|Blinded me with science...|
Soon after I penned an article chock-full of contempt and disdain for taprooms with an austere, industrial decor (CLICK HERE), you HAD to KNOW I would find myself in just such an environment--and loving it. There you go, I'm eating my words again, or in this case, DRINKING my words. Hey, it just goes to show you that it's always wise to be open to new experiences and to not let preconceptions prevent you from trying something great.
I wandered into The Labrewatory yesterday after visiting Ex Novo Brewing just up the road. The Labrewatory is located at 670 N. Russell Street, Portland, OR. Yes, the first thing I noticed was the bright, open, industrial, spartan decor--and the drafting stool that would be home for my wide behind while I made myself comfortable at the bar.
However, the second thing I noticed was the large, unique, eclectic and definitely intriguing tap list. Exciting! New-to-me beers! It doesn't get much better than that--well, as long as the beer is GOOD, it doesn't get much better, and this beer was go-back-for-more good!
There's a well-appointed brewing operation located in the back half of the building. I love the sight of those big, shiny tanks and there's obviously a load of creativity going into them at this brewery. The beers I sampled were surprisingly different than anything else I've had lately.
I started with a Trash Panda, a golden raspberry leaf saison. An interesting name for an interesting beer. Good stuff! My tastebuds approved. Brew number two was CaBlonde, a white oak mezcal aged blonde ale. Wowsers! Hey, you either love mezcal or you don't. I personally love the stuff and CaBlonde has just enough mezcal flavor to light it up without going crazy. FYI, there's no worm to be found in this beer, so don't be scared, homie.
The Labrewatory doesn't have a kitchen but I saw $3 warm pretzels on the chalkboard and it appears they get tamales trucked over from Tamale Boy over on NE Dekum. Tamales and beer? That's a winning combo in my book and Tamale Boy cooks up some mighty tasty tamales.
As previously mentioned, the decor is industrial chic. Stainless steel-y light fixtures hang down from the open beam ceiling like they mean some serious illumination business. The stools are old-school drafting models--round wooden seats, not metal. The bar looks like you'll either get some delicious beer out of those taps or some nuclear energy. Truthfully, the place looks very sharp.
A flight of any six beers from their tap list can be had with no hassle. They also have a crowler machine that can provide a fresh-for-home can of any of The Labrewatory's own creations. (No fills for the guest taps.)
I will definitely be paying The Labrewatory another visit soon! This place rates a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.