At long last, I have made it to the Hop and Vine. This space quickly garnered a high reputation for being awesome and I read at the New School blog that they had beer cocktails. After last week’s encounter with Hamm’s and Jager, I felt that I was due an opportunity of something better but along the same lines.
Alas, the beer cocktails are part of an event-one that will be repeated in November, so I shall keep my eyes out for it but until then I am stuck with just drinking what the fine gentleman at the bar is having; Bridgeport’s Hop Harvest. Brewed with fresh Centennial hops, this beer has a nice nose and a fine malt backbone that segues gently into a smooth, grassy finish. Very much a brew that is part of the reason people drink fresh hop ales, I think. Delicious.
The man who’s drink I’ve copied is known to me; he works at the Belmont Station and I’ve taken his suggestions for beer purchases before. We introduce ourselves and after I take a few notes I try to gently engage in some conversation. It’s his Sunday; I totally understand not wanting to be bothered on your day off, so I do my best to be polite and interested but not overly engaging.
Turns out he lives in the neighborhood and has a few things to tell me about local places like Prost or Saravesa and we’ve both been to Germany, him recently. We swap stories about drinking German beers and start on an hypothesis about hangovers; if you’re having a great time, even if you’re drinking quite a bit, the strength of your hangover is going to be diminished, possibly to the point of extinction. It was a fine conversation and I left feeling a little more connected to Portland than I was a bit before.
The Hop and Vine itself is a nice space. I could see taking it over with eight or so people and just having a ball but also good for the small groups with quiet chats. It’s a bit chilly though; it felt warmer outside than it did inside and in October this isn’t a good thing. Maybe it’s kept cool to keep the wine at an appropriate storage temperature?
Finally, it’s right in line with other local places, so it’s going to make a fine stop on a fantastic pub crawl. Prost, H&V, Lucky Lab, Saravesa; Who wants to join me?