Need More Input

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Ya, second Friday without a Things Beer Geeks Like Post. May just have to file that under ideas that didn’t work.

So it has been two weeks since I decided I was going to compile a list of Salem’s best beer places. I knew I’d have to do footwork on this, but didn’t want to risk missing some hole in the wall bar that actually had good taps. So I did what any good lazy blogger would, I tossed out feelers. I asked people in Capitol Brewers, The Salem Beer and Wine Group, twitted it to eatsalem, and tossed the question out to my friends and family. Here’s the problem, almost all the answers I received back were Venti’s and Boon’s. I know we don’t have the tap houses and bottle shops that Portland has, but we sure as heck have more then Venti’s, Boon’s, and Capitol Market. I know this for a fact. So do beer drinkers in Salem only got to the same two bars and buy all their beer at Capitol Market?

Now that my viral thing is gone it looks like my Wednesday and Thursday nights for the next several weeks may be spent bar crawling in an attempt to educate Salemites on what’s out there. Tonight though is reserved for Monty Python night at  ƒ/stop.

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9 Responses to “Need More Input”

  1. Beermented says:

    Damn! Oregon has the ugliest State Capitol building. What did they model it after, an upturned Dixie Cup?

  2. jrbox says:

    I have enjoyed a pint with lunch at Thompson Brewery and Public House at least 3 times this year.

    I took an out of town guest there. A colleague who had worked/lived in Bavaria and Yorkshire for 20+ years. Dave gave Thompson a thumbs up.

    Last visit I had a very nice Extra Special Bitter pale ale; from their website it is an autumn seasonal.

  3. Beermented says:

    A McMediocre property? Yikes! I guess Salem isn’t quite the pub mecca of Oregon?

  4. Jared says:

    No one said we were. I want to highlight the fact that we are starting to get decent beer here in town though. We have 2 McMenemins properties btw. I generally just count them as one since Boons serves up the exact same beer as Thompsons. Jen is the brewer at Thompsons and she’s a nice lady, and a decent brewer. Sadly the problem with McMenemins is more company policy then mediocre brewers. Jen may not be a world class brewer, but she makes decent beer, and if McMenemins gave their brewers more free reign they’d be a much better chain.

  5. Beermented says:

    MCM’s have such great potential. They are just satisfied with mediocre offerings. Food, beer, etc. I agree, it’s a company policy.

  6. jrbox says:

    OSU Asst. Prof. of Economics Patrick Emerson’s 06Nov2009 ‘The Oregon Economic Blog’
    http://oregonecon.blogspot.com/
    links to an The Portland Business Journal article on brewpubs.

    Relevant to this topic – the PBJ article reports
    ‘It typically costs between $300,000 and $400,000 to open a pub that includes on-site brewing.’

    I judge that to be a pretty high entry threshold.

    Regardless, the article reports brewpubs are doing well/increasing in number in Oregon.

  7. jrbox says:

    The newly opened ‘Willamette Burger Company’ has 2 or 3 taps; I am not certain. We ate there 04Nov2009, the beer selection was slanted toward winter seasonals. The burgers were very good. We [4] will got back.

    There was a bottle list but I did not look.

    I suspect the ‘Willamette Noodle Company’ has a tapset as well.

  8. Scott S says:

    Brown’s Town Lounge has some decent beers although they have leaned a little too heavily on Ninkasi. They have had some different beers but get put off I think if they get something that doesn’t sell right way.

    I haven’t stopped yet, but La Capital looks to have a pretty good and varied tap list.

    Venti’s is of course the most varied. The ƒ/stop seems to have some good beers but with only two taps and limited operating days it takes a while to see new kegs. Of course the McMenemins and the Ram are also decent choices but both breweries have to deal with a somewhat heaving company hand controlling what is on tap.

    The perpetual rumor that there will be a new brewpub in downtown has sprung up again, although it seems like this rumor comes up every few years with nothing to show for it.

  9. Jared says:

    Venti’s seems to be the focus of some of these brewery rumors mostly because they haven’t ruled it out as a possibility. 🙂

    Kirk is supposed to get some more taps installed eventually at ƒ/stop, and depending on how business does he may extend the number of days they’re open. Kirk just started it up though so it may be awhile before the 2 tap kegorator is retired. I’d like to see a bar get heavy into specialty bottles, but that may be asking to much at this point. It’d be nice though to buy a bottle of 3 yr old barlywine to split with friends, or do something along those lines.

    Just out of curiosity,

    Does anyone know the BYOB policy in this state? Could a resteraunt or bar essentialy get away with just charging you a small bottle fee if you brought your own beer?

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