Montavilla Brew Works – Grand Opening – July 17th, 2015

Yesterday, I was excited to attend the brewery opening of Montavilla Brew Works for several reasons. First and foremost, the brewery is being opened by a member of the Oregon Brew Crew who has made the jump to pro brewer.  Second, while it’s a little too far out to be “walkable” this is the first brewery (that I know of) opening up in Outer Southeast Portland, so it’s nice to have something in “my neighborhood”.  Lastly, I just happen to go by Stark on the way home, so I stopped in after work.

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There was quite a crowd when I got there, which is a great sign but service was pretty quick.  Montavilla does not serve food, but there are several places around where you can get food and they encourage people to bring in food.  Another interesting thing I noted with their point of sale system which I’ve never seen anywhere else is the fact that you can start a tab, swipe a card and then they give you your card back rather than hold it.  That way after you have a beer, if you want to step across the street and go get some food and then come back for another beer you still have your card with you.

Their tap list includes a lot of classic beer styles as well as some rotating seasonals. They have a Blonde Ale, Red Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale (Seasonal), Barleywine (Seasonal), Pilsner (Seasonal) and Imperial Stout (Seasonal) listed on the website.  Yesterday they had a couple of beers also not listed on the website, a Galaxy Double IPA, a Horizon Dry Hopped IPA and a Belgian Golden Strong.  They also had a handful of local guest brews on tap, including Rogue Root Beer as a non-alcoholic option.

The two beers I tried while I was there were the double IPA and the Belgian golden strong.  The IPA was very nice with strong bitterness but also lots of dank, floral and piney hop aroma and flavor.  I’m guessing from Galaxy in the name that it’s a single hop beer with just Galaxy hops.  The Belgian Golden (pictured below) was a very nice ale with characteristic Belgian characteristics.  It was fruity with some bubblegum esters and just the right amount of “funk”.  Well done with both of those beers.

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I highly recommend checking out Montavilla Brew Works.  It’s really good beer, and nice to see something open up in Outer Southeast.

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2015 Ninkasi Ground Control

I saw this beer at the store, and although I was tempted, I resisted because it was $20 for a 22oz bottle.  But after telling my wife about it when I saw it at the store again I had to pick it up before I missed my chance.  She was interested in the hazelnuts and chocolate, I was interested in beer made with yeast that had traveled to space and back.  It’s space beer!

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Ground Control – Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, OR) – Imperial Stout, 10% ABV, 80 IBU

This beer pours a dark black/brown with a thin white head that quickly dissipates.  Not uncommon for a strong beer. The aroma has notes of molasses, dark dried fruit and chocolate.  No hop aroma to speak of.  The flavor is also rich with dark dried fruits, the chocolate that was added as well as the star anise.  The licorice flavor of the anise and the chocolate played surprisingly well together.  I was afraid it would be way too overpowering, but they are both subtle and mesh nicely.  The mouthfeel of this beer is incredible, thick and velvety.  There is a small amount of alcohol warmth, but not as much as you might expect for a double digit ABV beer.  This is an incredible beer and the cool factor above and beyond just makes it even better.

Rank – 5.0 (of 5 stars): To my knowledge this is the first beer I’ve ever given 5 stars on Untappd.  This beer is really incredible and would earn a 4-4.5 star ranking on it’s own but the cool factor of the yeast from space just pushes it over the top.  Sure, that’s my geek side shining through but hey, that’s what the blog is for right? I recommend you grab a bottle of this before it’s gone.  I don’t know how much of it the made, but it has to be a pretty limited release.