If you read Wednesday’s post, you’ll know I’m in the middle of series about throwing the best damned B-day party ever — where the B stands for beer, glorious beer! In this post I’m getting down and dirty with the specifics on how I went about this extravaganza.
I spent the month prior to the party relentlessly planning it. Some things I figured out with relative ease, like the beer-infused party favors and the beer shaped cake (thank you Pastrygirl for making my beer-filled dream come true!).
Hell, even finding super fun beer-shaped candles was a surprisingly easy feat (at least for my friend DB who scored them at a local cake decorating place).
Some other things took a bit more time and research — like choosing a mode of transportation. I knew that I wanted to go to several different breweries and while there are plenty of beer tour buses in Portland, I wanted something more memorable. And then it hit me: PDX Pedicabs. It’s like being in a horse-drawn carriage…except the horse is a bicycle and you’re in a cart.
Once the bikes were lined up, there was nothing left to do but anxiously await the big day!
The party kicked off on a dry but slightly blustery day in SE Portland. I stopped first to pick up what would become the party mascot, Big Beer, the most fabulous balloon ever.
Once Big Beer was securely fastened, it was time for the fun to begin!
I met 10 of my friends at Hair of the Dog Brewery. This is a kick-ass brewery in the slightly industrial part of SE Portland. Alan Sprints, founder of the brewery, is someone I’m fortunate enough to know through my job.
When I asked if he’d be willing to give us a tour, he not only did so but also poured some special tastings for us in the brewery. We sampled the Matt and the Cherry Michael. Seriously amazing stuff.
His beers are intricate and tend to lean on the more alcoholic side (7-12%), but still mange to be extremely drinkable. The Cherry Michael, a sour beer, was a crowd favorite.
After our tour and tasting, the pedicab fleet took us to the next brewery, the Green Dragon, which has a huge, ever-changing rotating tap list. We took a quick tour of their brewery as well, thanks to a party attendee who knew someone. (People that know people are my favorite kinds of friends!)
Green Dragon is affiliated with Rogue Brewery, a big name in this town (and probably all over the West Coast). They have several brewpubs and public houses all over Oregon, from Newport to Astoria to Eugene. On the tour we saw several pallets of delicious beer waiting to be enjoyed.
I would highly recommend an intermission at some point in your beer drinking tour — and was happily surprised when our pedicab bikers suggested an impromptu stop to see some baby goats.
This a great opportunity to really embrace the ridiculous “Portlandia” concept of having goats in the middle of an industrial area — but come on, baby goats! And hey, they even have their own website: http://urbangoatspdx.com/.
Next we journeyed on to our third brewery, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, which focuses primarily on sour beers. I love sour things — sour candies, citrus, you name it — so this is one of my favorite breweries in town. I could pretty much drink here all day!
I enjoyed two beers here: the Vine (aged 3 months on white grape must) and the honey ginger lime (a sour rye ale). Both were so good!
I also got an unexpected birthday gift while at Cascade Brewing. Two of my friends, a couple who are also my co-workers, brought out a stack of papers. All of the papers were crumpled and slightly dirty.
“Found art,” they explained. And then they proceeded to give us a dramatic reading from the various papers. Each one was more hilarious than the last. The one posted to the left was a personal favorite. It was honestly the most original gift I received and thinking back on it has kept me laughing all week.
Our next stop was Base Camp Brewing. They are fairly new in the Portland beer scene, but I like their beers. I particularly enjoy their In-tents IPA — not only because it’s tasty but because it reminds me of a running joke between me and my husband. “It was like a fire at a circus…”
After a quick pint, we loaded back up and enjoyed our final ride. Did I mention our pedicabs rocked? They even had music. I can’t remember much of what we heard but I’m fairly confident the Humpty Dance came on.
After that, the party wrapped up at Burnside Brewery. We bid adieu to our pedicab bikers and enjoyed cake, burgers and (my favorite!) some Sweet Heat, a beer that combines apricot puree with spicy scotch bonnets. I can usually only drink about a pint of it, but after all that beer, a pint was all I needed!
Then it was home, sweet, home where I tucked myself into bed before 11pm.
All in all, I would say this was one of my favorite birthdays yet!