So you’ve made your first trip to campus. You’ve done all the obligatory “welcome to campus” shit, and had a quick and dirty meal with the help of our own Foodmaestro, Tim Sullivan. Given there’s a decent likelihood that you’re one of the 54.1 percentage of nontraditional students—i.e. the old farts—and you’re in Portland, we’re guessing it’s about time you’re on the hunt for a few beers. Not to worry, sweet freshman n3wbs! As always, the Vanguard’s got you covered.
Where everybody goes: Seriously, the notorious Cheerful Tortoise must have found its way onto the campus tours, or some shit—it seems like literally everybody ends up here for their Dollar Beer Thursdays. It makes sense at first glance; in what world does a $1 beer sound like a bad idea?
Well, let’s start with the $3 cover to get in the door, and follow up with the atrocious crowds you will have to navigate for every drink. Compound that with the fact that all the staff is understandably very irritated, what with having to deal with a horde whose collective intellect has fallen to critical lows for the night. Round it out with the inevitable stop by police or sloppy wanna-be brawl, and you have yourself a generally shitty night.
Where you should actually go: Really, fuck the late night game. It’s all at the Schmizza happy hour. There are two very simple reasons for this: 1. Schmizza serves PBR and Old Crow, arguably the two mainstays of cheap drinking, and 2. during their 2–6 p.m. happy hour, a massive Mighty Mug of that PBR is $3.50. $3.50, for 27 oz. of blue-ribbon bliss!
If you’re not into the PBR/Old Crow dynamic duo, no prob. Schmizza’s also got some ridiculous deals on their equally ridiculous Island drinks, the Long/Schlong/Thong/Wrong Island varieties, and their arguably sexist Manmosa, an unholy mimosa-vodka hybrid that comes in mighty-mug form!
Where everyone goes: There really isn’t a place that everyone goes for the quality beer, but the closest to a specialty bar you’ll find on campus is the ubiquitous Rogue Hall on the Park Blocks. Nobody is going to fault you for choosing Rogue—if you can afford it. They do have a wide selection of house-created brews and a bit of a presence here in Portland. The same would go for McMenamin’s.
The problem is, the bar is onerous in its pricing. The beer is just not strapped-student friendly, and the food is even more of an offender. You can mitigate this slightly by becoming a card-carrying member of their Rogue Nation, but then again, who really wants to carry around another goddamn card?
Where you should actually go: As much as I just smacked up the Tortoise, I have to say, they’ve made some strides recently in their tap offerings. I would never recommend this place for a cheap drink—a real problem for them, because they are resistant to anything more than a cheap-drink atmosphere—but the Tortoise has a pretty large tap list with multiple options across a few decent breweries (and some formerly decent breweries), such as Green Flash, Bridgeport, Worthy and Breakside.
Or, well, I hate to keep banging on the Schmizza drum, but these guys always have a rather extensive tap list that is often subject to a tap takeover, which features often-local brewers that bring in samples, tastings and often raffle swag.
Fortunately, not everyone on our green campus is a total day-boozer. Early drinking options are fairly sparse; the Tortoise opens its doors at 9 a.m. with a notoriously cheap breakfast option (and many that aren’t).
Suki’s, on Southwest Fourth Avenue, is a hidden gem that opens between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. with perhaps the only honest brunch option on/near campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. This lovely little near-dive also offers pool and a schedule jam-packed with events, some of which are noted below.
Events! Karaoke, trivia, all that rage
Monday: Suki’s live trivia (9 p.m.)
Tuesday: Cheerful Tortoise trivia (9 p.m.)
Wednesday: Cheerful Tortoise karaoke, Suki’s karaoke (9 p.m.)
Thursday: Suki’s karaoke (9 p.m.), Cheerful Tortoise Dollar Beer (6–11 p.m.)
Friday: Cheerful Tortoise karaoke, Suki’s karaoke (9 p.m.)
Saturday: Cheerful Tortoise karaoke (9 p.m.), Suki’s brunch (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Sunday: Pizza Schmizza trivia (8 p.m.), Suki’s brunch (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)