Friday, March 27, 2020

Brew Detective: Astoria

On March 7th the world felt different. Maybe because it was. I'm glad we took the opportunity to enjoy Astoria. The Norblad supplied us with some much needed R&R. Our corner room captured beautiful light, dappling the cozy apartment-like setting. Minimalism and comfort softly drapes the energy of where you are over you. The Norblad is also located across the street from Fort George's barreling and bottling warehouse. Did I mention how much I dig Astoria?

We settled in at Buoy Beer Co., lucking in to the best window seat. Sunlight was beaming through big puffy clouds. Marine life casting energetic sounds into the air.

Possessing traits of bitterness and slightly resinous, my first pint was brewed solely with Eureka hops. A light amber hue lit the glass. Damn it was good.

My partner in crime had the Growler Guys IPA (6.6% | 58IBU) — a local taproom collaboration. This flashlight yellow ale resembled the outer edges of a daffodil. Its summery nose accentuated by a bubbly finish; unlike any IPA I've tasted. A collection of hops were generously used during the boil and again in dry hopping. After fermentation an array of citrus was added, melding with the hop profiles. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but I liked it. Craft beer pairs superbly with fresh fish and chips.

With our appetites satiated we reconvened at The Norblad for a little NBA and some BIG napping. The Blazers were still playing at the start of March. Damn I miss basketball. After powering up on rest and round-ball we moved through the cool, moist night over to Fort George. I fancy being at one of my favorite breweries.

I started with a Fanzine IPA (6.7%). This delicious nectar had recently hit shelves in PDX, but I'd been waiting to get it fresh from the source. As soon as you smell this IPA you want to drink it. Awesome aroma pushes through a cloud-like head. Below lies a crisp ale with resounding clarity. 

First course: corn and potato chowder with chicken and bacon, locally sourced, with a side of focaccia. A tasty combo for sure. As the slow night drifted along we devoured deliciousness. M had the rock fish sandwich with jalapeño jam and a mixed green salad. I went total glutton and took down the Fort George burger with Tillamook cheddar and a side of pickled garden vegetables. The pickled cauliflower in particular was amazing. 

We closed the night by spiraling upstairs to take down our favorite cast iron, chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. This dessert is a must have. The up-stairs portion of Fort George serves an entirely different menu focused on their brick oven. I washed down the baked goodness with a 12oz. Positive Contact IPA (7.4%).

The cool night turned cold as we breathed in a mixture of river and sea air. After a brisk walk we ambled to our room, ready to swallow us in until morning. We nestled in to a warm and inviting bed. Morning slowly unwound, eventually landing us in Street 14 Café down the block. Post brunch we scored a woven basket at Chariot Home and M grabbed up a Zine from Short Wave. Later we stocked up at Fort George and Blue Scorcher Bakery. We had an adventure in mind.

Making our way across the Columbia to explore various hamlets along the southern Washington coast was a great diversion. There were some pretty cute hideouts. As we drove back through Astoria we made sure to support Astoria Co-op, which is in an awesome new building on the east side of town. With fresh made burritos and munchies we made our way home, relishing in a wonderful weekend getaway.

Cheers to the good times,

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