beer bender

Tour de Taps

Four breweries serve samples for Craft Beer Month

By John Chandler June 30, 2010


I don’t drive—I ride the bus. And I consider myself a master of all things in the bus universe. I know when to ring the bell so as to give the driver plenty of time to stop. I enter in the front and exit in the back to alleviate corridor congestion. I cheerfully surrender my seat to the elderly and infirm. I am stoic when confronted by the hygienically challenged. I remain calm when fellow passengers are suffering from grand mal seizures, conniption fits, and full-blown psychotic episodes. In short, I am usually as serene as the Buddha beneath the bodhi tree.

However, that doesn’t mean I like riding the bus. In the cruel heart of winter, when the driver thoughtfully cranks up the heat to volcanic levels, and half the riders are sweating profusely while the rest are coughing like TB patients, I can envision better modes of travel. Like maybe being chained to a galley oar in the bowels of a tempest-tossed ship and beaten at 10-minute intervals while Yul Brynner keeps time on the drums. If anyone from TriMet is listening, there is a solution at hand: Try to adapt your vehicles so that they more closely resemble the bus I rode last week during the Craft Beer Month brewery tour.

Along with several other local beer bloggers, I was invited to ride along on a tasting tour of four breweries that had prepared special release beers in honor of Craft Beer Month (also known as July). That in itself would be reason enough to skip and jump, but it was our method of transport, a pimped out bus from a new Portland business called Double Decker PDX that proved to be the sprinkles on the cupcake. Spacious, comfy, and equipped with a fridge and a bumpin’ sound system, the double decker bus is the only way to fly.

With stops and samples at the Harborside Pilsner Room, Rock Bottom Brewery, the Sidebar tasting room adjacent to the Fifth Quadrant, and finally, Widmer Brothers Brewing, it was a stellar example of edutainment and the brilliant assortment of beers poured added to my already giddy anticipation of Craft Beer Month. Follow the action in our web-exclusive slideshow. You can almost feel the breeze and taste the hops.

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