Dark, bubbly liquid explodes into a complex bouquet of sultry sweet-and-sourness in your mouth, the flavor lingering like the kiss of your first love in a dying sunset. You set your glass down and aren’t sure whether you really just drank beer or if you tasted some heavenly nectar sent from Portlandia herself.
This is the kind of experience you can expect when you try one of Cascade Brewing Barrel House’s sour beers. Cascade offers some of the most beautifully bizarre beers you’ll find anywhere. Their powerful taste can punch the unsuspecting drinker right in the teeth, and the rich ruby color of many of the beers is the prettiest I’ve ever seen.
The brewery creates its extravagant elixirs by aging beer in wine, port or, occasionally, whiskey barrels. Cascade uses our region’s fresh fruit and hops and adds them during the aging process. The results are frequently, astonishingly unique and delightful, though certainly not for every palate.
Located conveniently right across the river on Southeast Belmont and 10th Avenue, it offers free parking surrounding the pub, and you can enjoy outdoor seating on those rare occasions the sun decides to pop out.
Once inside, you can sit at one of the many wood-topped barrels Cascade uses as tables. The interior is clean, and the decor has an industrial edge to it that’s quite charming.
You’ll find that the staff are dressed as casually as the customers and have the bizarre disposition of actually liking their jobs.
There aren’t many big eats on the menu, but you can snack on a cheese platter or a delicious Gruyere sandwich. The menu is a bit pricier than other places, but the quality is worth the splurge.
Despite the plethora of microbreweries on every street corner, it’s sometimes difficult to find a truly unique beer. Ultimately, it’s worth it for beer lovers to try a sour, and the best sours are at Cascade.
Sure, we’ve got hoppy, hoppier and the hoppiest beers to choose from, but even craft beers can get old when you’re visiting the same haunt again and again.
Portland State students have the good fortune to live in a city full of unique craft beers and should take full advantage of the opportunity. Do yourself a favor and start with Cascade. You won’t regret it.