job, and making sure all the customers got a beer that would make them happy, serving out tasters to those unsure of what to order. The atmosphere was ultra-cool, a jazz quartet that was laying down some hot licks, the perfect prelude to the show. Suffers from same parking problems as its neighbor, Bailey's. I'd definitely recommend doing both of these stops in one tour, and will be curious how other BAs think they stack up to one another. A pretty cool little spot worth checking out.
05-24-2009 15:49:06 |
More by jdense
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $
This place has three things going for it:
1) its a cozy little hole in the wall place that has the feel of a cafe.
2) its a small brewpub that also has some guest taps. A perfect combo if you ask me.
3) its located 15 feet from Bailey's Taproom.
I liked the feel of Tugboat, nice and comfortable interior.
Beer selection was modest, the beers they brew are all rather bland except for their 13% imperial stout which is the stand out for sure.
Food was basic, we got some nachos that weren't bad but not great.
The service was pretty weak if you ask me. Only bar service and cash only make it sort of unfriendly to begin with. Also, the bartender gave a friend I was with a hard time for mentioned the word "thick" when referring to stouts and porters. She was lambasted for not knowing proper beer terminology. That was a turnoff as well.
Worth stopping in for a beer as its close to proximity to Bailey's Taproom makes it pretty convenient.
02-19-2009 18:48:40 |
More by indiapaleale
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
A hole in the wall with good food and good beer. The ambiance is just right, dark and cozy, with a lamp at my booth to read a book. The cheese ravioli in marinara sauce was perfect comfort food, and the coffee brown ale was on point--modest, drinkable, tasty--and I don't even like brown ales generally.
I'm not sure what other reviewers are expecting, but a hole in the wall with house-brewed beer is great in my book, there are enough overpriced fancy beer places that take themselves too seriously back home.
09-18-2008 16:01:22 |
More by akahn
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $$
Ok enough with the smoking shit especially when most places in Portland don't allow it. This is a dark small bar that doesn't have much going for it. The house beers are pretty crappy with weird inbalances and some nasty finishes. The guest beers are OK and for sure the ones to drink. Food is uninspired and the service is too tied up with hanging out with the regulars. With all the great places in Portland (Baileys is across the street) this is worth a miss. Get rid of the smoking and improve your house beers and then I might return.
08-01-2008 00:16:04 |
More by canucklehead
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
Even being from Seattle, i consider Portland to be something of a brew pub mecca. I first spotted Tug Boat a couple years ago while I was employed on a boat and not "allowed" to drink. I followed the rules and didn't drink, but I was intrigued -- the location is great, sort of hidden away. The space is awesome, too -- dark, cozy, walls lined with books, and while I don't generally like televisions in bars, this one was at least playing cool shit -- Planet Earth, no less. Beautiful.
Unfortunately, beauty is only skin deep, and with brew pubs as with everything else, you find the good, the bad, and the ugly. And once I cut through the things that drew me in, Tug Boat became downright repulsive.
The beers were so-so. Nothing offensive about them, but nothing that tasted particularly good, either. The best one I had was the porter, but I'd take a Black Butte over it any day. Okay, so now I know why they're only $3 per pint. Three bucks seems pretty cheap up front, but I would gladly have paid five for a better beer.
What WAS offensive, however, was the bartender's attitude toward beer. This guy used the same glass for all of my beers (except the 14% ABV RIS) all night long. When I asked for a taste of something (not to be mentioned because it's not worth buying) he refused until I finished my current beer on the grounds that he'd have to use an extra glass, and that meant another glass to wash!
Tugboat occupies a great space. The atmosphere is awesome, they have a sweet collection of games to play while you're there, and it's in a nice location, central but still sort of tucked away. What really bothers me about it is their cavalier attitude toward their beer and service. They should improve the quality of the beer, charge accordingly for it, and move their dishwasher so the bartenders don't have to leave the bar to go wash glasses -- which my bartender explained as his reason for reusing glasses.
I want to like Tugboat, but I can't. I wish I'd read all the reviews here before going.
04-14-2008 16:40:03 |
More by chuchoteur
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5 | $
This place is super smokey on weekend nights, but otherwise has a good atmosphere, really dark and dank, walls lined with bookshelves stuffed with old books and odd photos, a tiny corner stage that usally has some spacy atmospheric type jam rock or jazz muscian/band. The bar is small and most of their beer is pretty bad for the most part. They usually have a handful of local guest taps which are always a better choice, as well as a few macro type euros. Service is just one bar tender but usually not a problem. Selection is ok, usually low on their on beers but no worries because the guests are always better. The food is not to hot, not a great selection either (5-6 total things, usually 1 entree, no real kitchen), although last time I was there, we had a cheese and fruit tray that was much better then the thai chicken skewers we had the visit before. Pretty cheap prices though, but cash only. Worth a quick duck in for the atmosphere if your looking for some live music but the real beer is next door at Bailey's.
01-29-2008 22:09:10 |
More by ccrida
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Long damn day. As if the Oregon Brewer's Festival didn't put a hurting on us, it happily coincided with the "on the down low, have to know about it, HOTD open house" (where I got to shoot the shit with Fred). Psycho cabbie ran us back afterwards, but we had some time yet before din at Higgins. Everybody was feeling festival finir, so it made perfect sense that we should hunt out a brewpub instead to hold up at for a bit...
A small 5 seat cornerish bar as you enter, Hard to get a fix as not everything's currently on, but it seems like about a dozen and a half taps on the bar back below mirrored backing, blackboards above listing the selections in colored chalk, Shelved wines and growlers, and a large inner wall of bookshelves running from the end of the bar. Some local art, plants, speakers, license plates, large paintings, and then brewery shirts displayed to both sides of a center neon clock, another blackboard off to the right displaying the food menu a la Tex Mex. 7 booths "L" along the front and side walls and 6 tables spotting the floor in between. Tight. Small lamps to the booths and drop lamps over the bar. A small stage area to the rear inside corner and bookshelves on both walls.
5 house taps and a house cask offering, and 10 guest taps on just now. Taking in the sampler of the house beers ('cause that's what you do), we got vague information about what was currently on, but it seems that we got the Hop Gold (APA), Tugboat's Anchor (Amber?), Hop Red (Dark Red?), Porter Schmorter, Chernobyl Stout (Russian Impy), and the cask ESB. The Porter was nicely roasty, the best of the lot, along with the Cask ESB, which was quite smooth, but the Stout was bitter (Ken says it comes in at 13%, I don't know about that), the Dark Red was off, and overall, the beers were really just not what you would call, um, you know, good. Assertions of "everything's infected" and "the system's all wrong" were offered up.
The guest taps include some locals (Caldera Dry Hop Orange, Cascade Belgian Tripel) and regionals (Alaskan Amber, Anchor Porter & Liberty), and then imports fair to midland (Warsteiner Dunkel & Lager, Guinness, Stella), and a cider.
Truth be told, we would have done better to hit the festival for another hour instead of coming here.
10-28-2007 20:32:55 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$
This place is recommended only for its atmosphere...dark and shadowy, with old books lining the walls and some seafaring props just to top it off. Booths line the walls, tables scattered about in the middle. I don't usually care for smoky pubs, but Tugboat had just a small bit, which I admit adds something to the vibe. An extremely comfortable and unpretentious atmosphere, I may have even given a 5 if the air would've been clear of smoke.
Now...to the other stuff. Foodwise, we only got the nachos, which were good if a bit average. I could do better at home. The selection of beers isn't that exciting. With 4 or so of their own brews offered against an unimpressive list of guest taps. The best was Alaskan Amber, and I went for it. The rest were either totally common or ho-hum, which doesn't fly in this town.
The house beers are intolerable, reckless sub-homebrew disasters. I got my lips on three of their offerings (the stout, the porter, and the hoppy thing) and found them appalling. I can and have done better at home.
Duck in for the atmosphere, get yourself the best of their guest beers, play some Scrabble with a total stranger (we did), and then go across the street to Bailey's Taproom for a real beer adventure.
10-07-2007 19:11:02 |
More by Metalmonk
Tugboat Brewing Company in Portland, OR
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