On Sunday we were across the river in Vancouver for a concert my daughter was in, so I got to make my first visit to By the Bottle. If you haven't been there, it's a fabulous beer store right in downtown Vancouver. That's a picture of Dave, the owner, standing next to some of his bottled treasures.
The selection is pretty small compared to Belmont Station or John's Market, but there's a lot that a spoiled Portlander can get excited about. By the Bottle stocks a number of beers that are distributed in Washington but not Oregon. Here are some of the breweries that caught my eye:
- Port Brewing (CA)
- Southern Tier (NY)
- Laughing Buddha (WA)
- Maritime Pacific (WA)
- Silver City (WA)
- Shiner (TX)
Does anyone know why Shiner isn't distributed in Oregon anymore? Two or three years ago it briefly appeared in Portland. Anyway, I couldn't resist picking up a bottle of Shiner Bock at By the Bottle. I was really hoping to find the Shiner Holiday Cheer that came out this winter, or the 100th Anniversary doppelbock they just released. I'm not sure if those specialty brews make it to Washington, but Dave said he hadn't been offered any by the distributor in Seattle.
Dave described his shop to me as a labor of love, and it shows. He actively seeks out smaller Washington breweries, and considers it a part of his mission to give them a toehold in the Portland market. Be sure and stop in to By the Bottle if you're up in the 'Couve -- it's even open on Sunday, when the whole town shuts down.