Another night in Portland and looking for food and beer brought me to the suburb of Lake Oswego and Stickmen Brewing Company. The brewpub first opened its doors on the shore of the eponymous lake in 2012 and featured many yakitori offerings (stick-men, get it!?) alongside their craft beer. Since then they have grown to encompass two locations in the Portland area with aspirations of further expansion. So, grab a beer, relax, and read on as I skewer the meat of this underrated Oregon brewery.
- Beer – The tap list is impressive, with the variety and quality even more so. Unique creations such as a maple stout or a banana foster dunkel are sprinkled in between more traditional IPAs, porters, and wheat beers. No beer scored less than a 3/5 on Untappd for me, evidence of the strong quality of their offerings and attention to detail when it comes to blending disparate tastes and flavors. Score: 4/5
- Brewery – During the day, the brewpub is bright and airy, with windows galore overlooking the lake and letting in plenty of sun. The indoor area consists of table seating and bar seating plus a few high tops. The bar itself is a gorgeous stone, wood, and copper accented centerpiece that ties the two areas together. Step outside onto the patio and you can enjoy the gorgeous Oregon summers, shaded under a few trees and staring out at a part of Oswego Lake while enjoying their beers. Their menu is mostly classy takes on pub food plus breakfast/brunch options, with prices that fit right in with what I would expect in the Portland area. They are open surprisingly early most days so it shouldn’t be too hard to find time to visit. Score: 3.5/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – Brunch, beer releases, fundraisers and more are part of the extensive list of events held at the brewery. Add in live music on their amazing patio, a few televisions for watching March Madness (or whatever your event of choice), and some table games and there will always be a reason to stop in. I am personally looking forward to the kettle sour fest coming up later this year, and the fact that the proceeds go to a great cause is even better. Be sure to check their calendar and look for one of these fun events when planning a visit. Score: 4/5
- Location – Its hard to beat a spot right on a lake, and the fact that it is in the middle of downtown Lake Oswego makes it even better. With a movie theater next door, tons of other restaurants and bars close by, and a beautiful lake to walk around, this is a great spot for a brewery. I think the only real drawback is finding parking. While there is some street level parking and a large lot across the road, be sure to look for signs to make sure it is ok to park there. The whole area is bike and pedestrian friendly, so that might be a better way to get around if possible. Keep a look out for the small sign above the door, it can be a little challenging to see when driving by. Score: 3.5/5
- Customer Service – It was a pretty slow night when I stopped in, with only the bartender serving the whole place. The service was great, and I heard the story of how they got the name Stickmen. I had beer in front of me within minutes, the food followed not long after, and I was checked on throughout the night. Even better, they participate in the discount program available to American Homebrewers Association members, adding one more layer of quality service to my visit. Score: 4/5
Total Score: 19/25
Favorite Beer: Bananas On Fire! – 7.6% Dunkelweizen
Final Thoughts: From the outside, the place looks nondescript and, at least when I visited, quiet. This external appearance belies a quality brewpub with good food and great beer paired with an amazing back deck. Stickmen should absolutely be on your list of places to visit when in the Portland area, and I look forward to return visits next time I am up there.