Thursday, April 12, 2012
Pints Brewing Company Ready to Debut New Beers
Zach Beckwith (formerly of New Old Lompoc) is debuting his own lineup of beers at Pints Brewing Company THIS FRIDAY. Pints has been flying under the radar as a small scale Northwest beer bar for a while, and is sure to gain attention now with the unveiling of hand-crafted "old school Northwest and British-inspired ales". After struggling for a half hour with NW Portland parking problems, I had a chance to preview the initial draft line-up and tour the brewery. I'm not sure what I expected from someone adamant about brewing "beers readily recognizable as beers, not tinctures", but my feelings were overall mixed.
Did the beers showcase an expert level of craftsmanship? Yes. Beckwith offered up an ESB, a pale ale, a stout, and an IPA. All were solid and drinkable, showcasing the fruity/earthy contrast of American and English ale yeast strains. The ESB and stout had the most rounded flavors, while the IPA tried too hard to be bitter and the rye fell short of showcasing the spiciness of its star ingredient. My favorite beer of the night was the collaboration Witbier made with Lompoc, a sessionable flavor bomb which featured a pleasant, balancing spicy-sweetness from the inclusion of candied ginger. The problem for me is that I don't think this type of beer will be the norm at Pints. Expert, yes.. did the beers speak to my personal tastes? No.
After speaking with Beckwith for a short period, I understand that he's going to be filling a necessary hole in the Portland beer scene. Traditional flagship beers, finely-tuned, with a seasonal beer to round out the lineup (these include a red ale and a session IPA, for example). Pints is the anti-Breakside. If you are the guy who is frustrated with the oversaturation of experimental beers at your local brewpub, this will be the place for you.
Additionally, Pints brew space is a very interesting one and worth checking out. It is reminiscent of Block 15's labyrinthian basement brewery, with files, computers, and workspaces integrated amongst grain sacks and other brewing miscellany. The 3.5 barrel batches will ensure fresh beer and the busy neighborhood will ensure hhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifigh turnover. Beckwith's passion is evident, although hearing from the "Real Estate Development Company" guy who runs the joint was a little spirit-crushing. I suppose that's the real world, though, and breweries would not exist if they weren't making someone money.
Financial issues aside, Pints has some nicely crafted beer, and I recommend you give it a whirl on Friday.. Especially if you're the guy who's constantly complaining about the latest Hoppy Hoppy Nano Beer.
Pints Brewing Company
412 NW 5th Avenue