Up in the Portland area for a week because of work provided the perfect opportunity to sample more breweries I had yet to make it to. Out late and in need of dinner and a beer, I found Oregon City Brewing Company close by and able to satisfy both of those needs. Born in the owner and head brewer’s garage, OCBC opened their doors in 2014 by transforming an old carpet store into a shiny, modern brewery and revitalizing the beer scene in Oregon City at the same time. So grab a beer, relax, and enjoy my review of this underrated craft brewery.
- Beer – The tap list is extensive, with an equally impressive variety of beers available for anyone who looks for options. Though they skew more towards English/German style beers, the addition of few sours and guest taps means you will likely find whatever suits your fancy here. I quite enjoyed the beers I tasted, with my favorite being one of the stouts, though the sour surprisingly made a strong case for itself on my palate. With the amount of variety and constant rotation of taps, there is a great incentive to keep coming back to see what else they have come up with. Oh, and to see what pun-tastic new names they have come up with! Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – Walking up to the brewery, you can see the large parking lot turned patio area that provides so much extra space during the summer months, and even has a tent over it in the winter for those hearty enough to endure the rain and cold. Step inside to one of the more eclectic tap rooms in Oregon (first one I’ve seen with deer head on the wall above the taps) and mosey up to the large bar to place your order. Seating inside, while smaller, is still respectable, with more than a dozen tables scattered around the room. While they do not have their own kitchen, they have a neighboring restaurant, Olympia Provisions Public House, who provides victuals to any bar patron with an appetite. The food has a German flair, with a variety of sausages and other small plates that are both tasty and filling. The prices are reasonable for the Portland area, with a flight of beer at $10 for four large pours. Add in late hours every day and you have a great place to spend an evening with friends. Score: 3/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – The first thing I want to say is how awesome this brewery is at supporting their community. They have frequent charity nights where a portion of the proceeds are donated to various organizations, including local schools and veterans. I’ll raise a glass to the any day and applaud their wonderful spirit of giving! Along with that great work, they offer occasional live music, as well as a large projector screen inside for major sporting events. I saw a few table games that can be played with friends, but honestly you can spend your entire time staring at all the pictures on the wall trying to figure out who they are and not even need them. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – On the outskirts of downtown, it’s hard to miss the giant Oregon City Brewing Company logo painted on the outside of the slate gray building. If that doesn’t clue you in, hopefully the hop bines snaking their way up the side of the building will. While there is not much in the immediate vicinity, the true downtown area is not far away with lots of restaurants, shops, and a few other breweries. Parking is not an issue as they have a large lot right next to the building and bike racks out front for those with more environmentally friendly modes of transit. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – Service was quick and friendly, and the bartender who took my order helped me pick some quality beers to try. Add in quick food preparation and delivery and it adds up to a good experience. I had table service to a point, i.e. food delivery and taking the plate and empty glasses away, however it was later in the evening and not very busy, so I wonder if that would continue with only one person behind the counter. I assume they have more staff during the busier times of the day, so it is likely not a major issue. Score: 3/5
Total Score: 17/25
Favorite Beer: Stout Chocula – 8% American Stout
Final Thoughts: While not technically in Portland, Oregon City Brewing Company really embraces the ethos of the whole craft beer culture in the area. From quality beers, tasty food, and a quirky tap room, this is a must visit when in the area. Probably best enjoyed in the summer months so the patio can be used to its full potential, I will still look forward to visiting any time I am in the area.