|Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont Street | Portland, OR 97214
Portland, Oregon is regularly rated among America’s top craft beer cities. According to oregoncraftbeer.org, it’s estimated that 53% percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon. There are currently 58 breweries in Portland and 84 in the Portland metro area.
I recently had a chance to visit Portland, Oregon, and while I did not visit all 84 Portland-area breweries, I did manage to check out 14 stand out breweries.
Cascade Brewing is a pioneer of the Northwest style sour beer movement. Their blending house currently houses more than 1,400 French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels – plus nine foudres – filled with wheats, blonds, quads, reds, browns and porters that are aged and blended. Cascade beers have received several Great American Beer Festival medals and a rare score of 100 on Beer Advocate.
The Cascade Brewing Barrel House, also known as House of Sour, is located in Southeast Portland, featuring more than 24 rotating taps. Plan to spend a while here because you’ll want to try everything! Beers are available in an 8 ounce glass or a taster pour. Tasters are served two per person at a time.
The tap list is listed in a suggested tasting order beginning with lighter beers like Cranberry, The Vine, and Apricot. Move on to delicious offerings like Blueberry, Shrieking Violet, Noyaux, Honey Ginger Lime, and Kriek. Things get a little more intense with Sang Rouge, Sang Noir, Sang Royal, Vlad the Imp Aler, Kentucky Peach, and Manhattan NW.
The highlight of the tasting was the two live barrel offerings. Kriekblanc is a sour blond barrel aged 24 months with white cherries, and Pineapple Tango is a blend of strong blond and triple ales oak aged on pineapples.
Several vintage beers, including 2009 Kriek were available in 4 ounce pours. For those seeking “standard” beers, Portland Ale, Red Light IRA, Cascade IPA, and Oblique B&W Stout were also on tap. Wines, a cider, and non alcoholic beverages are also available.
When it comes time to choose bottles to go, ask the bartender for her suggestion. I took home a bottle of Framblanc, a blend of sour blond and triple ales aged in oak wine barrels for up to 15 months with locally grown white raspberries. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more bottles.
The kitchen at Cascade serves up small & shareable plates like Pickle Bowl, Mini Cascade IPA loaf, and Olive-Almond Tapenade; sandwiches like Fig Pesto Chevre, Muffuletta, and Smoked Chicken; and salads like Spring Honey Ginger Lime, Curried Chicken, and Roasted Beet.
Cascade is open Sunday to Thursday noon to 11 PM and Friday to Saturday noon to midnight. Don’t forget to grab some bottles to go. There is plenty of metered street parking.