Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Some days it just pays to be a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador.  (It also pays to be my best friend, when I give up alcohol for Lent).  This is how Beckie and I got invited to a test tour of Great Notion Brewing with BREWVANA.  One of the newest breweries in town opening January 1, 2016!

Great Notion Brewing is a 7 BBL brewery and tap room in Portland, Oregon located at 2204 NE Alberta #101 (next to Pine State Biscuits).  It’s the old Mash Tun Brewery. They focus primarily on juicy New England-style IPA’s and creative sour ales, though you’ll also find a variety of beers on fresh fruit, and stouts with maple, coffee & chocolate.

Their barrel program is hosted both in on-site and off-site locations where their American sour ales age for 9-24 months in oak barrels and clay amphoras. A portion of their sour ales are blended with Summer Oregon fruit like peaches, apricots, strawberries, and cherries. Freshly emptied Bourbon barrels age their imperial stout on ingredients like roasted coffee, vanilla beans, chocolate, and maple syrup.

Brewvana VIP

Brewvana VIP

When it comes to brewing creative craft beer, they realize the immense talent within this city and been inspired by many, in Portland and beyond.

The Great Notion cofounders are: James Dugan, brewing & marketing, Andy Miller, brewing & operations, and Paul Reiter, finance & strategy.  The creative and delicious food menu at Great Notion Brewing was created by our chef and long time friend, Ryan O’ Connor.

Here is what we (aka Beckie) tried:

  • Zest – Their take on a German style Berliner Weisse, the lemony tartness in this refreshing wheat beer comes from a two stage fermentation with Lactobacillius and Brettanomyces.  Zest is the beer that will guide you into the spring time.  Beckie says this beer was tart at the finish, but still refreshing.
  • Coffee and Cream – on nitro – is a Cream Ale on specially roasted whole bean Columbian coffee in partnership with Clutch Coffee Roasters.  It’s a one of a kind brew and a unique flavor experience.  Beckie says this beer was a great coffee stout and would make a great beer to add to a float.  It had good texture and thickness.
  • The Merry Dankster DIPA – their tribute to Ken Kesey and his merry band of pranksters.  This Double IPA is saturated with hop flavor.  It’s dry hopped with over three pounds per barrel and fermented with local wild flower honey.  Slammed with notes of pineapple, pine and stinky dank goodness.  Beckie says it was definitely “dank” with powerful flavor but didn’t have the boozy finish that a lot of IIPA’s have.
  • Single Stack – this was a special tasting of the beer that started Double Stack.  (Northwest Breakfast Stout aged on a ridiculous amount of Vermont maple syrup and locally roasted coffee beans.)  Beckie says it was waaay to sweet and watery.  Needed something more thicken it.  I’m sure Double Stack is better.
Great Notion Brewing

Great Notion Brewing

Here is what I tried – FOOD:

  • Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with curried ginger ketchup.  While the fries were great, the curried ginger was AMAZING.  It’s like once you have chocolate chips in your banana bread, you can never go back to plain banana bread.  I’ll never be able to go back to plain ketchup after this.
  • Buffalo Tostones.  These were fried green plantains, covered in buffalo sauce (like wings) with a mojo jicama slaw.  I’ve never tried anything like this and I loved it.  Great vegan / gluten free option.
  • Cheese Crisps.  Grilled sharp cheddar, spicy roasted serranos, pickled sweet peppers and neufchatel.  Like the Tostones, this isn’t something I’ve ever had before.  It was amazing, almost like something I would plan on ordering at Bollywood Theatre.
  • Salt & Pepper Chicharonnes.  These were house pork cracklings featuring Tilting Hog Ranch pork with a malt vinegar dipping sauce.  I’m not a huge fan of pork or even fried chicken so I tried some and while it was good, it definitely isn’t for me.
Don’t forget 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).


  1. I’ve been to Grand Notion and left both content and disappointed. Content to continue disliking hazy IPAs (I’m trying to like them, I swear, but it’s just not happening), disappointed by how slow the service was (shit-show levels). I liked the Mash Tun that was there previously, was sad to see them go.

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