First Look: Breakside Brewery NW Slabtown

Breakside Slabtown bar Ben Edmunds

Portland and Milwaukie-based Breakside Brewery opens its 3rd location in northwest Portland’s Slabtown neighborhood today, Monday, March 6th, 2017. This past weekend featured a trial run and tours that gave some of the public a chance to snap photos, try the new beers that are exclusive to the NW location, and preview the new food menu.

first floor dining room

first floor dining room

main floor dining room, roll-up door windows to beer garden

main floor dining room, roll-up door windows to beer garden

The new 200+ seat space is on the other side of the block from New Seasons Market on the corner of NW 22nd and Raleigh. Breakside Slabtown features a full restaurant with three levels, each with its own bar pouring the same beers, and a new, compact but tricked-out 10bbl JVNW brewery.

Breakside Slabtown booth

The rooftop 3rd level probably won’t be completed until April or May, and the 2nd floor bar is still being finished but should be open soon. There will also be a private event rental room for small gatherings and meetings. Both the 2nd floor bar and meeting room look down upon the crowded brewhouse. Beers are served through serving tanks rather than kegs, so there should be few empty taps and the beers flow to all levels.

Breakside Slabtown overhead

The custom-designed 10 barrel brewhouse is custom-built to explore hoppy beers, with 3 vessels, two 10 barrel fermenters, and three 20 barrel fermenters. Breakside is calling it the “Hop Lab” and one of the features is a custom-designed method to cool the wort and run it through dry hops for added aroma without the heat scrubbing off subtle flavors and aromatics. Breakside has previously focused on shelf stability, but this brewery will focus on fresh beer and discovering the next great hop varieties and techniques. For the most part, the beer brewed at Slabtown will only be poured there, except for the occasional event. Slabtown will also still feature flagship beers from the other two Breakside locations.

Brewer Will Jaquiss will head up the Breakside Slabtown brewing team, with Tom Fischer stepping up to 2nd in command. Will is a graduate of Williams College and the Siebel Institute, he has already racked up medals at Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup for the beers he has been brewing as R&D Brewmaster of Breakside’s pilot brewery at 820 NE Dekum. Tom is one of Breakside’s longest tenured employees, going from server and bartender to brewer.

Left: Jacob Leonard, Top center: Ben Edmunds, Right: Will Jaquiss

Left: Jacob Leonard, Top center: Ben Edmunds, Right: Will Jaquiss

One of the special treats now possible with the Breakside Slabtown brewery is the new “The Seeker Series” of IPAs that honor the diversity of India Pale Ale. The idea is to pay tribute to different regional variants of the IPA. Brewmaster Ben Edmunds has identified six different regional variants that he considers outstanding.

• the golden, resinous, strong IPAs of Southern California, typified by friends at Pizza Port, Bagby, Beachwood, Noble Ale Works, and Ballast Point

• the soft , hazy and estery IPAs of New England in the vein of Hill Farmstead, Nightshift, and Trillium

• the piney and citric IPAs of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California made timeless by Firestone Walker, Russian River, and Barley Brown’s

• the over-the-top, weighty IPAs of the Midwest inspired by Fat Heads, Columbus Brewing, Brew Kettle, Three Floyds and Surly

• the rich and saturating IPAs of the Mountain West a vein that runs from Melvin in Jackson, WY, south through Denver to Albuquerque, home of Bosque, La Cumbre, and Canteen

• the fruity and oily IPAs from the Southern Hemisphere

Many people have been asking about the food menu at Breakside NW Slabtown. It’s still being played with and tweaked, and the opening days and weeks will help decide what will stay on the menu, what will change, and what will go bye-bye. It is a full menu with similarities to the original Dekum brewpub in Woodlawn, but it’s not the same.


Fans of Breakside’s infamous nachos will be pleased to see them on the menu at Slabtown, but they are different. This version has four cheeses: cotija, cheddar, pepper jack, and colby jack. As most nachos do, they have black beans, cilantro, pico de gallo, and guacamole. The addition of lime salt, Mama Lil’s sweet peppers, and green olives make these a little different than most. I thought they were excellent.

Fire roasted jalapeno poppers are back, and there is a cheeseburger, a Kobe beef burger, and an Asian grilled chicken burger. Lots of sandwich options include a fried green tomato & pork belly sandwich, a steak sandwich, and a tuna melt. There are small salads and salad bowls, large plates of steak, fish & chips, albacore, and fried chicken. There is even a separate vegan category with four options. Last is a special “3pm until gone” category of beer steamed clams, cheesy tater tots, and Korean tofu tacos. Again, this menu is subject to change as of opening.



A New England-inspired IPA with loads of Mosaic and Citra hops. Part of our “Seeker” series


Intensely hoppy double IPA with notes of apricot, papaya, and juicy fruit


Classic Pilsner meets West Coast sensibilities: German Pilsner + Simcoe hops


Easy drinking Summer Ale with a kiss of Lemondrop hops


Gose with lychee fruit, coriander, and umeboshi (salt cured Japanese plums with red shiso)


Sweet stout with cinnamon, fennel, and Stumptown coffee

SLABTOWN SESSION ALE** 4.7% hop bomb featuring Eldorado hops

Famous “Vermont-style” yeast meets contemporary IPA and toasted coconut

Classic Southern California-inspired IPA

Contemporary meets classic in this Northwest IPA, heavy on Chinook and Mosaic hops

SHIFT BREAK WHEATWINE** Collaboration beer with Night Shift Brewing

** Denotes beers will debut starting Mar 15.

Breakside Slabtown bar and beer

Breakside plans to eventually establish a few full-time house beers, but the taplist will rotate with a wide range of different new beers. At any given time, customers can expect 2-3 house IPAs, 2-3 additional hop forward beers on draft, a lager, a dark beer, a fruit/culinary/sour beer, and 1-3 additional rotating selections. The beer list will be supplemented with core releases and seasonals from the other two Breakside locations alongside a deep bottle selection.


Collaboration Beers with Nightshift, Figueroa Mountain, Reuben’s Brews, Pinthouse Pizza, Little Beast and more friends
Hop School Series:

“G is for Grungeist”

“C is for Cashmere”

Chef Collaboration Series Redux

Breakside Brewery NW Slabtown 

1570 NW 22nd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
Call: (503) 444-7597

Sun-Thur: 11AM-11PM
Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight

Breakside Slabtown exterior

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

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: