Lucky Labrador & Roots Organic Spring Brew-Cruise

I cruised over to SE Hawthorne yesterday with Felecia to check out The Lucky Labrador and Roots Organic Brewing on our day off together. We rode over the Hawthorne Bridge, one of my favorites in Portland. I’m very thankful for the Portland Beer Map, I think it will help inspire many more brew-cruises this summer.

Lucky Labrador would be a good place to decompress after work. You walk in past a dart board and continue down a hall that opens into what seems like a big old barn. It’s open and airy; the effect is welcoming. There’s long-board hanging from the rafters and lots of wood and natural light. The bar’s huge and the taps are capped with abstract weathered steel shapes. The kitchen serves sandwiches and bento there’s an open patio in back. Felecia ordered Super Dog and I had Got Hops?, but the bartender gave us both Got Hops?. What a jerk. It took us a couple minutes of arguing to conclude we had the same beer. Unfortunately Got Hops? tastes a lot like what’s in the frig at home, which is Pyramid Thunderhead IPA. Both are unmemorable; plenty of hops with nothing behind it. We should have ordered half pints to begin with. After half a beer my mood improved at we got 10 ounce-ers of an imperial and a stout. The stout was outstanding, chocolaty and smooth. I would have liked to enjoy a pint of each but we were feeling buzzed and restless.

It seems like organic beer does taste better. Do pesticide-free ingredients come out in the flavor? Roots’ location was revealed by dozens of beer-drinkers and their dogs soaking up some spring sun on the sidewalk on industrial SE 7th Ave, about two blocks from the Lucky Labrador.

You must step down from the street to enter the dark island sanctuary. The tiny brewery is on the right and a pub is on the other side of a partial wall that separates the space. There were lots of people and several families with kids.

The vibe is more comfortable than the Labrabor; it’s like stepping in a jungle cabana. We started with Pond Turtle Pale Ale and Burghead Heather. They make Burghead Heather by using heather tips instead of hops. The result is a very round, sweet flavor with no bitterness. I liked the texture but the flavor is hard to get used to.

It reminds Felecia of rosemary, she says it would go well with mashed potatoes and a beef roast. I think it needs some crunch to balance the smooth malt and heather.

We tried Island Red and Woody IPA, before riding off into the sunset. So far, Roots is my favorite Portland brewpub.


Blogger Felecia said...

Just to clarify: the brews-cruise was accomplished sans motor vehicle.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Bridger said...

That's right, we were on bikes. I actually have to blow a breathalyzer to get my bike to start, it's just a precautionary measure, and I definatly wasn't (too) drunk. Biking drunk could be just as fun as driving if you didn't have to balance and pedal.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Knut Albert said...

I love your blog - wish there were brew pubs enough to make a tour over here!

4:13 AM  

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