Alameda Brewhouse

Super Bowl XLVII kicks off in New Orleans at 6:30 PM PST this Sunday (February 3) pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens. If you find yourself in Portland for the big game, most likely you are not here for the football because this is not an NFL town. We do not have our own team and you will only find lukewarm support for the Seahawks up the road in Seattle. With the recent success of the Seahawks, though, the bandwagon has gotten a bit more crowded in Portland but I would say there is still room. You are probably more interested in how you can best marry good friends and great beer together. I would like to throw out a few suggestions to point you in the right direction.

  • House Partier: If you already know of someone throwing a Super Bowl party at their place, then you probably are looking for a way to show up with good beer in hand. The most unique way would be to stock up on a couple of growlers. Many locations across town are offering specials on growler fills for $10 (e.g. Coalition Brewing, Hawthorne & 15th Avenue Hophouse), so that price should be your ceiling. Places where I know you will be able to find a cheaper fill around $8 include Migration Brewing, Stickmen Brewery & Skewery and Plew's Brews. Plew's would be my top recommendation as they are always the cheapest place to fill a growler and generally have a well chosen taplist from some of the lesser known breweries around, but you really cannot go wrong showing up to a house party with some beer fresh from the tap.
  • Bar Hopper: For those that enjoy watching football the way God intended it, in a sports bar with every loud mouth with a jersey giving you a play-by-play commentary, I have good news and bad news. The good news is virtually any bar in Portland is going to have at least a handful of decent options such as Deschutes Mirror Pond and Ninkasi Total Domination. We have come a long way from the macro glory days where variety meant Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light, so rest easy that you can probably stumble down to the local and still find a decent pint to be had. The bad news is that Portland is not a town where having a TV tuned to ESPN is a prerequisite to running a successful tavern. Many of our favorite taphouses such Bailey's Taproom, Belmont Station and Apex will probably not even be showing the game. However, there are still options aplenty because this is still a drinking town. If the game is your top priority, then you may want to stick with the sports themed places such as Blitz, Spirit of '77 or the SkyBox (I have a soft spot for the SkyBox because they went smoke-free long before the state did). But if you will take longer reviewing the taplist than the starting line-ups, I would suggest a few other places. Alameda Brewing is offering $2 off house pints all day and Concordia Ale House will have $3 pints during the game plus a free squares game (I know - my NE roots are showing).  Both Mash Tun Brewing and the Beermongers are featuring local beers for each team. Mash Tun will have Anchor Steam and Dogfish Head while the Beermongers chose 21st Amendment and Stillwater to represent. The Beermongers also are running a potluck dinner for the game, so that probably the best bet for those Bar Hoppers that wish they were House Partiers.

In terms of the actual game, I will be rooting for the 49ers for what it is worth (not much). I have a hard time cheering for a team that left the Dawg Pound in Cleveland without a team for three years and to see Ray Lewis get any more glowing praise during his swan song. I do not deny that he has been a great NFL player, but he was not exactly a role model early in his career. I understand a man can change his ways but that does not mean we should gloss over those early years as we gush about his leadership and service to the game. I will step down from my mini soap box now and settle in for what should be an entertaining game. Enjoy it with a (semi) cold one - cheers!