barrel room

First Look at Breakside Brewery’s New Milwaukie Taproom

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The long awaited, highly anticipated new Breakside Brewery production facility in Milwaukie, OR, finally opens its tasting room to the public today, Wednesday, January 30th. Situated in a business park off the path of any foot traffic or shopping, the warehouse space looks primarily to be a spot for brewing large amounts of delicious beer and for local office workers to stop after their shifts for a beer or a growler to take home.

The shiny brand new 30 BBL brewhouse, the largest ever constructed by local fabricators Metalcraft, sits at the back of the building in plain sight taking up just a fraction of the cavernous warehouse building. With plenty of room to grow but new 60 BBL fermenters that should keep them occupied filling for a while, it’s a new quiet home for what once was a tiny brewpub making beer on a nano homebrewing scale in the far northeast of Portland.

In the back of the airplane hangar-sized building sits the brewery and two special rooms for barrel-aging. Both are temperature-controlled with viewing windows, and the larger room already holds a dozen or so bourbon barrels mostly filled with Aztec, the brewery’s strong chocolate and chili beer and smells of delicious oak, vanillins, and cake. The other, smaller room, is more isolated and will be for wild fermentation. It contains a handful of wine barrels in stock and two carboys of wild years starters for Brett C. and L.

In less than 3 years, Breakside Brewery has become a beer geek and Woodlawn neighborhood favorite with just a 3 barrel brewhouse and the creative mind of Head Brewer Ben Edmunds, a one-time New School columnist. Since growth became inevitable, the brewing staff has ballooned to include assistant brewer Sam Barber, who will now be heading up the original pub system; well-respected Oregon brewer Jacob Leonard, an alumnus of Widmer and Walking Man Brewing; and Andre Horne of Avery Brewing in Boulder, Colorado. This is all under the watchful eye of now sole owner Scott Lawrence, a first time restaurateur and brewery owner from South Carolina by way of Indiana. How odd and perfect it is then that Brewer Ben Edmunds, a Michigan native who graduated from Yale University, studied at the Siebel Brewing Institute, and taught at a Jewish Academy, would then meet in Portland over a game of disc golf.

Now with a slick new industrial-looking building, new brewery offices, and for the first time a distributor in Maletis Beverage, Breakside’s brews will finally be available to the masses. The denizens of Milwaukie may have a hard time finding the new taproom, which is located in a very quiet business neighborhood, set back in a cul-de-sac and unable to be seen from the winding roads, but if you find Bob’s Red Mill, you’re nearly there. You will be greeted by best attempts to hide the industrial nature of the warehouse with warm wood paneling, oak barrels for tables, a TV for games, and a beautiful slab of a wooden bar built by Abe Goldman-Armstrong. For the opening week the shiny new taps are pouring a delightful spectrum of new beers, classics, and some special barrel-aged kegs and collaborations saved for an occasion such as this:

Pilsner: traditional German-style lager with clean bitterness. very light, crisp and refreshing. 5.2%

IPA: classic craft beer of the Pacific Northwest. notes of evergreen, citrus and tropical fruit. 6.5%
Woodlawn Pale Ale: traditional American pale ale made with Newport, Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade hops. 5.2%
Dry Stout: award-winning Irish-style stout. light bodied with high levels of roast and bitterness. 4.7%
Aztec Ale: American strong ale made with habanero and serrano chilies and cacao nibs from Mana Chocolate. 10.2% ABV
Toro Red:  rich and malty amber ale with a touch of smoke and espelette chile. 6.3%
Breakside Black:   smooth dark beer modeled after the dark lagers of the Czech Republic. 4.4%
Szechuan Blonde:  possibly the spiciest beer in the world.  throwback blonde ale made with red Thai chilies and Sichuan peppercorn 5.3%
Munich Dunkel:   traditional Bavarian-style dark lager. light notes of chocolate and toasted grain. 5.2%
Cascadian Dark Ale:  native Northwest-style: a dark beer hopped like an IPA. 6.2%
Cedarbaumbier:  experimental wheat beer with very little hops and lots of Western red cedar tips foraged by the brewers. 5.2%
French Fennel Farmhouse: golden saison designed by Chef Gabriel Rucker. made with fennel seed and pollen, and Cascade hops. 6.8%
“Ale to the Chief” Honey Beer:  our version of the White House homebrew. made for the 2013 Inauguration with BeeLocal honey. 6.3%
Oatmeal Stout:  classic English-style stout made with flaked oats for an extra creamy mouthfeel. 6.2%
Rusticity 2012:  Belgian rye stout with cherries and Brettanomyces made as a collaboration with Upright Brewing and The Commons
Old Whiskey Dick 2012:  Bourbon barrel-aged old ale made in collaboration with Wildwood Restaurant. 11.7%
Chinato Barrel-Aged Saison:  strong Belgian-style summer ale aged in a spiced wine barrel from Cana’s Feast Winery and refermented with Counoise grape juice. 9.2%
New World Bruin:    barrel-fermented sour ale similar to a Flemish brown ale. complex notes of cherry, Bourbon, wood, and raisin. 8.5%
Oude Noire:  very dark farmhouse ale made with sweet orange peel. 7.1%
New Nordic Porter:    experimental spiced porter modeled after Aquavit. made with carraway seed, dill flower and fennel pollen. 6.6%

Breakside – Milwaukee Taproom
5821 SE International Way
Milwaukie OR 97222

Mon-Fri: 3-7ish
Sat: 12-6ish
Sun: Closed

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Jesse Radonski

    January 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Sounds like a fantastic expansion for Breakside. I’m excited to see it for myself.

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