Henry's Tavern: Home of 100+ Taps!


My wife and I took advantage of the President’s Day holiday by heading into NW Portland for lunch and, of coursesome beer sampling.  We made Henry’s Tavern (on NW 12th St.) our destination because they have over 100 beers on tap!

Henry’s was built on the site of the Blitz-Weinhard brewery which operated at NW 12th St. for over 140 years before closing in 1999.  The Weinhard brand was sold to Miller Brewing, who continues to sell beer under the Henry Weinhard name.

The design of Henry’s Tavern is unique because they preserved many of the brewery’s original architectural elements including the smokestack. Anyway, during our extended lunch, we sampled some beer:

  • 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery:  Huge floral hop aroma and a nice sweet malt finish. It has a big 9.0% ABV, but you wouldn't know it!
  • Workhorse IPA, Laurelwood Brewing:  Dry hopped two times and has an amazing grapefruit and pine aroma.  Not as bitter as its 80 IBUs might imply.  
  • Ice Axe IPA, Mt. Hood Brewing:  Not your typical West Coast IPA hop bomb.  Conditioned in oak and nicely balanced.
  • Knuckle Dragger, Walking Man Brewing:  Here's the hop bomb!  It's 100 IBUs and loaded with citrus, floral, and pine hops.  Although it's a Pale Ale, I would have thought it was an IPA. 
  • Damnation, Russian River Brewing:  This Belgian Golden Ale has lots of spice in the aroma and fruit in the flavor.

While this appears to be a lot of beer, two of these were small (free) taster samples.  I didn't intend for this to be an IPA session, but I thoroughly enjoyed all three IPAs.

Henry's beer is pricier than other local beer bars, but their incredible selection justifies the premium.  They have great happy hour food specials, but I thought their lunch was a bit overpriced.  I had their Grilled Chicken Club sandwich ($12) and enjoyed it.  Latha had their Ahi Salad ($17).  While tasty, it left her quite hungry.

So we decided to move on to a new location to get her something to eat.  We then wandered over to NW 23rd and found ourselves in front of New Old Lompoc.  More on that tomorrow…


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Photo courtesy Henry's Tavern.

5 comments:

  1. I love Henry's, although the hardest part is deciding what to drink when there are so many options. Great pictures, the 100 tap handles is a thing of beauty.

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  2. How does the amount of taps justify the higher price tag? Confused about that especially as they are all beers you could find elsewhere and served fresher because of the sheer lack of turnover at Henry's.

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  3. Logan, I must have spent 10 minutes looking through the beer menu trying to decide what to drink. That's a nice problem to have.

    Ezra, I really appreciated Henry's 100+ taps. I'm not aware of other places in that vicinity that have so many options. So I'd pay a little extra for that convenience. Who else has a large number of taps in the NW region? I'd love to learn about some new places to visit.

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  4. Sanjay,
    I think your missing the point. It does not matter if you have 100 taps. The beer is sitting in the lines and going stale because they do not pour it frequently enough. Beyond that it is very common beer. I also am still trying to figure out why more taps of stale beer justifies higher prices? You didnt answer me on that one. Bailey's Taproom has plenty of taps at a much higher quality, frequently changing and fresher beer. I would never go in a million years to Henry's over Bailey's. Quality not quantity.

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  5. Ezra, I'm not missing the point.

    First, I love Bailey's and agree their beers are more unique than Henry's. No argument there. However, I think it's cool to have 100 craft beer options in one place. Yes, Bailey's has "plenty" of taps. But 100 is still greater than 20. Keep in mind, your average craft beer drinker may not appreciate the difference between the 100 "common" (as you state) craft beers at Henry's, vs. the 20 more "unique" craft beers at Bailey's. I think it takes someone from a very high order of beer geekery to truly appreciate that difference.

    Second, you are assuming the beer I was drank was stale. I can assure you that it was not. I don't know how long it takes Henry's to empty their kegs, but the five beers I sampled were fresh.

    Now, if you re-read my response, you will see that I did answer your question. I said I would pay a small premium to enjoy a vast beer selection. Perhaps it wasn't the answer you deem to be correct.

    At the end of the day, I do prefer Bailey's to Henry's. Bailey’s prices are better and their beer is more unique. However, Bailey’s and Henry’s are not mutually exclusive options. They each have their place. If I happened to be in Henry's neck of the woods (especially during Happy Hour) I wouldn't hesitate to stop in for one of their 100+ brews.

    Cheers!

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