Southeast Portland’s beloved 21-year-old bottleshop Belmont Station has finally reopened its Biercafe with a new bartop, more taps, and other improvements after closing in February. Already one of the finest taproom/beer bars in the state, the Biercafe has gone from 24 to 34 draft lines under the watchful eye of owner Lisa “The Beer Goddess” Morrison. The neighboring Belmont Station bottle shop features 1,400+ bottles of beer, cider and mead.
Since Belmont Station relocated to 45th and Stark St. twelve years ago, the only major change was the addition of the back patio and food cart. Morrison said, “Carl (Singmaster) and I have been talking about doing a “refresh” for a while now. The place really hadn’t had much done to it in the 12 or so years we’ve been in the building. It was time!”
A major change is a new bar that opens up about a foot more of space on the customer side, which is somewhat significant in the small interior quarters Morrison says that “it seems bigger and more airy.” There is now more walkway space across from the bar and the small two-top tables do not have the framed vintage, yellowing beer advertisements hanging anymore to give them some breathing room.
“As you well know, during busy events, that area can get pretty crowded. We hope this helps alleviate some of that bottleneck. It also gives us a little more seating,” adds Morrison.
The new bar is made of reclaimed walnut wood and has the welcome addition of power outlets under its lip. Now you can plug in and charge up while bellying up! It also still has coat hooks, and they have kept the vintage stools saved from the late, great beer bar Rose & Raindrop.
The addition of ten new taps is probably the biggest news for beer geeks. With 34 lines to work with (up from 24) and a self-serve, plumbed water station, it will be better for events. Now when a brewery or special themed event might take over ten or so lines, there will still be plenty more to select from if you are just popping in for a tipple. The water station will alleviate pressure on bartenders during high traffic times and new glass rinsers will also insure a fresher, cleaner pour. The extra taps may even mean there will be wine on tap in the future.
Aesthetically, the space has also become a little darker, laid-back, and less cluttered. The walls have gone from purple and cream to shades of gray, green, and blue, and many of the signs and art that cluttered the walls with little organization are gone. The back bar is still decorated with some of the best beer signs and mirrors, lined up evenly along the bottom and not filling the entire wall like before. The hallway to the restrooms and back patio has new art, like a framed original Belmont Station shirt in mustard yellow and a Dutch Brewer shirt signed by the many Dutch brewers who came to town for Oregon Brewers Fest a couple of years ago and did an event at Belmont Station. The redecoration reminds me of what Saraveza did with its remodel in late 2016.
Belmont Station Biercafe
4500 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215