Not to spoil this one, but this review is from my favorite breweries I visited on this trip to Portland, and easily one of my top choices in the area from all visit. A relative new kid on the block, Assembly brewing opened their doors in 2019, aiming to provide a local craft beer joint in what was perceived to be an under served area of southeast Portland. It is not hard to see how they have become a hotspot of craft and cuisine after stopping in, so grab a beer, sit back, and read on as I assemble my review of this excellent brewpub.
- Beer – Specializing in “beer flavored beer”, the tap list at Assembly is a no-frills lineup of your most common beer styles. But don’t let that fool you, while low on flash, these beers are high on quality and drinkability. You won’t find a sour or barrel aged beer (at least not yet), but there will still be something everyone can drink. Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – The taproom is really more restaurant than microbrew in style, with a large open industrial/warehouse style seating area. Exposed beams on the ceiling and gorgeous murals on the walls draw the eyes when you first walk in. Seating is likely never an issue, with numerous tables scattered around the room and a large bar at the back. Covered outdoor seating is available for the nicer times of the year. The food menu diverges from the usual pub style food I expect to find in these joints, offering what they call Detroit style pizza (no offence to people from Detroit but I was unaware that this was an actual pizza style). Regardless of its name, it is darn good food. The sauce to toppings ratio is perfect and the crust is amazing. The portions were big and I was quite full by then end, but I still wanted more! With reasonable prices and open all week from early to late, I highly recommend stopping in at least for the pizza if not the beer. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – The neatest part about this place must be the pinball machines near the bar. A few live music events mixed in weekly and monthly, as well as some one-off celebratory events are scattered on their schedule. There are a couple televisions scattered around the room for watching whatever sporting event is on (I’m guessing Portland Timbers most of the time). Score: 3/5
- Location – While the immediate area around the brewery is sparse in terms of other entertainment, it is still in Portland with all its attendant wonders and fun. They have a small onsite parking lot, ample bicycle spots, and lots of street parking all around. The building is hard to miss, even at night. Score: 2.5/5
- Customer Service – The place was hopping the night I stopped in. Even so, the service was quick and efficient. My beers came out fast as did the pizza. My server was funny, friendly, and made some good beer recommendations, so I would say it was a good visit all around. Score: 4/5
Total Score: 17/25
Favorite Beer: Tropical IPA – 6.4% IPA
Final Thoughts: I would consider Assembly a must visit on the strength of their pizza alone, not to mention the solid line-up of beers. It is nice to see a brewery nailing it one both the food and drink side of things and I hope they continue to thrive. I know I will be back for another visit in the future when I’m back in Portland again.