Natian Brewery has been brewing for eight years in Portland, Oregon and never had even a tasting room to showcase their beers until now. Yesterday, founder/brewer Ian McGuinness opened his new taproom a block away from his not-open-to-the-public brewery in the Portland Bottling building. The Natian Brewing Taproom is located at 1306 SE Burnside at the bottom corner of “The Alexander” apartment building near the Portland Rock Gym and is open Mon., Weds., Thurs., Fri 2pm to 10pm and Sat. and Sun. noon to 10pm.
Natian Brewing has been around for a while now, yet Ian McGuinness is the first to admit their beers can be hard to find. With increased competition and limited distribution through General Distributors, the brewery put their 16oz cans on hold awhile back and has been focusing on finding a place to showcase their own beers on permanent taps. Natian undoubtedly has found a fan base though, not the least of which is because of Ian’s endearing enthusiasm and affable personality. An outspoken longtime Portland Bottling employee who managed to carve out a corner of the plant to start his own 1-barrel nano brewery now turned full 10 barrel brewhouse. They still only put out about 350 barrels of beer per year. Over the years the Portland Bottling staff has become accustomed to beer connoisseurs and drunks alike stumbling in and asking where the brewery is, but it’s never been open to the public. Count me among them, wandering around the Portland Bottling building earlier this week looking for the taproom until an employee on a smoke break informed me it was south of the building another block away.
The Natian Brewing Taproom is in a brand new space, clean and still a little sterile but that will change as Ian adds vintage posters and art from his childhood and co-worker and ex-Everyday Music owners collection. Expect lots of classic rock first print concert posters from the likes of The Beatles, Zepplin and Jethro Tull, and films like the original Star Wars. Possibly soon board games and some plant life or even a fish tank or lizard??
For now it’s a bright open space with big windows and views of the busy neighborhood. Twenty-four taps will greet you with about seventeen of them now filled with new and vintage Natian beer. In the future Ian hopes to do more experiments and one-offs with special infusions to keep variety up and test the waters on beers that could become larger batches. The cans may also make a comeback as Natian clears the remaining inventory of 16oz cans and makes way for 12oz cans in the future. Natian’s Taproom will be filling growlers for $12 and will soon announce a happy hour day for discounted fills.
The bar area has around a dozen seats and three tv’s that will be dedicated to local sports ie Timbers, Blazers and Winterhawks. But Ian cautions they do not want to become a sports bar, games will be played without sound though he plans to bring in a hi-def projector for the wall on big important games that may include the sound on. The beers you will be enjoying here include standby’s like their CuDa CDA and Undun Blonde Ale with love it or hate it beers like “Irish Water” a deceivingly light bodied Imperial Golden Ale aged on Irish Whiskey soaked oak that’s 9.2% Abv of the “Communion Imperial Red Ale” a beer pulled from the cellar that was brewed with Acai Berries and aged on red wine soaked oak. Beers are affordably priced at $4 with anything above 8% Abv in a 12oz glass and below in a pint. A taster tray of six 5oz pours is $12. Unfortunately, the taproom is 21+ at this time and does not offer food but has menus from local establishments like Mad Greek Deli.
Natian Brewery owner/brewer Ian McGuinness at this taproom
Natian Brewery Taproom
1306 SE Burnside
Portland, OR 97214