Review: Stickmen Brewery & Skewery
Our second review, hot damn. Located at 40 N State St in the posh and least diverse area of Portland ever Lake Oswego, the brewery itself seems to be an old boat house of some sort with a patio overlooking the bay. Parts of the location look older (some of the bathrooms are incredibly tiny and kind of sketch) and there is a domed foyer.
Our first experience at this brewery was, in a word, terrible. Don’t let that dissuade you, faithful readers, because it definitely improved.
Stickmen is a relatively new brewery. The owners spent several years in Japan, drinking beers and eating amazing food, which was their inspiration for their food menu. They have 24 taps, which are currently flowing a few of their house beers with more in the works. We learned that the brewery suffered a fire weeks before opening and their initial brewing set up came damaged.
As crappy as that is, they are now in the process of perfecting their brewing recipes. Our first visit, on a Friday night, was insanely busy. It took at least a half hour to be seated and then longer still for menus and beer. Our amazing server, noticing we were clearly thirsty, poured our beers herself because the bartender was backed up.
Then, everything changed. We had beers. I accidentally received a full pint of Two Town’s Incider, which is all right in my book. Thank the Lord. Then came the food. Continue the praise! We were able to sample the few Stickmen brews that were available.
On to the beer:
- American Brown: K said it was good and slightly bitter. He is biased by Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown and naturally expects a nutty flavor, which is not in the flavor palette of Stickmen’s Brown. N said, according to my Droid Charge: “it was a little poppy with a bit of bitter, not in a happy way.” Phone “success.” Translation: It had less hops and more bitter, almost like an ESB. I said that there was a malt front with not too much of an aftertaste. My exact wording was “Malt, good. Brown, good. Yum.” There I go, all concise with my words and shit. We all decided it was pretty tasty.
- Calibration Pale Ale: K said it was the best pale ale ever. I said it was the best pale ale ever. Holy shit, we’ve agreed on something! In all honesty, when K says it is the best ever, it may or may not actually be the best ever. When I say it, it is gospel. Best. God. Damn. Pale. Ale. Of. My. Life. No. Shit. N said there was a slight aftertaste but very bearable. Pale Ales usually have a distinct aftertaste, but this one is very subtle.
- Cascadian Dark Stout: Brand new, just out of the tanks. N said it could pass as a CDA since it was so dark and hoppy. K said yep, hops. Drinkable but a little overpowering. I thought it was interesting, but not something I would ever willingly drink. The beer is getting better with every passing day.
- IPA v0.1: East coast style IPA, so not so hoppy. We learned there is a waiting list to get certain styles of hops so this brew was made with whatever they had on hand. I don’t remember much of the taste of this one, hoppy and IPA. Nuff said for B and N liked the name.
- Buona Mattina Porter: Still brewing. We had a sample of it tonight although it is still in the oven ‘a cookin’. Made with Illy coffee from Italy. N said it smelled like good espresso. Our review of this beer shall be on hold until we can try the legit brew soon. The name means “good morning” in Italian and as of 2/9, it is officially ready for consumption!
- Also on tap, New Belgium Stout: K said it was beautiful and amazing. N said it was wonderful. I ran out of adjectives to describe it but damn, smooth. There was a coffee taste but I could actually drink it all. Literally, all that has ever been made. Apparently it is 11% ABV but we decided we could drink this for the rest of our lives. K was sad and I think I saw him shed a tear when the taster was empty. Sad day.
Pints, pints, pints, pints, pints, pints, everybody!
K: He actually ordered the Brown before we had tasters, so who knows what his pint would have been at the end of the tasting. Channeling his inner “jackass,” K ordered a Hendrick’s and Tonic with a splash of St. Germain. If anyone orders that, the awesome bartender will come looking for you thinking it was K.
N: Calibration Pale Ale.
B: If I had to pick a Stickmen beer, it would be the Calibration Pale Ale. I actually ordered Two Town’s Incider, also known as the sweet nectar of the gods.
Skewery is in the name, so order some damn skewers. They are bomb.com. We ordered a bunch of food including some main course dishes. Favorite skewers of ours are the Beef and Wasabi, Chicken Breast, and Bacon and Cheese. One word of advice, order the Ho’tasian Buns. Now. Go there now, and order some. If you don’t, we will eat them all. Not joking, we did on the day of the Superbowl. Their flatbread was kind of meh. K’s actual words was that it follows the law of diminishing returns.
Happy hour has some decent specials. $3 Stickmen pints and $1 off non-house pints. Also available are several food options with some skewers with rice as a bento and a large portion of chips and salsa for reasonable prices.
We’re movin’ in. The owners and staff are incredibly cool and very friendly. They recognize us since we came in three times over the course of a week. We just can’t stay away and wouldn’t even if they got restraining orders. We would find a way. We’re also not creepy in the slightest. ❤