Behind the bar at The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse
Beaverton, Oregon, is about to get a whole lot beerier with The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse taking over the old Brannon’s Pub & Brewery space on Cedar Hills. Far from your typical pub chain type of restaurant, owner Dave Heinsch (who also owns The Fireside Grill) envisions it as a passion project the culmination of his 17 years experience bartending on everything from dive bars, to cruise ships and fine dining establishments.
Westgate was taking root before Dave purchased the old McMenamins Riverwood Pub and re-modeled and opened it as The Fireside Grill in July of 2012. Fireside took off and has been known as a good place for craft beer and a host of many great beer dinners. Westgate is the culmination of many things, especially Dave’s obsession with bourbon. “It’s a bourbon bar, taphouse, bottle shop, upscale gastropub with a game room and a 10bbl brewery.” Dave has a strong love of bourbon; when most people are on vacation relaxing he is combing the aisles of the local liquor stores. “I’ve been collecting bourbon for years, going to two to three liquor stores a week just checking out what they’ve got.” Flying to Kentucky once a year to buy barrels and working with close to sixty experts on their input, the Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse will stock over 230 different bourbons–“all the Antiques, Pappys, Hirsch 16yr reserve. Black Maple Hill, etc.” But there also will be scotch, high-end rums and tequilas, and a members only gin club, yielding over 760 different bottles in total.
The old Brannon’s 10bbl brewery will not technically be a part of the Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse, but is leased with its own business address as Little Beast Brewing. Little Beast is the project of Charles Porter, you may remember Charles as the Brewmaster behind Logsdon Farmhouse Ales who departed in July 2015 over ownership/management changes and has been looking for a space to open his own sour/farmhouse brewery ever since. Both Chuck and Dave emphasize Little Beast Brewing is a separate enterprise that may eventually relocate, but will likely have some of its beers on tap at the taphouse. Much more info on Little Beast Brewing coming soon…
Draft lines at The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse
While Bourbon Bar is the first thing in the name of this new pub, it is not slacking on the beer. There will be fifty beer and cider taps, and anothersix devoted to wines, with short direct draw lines, each with its own regulator for perfect consistent pours. The majority of these taps will be rotated with weekly line cleanings.
The Westgate Bottle Shop is “a fully integrated retail store within the restaurant. We have over 900 different beers and over 600 bottles of wine available for retail to-go sales,” says David. He utilized connections to put together a well curated selection of beers from all over the world, not just local. It’s all refrigerated behind 18 cooler doors. The pub and bottleshop are tied into the same POS system, “which means if you’re eating dinner and you want a bottle of wine or beer that you know we carry, you simply ask your server and that bottle will then be picked out of the shop, delivered and served right to your table, plus a corking fee.” So Westgate won’t be limited by the not-so measly fifty taps. The bottleshop will be open 11am to midnight, 7-days a week just like the pub will be.
There will be a separate game room with three custom made 8′ pool tables. These are high calibre; according to Dave, “these are true tourament tables with simonis felt, all built from reclaimed wood.” There is also a custom shuffleboard table and darts to keep you occupied over a fancy bourbon served neat or craft beer served with a proper pour.
How could we forget the food, though? Beaverton is not known for high quality anything, but Dave wants to change that with the help of Executive Chef Jerrod Silcox. While the upscale pub grub won’t be unique–Dave admits, “we are not trying to change the food world here”–it will be of high quality. Everything other than the bread will be made 100% from scratch. Dave seems as passionate about the kitchen as the bourbon. “Every sauce. Every dressing. Our mozzarella is pulled in house. The chicken comes right off the rotisserie. Our steaks are hand cut and were dry aged for at least 21 days. Our pasta is made in house and also cut by hand.”
How will an upper crust joint in Beaverton fair? Hard to say, but The Westgate does have some destination joint potential with that beer and bourbon selection, plus an upcoming brewery focusing on sour and farmhouse beers. The new pub soft opens this Saturday, December 3rd. Hours will be 11am to Midnight.
The Westgate Bourbon Bar and Taphouse
3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd #300-D
Beaverton, OR 97005
503-746-5034 Bottle Shop