My First Trip to Horse Brass Pub

Since I started blogging a few months ago, I've been on a quest to visit and sample beer at as many breweries and pubs as I can find.  Fortunately, being in Portland, it's easy to do.  Last Friday, we finally visited one of Portland's beer institutions—Horse Brass Pub in SE Portland.

Horse Brass was founded in 1976 and remains at its original location on SE Belmont.  It's an English-style pub that offers 53 beers on tap!  While I've never been to a pub in England, we felt like we were whisked away to the other side of the pond the moment we walked through the door.

The menu includes English standbys such as Bangers & Mash (I still don't know what those are) and Shepherd's Pie.  We had the Fish & Chips Platter...and it was delicious!  Oh, and we also sampled some beer:

  • Festivale, Terminal Gravity Brewing:  I tasted the this year's version, but they were also offering a vertical tasting of the '08 and '09  vintages.  A strong ale with creamy mouth feel and a dry finish.
  • Vinter Varmer, Laurelwood Brewing:  Flavors of toasted and caramel malts with coffee.  Medium bodied and smooth.  This is one to sip by the fire.
  • Stepchild Red, Hop Valley Brewing:  As you might have guessed, this is a Red Ale.  At 80 IBUs, it's a big one and packs four varieties of hops.  Although it's hoppy, it has a nice malt backbone to it. 
  • Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing:  I've been searching for this.  Was it worth the wait?  Did it live up to the hype?  Read my full Pliny the Elder review.
  • Cauldron Brew, Caldera Brewing:  We ended with a bit of madness.  At 7.7% ABV and 200 IBUs (yes, two hundred), this Imperial IPA fits the bill.  I felt like I was slapped in the head with a 5 pound grapefruit!   It's loaded with 5 malts, but the 5 hops left a tongue scraping bitterness that went home with us.

Check out Horse Brass' website for an updated list of guest tap offerings.  We had a great time and plan to visit again—hopefully soon!

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook


  1. VINTER VARMER is from Laurelwood Brewing Co not Lompac.

  2. Thanks for catching my error! I just fixed it.

  3. Nevertheless, Vinter Varmer is a good one.


Thoughts? Tell me what you think.