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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
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
711 SW Ankeny St
phone: (503) 226-2508
Tue-Thu: 4pm-12 midnight
Fri - Sat: 4pm-1am
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
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: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
First tried to stop in this place on July 3 around 10:00 pm, and we were told they were closing. Night before a holiday and they are closing ? Must be a west coast thing. Stopped in later in the week to check it out after dinner.
The atmosphere is like a old, dark library as there are plenty of books lining the walls. The place was very dark and smallish with a handful of tables. A stage at the back of the room is for live music. The bar was also small, as only 6 stools were there.
The barkeep was an older gentleman who seemed a bit quirky, but served us quickly and described the beers. Problem is there was only an ESB, Red, Stout, and IPA available. The beers we had were dull and bland. Not impressed at all.
The few food items looked awful, but I will not give a score since I didn't eat.
Our stay was short, and this place can be easily passed with all the other good places in town.
07-12-2006 11:32:08 |
More by Gavage
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
A: Different. Walked in and it was pretty busy. We found a small table upfront by the bar. So much talking we could not hardly hear ourselves talk. Pretty "radiant". Almost looked like an old bookstore.
Q: I ad the Chernobyl Stout and I thought it was better than the ratings reflected
S: Not bad. I walked up got a beer, not slow, no attitude so I was happy
S: Could not recall how many beers but i thought maybe 8 to 10?? A range of Stouts, IPas and usual suspects. nothing to mindblowing
F: No try
05-17-2011 00:16:16 |
More by barleywinefiend
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 | $$
We went here for one reason and that is because we noticed it was right across from Bailey's, otherwise we probably would not have stopped, would have been fine with it either way after visiting, this was a weird place inside, books lining the walls, old wooden tables with big booths, very dark inside, looked like bands play often with some kind of stage area in the back of the establishment, run down bar area, did not seem like any brewing went on here, bathrooms were disgusting to put it lightly, we each had a glass of the Chernobyl Stout, a ten ounce pour was a little over five dollars, it was a damn good beer, at thirteen percent it really packed a punch, they had a few of their own brews on tap in here, also a few Alameda offerings, the one guy working at time was pretty rude and in a hurry even though nobody else was in there, probably would never go back, did not try any of their other beers but heard that the one we had is the only real reason to step foot in this place, might be worth visiting
06-09-2009 02:46:59 |
More by Floydster
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2 | $$
TBC is tucked away on tiny Ankeny Street, which is more like an alley. It's just off SW Broadway, next to El Grillo and around the corner from Mary's Club. Someone could easily walk past this unassuming bar/brewery, with only a small sign on the solid wood door and some generic neon signage indicating its presence. Windows line the storefront but any view inside the dark interior is mostly obscured by blinds drawn low or by the numerous plants potted along the window sill.
Inside the door is a bit of a step back in time, a musty, smoky den of a bar. Exceedingly dark (especially after leaving a gorgeous early-August afternoon sun outside), the room is subtly lit by a shadowy indirect light sneaking through the windows and by little lamps at each of the tables. The perimeter of the room lined with wood booths and upholstered seats, with a few large barstools in front of the corner bar. Walls are a textured plaster, painted yellow (or is that smoke-stained?) but are covered in many places with book-filled shelves, old photos and all sorts of odd & ends. The place feels both blue collar and bohemian all at the same time - completely comfortable and full of character (though kinda seedy, too). In the far corner is a small stage for live music, which they frequently have at night.
Service comes in the form of a friendly greeting from the young woman tending bar. She greeted me with a cheerful "How's your week?" and some chitchat, while pouring me a pint of the house Amber. The chalkboards above the bar list prices and available drafts. On this day, there were 4 available drafts from Tugboat (Golden, Amber, Dark House (or Horse? couldn't read the script hardwriting very well) and Chernobyl Stout. A handful of "guests" included: Alaskan Amber, Anchor Steam & Porter, Warsteiner Lager & Dunkel, Stella Artois, Guinness and Caldera Dry Hop Orange. Happy Hours occur Mon-Fri, from 4-7pm. Prices during those times are $2.50 for house pints and $3 for "import" beers and wines.
I have tried beers here on a couple of occasions and have been unimpressed with the quality - this day was more of the same. Amber was very bitter and sharp tasting with some other flavors that made me think it was off. On other occasions have had their Stout and a Doppelbock which were also not very good. Typically have tried one of Tugboat's beers than have moved on to one of the guest taps, which typically have at least a few solid choices. Food menu listed on the wall was a small array of pasta or tex-mex dishes. Wasn't in the mood for food so I passed. Prices looked ok, but I didn't see anyone else eating.
All in all, Tugboat is a winner based on atmosphere and friendly service. Unfortunately for the BA looking for quality beer and selection, I'm afraid this isn't the place.
08-07-2006 21:49:02 |
More by msubulldog25
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4
Tugboat Brewing is a cozy, one room pub with a bohemian air. It sits off a tiny back street in a neighborhood that bears the ironic circumstance of being a haven for itinerant street life while just two blocks from the major downtown hotels. Welcome to Portland.
Books line the walls. People sit and play a variety of games (chess, cards, scrabble), and a small jazz combo is likely to be on stage most nights. No cover charge, no TV, no pool. Tugboat has nine house taps and nine guest taps, though on my most recent visit only two house beers were available. They are of varying quality, potency and style. A beer engine occasionally pours a cask-conditioned brown ale described by the bartender as, "An English beer served warm and flat."
Tugboat is eclectic and cool. It's real dark -- mostly candle lit -- and so small, the band never needs amplification. The tables are varnished park benches with small floral cuttings in empty French pop bottles. Food is limited to nachos, pasta, or a burrito, each prepared in several different ways. Guest taps represent regional Northwest beers, but also Bass, Boddington's and Tecate, which Ive never seen on tap elsewhere. A sizable selection of wine is also available.
Tugboat is a great place for poets, jazz fans, beatniks, literary types, and anyone with an open mind looking for some genuine atmosphere. The house beers are hit-or-miss but some are quite good and worth seeking. Can be a bit smoky. $2.00 pints on Monday and $2.00 house beers on Weds. Closed Sunday.
03-07-2004 02:15:05 |
More by RedDiamond
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
This laid back little place is right across the street from Bailey's Taproom.
It's like a small old library in an old woman's estate. Wood shingles, bookshelves, small lamps on the tables. Cozy. The bar is tiny - seating for only 4 or 5 people. They had 6 on tap brewed by them, plus 13 others, mostly from Oregon. Decent selection.
The bartender was friendly and sometimes talkative, but seemed somewhat disinterested. He didn't really know too much about the beers they had available.
Very cheap happy hour beer - $3 pints of anything.
Nice stop, especially when combined with Bailey's.
07-03-2010 13:45:32 |
More by shivtim
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Located directly across the street from Bailey's.
Upon entering, it is clear that this is a unique place. The decor is an eclectic combination of antiques and garage sale salvages with the random bookshelf and beat up piano.
The bar itself was very small, with a half dozen or so seats.
The beer list was limited, and there were only two house beers pouring at a time. I get the impression that the brewer brews as his schedule permits.
The bartender was very nice and talkative and there was free popcorn at the bar!
07-12-2010 17:07:19 |
More by plaid75
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
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
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Tugboat Brewing Company in Portland, OR
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