I tried googling “Beer.” You try it.
You’ll probably end up getting something similar to me—a wikipedia article, a beer blog or two, and a bunch of local places that serve our favorite sudsy selection.
What you wont get (until you’re a few results in) is one of Portland’s newest bottle shops, simply titled “Beer.”
The shop, flaunting about 100 distinct bottles to choose from, is tucked away on SE Stark, a couple blocks from Belmont and Burnside. Coming from the west side, it is kind of hidden (AKA I walked right past it before I doubled back and saw a antique “Beer” painted on their door).
The atmosphere reminds me of an old west saloon like you would see in the movies, only cut to a sixth of its size. The hearty, wooden bar takes up most of the walking room in the front section. Follow the hallway to the back and a social area with multiple tables awaits you, covered in wood planks with an accent wall. There was a distinct 1900s cabin bar feel. If I didn’t know better, I would assume I was somewhere in the forest. The walls are decorated with real, antique beer decor and a giant metal buffalo. Their bottle selection sits behind the bar, tempting you with each label.
Ten taps wait for your request, sporting a relatively wide variety of choices; the only thing I noticed is that they didn’t have anything dark—possibly a seasonal choice. Still, on a rainy day, a stout can be pretty nice. They had a good selection of sours, something that can be relatively rare from a bar. Also, the glasses weren’t chilled, which I know is nit-picky; but, my already mediocre Good Life Mountain Rescue Dry Hop Pale Ale came out slightly warmer than it should have been.
The bartender was a nice enough girl. She pours you a beer a leaves you alone for the most part. The only thing I would recommend is going up to her to get your order in, because it took her a little bit to come over my way.
Their bottle selection was pretty good, albeit focused on lighter styles. Of the 10 beers currently on my “to buy” list, there were four of them offered.
Overall, I would give this place a try. The atmosphere is great for a lunch/pre dinner relaxation drink, and the selection is pretty good for a Northwest beer lover. It’s modern-kitchy, with a flair for the reminiscent. Belmont station will always have the upper hand when it comes to a bottle shop/tap room, but Beer. will serve the neighborhood well and provide a worthy alternative.
1410 SE Stark, Portland