Brewvana Tour: Pints Brewing
Pints Urban Taproom Grand Opening Party Beer, Music, Sidewalk Grill April 13th, Noon-Close 412 NW 5th Ave

If you've spent any considerable amount of time in Old Town Portland then it is most likely that you have meandered your way into Pints Urban Taproom for a coffee in the morning or a pint in the evening. Thing is, it was only a pub and coffee shop then. Starting Friday you will be able to stop by and enjoy a pint brewed by Pints! Obviously the process of building the brewery began quite a while ago, but they began brewing their own beer in February with what will become their staple beers such as Steel Bridge Stout which pours with a thick dark brown head and has a complex flavor of chocolate, leather (I tasted that on the back of my tongue) accompanied by a slight alcohol flavor and weighs in with an ABV of 6% and 24.5 IBU's. It is a bit on the highly carbonated side with a medium body and was a very enjoyable stout that stands out from basic stouts. I also tried their Tavern Ale which I found to be quite enjoyable for a beer that I would usually not consider drinking. It was light in color and body, light on the hops and a bit sweet with an ABV of 5.1% and 21 IBU's. Zach described the Tavern Ale as a "NW ESB" as it was brewed with UK malt but is beautifully blended with Northwest hops making in internationally delicious. I also had the pleasure of trying the Seismic IPA. The aroma was almost like sticking your nose in a bag of hops. The flavor was a surprising sweetness with a heavy hitting citrus note an a hop character that lasted on your tongue a good twenty seconds after drinking. This beer is their highest alcohol for the staples at 6.1% and 77 IBU's. The last staple beer they have is a Red Brick Rye which I did not get the chance to try, though I heard a few good comments from other patrons. The Red Brick Rye is 5.2% abv and 40.5 IBU's. If you want to try a one-off beer from these guys, hurry in to try their collaboration beer with New Old Lompoc. "Legalize Wit" is a Belgian brewed with dried papaya, coriander and a few other things that I will leave a surprise (I can't give away all of the mystery can I?).

The idea for the brewery began some time ago when Chad, the owner, could not figure out what to do with all of the space they had in the back of the pub. Of course, when anyone has extra space in Portland they will use it to brew beer or start a garden. Seeing as this was not a good place for veggies and shrubs, construction began on the brewery. Chad hired Zach Beckwith from New Old Lompoc to help design the brewery from the very beginning. Together they designed a brewpub around the thought of a warm welcoming pub that is a destination for people, where they can come in and enjoy the pubs staple beers and whatever seasonal is on tap at that time. The location they have is perfect for attaining this goal, as you are walking down the sidewalk up to the brick building built in 1907 and step through the front door you find yourself in a cozy barroom with a huge brick wall, wrap around wood bar and about 9 tables for patrons to unwind from a long day at work. Local art is donned all over the walls and every piece I saw had a price tag, so not only do these guys have good taste in art and beer, but they also support other local entrepreneurs as well. Zach stated that he wants the beers here to be simple, back to basics beers that remind people of why they began loving craft beer in the first place, so don't expect to see any blueberry chili vanilla ginger butterscotch porter pale ales here. As for the seasonals here, Zach wants them to be true seasonals. The beers with go from a light session English IPA called Thomas Trotters in the late Spring/Summer to darker thicker beers that warm you from the inside out in the winter.

Pints is brand new yet it is an old school brewery in Oldtown that seems like it could have been here for a hundred years. The beers are down to earth and taste great. The atmosphere is simple but it is inviting and is a place you could sit for a few hours and just enjoy a conversation with a friend over a few of the beers that won't leave you stumbling out into the street. It's the local pub that you make a trip across town to. I recommend you do so, as I am glad that I did and I will certainly make it my local haunt that I don't live anywhere close to.