Portland Brewery Tour – Day 1

We got to Portland midafternoon after waiting an extra hour for take-off. Once again, we were seated at the back of the plane near the toilets – the perfect place to inhale jet fuel fumes and other noxious gases. The ride was punctuated by a tenacious infant ten rows up who screamed and howled until he sounded like a fetal version of Tom Waits. My head was pounding by the time we hit the tarmac.

We took the light rail downtown, a ride that was punctuated by some serious characters. This guy was one of the first residents of Portlandia we laid eyes on. I totally love the knit hat/ZZ Top beard/Ritz cracker tin combo.

Bus rides in Portland are...interesting.

From the variety of thought-provoking life that boarded and left our train, I get the impression that Portland’s where all the 90′s grunge holdouts have gone to co-habitate. Guys with long hair, flannel shirts, chunky boots and bushy beards abound.

We’re staying at the Hotel Monaco, a place that sports some flashy modern interior design and where the concierge has a canine sidekick named Timmy. It’s one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed, despite it’s hundred dollar a night room fee.

Hotel Monaco Lobby

We’re near Pioneer Square and the Pearl District so after checking in we decided to walk to our first Portland landmark – Voodoo Doughnuts. Unfortunately, we were starving and the line there was absurd. Pressing my nose against the glass convinced me we have to go back before leaving Bridge City, but we weren’t up to the wait just then.

We walked around until we found Deschutes Brewery, the first stop on our Northwest brewery tour. It was packed (no surprise, it being Saturday night) but we waited anyway and we weren’t disappointed. The food was really good, but I’m fairly sure the burger and beer cheese soup I ate took several years off my life. After, we wandered around to see what we could see and ended up at Tugboat Taproom, one of the coolest bars I’ve ever seen.

Tugboat Tap Room

It was like a warm, book-lined cafe that’s too dark to read in and serves beer. I had a dark apple cider that was quite delicious, but when we left with the ambition to walk around the area some more, we decided we were tired enough (and it was cold enough) to just go back to the room.

After such a great day, I was hoping for a restful night. I’m pretty sure I heard Beelzebub chortling though as I turned out the light and the people belonging to the room adjoining ours came boisterously back and then laughed and talked and carried on for hours, ensuring I’d get as little rest as possible. Looks like I’ll be seeing Portland through the bleary eyes of of the sleep-deprived.

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