A Night at Bailey's Taproom
Occasionally my job is horrible. It is high stress and low pay and I often find myself wishing I had gotten a degree in something that would have given me a job inside a cubicle, locked away from the public who I increasingly disdain with every passing hour. As my feet ache more and more from the constant standing and my capacity for dealing with inane questions reaches its breaking point, I am able to take solace in two things. One, I have a job which is good for providing me the ability to pay for food and shelter and the occasional decorative plate set. Two, Bailey's Taproom exists and soon I will be there.
I have been frequenting Bailey's for a little over a year now, about half as long as they have been open. What began with casual once a month visits has blossomed to a twice a week love affair that shows no signs of going stagnant. During the summer on Thursday evenings I was sure to be found sitting outside promptly at 4:00pm when they opened, book in hand enjoying a damn fine beer. Now my perch has shifted inside but the frequency of my visits remains. The only reason I have hesitated to even write this post is because I felt I wanted to keep Bailey's as my own and I have ego issues that led me to believe I held any sort of influence on whether or not people would attend based on my writings—phenomenally informative and persuasive as they may be.
For those who do not yet know about Bailey's, here is a little of what you can expect. First and most obvious of all; the beer selection is fantastic. With a heavy focus on Oregon and North West delights, Bailey's never disappoints with their representation of numerous styles on their 20 taps and one beer engine. Seeming never to repeat itself, the diverse selection lends itself to experimental sampling. Just last Thursday I had a Gose from Cascade Brewing, a Vesuvius from Full Sail, followed by a Scottish Ale from Big Horse, capped off with a bourbon aged red from Roots. I had never even heard of a Gose before, let alone tried one. It was enjoyable but I had regrets about getting the 20oz. If you are unable to find something appealing on tap which is essentially impossible (and only mentioned so that I can bring up their great bottle selection) Bailey's has a great bottle selection.
With such a wide range of frequently rotating beers, you would think it forgivable if the server came up less than knowledgeable on a beer here or there. Luckily for me, a man who is incapable of forgiveness, the staff at Bailey's is top notch in their beer knowledge. They are also top notch in every other aspect of service. I have never waited longer than 3 minutes to get a drink and I have never been met with anything other than a welcome greeting. While my experience with efficient service may be because I have never been in on a busy Saturday night, I am sure even then the welcome attitude remains despite a wait that may exceed 3 minutes. Friendly, knowledgeable, fast and happy to give samples, Bailey's staff gives you the best service in town.
The service is complimented with a pleasantly simple atmosphere in which to enjoy your recently poured beverage. The corner location at SW Ankeny and Broadway gives Bailey's a unique floor plan which goes well with their minimalist design scheme. The beer is poured from unadorned tap handles and the tap list is written on a dry erase board right behind them. You can enjoy your beer from a table for two, table for more, love seat or chair surrounded by huge windows adorned at the bottom with an impressive bottle collection. All of this creates a comfortable and enjoyable setting unmatched by other beer bars. It is like your living room if your living room wasn't filled with sadness and scabies. That's right, you have scabies.
The only bad thing is there is essentially no food at Bailey's. Basically there are chips and one time I think I saw someone with some olives or other tiny circular edibles. However this is one of those bad things that is actually a good thing, like when your arm falls off and you find out there was gold inside your arm and you use the gold money to buy an awesome new cyborg arm. You see, the fantastically marvelous Mexican restaurant Santeria will deliver their fantastically marvelous Mexican food right to your table at Bailey's. I suggest the pastor nachos as long as you have two friends with you who also enjoy nachos due to nacho largeness. When not in the mood for massive stomach expansion, the tacos topped with pickled onions provide an excellent alternative. With the outsourcing of food I am guessing that this keeps the service efficiency high as well as keeping drink prices fairly low ($4.50 for most 20oz glasses and 2.50 for most 10oz glasses). That sounds possible right?
By now you get the picture: I like Bailey's. When people want to grab a drink somewhere, I suggest here first. When I see that "In PDX for the weekend" post on the BeerAdvocate forums, I tell people to go here. When I just want to sit and read a book and have a great beer, I go here. Try it for yourself. If you haven't yet and I am sure you will agree...unless you are a Communist.
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