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BroGo 2018 – Third Round

For our fourth day, our “Downtown Day,” we planned to spend most of it in the downtown area and enjoyed an early morning stroll along shady parks and historic buildings.

For lunch, we drove across the Willamette River to the Great Notions brewpub, one recommended by my oldest son.

Here I had a flight of unfiltered IPAs with my delicious Yucatan Pork Bowl.  One of the beers even served as dessert as it was an Orange Creamsicle.  Then it was off to Powel’s Bookstore.

I would assume most book lovers have heard of this store, an enormous three-story bookseller of both new and used books.  I had not but was most impressed by their huge selection.  My brother and I spent two hours there going from floor to floor looking through the many volumes available.

Looking through the books made us thirsty so we hopped over to Breakside Brewery for our afternoon happy hour.

I am not much of a donut fan but my brother found an establishment we had to try.

This afternoon treat, named “Chuckles”, was supposed to taste like a Snickers bar.  How could I resist that; sure enough it did.

Our dinner spot was a brewpub I had wanted to go to for quite some time.

A Bridgeport IPA was one of my earliest favorites of this type.  Their beer has been brewed at this location since 1984 and ever since I saw the brepub used as the headquarters for the 5thseason of the TV series, Leverage, I knew I had to go there. Only after that donut, I wasn’t very hungry for dinner.  But I was in the mood to have a beer. And this is just some of the complimentary tasters we were provided to help us make our beer selection.

The conclusion of our dinner made perfect timing for us to run up to Council Crest Park to catch the sunset view of Mt. Hood.

On our fifth and last day, one we designated our “McMenamins Day” (more on this later), we enjoyed a very decadent breakfast at Pine State Biscuits.  The homemade biscuit stuffed with fried chicken breast, bacon, egg, cheese, and overflowing with sausage gravy was incredible.

Thankfully the caloric content was not listed on the menu as if it were, I might never have indulged. Here we also had the option of having a beer with our breakfast but opted for the traditional coffee instead.

After all the food (and beer) we’d had over the previous four days, we felt some exercise was in order and so we drove to the Hoyt Arboretum and took what turned out to be a 3.5 mile hike among the redwoods, spruce, and firs.

Exercise done, we headed to lunch at another location my oldest son recommended.

If you have never heard of McMenamins before click here to get an overview.  They are another one of the early microbreweries starting in 1983.   My wife and I actually experienced a McMenamins for the first time in 2011 at their Queen Anne brewpub in Seattle and you could tell by how they decorated their brew tanks that they were a unique company.

It is amazing how McMenamins has transformed so many older properties into unique destinations.  There are over fifty locations in the Oregon and Washington combined, the Kennedy location being where they have converted a 1915 elementary school into a hotel with multiple bars spread out all over the building.  I’m sure the cafeteria never looked like this when six-graders were running around.

After lunch and exploring the “campus,” we drove straight to our last stop, McMenamins Edgefield. This particular location is just 15 minutes from the airport and we selected it because my brother was leaving that night on a red-eye while I was spending the night for my Tuesday morning flight.

Most of the McMenamins properties have a story and this one is no exception.  Originally built as a county “poor farm” in 1911 and later transitioned to a nursing home, Edgefield is now a hotel that preserves much of its former character (it is on the national register of historic locations) and includes an outdoor music concert venue, par 3 golf courses, and serves as their largest brewery as well as winery.

Each hotel room in the main building is furnished with period décor and associated with someone from the poor farm or nursing home, my room honoring the editor of the Edgefield Gazette as told on the script painted on the wall.  The only drawback (as seen by the box fan in the window), consistent with the period, the rooms are not air-conditioned (which I missed when booking my reservation).

But at least the bars located in several buildings had A/C so that was where we headed next.

Our last dinner together at Edgefield’s Black Rabbit Restaurant and Bar was bitter sweet.

While the delicious local salmon dish we each had was a nice celebration of the great time we’d had together, it also came with the recognition that our BroGo was ending.  We talked about future BroGos and already have a couple of tentative ideas for 2019.  After dropping my brother off at the airport for his overnight flight, I returned to my somewhat warm room.

My sleep was surprising conformable as the fan blowing on me kept me cool.  After a quick breakfast on the veranda, I began to explore the property in the much cooler morning air and realized that there was much to come back to one day.  As I was about to shower, I suddenly realized I still had time for one more activity—I was less than 15 miles from the Multnomah Falls that we had missed seeing on our third day.  I quickly got cleaned up and headed out.

I was a bit nervous that the exit would again be closed but reaching it at about 9:30 on a weekday, I was delighted to see it was open (although filling up fast).  And it was well worth the second trip.

When I turned in my rental car at the airport, I was amazed to learn that we had driven more than 525 miles over the five days.  We really had done and seen a lot over those days together, not to mention visiting 14 different brewpubs.

As my flight climbed off to the east, I was fortunate to be on the right side of the plane to catch one last glimpse of Mt. Hood.  It seemed apropos Mt. Hood would be my last image of our trip as it appeared to majestically watch down on us from on high everywhere we went on our BroGo, just like a proud father watching over his two sons playing together.

As to souvenirs, well I learned while in Portland that a beer t-shirt is often a great conversation starter when you encounter a fellow beer lover.  So with a birthday t-shirt from my brother and four more purchased on our trip, I came home prepared to carry on fun conversations of our 2018 beer BroGo with other beer lovers I encounter.

And two weeks later, I got a very pleasant surprise in the mail from my brother; another McMenamins t-shirt, this one recalling the delicious beer we shared together that last night.  Thanks Bro!

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