On the Rail: Zoiglhaus

I stumbled upon information about the Zoiglhaus, which just so happens to be within walking distance of my house. So I’ve come on over to try their beer and the one that caught my eye was the Oktoberfresh.

OK, so that name is kinda dumb. But the nose is pleasantly malt forward and oh man, the deliciously biscuit malts are all over. The finish is sweet, too but I wouldn’t call it cloying at any moment. The effervescence keeps it light on the palate and I like this beer.

This whole place is a surprise to me. The Zoiglhaus is open, bright and so new that there’s a room in the back still under construction.  Walking through Southeast to 92nd, on the other hand, is a grindy area to be in. I take some back roads as a shortcut and look around: houses are in a battle for elevating the neighborhood, the nice yards with the rattier ones butting up against each other, as the 205 freeway looms over all and the goats? They just mind their own business.

But that’s rather judgmental of me; nobody lives in a shithole because they want to. I can even see that when I take a closer look: the beat up yards, the houses with more cars than people, these aren’t desirable. They’re necessities, baggage that you acquire to provide a life that is worth living. Who has time to mess around with a yard when you’re working two jobs in order to keep everyone fed and warm? How can you afford to get the wreck that’s stashed in your driveway and covered in five years worth of pollen the rain can’t dent towed away when you haven’t even paid it off yet?

It’s not always an easy life and I’d do well to remember that. I may be judging (it’s all but inevitable) but as my Dad put it to me once, “you can judge with contempt or you can judge with compassion.” It’s almost always best to do the latter.

The Lents neighborhood change is inevitable though and the Zoiglhaus is part of that. On the upside, I am hoping that a neat place like this can flourish. It’s packed while I’m here, so clearly the customer base exists. The downside; who will be forced to leave because of this?

It’s the great Portland dilemma, poured into my glass and I wish I had an answer for it.

3 thoughts on “On the Rail: Zoiglhaus”

  1. The “forced to leave” issue is a tricky one, isn’t it? Nice things are nice, until they start attracting the kind of attention that hurts. Not sure that will ever change. Hopefully this area will be able to find a balance in the next couple of years.

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