Saturday, November 2, 2013

Kells Brew Pub

You may or may not have known that the Kells organization, with pubs in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, opened a brew pub on NW 21st in Portland last year. My wife and I attended a media event/tour of the pub and brewery on Monday to hear from the the McAleese family about the pub, the beer, and the food.
The first thing you will notice about the Kells Brew Pub when walking in is that this is not the downtown Kells that you probably have been to. This is a more refined pub, it's quieter, has a much warmer feel to it with lots of wood, private booths with sliding doors, stained glass windows, and a big wooden bar.

Currently, Lead Brewer Garrett McAleese (Son of Gerard & Lucille McAleese) and Head Brewer Dave Fleming who has brewed for Lucky Lab brewing, Three Creeks brewing, and Lompoc Brewing, are brewing on a 10 barrel brewhouse and supplying three beers (Irish Lager, Irish Red, and Irish Pale Ale) for both Portland locations and Seattle. After just the first year they are already expanding by adding two 20 BBL fermentors to keep up with demand. With the added fermentors Dave Fleming says they plan to start adding seasonal beers, with the first being an Imperial Brown ale being made for the Holiday Ale Festival and, yes, maybe even an Irish Stout in the future.

Dave Fleming showing off the 10bbl brewhouse

The food and beer pairings were excellent. We had a Nicoise salad with really fresh, sushi-grade seared Ahi tuna, paired with the Kells Irish Lager. Then they brought out a sausage roll, which was a puff pastry with seasoned sausage/onion (this was my and my wife's favorite food of the night) paired with the Kells Irish Red. The last pairing was fish & chips paired with the Kells Irish Pale Ale.  They have a pretty extensive menu, so no lack of options for food and drink.  Here's a link to the Kell Brew Pub menu.

Amazing sausage roll
This was actually my third time visiting the brew pub. My wife and I visited for the first time right after it opened last year, and honestly at the time I wasn't too impressed. I didn't write up anything then because I figured they were new, and I hoped I would visit again with better luck after they got the kinks worked out. My second visit was a couple of weeks ago, and that visit was much better than the first. I stopped in with my brother prior to a brewfest. We sampled their three beers, which were all pretty good.  I had a pint of the Lager.  I think my brother got the Irish Pale Ale. We also got some wings which we enjoyed.  The bartenders were very friendly and one was very talkative.  I didn't realize it at the time, but the talkative one was Garrett, who is one of the brewers and a McAleese.  The third visit was for this media event, and again I brought my wife along.  We sat across the table from the McAleeses, so got the opportunity chat with them.  Really nice people, very friendly.  Gerard mentioned he prefers the Irish Red of the three beers they're brewing.  We also got to meet and talk with Dave Fleming, the head brewer. You can really feel the sense of pride that they all take in offering up a warm and inviting family-friendly brew pub that offers the highest quality food and beer.

 Kells Brew Pub – Portland
210 NW 21st Avenue
Portland, OR 97210

Kells Brew Pub is open to all ages seven days a week from 11:30am to close Tuesday through Friday, 9am to close on weekends, and 4pm to close on Monday. For more information, visit or call 503-719-7175.

Head brewer Dave Fleming enjoying one of his brews.

Kells Beer Lineup

  • Kells Irish Red Ale
Our best selling beer is a traditional, drier Irish style red ale, hopped with Northwest hops that trace their roots back to their European cousins. Subtle fruitiness and pleasant esters develop from the Irish Ale yeast. This is a true, all-night session ale.
4.5% ABV, 25 IBUs

  • Kells Irish Pale Ale
Hopped with healthy amount of some our a favorite NW hops including Chinooks, Summit, Galena, Zeus just to name a few, then dry hopped to set off the aromatics of our freshest hops. The beer is a blend of NW finest IPAs and a traditional English/ Irish Pale Ale. 
6.2% ABV, 71 IBUs

  • Kells Irish Lager
People often think of dark creamy stouts when they think of Ireland, but the Lager is more commonplace in the younger generations. Crisp bubbles hit your tongue as you inhale the slight aromas of Czech and German variety hops. The crisp flavors are made by the lovely cold fermenting European larger yeast. This beer is enjoyed year-round.
4.5% ABV, 14 IBUs

Red, Lager, and IPA

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stone Brewing Releasing Three New Bastards Nationwide November 4th.

Looks like some interesting Stone Brewing Bastard ales coming our way.


A trio of new brews are laying low at the moment, shrouded in mystery and shielded from the world's scrutiny...except for you! We're thrilled to introduce you to three new Quingenti Millilitre beers that will be unleashed nationwide on November 4th. Meet our newest bastards:
CRIME - Lucky Bastard Ale with an addition of ultra-hot chilies aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels
PUNISHMENT - 2013 Double Bastard Ale infused with even hotter chilies and aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels
SOUTHERN CHARRED - (too deep under cover for a pic) 2012 Double Bastard Ale aged over a year in three types of barrels, including virgin charred American oak
Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing Twitter
Stone Instagram

Sunday, October 27, 2013


 Art Larrance, director of the Oregon Brewers Festival and longtime craft beer advocate, has donated $10,000 to the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery/Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation on behalf of the festival. The donation will support the restoration of the tomb of George Frederick Bottler, one of Oregon’s earliest brewers.

Bottler’s tomb, now crumbling in the oldest part of Lone Fir, is one of the first structures built in the historic cemetery in Southeast Portland. It paints a picture of two key figures in the origin of Brewvana: pioneer brothers, both named George, who arrived in Oregon in 1856.  George Michael Bottler  — a Portland fireman, founding member of the German Benevolent Association and a Mason — established Portland’s second brewery, City Brewery, in 1857 with partner Henry Weinhard, while brother George F. started The Dalles Brewery in 1859.

“Supporting the restoration of Bottler's tomb is an opportunity for fellow brewers to pull together and show support for two of the first brewers in the state, just as the brewing community pulled together 150 years  ago,” explained Larrance. "This is a project where we can restore and preserve our craft brewing heritage."

George M. was traveling in Germany when George F. died, so fellow Portland brewers — including Edward F. Schrader, Henry Saxer and Henry Weinhard — made arrangements for George F. to be buried in the Lone Fir Cemetery. When George M. returned from Germany, he built a tomb over his brother’s grave and purchased two other plots nearby to house his own remains. George M. later died in Munich, Germany, leaving no family to care for the tomb.

To learn more about the Bottler Tomb restoration project, visit