I was fortunate enough to get to Migration Brewing and from the Outboard Brain my thoughts came as follows.
“The MPA at is ok. A bit more hoppy than balanced but it’s alright and Seth agrees. He then plays Swamp, Gwyellion so its not all bad.
The black currant cider has a really funky scent like cheap red wine so ignoring the scent is key. Do that and there’s a nice cherry tart in the cider. “
So the beer I had was OK, if not distinctive and the cider was enjoyable. Migration is a new place so I’m not expecting crazy or breakaway brews from them just yet. Reliable ales that can appeal to a broad audience is a good plan for new brewery, especially in Portland where one bad ale can turn you away from an entire venue. There’s also a broad selection of 2nd party ales so if you’re not intrigued by Migration’s beers, there are others. The waitstaff was friendly and didn’t mind our need for a little more light while we played cards. For the most part, I felt encouraged to to come back.
There are small problems though and they really shouldn’t be put gently. First, the men’s bathroom doesn’t have a door for the toilet. Instead, you have a mirror on the back wall, so anyone sitting on that toilet can be seen by anyone turning from the sink after washing your hands. You need a door in front of your toilet, OK? That’s really not up for debate. (Update; I was told later by friends that the main door locks; the bathrooms are meant to be single-serving and this fact diffuses the privacy element of my criticism.)
Second, it smells like cucumber in there. But not cucumbery enough that you won’t smell something else. So eventually, you’re walking into a bathroom that smells of cucumbers and shit. This is also under the category: Not Cool.
Now, if the beers are cheap enough and/or I’ve got enough of a buzz then sure, I can ignore it. Life is not all about awesome things 24/7. But for a brewpub like this it really doesn’t work because it isn’t a dive. That’s not a complaint, just my feelings on Migration’s pub; it’s a nice joint that feels like it could be a good neighborhood place. The fact that the bathrooms aren’t ventilated well enough, while a mild criticism, is something that might keep people away and that would be a bummer because everything else about the bar was pretty swell.