The Commons Brewery

Since moving to Portland, I haven’t gone more than a couple of days without hearing about The Commons Brewery‘s Urban Farmhouse Ale. I was told that they had the best spring beer on the market, award-winning in fact, light and citrusy Belgian-style ale.

The MenuI will admit, I drink way more IPAs than any other beer, so my pallet may not be the best judge.

But, let me go on the record and say that I will go back to the brewery just for this beer, never mind the cool atmosphere, friendly service, and arsenal of delicious, mostly European-style beers.

To start, the Urban Farmhouse Ale was exactly what it is hyped up to be. It was an overcast day, but the ale was light, citrusy, and clean. Sean, the german-trained solo-brewmaster of The Commons, said that he recommends trying it out of one of their 750ml bottles because they bottle condition their beers, upping the complexity and giving it a unique flavor. I haven’t tried the bottled yet, but it’s on the list.

The bar is right off to the side of the brewery. Pretty cool to watch Sean and the other employees at work.
The bar is right off to the side of the brewery. Pretty cool to watch Sean and the other employees at work.

The atmosphere was great. From the second I walked in, all of the employees greeted me and started introductory conversations. The bar lies on the fringe of the actual brewery, allowing patrons to mingle along with the brewing process.

I decided to go with a tasting tray of four beers, which I don’t usually do. Travis, the midwest-native bartender, described all of the beers in detail and clearly knew his stuff when it came to the brewery’s operations.

Along with the Farmhouse Ale, I tried Walnut, a Belgian Porter with Cascade hops; Madrone, a West Coast farmhouse ale; and Kindred, a Belgian ale collaboration with Widmer, hopped with X-431 hops.

Farmhouse, Walnut, Madrone, Kindred from left to right
Farmhouse, Walnut, Madrone, Kindred from left to right

I’m not a fan of taster trays because it doesn’t make it easy to distinguish the finer flavors of each successive beer. But, each of the 6oz tasters were gone before I knew it. Plus, a great deal—four 6oz taster glasses for $8.

Overall, I feel like this is what craft breweries are supposed to be—filled with hard working brewers who love beer and love sharing it. They were strapped for cash so they put their tasting room in the brewery. They have a hard time calling their beers “Kolsch” because they were not brewed in Köln.

Sehr gut, meine Freunden. Sehr gut.

All of that aside, I will recommend that if you want to try some of The Commons Beer you go to their tasting room. Their prices at their taproom were normal prices. Over at Beer., a bottle of Urban Farmhouse Ale ran $11 if you were taking it with you, $13 if you were staying. 

The Commons Brewery
1810 SE 10th Ave, Unit E, 97214
(503) 343-5501

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