Hopworks Urban Brewery (or HUB) is a place that I did not know much about. A couple of years ago, during the Zwickelmania event, we made a stop at the Powell Street brewery and had a very tasty pilsner, poured out by the brewmaster himself. But since then I don’t think I’ve had any beer produced by them.
HUB is very "Portland," in that it touts the organic nature of its beer and sustainability of both its brewing process and the operation of its premises.
In early August I stopped by their second location, Hopworks BikeBar, on N. Williams St.
There is table/booth seating for 50-60 people, bar seats for 14, and an outside patio for perhaps 50. The table tops are made from weathered copper. A long line of bike frames hangs above the bar.
It’s a family-friendly place -- they even have a small play area for kids near the back of the building. The food is a step above typical pub grub; very good sandwiches and pizzas.
The bar features 20 taps, with the widely-available HUB flagships (pils, IPA, stout) and many seasonals. The tasting set consists of ten 3-oz glasses for $9.
The tasting tray was cute: all 10 regular beers on a circular metal tray painted as a bicycle wheel, with the glasses set out on the outer edge of the hub.
The beer is clean and well made, if a bit tame overall.
Here are two interesting ones:
Hopworks Go Fly a Kuyt (Traditional Ale)
A light stinky nose, somewhat pils-like, with honeyish notes. The mild sweet maltiness grew even sweeter throughout the palate. Rather thin, but interesting and unusual. Kuyt is a very old style, popular during the Middle Ages, and this beer was made in collaboration with a Dutch brewery.
Hopworks Ace of Spades (Imperial/Double IPA)
A heavy caramel nose with big fruity hopping. Flavors of thick sweet caramel, rotten dates, juicy wine-soaked raisins, and light hop tracks in the finish. Very tasty. The hopping is clear and present, but doesn’t seem to show off the purported 100+ IBU.
3947 N. Williams Ave.
Portland, OR 97227
Phone: (503) 287-6258 (MALT)
Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 am