Alex Ganum at the newly remodeled Upright Brewing Tasting Room
Oregon’s original farmhouse-style brewery, Upright Brewing, is coming off of multiple Oregon Beer Awards, a Willamette Week Beer of the Year designation and has just unveiled a new remodeled tasting room. Founder/brewer Alex Ganum has been looking at upgrading the breweries intimate tasting room (often described as hard to find and speakeasy-like) for a year or more and pulled the trigger closing the taproom last week for the installation of a new bar and taps.
Timing could not have been better, or worse, depending on how you look at it. At the recent 2018 Oregon Beer Awards Upright Brewing had snagged two medals, a Silver for Dirty Passport and a prestigious Gold for Pathways Saison in the very competitive Brett and Mixed Culture Beers category. Pathways Saison had been a beer long in the works and if that wasn’t enough validation than perhaps Willamette Week naming it Beer of the Year 2018 and then last week a glowing article from Jeff Alworth on Beervana. All this happened around the time that the tasting room closed to the public, making Pathways Saison and the brewery’s other amazing beers difficult to track down.
Upright Brewing’s award winning Pathways Saison
Fear not! Upright Brewing is distributed in Oregon through Point Blank Distribution and you should ask your local bottleshop or beer bar to order more. Plus, the Upright tasting room is now open again and it’s lost none of its intimate charm of being right inside the basement brewery. The space has only gotten better with the addition of a real bar where you can pull up at least half a dozen seats. Previously, it was just a dude standing in a corner by some taps and some standing tables and benches. The new 90 degree angle bar in the corner of the room is a beautiful single slab of walnut wood with a smooth well-sanded live edge.
Behind the bar is new glassware racks, including new laser-etched Upright glasses for sale and now a variety of glass styles and sizes. Previously there were just 12oz glasses and tasters. Now you can get a pint of IPA or a tulip of Pathways. There are also four new draft lines, three of them for beer and an additional for mineral water that’s made in-house. That makes thirteen different Upright Brewing beers on tap and sometime soon a crowler machine installed for beer to-go!
The old booth-style group tables have been pushed to the back of the room where a wall of barrels used to be. There are still a few floating tall barrel tables and fold-up tables set up around the corner in the brewery space. Where the booths used to be is now a rail with more seats. You would think with the large new bar there would be less room in an already small space, but that’s not the case. Moving the tables back has made the whole place feel more spacious and there is actually much more seats. The ability to pull up a stool is a welcome one. Now you can chat with the bartender as they spin records from the top-quality sound system. Though it wasn’t working as of Thursday, Upright will now accept cards as payment after nearly 9 years in business. Despite these changes, Upright still has the same charm and basic, warm but no frills feel.
Upright Brewing’s Tasting Room also has new hours, Thursday & Friday 4:30 – 9 pm and Saturday & Sunday 1 – 8 pm. It’s still all-ages friendly (with a guardian), still has no food, and still gives no fucks. Upright Brewing, 240 N Broadway suite two, Portland OR 97227