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Astoria, Oregon – Night 1

November 30, 2009

We gassed up the car this past weekend and drove to Astoria, Oregon for another Good Beer Trip.  Astoria, a city of 10,000 people, is located at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River; 176 mile Southwest of Seattle, and 90miles Northwest of Portland. Not to long ago, it was a sleepy fishing town looking for a new identity.  Over the past few years it has been revitalized.  The downtown area now hosts many great restaurants, coffee shops, and Cafe’s.  You can browse in unique shops, art galleries, and enjoy local attractions like the Maritime Museum or the Astoria Column.  What about beer? They boast two downtown brewpubs, Astoria Brewing, and Fort George, as well as a Rogue Ales Public House.

Trivia:  You might have seen Astoria in movie classics like: The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, and Free Willy.

We arrived in Astoria on Friday afternoon.  Our first step was to check in to our hotel. On this trip we chose to stay in one of our favorites, the Hotel Elliot.  It is located in the heart of downtown, in a recently renovated 1924 historic building.  It is an upscale feeling hotel that has very reasonable rates. They have a lot of nice touches like heated bathroom floors, DVD players , free internet, and very comfortable beds. We booked a Queen Room, and got a nice room on the fourth floor, with a view of the Columbia River.

Hint: If you are feeling wealthy, book a night at the Cannery Pier Hotel. Located on a pier on the Columbia River, you get a memorable,  up-close view of passing by ships.

After freshening up, walking around town, and a little retail therapy we were at the doors of the Wet Dog Café and Astoria Brewing Company.

Astoria Brewing Company

by Lush C

The Café and Brewery is located in a dockside warehouse with an amazing view of the river.  As you walk in the main entrance, the Brewery is immediately to your right.  Up a few steps, there is a kid friendly restaurant, with large windows to enjoy the view.  Off to the right is the large bar and a second room with a pool table, pin ball machines, and video poker.  We grabbed a great seat at the bar that allowed us to enjoy the river view.  Their menu is typical northwest beach pub fare with lots of Burgers and Seafood options. We’d been coming here for many years, even back when it was still Pacific Rim Brewing, and had always enjoyed it. On our previous two trips though, they did not have their own beer, and we were about to give up on them.  For the sake of the Good Beer Trips, we gave them another shot, and were glad we did.  They had most of their Beers on tap this time.

Beer Sampler:

DaBomb Blonde – Golden blonde  with a sweet malty aroma.  Crisp, clean, sweet flavor with a slight hoppy finish. A good session beer that should appeal to the masses.

Red Beard Amber – Cloudy amber with a sweet floral aroma. A nice roasted malt flavor with a little more hop flavor than the average amber.

Solar Dog IPA – Cloudy golden in color with a sweet floral aroma. It is sweet and hoppy with a buttery finish .  Very smooth and drinkable.

Bitter Bitch Imperial IPA – Cloudy light amber with a strong floral aroma. Hops, hops and more hops, with a peppery dry finish.  Not for the hop shy.  I do admit this went very well with the spicy remoulade that was served with the excellent Crab Cakes we ordered.

Stone Cold Strong – A nice brown ale with a sweet aroma. Smooth and malty, with a sweet, but not too sweet, finish.

Poop Deck Porter – Dark brown with a roasted malt aroma. Malty with a hint of chocolate, and enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. Very Nice.

Kick Ass Stout – Dark Black and a coffee aroma. Nice dark roasted malt and coffee flavor with a smooth chalky finish.  A big Black Beer.

After a sampler and a pint we settled up our tab and hit the streets again.  Walking the seven blocks to Fort George.

Fort George Brewery and Public House

Fort George by Lush C

We first discovered Fort George back in 2007 while on a urban hike from downtown to the Rogue Public House.  What a great discovery!  Fort George has quickly become one of our favorite brewpubs.  They have the complete package, a cool building, great local food, and solid beer. Built in 1924, their building originally housed a Ford Service Station. It has been turned into and urban, industrial, hangout.  You won’t catch me telling you to check out bathrooms to often, but…. You have to check out theirs!  The one on the left is cool, it has great mural of classic Ford’s that pays homage to the building’s past life.  The one on the right is simply amazing. The entire room, including the ceiling is painted as though you are inside a log cabin/fort.  Complete with pelts drying on the wall, windows to a painted outdoors, and a special “Girl” picture over the commode. A must see!  As usual we enjoy sitting at the bar, where we can chat with the servers, brewers and other patrons.   Their menu includes many local and natural items including house made sausage.  Another nice touch is that they serve their beer in Mason Jars.

Fort George Bathroom by Lush C

Fort George Bathroom 1 by Lush C

Fort George Bathroom 2 by Lush C

Fort George Bathroom 2 by Lush C

Beer Sampler:

Drunkin Pumpkin –  Amber, with a sweet alcohol aroma. Light Bodied, sweet,  mild hopped, with a hint of  spice at the end. Very good. (per the Bartender,  it actually contains no Pumpkin)

Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale –  Cloudy blonde with a  spicy floral aroma. Smooth and malty with a slight nut flavor, and nice hop finish

North III , Seasonal Belgian Trippel –  Light brown, with a sweet aroma.   Medium bodied, sweet, malty with hints of plum.  A very high octane beer. I purchased a 22 ounce bottle to enjoy at home. * Note this was a FREE sample.

Nut Red Ale – Dark Red with a sweet floral aroma. Medium bodied, medium hopped , with a slight nut flavor. Very enjoyable.

After closing out the tab, and bundling up, we head off to our evening entertainment; Zombieland playing at the Columbia Theater.  The Columbia is an old school theater showing second run movies.  The best part is that they serve beer and pizza in their 21+ only balcony. Right next door is the Voodoo Room and the Columbian Café, both worth visits.  Any way, we both (or at least I) enjoyed the movie along with some popcorn and Terminal Velocity IPA, and then headed off to our room to close out the first night.

To be continued

Disclaimer: is not affiliated with any of th businesses listed in tis post.  Unless otherwise mentioned, all items were purchased and paid for by

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