Portland >Tug Boat Brewing Co
I'm not sure what this says about my past life identities, but I have a real affinity for secretish spots located down dark alleys, and this downtown brewery fits the bill. Love the casual nautical-themed space, the robust British-style ales, and the late hours.
I love this little joint that serves their own beer. It's a step back in time and is one of those 'in the know' kind of places. Don't ask for a coke, don't think about root beer. This place does one thing and one thing only. Beer. Bring your Ginsburg books and take a seat in a booth and you'll be immediately transported to the late 60s.
Cozy & unpretentious. My husband & I went to Tugboat for the first time in October of 2009 and just went back on June 17th. Both times we were greeted by friendly service and a "don't rush, stay as long as you like" attitude. For food we've had their cheese plate & their nachos. Both took care of our munchies while sipping on beer & wine. The other night the bartender actually played Trivial Pursuit with us in between helping other customers and the gal who helped us when we first arrived stayed after her shift to visit with customers. I don't know about you but I can't remember the last time I stuck around my work after quitting time just to visit! My husband is a hophead & likes several of Tugboat's beer. Wine's not their thing but they always have a good selection and will let you taste a few before commiting to a glass. This place is not big and doesn't have the latest decor. It has friendly service, good beer, tasty wine, hit-the-spot munchies and we love it!
Gritty Hole in the Wall = Fantastic.
A quick disclaimer: This place gets five stars not because it itself is a five star establishment but because it is an oasis surrounded by places that you might actually give five stars, but would charge you $8.50 for a whiskey and coke. The place is also cash only but makes up for it by being very, very inexpensive compared to almost anywhere else on the west side.
The food is mediocre but reasonably priced. Their beer (other than their Russian Imperial Stout which is truly in a league of its own at something around 11-12% alc/vol and so tasty you won't notice that you just had three of them) is also mediocre but they have an excellent selection of guest taps from other local ale houses so just go for that instead. They also have a solid wine selection that is also reasonably priced. The bartender will generally sample anything they have to you before you buy, both the beer and wine if they aren't too busy.
Generally only one person working at a time means that you aren't going to have some cocktail waitress slavishly hovering over your table catering to your every whim. If that is your idea of good service there are literally hundreds of places nearby that would love to treat you like the amazing and beautiful person you are.
If, on the other hand, you are trying to get away from that aforementioned 'scene' that is downtown Portland then welcome home friend, it'll be good to see you in here!
BEST KEPT SECRET. You'll have to come down to discover the awesomeness....=) Seriously, great place, bring cash & a open mind!
Great Little Dieve Brewpub.
Loved this place. Stopped by for a nightcap last night. Excellent beers, and really friendly vibe.
Just off Broadway, it's a bit divey, but that a plus in my opinion.
I have never been to such a horrible brewpub in my life. I have been to MANY brewpubs over the years, and Tugboat is truly the WORST. It is VERY small, cramped, it looks like they cannot afford to spice up the place. All of their beer is hoppy, so if you are not a hophead, you won't like it. CASH ONLY, NO CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS. Oh yeah, they forget to mention that until you are ready to pay up. But you can certainly go to the ATM and get surcharged in order to shell out $4 a beer. The bartender was alright, tall guy with a beard and ballcap. Not rude, but it was obviously he didn't want to work. I was not whatsoever impressed with this place. It's a DIVE. So if you want a dark, run down looking place and hoppy beer that lacks character, Tugboat is for you! This is the trashiest pub I have ever seen. Besides that, what business doesn't take debit cards?? I will never return.
Rude Bartender. Cozy atmosphere, good beer, but the bartender is consistently rude and obnoxious. It's a shame, this place would be a gem if not for the horrible service.
Hidden gem. This is the first bar that my wife and I went to, on a recommendation from the front desk of the hotel we were staying at on honeymoon. They couldn't have picked a better spot! With walls lined with books and wine bottles, as well as board games, and pleasent jazz from the three-piece band, we felt like we were home at last. The beer is full of NW hops to please any ale fan. The bartender, Megan, was exceptionally friendly and welcoming. After checking on the customers in the rest of the bar, she sat down at our table and gave us spectacular recommendations for unique things to do in town. Since moving to Portland, we have suggested Tugboat Brewing Co. as a meeting place for new friends and clients, and no one we know has ever been disappointed. Tugboat is the best bar to meet new people, drink great beer, and hear interesting music.
Pint-sized brewpub serves up alt-jazz and stellar beers..
Shelves jammed with books lend a cozy coffeehouse-feel, but it's pint glasses that litter the communal wooden tables. Alternative jazz provides background noise, as a blend of laid-back regulars mingle. This place brews some quality beer, trying its hand at a half dozen varieties. There are also about 10 more guest beers on tap. A smattering of decent Tex-Mex snacks are around $5 each. Generally good jazz ensembles take the stage Tue-Sat nights around 9pm.
Too bad. I really wanted to like this place. Its in a gritty downtown neighborhood. Its cozy and candlelit. Books lining the walls. Bohemian clientele. Simple, cheap, tasty food. The beer is OK, not outstanding, but I could almost forgive that for its atmosphere. The problem? Deliberately bad service. Checked over several visits there is a definite anti-customer attitude from the owner on down. Cash only, no credit cards. And youd better pay up immediately after being served. No sampler plate offered, at a brewpub for gosh sakes. Skip this place and go somewhere where they understand the customer is doing the business a favor by spending money there, not the other way around.
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