A Tour of Base Camp Brewing {Sponsored}

I have yet to be to another city with as many interesting and thriving breweries as Portland, OR. It’s even ok (in my opinion) to judge an eating establishment by who they have on tap (if you walk in and only see PBR, Heinekin, and Coors–it’s time to keep looking). I love how it’s socially acceptable to walk into a brewery with a large jug to fill for later, and some breweries even have their own food cart entourage that ensures hot food is available to beer lovers. I usually rate breweries on three subjects: venue (is it cozy? Neat? Cramped?), beer offering (i.e. do they offer a lot of different kinds? Do they have guest taps? Sours? Ciders?), and service (because a smile goes a long way).

Recently, the standard was set for breweries by a Portland-based brewery by the name of Base Camp Brewing. Their brewery and taproom, located in inner SE Portland, is an experience. The taproom has vast amounts of seating compared to most other breweries I’ve frequented, and the entire place exudes a mountaineering feel. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from comedian Mitch Hedberg–

Base Camp Brewing

Venue

I would live at Base Camp Brewing if they’d let me. The taproom is set up on to a second story, and outside at the street level there are bonfires burning in the evenings with seating. I’m half convinced they donated tents to the surrounding homeless as you will see tents pitched in the blocks around the brewery.

The bar is breathtaking at Base Camp. Patrons sit under a precariously strung canoe (don’t worry, it’s probably not going anywhere). Beers are kept in taps marked with colorful carabiners, and a torch is kept nearby for their signature drink, the S’mores Stout, a splendid stout that was only just released to bottle! Speaking of, the bottles are very different from your standard glass specimen. All Base Camp beers are bottled in aluminum, perfect for that long backpacking trip or day at the river. The bar itself, as well as the tables, are beautiful cuts of wood, some with a natural shape, and are supported by large boulders. Chairs are made up of wooden framing and copious amounts of rope.
Make sure to look up! The ceiling is covered with small, color-changing, star-like lights, which are a very unexpected and neat touch for the space. I would give Base Camp Brewing a high mark on their venue. Between the thought out decor and the vast array of seating (both indoors and out), this place is not only worth seeing but worth sharing with out-of-town guests as well.

Beer 

Base Camp only had its own beers on tap during my multiple visits, and this impressed me. Not because they didn’t include guest taps, but because they had 10-13 of their own beers on tap! That is quite impressive. I also happen to have a special place in my heart for puns, and many of the beers were punningly named (my favorite being the In-Tents IPL of course). Of the ten, I’ve managed to sip four to five but have come back to the S’mores Stout every time–and no, it’s not because it’s got a charred marshmallow on the rim of the glass. I just have a thing for espresso-y stouts.

The S’mores Stout does not disappoint. While I will leave most of my opinion on it for the next post (as I will also be sharing a homemade marshmallow recipe!), I will say that it is quite exceptional, as far as stouts go. I would give the beer selection at Base Camp Brewing high marks because of their spectrum available, the fact that it’s all theirs, and their pun-tastic attitude.

Service

In my multiple trips to this brewery, I have found the service to be nothing short of lovely. This brewery openly allows patrons to taste from their taps before ordering their beer. This allows one to find a good fit. It also helps one get out and try new beers as well!

In summation, Base Camp Brewing is worth a trip, and while you’re there, get yourself a seat, and enjoy the many beers that they have to offer!
Stay tuned! I will be posting a recipe to go along with this review of Base Camp Brewing on Tuesday! I will link through from here.

It’s here! Check out the How-To for Homemade Pepper Marshmallows!

Trivia

A little Portland beer trivia for you: Besides Base Camp Brewing, what breweries in Portland also has quite an extensive chalk picture on their menu?

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