First Time on the Brewvana Bus [Discount Code]

This guest post was written by my Brewvana buddy, Joe.  Aside from his love of beer, he also enjoys Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and mentoring young adults.  Check out what he has to say about his first Brewvana Tour!

Joe and his pals with Lil Johnny!

Joe and his pals with Lil Jonny!

One of the amazing things about living in Portland, OR is the fact that we live in the Beer Capital of the United States (eh- WORLD). And why not celebrate the amazing craft beer industry by touring some of the great breweries, tasting good beer, making new friends, and learning some fun interesting facts all the while on a bus. Brewvana: Portland Brewery Tours does just that and then some. Twelve friends, eleven beers, three breweries, one bus equals and unforgettable experience.

Brewvana, a small entrepreneurial organization is comprised of a few amazing beer fanatics that want to share their passion of beer to the entire city of Portland. Founded by Ashley Rose Salvitti, after moving from North Caroline to Portland, OR, she started working at HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery), and she came up with the idea of a bus brewery tour, and after many long hours, ideas, buying busses, and a transmission failing, Brewvana is what it is today.

Jenna, a Brewvana Ambassador, invited me to join her on her first Brewvana tour. And how could I say no to a brewery tour and beer. Our tour was the Old School Tour. This visited three breweries on the Northeast side of Portland. One our tour we visited: Old Town Brewing Co, Ecliptic, and McMenamins Kennedy School. Our group was an international group to say the least. A couple from Australia was celebrating the husbands 50th birthday, and low and behold he wanted to come to Portland to taste beers. Then there was a group from North Carolina, California, and last but not least Jenna and myself – the only ones living in Portland.

April, the newest bus driver to Brewvana, introduced us to the rules of the tour:

  1. Be respectful to beer.
  2. Be respectful to yourself and others.
  3. No puking (we did not witness this, but a $100 fine is charged if vomit occurs on the bus).
  4. The driver/tour guide is in charge at all times.
  5. Do not drink and drive…that’s stupid.
  6. Have too much fun – drink the BEST beer.

After receiving our pretzel necklaces, introducing ourselves, and getting excited for our beer, Lil Jonny (our bus, named after Ashley’s father, and had a great painting of him as “super beer man”), was on his way to our first stop.

Joe and I at Old Town

Joe and I at Old Town

Old Town Brewing Co. located in North Portland is a small brewery that is just now starting to bottle is beer and put them on the shelves of Whole Foods, New Seasons, and other local Coops around Portland. This brewery has a great atmosphere with two large glass garage doors, that I can only imagine are open during warmer days, a large fire place welcomes you to the bar, and lot of wood and open ceiling make you feel like you are in a log cabin. Corey, one of the hear brewers at Old Town introduced to many of their beers and explained how they made them. Here is what we tried:

  • Blue Monday Prohibition Lager – this is brewed with corn and has a very smooth finish. Good think prohibition still doesn’t exist.
  • Jazz Hands – Jasmine blossoms are infused into this beer along with honey and other aromas. It has a lot of flavor.
  • Mojo Rye’sn Double IPA – a very malty IPA, with a lot of spice and spunk.
  • Plum Bottom Jeans – made with, as the name suggests, plums. But I’m waiting for the Apple Bottom Jeans cider to come out.
Joe and I at Ecliptic!

Joe and I at Ecliptic!

Our next stop was just down the street where the creator of Deschute’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter is now the founder and brew-master of the amazing beers of Ecliptic Brewing. Here we were given a great array of foods, chicken wings, salads, and amazing French fries. Ecliptic has it all. A wonderful atmosphere inside a huge facility or outside if you want a view of the Freemont Bridge, great food, and better tasting beer. Here is what we tried.

  • Spica Pilsner – Apparently Portland is going through a pilsner revitalization, and this beer does not disappoint.
  • Downkriek Cosmic Storm Belgian Sour – Brewed with cherries this beer starts smooth and light and ends with a pucker.
  • Phobos – it’s a very good red ale, but a little sweeter than other red.

Finally Lil Jonny got us safely to our final stop, McMenamins Kennedy School. This was once an elementary school that has now been transformed into a hotel, movie theatre, brewery, with five bars and restaurants. Come here to relax in their patio, soak in the pool, or watch a movie with beer and great food. We were given a tour of the place and learned a lot about its history and origins.  Here we tried the following beers.

  • SMASH – This is a sweet, hopping America IPA.
  • Black Days Dark – A very good smooth porter, that lives to its name. Its dark and delicious.
  • Terminator Stout – One of McMenamins best beers
  • Ruby – This sweet fruit beer is great for those looking for a light beer
  • Rubinator – A mix between the Terminator and the Ruby. And a great concoction it is.

Have you ever been to Old Town, Ecliptic, or McMenamins Kennedy School? What did you think?

Brewvana Bus Brewery Tours was amazing. I would highly recommend taking one of these tours. And hey! You never know, you might hit up a new brewery. This was my first time to Old Town, and I know I will be going back again.  Since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!

About BiteSize

Hi! I’m Jenna, but I got the nickname BiteSize in high school. I love homebrewing beer, thus BiteSize Brews. A blog focused on homebrewing, local brewery reviews and recipes. I’m lucky enough to live in the microbrewery capital of the world. I’m also a big fan of social media (chances are I’ll sprinkle a bit of it into this blog).

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