First National Taphouse Beer Dinner

First National Taphouse opened its doors in Portland in September. Located by Portland State University at the corner of SW 5th Ave. and College Way, the taphouse features 30 beers on draft, a bottle shop, a full-service restaurant, and a bar that specializes in whiskey and classic cocktails.

Last month, they invited me and my wife to attend a beer pairing dinner. Since I love beer dinners, I thought I'd provide a course by course overview of our meal.

The dinner consisted of five small-plate courses, each paired with a different beer.  I started with a pint of Breakside's Passionfruit Sour Ale.

Course 1.  Prawn Boule.  Brunoise vegetables, prawns, brandy nosh, potato roll.  Paired with Wild Ride Brewing's Whoopty Whoop Wheat

The lemony citrus notes from the beer nicely complemented the shrimp. The mini bread bowl absorbed the broth. A wonderful start to the meal! 

Course 2.  Artisan Cheese Terrine.  Barbander Goat Gouda, Taphouse Ricotta, Ancient Heritage Hannah, Asian Pear, Rustic Baguette.  Paired with Duche De Longueville Cidre Antoinette

Next up, bread and cheese! Three cheese varieties were layered in a jar in an unusual, yet fun presentation. The Asian Pear slices and compote provided both sweet and tart flavors that melded nicely with the cider. I enjoyed the light funky notes and mild sweetness of this French cider.

Course 3.  Honey Root Vegetable Boxty.  Parsnip, carrot, yellow beet, Irish potato pancake, spiced honey. Paired with Elysian's The Great Pumpkin.

This course screamed fall! The honey added a solid sweetness to the vegetable medley and potato pancake. The Great Pumpkin, one of my favorite pumpkin beers, added a blend of pumpkin pie spices which complemented the sweet vegetables.

Course 4.  Whiskey Pepper Steak Frite.  Pepper crusted hanger steak, Irish whiskey Demi Glace, microbrew fries. Paired with Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA on Nitro.

My medium-rare steak was cooked to perfection. When paired with fries and an IPA, what more could you ask for? The nitro gave the beer a creamy smooth mouth feel.

Course 5.  Chocolate Porter Ice Cream & Young's Double Chocolate Stout Foam.  Hazelnut Brittle. Paired with Young's Double Chocolate Stout.

The jar made a return appearance. This time filled with an airy foam made out of stout. I dipped the brittle in the foam and washed it down with the stout. A perfect end to the dinner!

In full disclosure, our dinner and drinks were complimentary. They event sent us home with a grenade filled with my beer of choice (I selected 10 Barrel's Apricot Crush--an incredible beer). While I didn't pay for this dinner, I will definitely be back to First National Taphouse for future visits! The food was expertly prepared, the beer selection was excellent, the wait staff was attentive, and the restaurant had a great vibe!

They also offer a Happy Hour seven days a week, so check it out!

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  1. Wow, that looks fantastic! I'll have to check it out.


  2. This is really a wonderful post.


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