Portland is an interesting city when it comes to beer. It’s full of small breweries and pubs, the citizens drink more beer than anywhere else, and many people consider it the best craft beer town in the country. Yet, if you live outside of Portland, most of that great beer just doesn’t leave the area. One of the few breweries in the city that has a more regional presence is Bridgeport.
The brew I chose was the Bridgeport IPA. This is a bottle conditioned beer, meaning the beer is carbonated in the bottle with a small addition of malt and some live yeast.
This one pours fairly light for an IPA. There isn’t much head to it, as the bottle conditioning usually leads to a lighter, cask like carbonation. The aroma is yeasty and of bitter hops. The flavor surprises me a bit. Not all that hoppy for an IPA, this is very light with a lot of yeasty hints. The hops finish the beer with an earthiness, but also a sharp bitterness.
The most surprising thing about this beer is something that is probably more relevant to me than to anyone else: Bridgeport’s IPA taste nearly exactly like my Rats in the Attic Pale Ale. Through out the beer, this kept jumping into my head. I even double checked the bottle to make sure I didn’t grab a bottle of homebrew by mistake.
One minor gripe, given that this is a bottle conditioned brew, is the use of the narrow, sloping bottle. A traditional bottle provides a small lip, perfect for catching any sediment. Not the case with this bottle. If you want a clear, yeast free pour, just be careful.
In the end, this is a decent beer. I expect more from an IPA from the West Coast. I realize that Oregon doesn’t have the reputation for aggressive IPA as Northern California does, but this was more in line with a British styled IPA and may have been a little light even by that standard. Hopefully more Portland beers will make their way outside of the city to promote the city as the Beer-topia that it really is.
Do you have a favorite Portland based brewery? Share your thoughts, help get the word out about the city on the Columbia, in the shadow of Mt. Hood.