For nearly a year, sour beer lovers all over the Northwest have anxiously awaited the opening of the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, and the wait is finally over. Located at 939 SE Belmont St., the Cascade Barrel House opened its doors to the public at 11AM today.
Situated in a former produce warehouse built in 1947, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House is divided into two sides. The west side of the building features 5,000 square-feet with a loading dock, barrel room, cooler and workspace. At a temperature of 65-degrees, the barrel room is specially designed to cultivate the Lactobacillus bacteria that give these brews their distinctive sour tang. The barrel room has the capacity to hold up to 350 barrels; currently, the space holds more than 250 French oak and Kentucky Bourbon barrels filled with wheats, blondes, quads, reds, browns and porters.
On the east side is a 2,100 square-foot tasting room with seating for 90 inside, plus seasonal seating for another 80 out front when the weather is nice. There are 18 beers on tap, a dozen of which are dedicated to Cascade’s award-winning sour beers, with another two taps reserved for sour beers from barrels tapped directly through the cooler wall. These select barrels will be tapped every Tuesday at 6 p.m., giving the public the opportunity to taste sour beer straight from the wood. The remaining five taps pour Cascade’s mainstream beers. The current tap list includes two of the brewery’s most sought-after beers – 2009 Great American Beer Festival award-winners Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp Aler. The beer list is continually updated on its website’s homepage.
According to Cascade brewmaster Ron Gansberg, “I’m thrilled and gratified to see the Barrel House finally open. This gives people a new option for a beer experience. Sour beers are an intense sensory experience, on par with very hoppy beers, and we feature more sour beers on tap than any other place I know of.”
To complement the beers, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House features a limited menu of small plates, nuts, sandwiches, salads and soups. The ingredients are all local, including a cheese plate from Willamette Valley Cheese and a charcuterie plate with smoked salamis and sausages from the Original Bavarian Sausage deli in Tigard. Other menu highlights include peppered cashews, hummus with house made crackers, bacon tapenade, baked potato salad and a baked chicken sandwich.
All of Cascade’s beers continue to be brewed at Cascade Brewing, located at 7424 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy in Portland. Art Larrance, who has been involved in Oregon’s craft beer industry since its inception, established Cascade Brewing in 1998. Larrance co-founded one of the state’s first microbreweries, Portland Brewing, as well as the Oregon Brewers Festival, which today is one of the world’s preeminent craft beer festivals. He currently owns and operates the Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub on Portland’s west side, where Cascade Brewing operates out of the ground floor.
The Cascade Brewing Barrel House is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Minors are allowed daily to 10 p.m. For more information, call 503-265-8603 or visit www.cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com.