Tag Archives: migration

On the Rail: Club 21

24478461302_840c8d5a40_zHoly cow is this beer bitter. It’s arrived headless too, and I am unable to get a whiff of hops off it. That’s really not good news for an IPA. The beer seems cloudy as well: now that isn’t automatically a problem but the bitterness of this beer is passing into a dirty flavor so I just can’t trust it. I don’t know why, but I frequently have issues with Migration’s beers.

The ceiling looks like a child got to toss glitter onto it, red and green lights spackled all over. The vibe is definitely Portland new-dive, with more pinball machines than video poker games. That’s kinda cool.  The chalkboard nearby proclaims BANDS TONIGHT, but I’m here too early for music and you can still buy packs of cigarettes from behind the bar. The white tent outside is where you go for smoking.

Couple guys talking next to me are talking about the place; I think I’ll let them have the last word:

“Yeah, I’m just here until it gets crowded-I just got off work. I tell you ’bout my new job, dude? I’m tossin’ kegs around for McMins. Only problem is the hour and a half commute on the bus each way.”

“You don’t have a car?”

“No, man.”

“Dude, I got a buddy at a dealership, I think we can hook you up with a beater that runs.”

“That’s be awesome. All I need is somethin’ like that: I’m good with my hands so I can work on it, too. But yeah, I just gonna have couple-three beers and then get out of here before it gets too crowded.”

“Yeah. Doesn’t happen until around 8 but before that it’s a pretty mellow place to hang out in.”

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Whatever You Say #28

I have come to Migration to meet a friend and play some cards. After the last two weeks of going to dive bars, I’ve felt a little more alienated. Everyone there knew each other, told their stories and had a sense of comradery that I just missed on. Approaching strangers was harder in a way, because the communities were set up and I am not one of them. So I was hoping that visiting with some friends would be a nice way to break that solitude up.

There has been a communication mixup though and I am all alone…and the Blazers game is starting. Playoff game vs. Dallas.

The Old Silenus Amber I have is good and so is my meatball sub. No complaints about the edibles or the service. But the crowd is into the game. I’m lucky; I can’t see the TV from where I’m sitting and as I look out at everyone, staring at the TV like Jebus has come back, slack jawed, glassy eyed, I am glad.

I’m starting to hate these people, utter strangers. They’re cheering and getting happily riotous for men who are running around to throw balls through hoops.Words like ‘foul trouble’ actually mean something. I get it at first but as the pub gets more and more crowded and fuller of fervor and I become more and more unhappy that I am here.

It’s like this all over Portland and Dallas and god knows where else, this crazed energy and attention towards shit that does. not. matter.

I have to get out of here and I can see rain hitting the window as I clear my plate. For reasons I’m making up but don’t  understand, it makes sense that the weather is going to shit when I want to leave, so I figure why not take advantage and get to the gone.

When I open the door to leave, hail is pelting the asphalt.

Perfect. Because why not?

My skin gets soaked, the wind blows raindrops off the brim of my hat onto my cheeks and I realize why I’m getting angrier and angrier.

This is what they cheer for. Not Bradley Manning’s transfer, not against GE’s greed.

The Blazers-a team they have no personal interactions or connections with, nor a game they are actually playing-winning a game. The world as this group knows it is collapsing and they cheer for proxies instead of themselves. Loudly, with a zeal that makes it impossible to think or interact with anything that isn’t a game happening thousands of miles away.

We are more willing to see ourselves in sports heroes than victims and I want to be anywhere but here.

Indelicate matters

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.