Of Road Trips and Beer Tourism
My girlfriend and I just got back from a surprise road trip to Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR after I found out that Cascade Brewing was having a bottle sale (starting the 22nd) of some of their older bottle stock. I shared this information with my girlfriend, and road trip plans were made on the fly. Cascade is one of my girlfriend’s favorite breweries, and they’re right near the top for me too.
If you’re not familiar, Cascade Brewing makes some very fine sours via barrel-aging and lactobacillus (mostly). The thing with sours is that they age extremely well, as I’ve had a friend tell me that he’s had sours that had been properly cellared and aged for over 60 years, and they were delicious.
On our trip back from Bend, we had intended to check out at least a brewery or two in Vancouver, but we didn’t have the time or energy. So, we decided to head down to Vancouver on Sunday, pick up the bottles from Portland yesterday (the first day of the sale), and then head home so I can go back to work today (my girlfriend has the day off).
Of the breweries we went to in Vancouver, my favorites were Heavy Metal and Fortside. Heavy Metal had a good assortment of beers, tasty pizza, lots of cool metal memorabilia, and nothing but 70s/80s metal on the stereo. Fortside had a lot more chill vibe, but some really well-crafted beers (especially the saison that had been aged in port and bourbon barrels). I’m glad we got to check those places out!
As for Cascade, we got there about an hour early and there were only two people ahead of us in line. The folks working there handed out tickets and my girlfriend and I were #3 and #4, so we were good to leave and come back. That led us over to Modern Times brewing (a mere three blocks away) for some vegan food and an oatmeal coffee stout on nitro (aka breakfast in a glass).
We made it back to Cascade with a few minutes to spare and then #1 and #2 went in to get bottles, which took close to half an hour since they bought 14 cases. There was no limit, so I can’t blame them, but good grief. My girlfriend and I only bought a baker’s dozen worth of bottles (only) and then enjoyed some beers at Cascade before heading back north.
To wait out traffic, we stopped for happy hour in Olympia, WA at Three Magnets, and their food and beers were really tasty too. All in all, it was a successful and fun trip and I can’t wait for the next one - it’ll be sooner than later!