Review: Ram Restaurant and Brewery
Absolutely boring logo. Soooo boring. Anyways, we went out for dinner and a tasting at the Ram in Wilsonville, 29800 SW Boones Ferry Road, and they have another location in the Clackamas Mall. We figured the Wilsonville location was the lesser of two evils and off we went. Over the last month or so, I’ve really noticed that there are breweries that are expansions out of an already existing restaurant and then there are breweries that serve food as a supplement to the beer. Which one of these do you think the Ram falls under?
The Ram is definitely a restaurant that decided to cash in on the craft beer scene. There are 20 Ram locations (is this family related to the McMenamins bros?!) and not just specific to Oregon. According to their website, the Wilsonville location is new (their website lists all 20 locations but says there are only 18. Counting is difficult!) Other Oregon locations are in Clackamas and Salem, with a closed Ram in Lake O. There are 2 Rams in Idaho, 3 in Illinois 2 in Indiana, and 10 in Washington. The Ram is owned by a larger family of restaurants that also includes CB & Potts Restaurant and Brewery, which consists of 6 locations in Colorado. Both the Ram and CB & Potts have similar boring logos and an exact beer list. More digging and I discovered that the beer is brewed under Big Horn Brewing Company and they brag on their website that they are one of the largest brewpub companies in the country.
So, let’s recap: I have no fucking clue where this beer is brewed, but they do not appear to be local.
On to the non-local beers:
- Blonde: It smelled like beer and tasted light. Boat beer. N said it was like you were tasting something that wasn’t even there, like wheat cereal. K said it was decent but generic. E said she liked it and it was good.
- Hefeweizen: It was light with hints of lemon. N said there was some kind of spice. K said he thought it was banana clove flavors. E said it was sweet and fizzy.
- 71 Pale: This is your standard pale ale. Nothing special and nothing notable. N said it was nothing great. K said there was a bite to it in that hoppy bitter sense. E said it was gross and she also made a face.
- Big Red: an IPA by definition. Nothing extraordinary. N said it was wicked strong. I pointed out that it just seemed strong compared to the rest of the flight (read: the previous beers could have been mistaken for water). K said he was hit upside the head with a hop baseball bat and then E finished the rest of the taster! She said it was interesting and not bad. K said “Hey Mikey, she likes it!”
- Buttface: An amber by definition. Not too bad, actually. N says “Yep,” which means it was acceptable. K said it was a solid amber. A little bit of hops. N disagreed and said there was not a hop flavor. E did not care for this one and passed it back to K.
- Total Disorder Porter: Great porter. It was very chocolatey and didn’t drink as dark as it looked. N said it was very dark and like dark chocolate. K said it wasn’t bad and there was a huge dark chocolate presence. E said that it was weird and then it was good.
- K: Buttface then the Porter or the Hefe depending on
whether he is on a boat or nothis mood.
- N: Buttface then Blonde.
- B: Porter, then Buttface or Blonde
- E: Big Red then Blonde
K says the Ram is too big for it’s britches and that the beer is generic. It would be better if they had only a few locations and could concentrate on producing quality over quantity. N said it beat the hell out of Migration, I gave that a second and K thirded it… but now, knowing all I know about the company, I would rather support a legit Oregon craft brewery, even if it was Migration, than spend any time or money at the Ram/Big Horn Brewery/Whatever the Hell it’s Called.
Only acceptable times I would drink a Ram beer:
1. I was in Wilsonville.
2. I was at the Clackamas Mall.
3. If it was free.
4. No other times.
The beer itself wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t memorable either. The Ram’s beer is better than Migration’s by far, however… we are not rating just the beer but the whole brewery experience. The Porter and Buttface are decent but because I can’t figure out where the hell this chain was founded, I suggest to save your dollars for a real Oregon pint at a local brewery or brewpub. If I can’t see the mash tuns or bullshit with the brewing team, I don’t really care to drink their beers. ‘Nuff said.
N is indifferent on my controversial declaration and K adamantly disagrees with me, claiming that Migration’s beer was absolutely terrible and should therefore be ranked below the Ram. Our argument, the information we found, and our subsequent ruling on the Ram’s status in our reviews will be mapped out in a future update and shall be called “The Ram Saga.” Stay tuned for a ridiculous, yet topical discussion/shit show.