Monday, October 21, 2013

Ecliptic Brewing - Arcturus IPA

It's a total eclipse.
"There's a new kid in town just another new kid in town,  Ooh, hoo 
 Everybody's talking 'bout the new kid in town, 
Ooh, hoo 
 Everybody's walking like the new kid in town, 
 Ooh, hoo..."

Portland's newest brewery just opened, and I was fortunate enough to be there (thanks, Twitter). Ecliptic Brewing just opened its doors for business today and I have a feeling it is going to be around for a while. What makes me think that, you ask? Solid beers, a great space, and a menu filled with decent pub grub. That's what.

Ecliptic Brewing is located at 825 N. Cook Street, right off Mississippi. The brew pub and brewery both sit inside a large, renovated industrial building. There's a big bar and a lots of dining tables. Two large bay doors open up into the parking lot and let lots of fresh air and sunlight inside on a fair weather day like today. Very good.

The decor is modern industrial, with an open ceiling, but the noise level isn't adversely effected. Even with the place packed to the rafters with grand opening revelers, I didn't have a problem conversing with my table mates.

Of course, I was there to try the beer, and I wasn't disappointed. I found nothing too adventurous or profoundly unique on the smallish  taplist, but the brews Ecliptic is serving up are exceptionally well-crafted.

My favorite was the Arcturus IPA, a tasty, tasty beer brewed with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus hops (my favorite four "C's") and honey malt. ABV comes in at 7.4%.

Arcturus was presented in a tulip pint glass a clear, golden orange color with a beautiful, foamy, white head. That head lasted a long time and left copious amounts of sudsy lacing behind.

Smell was huge on citrus hops. Grapefruit and orange. Mild scent of tropical fruit. Sweet malt aroma in the background.

Taste followed the nose. Good bitter hops punch with pine and lots of citrus. Great balance between malt and hops in this brew.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Slightly creamy finish. Hops bitterness and well-rounded malt flavor pleasantly competed for attention at the end.

Arcturus IPA is a solid, no nonsense NW IPA that doesn't disappoint. Good stuff, and I'm giving it a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

I also had pints of the Procyon Pale Ale and the TicWitTic American Sour Wit. Both brews were excellent and will have me returning for more. It's my understanding that Ecliptic Brewing is the newest venture of a Portland brewing pioneer and it shows. Somebody knows how to brew beer at this place.

I'm so glad I stopped in for the grand opening today. Although the servers were clearly slammed by the crowd that was overflowing into the parking lot, they showed no sign of cracking--which is the best you can hope to achieve on a massively busy day one. Friendly folks serving good food and great beer. That's a recipe for success in Stumptown.

I'll be back, Ecliptic!

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