Oregon’s oldest brewery, BridgePort Brewing, has recently fell on tough times, but with a new pilot brewery and light brewpub remodel the team which includes Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton is hoping to get things back on track. It’s no secret that the old guard of craft breweries have been struggling with overs-aturation and staying relevant, but after years of asking, BridgePort Brewing has finally gotten a new 5-barrel pilot brewery and carteblanche to make new beers and just about anything the brew team can think up. Not only does this mean new recipes like the first hazy Northeast-style IPA, but also returning classics like Blue Heron Pale Ale.
One of the new features at Bridgeport’s pearl district pub is an actual bar in the main dining area, yes there is one on the upstairs mezzanine but it’s not very “pub” like and the spot always seemed to be more for wine and cocktails. The new bar sits right up front of the main entrance with fifteen taps of year-round and rotating seasonals and one-offs. Amongst the lineup will include a “Heritage” tap that pays well deserved homage to classics like Blue Heron Pale and likely returns of other beloved beers like ESB. Bridgeport has been frequently refreshing their lineup over the last handful of years and it sounds like even more shuffling is in-store for 2018 but with a focus on hops and a deal that gains them access to small batch test varietals of the most cutting edge hops being developed in Oregon and Yakima.
Bridgeport’s new 15 tap bar inside the pearl district pub
Veteran returning Bridgeport Brewing beers still available include their original classic IPA, Stumptown Tart, Old Knucklehead Barleywine, KingPin on Nitro and Tiny Horse Pils that was introduced in the last few years. But you will also find some new recipes like an all Mosaic Hopped Cream Ale, Bullpen Session IPA and MultiBall Double IPA. Meanwhile you can get a sneak peak at Bridgeport’s upcoming Hop Hero Series which will be rotating releases in bottles. Leading the way is Hop Hero Triple IPA, this big 10% abv beer is one for lovers of balance with an equal parts malt to hop presence and a mix of new and old hops. Hazy IPA is also making it’s way into the Hop Hero series starting April 1 2018, Bridgeport’s first try at a Northeastern/New England-style IPA that has the requisite cloudiness and new wave juicy hops though still a bit restrained, but very drinkable.
Description: When you need that big one, that monster IPA and a double isn’t enough: BridgePort Triple IPA. We use a huge charge of pure 2-row pale malt to make our biggest beer ever. No specialty malts to get in the way of the monster hop additions. We start in kettle with a ridiculous dose of Nugget hops followed by fragrant and fruity Mosaic and Citra hops in the Whirlpool. Then we strain the wort through our hopjack filled with Centennial hops and more Mosaic and Citra. Then we finish by dry-hopping near the end of fermentation with yet more Mosaic and Citra hops. Lookout, those hops are gonna get ya! ABV: 10.3% BU’s: 100
Description: A popular new style, our Hazy IPA creates a ton of hop flavor while keeping hop bitterness low. We use our pale malt combined with Malted and Un-malted White Wheat to create a smooth and slightly hazy background malt flavor. We then do something that we’ve never done before: we don’t add any kettle hops! To accentuate the incredible flavors of Mosaic, Centennial, and Liberty hops, we add all of the brew house hops in the Hopjack after the boil. This way we capture as much of the aroma of these excellent hops without creating a lot of bitterness. Near the end of fermentation we dry hop with Mosaic and an Experimental hop from John I. Haas. ABV: 6.9% BU’s: 42
Some of the other one-off beers currently on tap at BridgePort include Deep Cut Oatmeal Stout, India Dark Ale and First IPA in Space. The lineup will always have a Heritage tap featuring a beer of the past.
new salvaged wood tables in the Bridgeport brewpub dining area
BridgePort is not leaving behind cocktails either but bringing them back to beer. Bartender/writer and author of Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer, Jacob Grier, has designed a new beer cocktail menu:
- Winter Shandy – Kingpin Double Red Ale, ginger beer, Indio curacao lemon
- Carwyn Viking – Regnig Dag aquavit, Candy Peel IPA, lime, falernum, Scrappy’s Aromatic bitters
- Cascades Sour – Aria Gin, Original IPA, lemon, ginger syrup, Cascadia liqueur
- Chai Flip – Clear Creek apple brandy, Kashmiri amaro, Pub Porter, whole egg, demera sugar, nutmeg.
- A new classic cocktail menu and barrel-aged cocktail menu will also be available.
new 5-Barrel pilot brewhouse at Bridgeport. On display behind tall pub seating.
With a new 5-barrel pilot brewery from Portland Kettle Works now prominently on display at the back of the restaurant, brewers can now experiment and brew nearly anything they wish. The pilot system was a long time request of brewmaster Jeff Edgerton who also successfully got new tables and bartops to give a more pub like feel. The changes are a welcome switch back to the brewpub of yore that was more wood and less shine and a casual pub like feel. The new bar, updated atmosphere and small batch brews are a step back towards making Bridgeport a beer establishment for the craft beer fan.
Bridgeport’s Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton belly’s up to the new bar