These photos were taken between October 25th and 31st in Folsom, California and the Portland area of Oregon, where I went to celebrate Halloween with some friends and I managed to fit in an abbreviated version of my annual Craft Beer Tour.
The journey started when my friend Matt from Oregon City invited me to his annual Halloween party, after I accepted the invitation I was asked to drive with Matt up to Oregon. Admittedly I kind of figured that we might be able to stop at a brewery or two on the way up, and we tried, but you know how life can be.
It was decided that we were going to try and make it to Oregon with no hotel stops, but we did plan on making a quick stop to have dinner with a mutual friend that lives a few miles east of Sacramento. When I initially asked if there were any brewpubs she liked that were close to her, she came up with a brewery in Auburn, which was pretty far out of the way, but it was doable. As we got closer to Sacramento, she called us and recommended we meet at Out of Bounds Brewing in Folsom, which was significantly closer than Auburn, so we reset the GPS and headed to Folsom.
I have to admit, I had some concerns when I saw that Google showed them as being Out of Bounds Craft Kitchen and Biergarten; my concerns came true when we went inside and I saw no brewing equipment and several tap handles from multiple breweries. When I asked if they brewed off-site I was informed that they actually stopped brewing about three months earlier. Oh well.
While they no longer served their own beer, they had a respectable tap list and since I was done driving for the next five or six hours I got a pint of Boneyard’s RPM IPA and Societe’s The Pupil to help wash down my massive order of onion rings.
Out of Bounds Craft Kitchen and Biergarten is located at 13407 Folsom Boulevard in Folsom, California, and are open Tuesday through Sunday. While it was obvious that they are still going through some changes (inaccurate food/beer menus), it is a nice spot with a lovely outdoor seating area that is probably better when it isn’t raining. As stated above, they have a respectable tap list and everyone seemed to like their meals.
After saying our goodbyes, Matt and I got back on the road and arrived in Oregon City around 4:30 the next morning.
The next couple of days were spent helping prepare the house for the upcoming party. Luckily, I had struck up a friendship with Gloria, the beer buyer for Hollywood Beverage, so I was able to pick up some brews from a couple of my favorite Pacific Northwest breweries, including Bale Breaker, Crux, Fort George, and Hop Valley.
The party was a resounding success, which unfortunately meant that I wasn’t finding much interest in venturing out Sunday, so thanks again to Gloria for helping keep the fridge well-stocked in local wet hop and fresh hop IPAs.
Monday meant Dom had to go to work for a while, so Matt and I headed over to Oregon City Brewing Company, where we met up with another friend of mine, Murdoch.
Close followers may remember that I have been to Oregon City Brewing on previous visits, and that is probably because it is pretty much my favorite brewery in Oregon City. As usual, they had close to 40 brews to choose from. The main difference since my last visit is that they now have seven food trucks set up in their “food court.” I rarely do food trucks, so while Matt checked out the food scene, I partook of their SMASHable-Citra IPA, Citrus Makes Perfect sour, and The Barrel of the Beast Imperial stout; all three were quite enjoyable. To my delight, Murdoch also brought a couple cans of the Brujos Brewing collaboration, Three Times Three. Thank you, my friend; it was good seeing you.
Oregon City Brewing Company is located at 1401 Washington Street in Oregon City. They open daily at 11:00 AM; have beers to go and a large, dog friendly patio.
We decided that Dom needed some pampering, so after she got off work we headed over to McMenamins, another brewpub that I had visited before, but the reality is there are not a lot of options in Oregon City and Dom likes their Fireside Roasted Turkey sandwich; sadly they did not have it available that night. She took care of her disappointment with a cider flight, and figured out something else to eat.
Personally, I got their Cheeseburger Slider Trio (very juicy/tasty) and a pint of their Lumi Drop Fresh Hop Pale Ale, which was very good. McMenamins is a chain of brewpubs, and a pretty cool theme. They take old buildings, like churches, libraries, or even hotels, and convert them to brewpubs and restaurants. Their various brewpubs provide beer to the locations that don’t have brewing on-site. The point is that I have been to several of their locations, and tried many of their beers. Lumi Drop was probably the best beer of theirs I have ever tried.
McMenamins Oregon City is located at 102 9th Street in Oregon City. They are open daily from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. They have a full bar with beer, cider, wine, and booze.
At some point during our meal, Dom, Matt, and our server got into a conversation about French fries; apparently McMenamins has changed their fries; I always went for their tater tots, so would not have noticed anyway. Anyhow, our server had told them about a place in a part of Portland that my friends didn’t avoid, so that is where we went to dinner for the next night, Halloween.
The location was Horse Brass Pub, and the selling point was not only the best French fries in Portland, but they supposedly had 100 taps.
When we walked in we were greeted with the weirdest music any of us had ever heard. When my eyes adjusted to the dim light I could see that this was a pretty cool spot, but judging by the clientele I serious doubts that they had 100 taps. When I asked our server he said there were 60, however their website suggests 50, while the menu suggested closer to 40.
The tap list consists of beers from both sides of the Atlantic, while the decor and food menu leaned more towards the UK and Ireland. I ended up with Fort George’s Dank Dive IPA, which was delicious, and pFreim’s Mexican Chocolate Stout for dessert. One of the upsides of Horse Brass is that they serve imperial pints; even for an 8.5 ABV brew. That was an unexpected surprise.
The weird music we encountered was due to it being Halloween; apparently there is a niche I know nothing about. And yeah, I am not really a French fry guy, but their seasoning was pretty darn good.
Horse Brass Pub is located at 4534 SE Belmont Street in Portland; they have a parking lot in the back. They open at noon daily, and have a full bar and extensive food menu.
That ended up pretty much of my Craft Beer Tour 2023. It wasn’t as extensive as previous years but I got to see and help friends while enjoying from fresh hop beers. What more can one ask for? Cheers!