Wednesday, 31 December 2008

About turn for a (not so) near ale production unit

The main reason for my trip to Oregon was to check out Ted's pub, Brewers Union Local 180. I've probably told the story many times about how Ted became involved with The Woolpack Inn but it's told here, if you are not up to date.

It would be somehow wrong if I didn't submit a whole post to bestowing the virtues of the hard work of this slightly crazy guy, along with the stabilising influence of his wife Patti. Off course as our sister pub this will be a completely biased report, but hey, this is my blog and Ted, Patti, Sonya and Jaslin put up with us for 2 weeks. Not to mention imposing on the staff, in particular running amok in the kitchen when trying to emulate Cumberland sausage.

One of the most striking things about Ted's place is the large number of windows. Not on the outside of the building but between the rooms. I think it's subliminal compensation Ted's refusal to accept anything other than MacOS as an operating system. What ever, it works. The public area is split up into various sections but you can still see through them making a nice compromise of open plan, but with seclusion. For live music the windows can be opened.

Various little touches are provided by Patti, showing off her artistic talents and adding that feminine touch that us x deficient men cannot manage. This helps to make the Public House all the more homely. All the hard work they have put in makes me a little jealous that we have yet to get our place to the same standard. I wonder when the Sobels are visiting England again.....

The atmosphere was homely. Magically capturing the "local" feel and truly a 180 turn on the regular American bar. Ted sure has a group of loyal and friendly customers, perhaps a little too small in number, but this can only grow. Conversation seems to flow easily, whether it be about skiing, next or last summers mountain biking, the state of the economy, what's left of it or just the extraordinary weather.

In contrast I visited a place down the road that seemed to be typical of American bars. It's not even fair to mention the name of the Bar and Grill down the road, that happens to be on The Corner, in the same post - Significantly less imaginative name and significantly less friendly towards Englishmen. Thankfully Trish and friends made me feel safe during my brief visit.

Most important factor though about Ted's pub is the beer. I've joked about teaching Ted how to brew beer. You can teach anybody the rudimentary stuff about any skill, be it painting, cooking, carpentry or writing, real flair comes from the soul. Ted approaches the subject of beer brewing with great enthusiasm and the results speak for themselves. Tanninbomb is my favorite of all his beers but every beer was good and the range of styles superb.

So, the Brewers Union Local 180 captures all the best of a British pub, sprinkles in just the right amount of American culture to make it palatable to the rebellious colonials and rightly, in my view, deserves the title of Anglo-American brew pub.
We're off now to The Strands for some of their nice beer. Look out for the first blog post of the New Year which should feature them.
Happy New Year


Philip said...

Enjoy - happy new year

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Thanks, Dave.

And you didn't even mention sparklers once.

Woolpack Dave said...

...oh yeh, the SPARKLER, that was remiss of me. Perhaps that's why I found Ted's beers the best over there - correct use of the sparkler.