I’ve learned much about microbrews in my four years as a non-native Portlander. Between the rain, the hipsters, and the abundance of wheat grown in the state, Portland is a vortex of good local beer. A “Perfect Storm” of brewing, if you will. When I was asked to do a guest post for Bula’s Best, my thoughts immediately turned to that bastion of organic brewing just over the Ross Island bridge, Hopworks Urban Brewery.
Hopworks Urban Brewery is a special place, and not just because you go there to get drunk. They cater to the bike lifestyle of Portland, offering plenty of bike parking and being conveniently located near the popular trail, the Springwater Corridor. Hopworks is a biker bar for bicyclists.
This time I tried their Organic Survival “7-Grain” Stout. Clocking in at 5.3% ABVs, 15 Degrees Plato, and 35 IBUs, the Survival Stout lives up to its nickname: it is brewed with barley, wheat, oats, amaranth, quinoa, spelt and kamut. If you’re thinking “breakfast beer,” you’d be right, because it has been topped off with Stumptown Hairbender espresso. It’s like cereal that gets you drunk.
I tried Survival Stout as a midday snack during happy hour, and it certainly did the trick. After two pints you can wobble home on your bike, but visit when it isn’t raining and you’ll have a much happier ride.
A natural dark brown (like the trunk of the ubiquitous Douglas Fir), Survival Stout has a pleasant nutty aftertaste. You definitely notice those grains; like bread, the Survival Stout is better with more. Can we get a 12-Grain version someday?
If Survival Stout were a person, he would be a deliriously mellow hippie, lazing on his front lawn soaking up the summer sun. He’ll always smile as you pass his house and if you ever get to talking he’ll pepper his language with words like “sustainable” and “auspicious.” Of course I mean that in the best possible way.