Monday, March 14, 2011

Broadway Grill and Brewery

A couple weeks ago on my way home from Zwickelmania at Breakside, I decided to pop in to the Broadway Grill and Brewery at NE 17th and Broadway.  If you're not familiar with it, it's an outpost of Multnomah Village's Old Market Pub and Brewery.  The first time I'd been to the Broadway Grill was a few years ago when some of us were over at the McMenamins on Broadway to drink some of Corey's beers.  After leaving McM's, we noticed the Grill, and since none of us had ever heard of it, we stopped in to check it out.  At that time we found that the beer was not very good.  But I've noticed that the last few times I've had an Old Market beer at a beer festival I've really enjoyed it, so I thought I would give the place a second chance.  Plus a sign hanging out front that advertised homemade chili called out to my lunch-deprived belly.

The place is basically a family-friendly sports bar -- typical pub grub and a selection of TVs scattered around with different sporting events on.  The chili was not what I hoped it would be, and the house beers I tried were a mixed bag, but there were a couple that were pretty good.  In the interest of science I got a sample tray of nine beers ($11) -- eight standards that they chose and one seasonal that I chose.  They have an impressive number of house beers on tap -- the menu lists 12 regulars, and I believe they had 4 or 5 seasonal choices the day I was there.  The beers I could see drinking again were:

  • British Bombay IPA: pretty well-balanced, but still a healthy dose of hops
  • Hop On!: nice IPA with a long bitter finish (the finish reminded me of Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere)
  • Multnomah Village Golden: kind of like flowery Hawaiian golden ales, not bad but more bitter than I expected
  • Rat Dog ESB: decent enough ESB, though again a little more bitter than it had to be
Now for some beers that had problems:
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Red: an attempt at a NW red that is way too malty, almost a porter
  • Vienna Lager (seasonal): a little gamey, maybe not conditioned enough
  • Pacific Porter: too sweet, with a strange cocoa flavor (added cocoa?)
  • Mr. Slate's Gravelberry (raspberry wheat): the raspberries cover a mediciney off flavor that can't be intentional
  • Great White Wheat (with obligatory lemon): same medicinal problem as Slate's, not cloudy as advertised
Now, I said the place was family friendly, but what's up with the kid's names on the beers?  Mr. Toad?  Mr. Slate (you know, from the Flintstones)?  Old Market says their beers are now 100% organic (I have to assume they are not including the hops).  They seemed to have a handle on the English ale range, but the other things I tried were not very good.  Next time I go back I need to try the beers flavored with chili peppers and apples, and I'd like to venture further into the seasonals, given the good luck I've been having with Old Market at festivals.

All in all, I'd say it's worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood or if there's a game on you want to watch.  Broad array of house beers; stick to the IPAs if you can't stand a disappointment.


    1. My experience at Broadway is that their seasonal Vanilla Maple Stout is really, really good, and the other brews can be hit or miss. Once again, it seems like the seasonal brews get more attention than their regulars and the quality seems to show. Unfortunate, because the seasonals show that they can brew a good beer.

    2. The Amber is great. Thanks for the reminder of existence.

    3. Does the world famous Toronado pub in San Francisco know that their logo has been ripped off?

      Also, if you don't brew beer on premise, you are not a brewery. Period. It's just false advertising a la Mickey Finns.


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