Like golf, coffee and beer? You'll love Oregon & Portland
If you’re anything like me, that means 90% of your liquid intake consists of coffee and beer. That said, after two weeks in Oregon, driving everywhere from Bend to Eugene to Bandon and now in Portland, I can’t say I’ve had the same beer or cup of joe twice. They say Oregon is the nation’s capital of microbreweries like Deschutes, Widmere, Steelhead, and plenty others. There is “Terminal Gravity", which sounds more like a Six Flags roller coaster than a beer, but has a tremendous following nonetheless. I even hear there is a “Tuck’s Brewery", as to which I’ll most certainly have to find before I leave. Tuck’s slogan is “An ale a day keeps ye ails away.” Surely clever writing is in the Tucker family lineage.
And they love their espresso in Oregon. I’ve never seen so many tiny, drive-up espresso shacks on the side of the highway as here. They couldn’t squeeze more than two people inside of them and they’re everywhere, from tiny mountain villages like Sisters, to down in Coos Bay north of Bandon. You’re never a couple of minutes away from a quick and convenient (and tasty) caffeine shot, and when you have to drive to Portland after playing 126 holes in four days, you need the boost! Now I’m in a Portland coffee shop where I assume a local city ordinance regulates there is a cafe on every street corner.
As for beer in Portland, be sure to stop by Horse Brass, a fantastic English-style pub with steel-tipped darts and a beer menu longer than you’ve ever seen. And the waitresses know their stuff. After I stared blankly at the menu for about 20 minutes, which had its own complex brewing language it may as well have been scribbled in cyrillic, she asked me a few questions about my beer tastes and returned with the pub’s own special bitter that hit the spot.
This waitress was incredibly versed in beer knowledge, she even corrected my table about which beers used which carbonation method (some use nitrogen and other natural oxygen…I think. To be honest I got lost in the conversation rather quickly. They know their beers here. It kind of makes me miss the Czech Republic, where most pubs only carried one beer on draft, so a simple “dva pivo, prosim?” brought you a couple of the house’s fresh beers. You don’t learn a whole lot about beer in the pubs over there, but it’s a lot faster to order one.)
The locals I was with couldn’t get enough of their Maximus IPA brew, a strong, bitter amber with a 7.25% ABV.
Horse Brass has some great authentic British pub fare too. One of the guys I was with ordered a Scottish Egg, which is a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. It looked kind of funky to me, but everyone at the table, who are regulars to this place, can’t get enough of it, and I’ll take their word…Personally, I was happy with a delicious fried sausage.
I’m headed to England and Wales on Saturday, but the Horse Brass was a nice warm-up for sure. I felt like I was already there, as many of the patrons there were British (as far as I could tell with their accents and hair styles).
Portland has some top notch golf courses too, and for the public, there is probably none more solid than Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek. I was there Saturday morning and the course was jammed. The people in my group had come from Seattle just to play here. Former NFL QB Drew Bledsoe was even on the course that afternoon. According to his Wikipedia page, Bledsoe now brews his own coffee home in Washington. No wonder he was in Portland for the weekend…
Stay tuned for plenty more Oregon golf on WorldGolf.com
This blog has been powered by a 16 oz. latte from World Cup’s Blue Heron blend in Northwest Portland.
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