Rose City Brew Review

We Drink Bad Beer, So You Don't Have To!

Review: Hopworks Urban Brewery

Hopworks Urban Brewery is located at 2944 SE Powell Blvd with another location at 3947 N. Williams Ave called the BikeBar. A special note of their phone numbers, HUB: 503 / 232-HOPS (4677) and BikeBar: 503 / 287-MALT (6258). Super bad ass.

HUB is a classy joint and very large. The bar area has tons of seating with a special table inside what looks like a vault complete with a vault-like door. We call it, wait for it… “The Vault.

The restaurant area is large, and there is an upstairs as well. Lots of seating, but we’ve seen the place packed with a good-sized waiting list a couple of times.

Worth noting as well: the men’s bathroom is pretty swanky (per N). There are bike seats mounted above the toilets in the men’s room, apparently for when you really need to lean your head on something. The women’s room has a large hand-painted sign that says “You are beautiful” on the wall, backwards. It appears correct when looked at through the mirror. Pretty sweet touch.

Hopworks is big on sustainability and they are very bike-friendly, of course. It’s one of the most “Portland-y” locations we’ve ever been to. They also have some of the neatest can/bottle designs out there.

Da beerz:

  • Organic HUB Lager: According to the lovely bathroom art, the Lager is rumored to be better than Rogue’s Good Chit Pilsner. I’m a big fan of the Good Chit, so dem were fightin’ words. Regardless, it was pretty decent. N said it was good and more like a pilsner than a lager. K chose that moment to answer his phone and say to E “Hi sweatheart” and I thought he said it to the beer… but he described the lager as a malty pilsner that tasted darker than it looked.
  • Double Dry Hop IPX: We were trying to figure out what the hell an IPX was. Don’t thin we ever figured that out. N said it was a cross between an IPA and something else. Phone said it was a “pdt.” Jury is out on that ruling. N decided it was an ok beer, kind of like Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute.
  • Velvet ESB: N said this was bitter, which is true to the name. K said it was a bit malty for an ESB.
  • Hopworks IPA: N said it was very ipa-y and hops on the front end. I agreed.
  • Survival 7-Grain Stout: N said they forgot to add the beer and tastes like coffee instead.  It was “really, really f-ing good.” It wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, since N said it was coffee, but I still didn’t like it. No surprise there.
  • Deluxe Organic Ale: N said it was malty for 55 ibus. I didn’t think it was too bad and K said it was better than a Boston Lager.
  • Give Me Liberty Seasonal: A fresh hopped bitter. N said he could tell from it’s smell that it was bitter. It reminded him of Rogue’s YSB, but it has been awhile since he had a YSB, so wasn’t exactly sure. I thought it tasted a bit like a red. N said he could understand and K agreed that it had a red taste, although it was a little bitter to him. We were not sure if any of us could put down a full pint.
  • Abominal Winter Ale: N said hops and that’s it. I needed to chase it was some water. K said there was a middle hop aftertaste while N said the hop taste was in the front and back. I just said it was gross.
  • Red Card Ale: Saison style. N said it smelled like honey and K agreed, although the smell was faint. N said the taste was sweet and that there might be some honey taste as well. It wasn’t like other saisons we have had and we preferred the Red Card over the majority of other saisons. I thought it wasn’t too terrible and it had some malt tastes. I decided I could never finish a whole pint and K said it had some bitter and wasn’t as sweet as he expected.
  • Pig War San Juan IPA: N didn’t taste a lot of hops although the aftertaste was a little hoppy. I said it was gross (a running theme for me that night). I said it was hop city afterwards. K said it was true to name and most definitely a standard IPA.
  • Cultivation Dopplebock: Appeared reddish in color. K said it had a good, clean, crisp taste that was a mix between a lager and a red. There was nothing notable other than every part of the beer was good from start to finish. N said it was like Base Camp’s Acclimator but didn’t have as strong of an aftertaste. I thought it was pretty good and very tasty. I could definitely drink a pint.


K: Organic Survival 7-Grain Stout

N: Deluxe Organic Ale

B: Organic HUB Lager


The overall impression we got: happy hour menu is pretty good, the food is worth going for and they have some pretty pizza. There are a couple of decent beers, but nothing I thought was too terribly amazing. On balance, it’s a really cool place and the location is good. It’s really easy to get to and it’s near a bunch of other quality establishments in the area, like Bushwhacker Cider. Also, it’s a very family-friendly place.

In conclusion, go here for happy hour or dinner, just be ready for a crowd and lots of families.

The sign in the women’s bathroom and Your’s Truly with my phone, Floyd.

Happy hour!

Taster snacks.

The view from “The Vault” looking out over the bar.

A cool down-the-bar shot of our pints.



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One thought on “Review: Hopworks Urban Brewery

  1. Just a heads up, a Pilsner is actually a Lager

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