Posts Tagged ‘Salem’

Best Beer Places In Salem

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

capitol_kh_725061

I was thinking of compiling a list of the places in Salem with the best taps and bottle selections. The amount of good beer in Salem has been on the increase and I’m discovering that many bars I had once written off are now carrying craft beers (other then Widmer or Deschutes), and good craft beers at that. So, I’m asking you guys to help me out and let me know what your favorite bars and bottle shops are and why.

Here are the things I want to know

Good Beer

A Deschutes, Widmer, or Pyramid tap doesn’t count unless it’s either rotating, or unusual beers from those breweries Does the bar have dedicated taps to a specific brewery? What about for a specific style? Do all taps rotate or just a few? How many taps are there?

Atmosphere

To me atmosphere is a consideration that comes last. For most people however atmosphere is important.

Food

Does the bar serve Bar Grub (fries and the like)? Pub Grub perhaps (burgers, fish and chips, etc.)?

Prices

Any bar that serves shaker pints for much more then $4 is hard for me to go out of my way to visit, but it may not be for some

Bottle Selection

For a store to have a good beer selection it should meet 2 or more requirements from the list

Selection – a decent cross section  of different beers and brewers
Style Diversity– a bottle shop stocking 90% IPA’s and light lagers doesn’t have much diversity does it?
Imports– A great selection of Oregon and American beers is commendable, but there are other beers outside the US that are good
Uncommon Beers – A store that carries hard to find bottles of beer is already ahead of the game
Prices – Does a $10 bottle at one store cost $13 at another (looking at you World Market)?

Browns Towne Mini Fest

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

Is it bad that the only picture online of browns towne has a glass of BMC?

Is it bad that the only picture online of browns towne has a glass of BMC?

I know I’m late on this. Eat Salem and Capitol Taps have both reported on it. With everything going on though I never got around to write anything on it. Not to mention the people who plan Salem’s events are horrible about playing to the markets that would be interested in them. Most downtown events are marketed using a banner over by the Phoenix Inn, word of mouth, fliers in downtown restaurants and that’s it. If the people in charge of this were to have contacted the few beer blogs, Salem’s beer and wine group, and Capitol Brewers they would have generated much more interest in the event outside of the big downtown circle jerk. I long ago came to the conclusion though that many of these events aren’t really aimed at Salem as a whole, but for a particular mold.

Ok, rant over. Apparently Browns Towne Lounge is hosting Salem’s first Brewers Bash on the 10th at 4:00 pm. The brewers bash is supposed to have six local brewers dishing out samples of their beer. By local they mean only two that are located in Salem, the RAM, and McMenimans. Both chain breweries. Seven Brides from Silverton will be there, as well as Calapooia from Albany, Ninkasi, and Oakshire. Local eh?

Still the event may be worth going to. Entrance looks to be free, but no word on the cost of samples. Also no list on what these breweries are pouring. Another sign of poor planning and poor promotion. If you have nothing better to do swing by for some live music and beer.

I’ll be working, so let me know how it goes.

Today’s Post

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

venti_extI know the names not very creative today, but I decided to let my friend Dan choose the title today. In fact that’s not the only thing that went different then planned today. I was supposed to be updating today from Venti’s Bento in downtown Salem, but apparently all 15 wireless networks downtown are locked now. Even with the inability to get online though Venti’s is definitely a great place to go for a meal and an awesome beer. Venti’s is unique in the fact that the owner doesn’t drink, yet they always have a really good and unique selection of beers both on tap, and in 22oz bombers. The reason for this is that customers and employees get to recommend the beer. This makes it difficult to say what will be tap or in bottle from week to week. Right now they may have tricerihops on tap, but next week it could be the newest seasonal release from Bison Brewing. I asked Dino how often they run a tap and he told me it can be a run of anywhere from one to three kegs, and occasionally more. Not only does this keep things fresh in terms of selection, but it means that the tap lines are cleaned out fairly often. That’s a great thing in terms of selection since not all places clean their tap lines as often then they need to. Today I purchased their lunch special and a bomber of Winter Warmer from Bison Brewing, and it cost me less then $10, which is pretty good for a micro brew from a downtown restaurant. Although Venti’s will remain an occaisional treat for me, rather then a daily thing, it is definitely a must for beer lovers. After all, whats better then a business that lets you choose what you drink? For more info check out their website at VintisCafe and their blog. Also Conrad Venti will occasionally post stuff about the place on his blog at conradventi. I’ll see if Conrad or Dino can send me updates about what their serving week to week so I can let you guys know.

Just a side note. beware of ordering a bomber here as they tend to be stronger then what’s on tap, as I discovered today. My Winter Warmer ended up being 9% apv