The Portland Pedal Power team recently had the opportunity to visit Base Camp Brewery, and my, did we have a good time. Base Camp gave us a tour of their brewery and let us try some of their signature beers. We were pretty impressed by their digs.
The first thing we got to do was take a look at where the magic happens. Base Camp Brewery is very proud of its gravity fed system, as this allows less oxygen uptake from mash tun to the filling line. Base Camp walked us through the whole process, from the malting process to the heat exchange to adding yeast to the wort. A lot of effort, but completely worth it, we were assured.
Base Camp has some intriguing beers we couldn’t wait to taste for ourselves. The first we had the chance to try was their Indian Pale Lager, or IPL. The “In-Tents IPL” is aged with a mixture of white and red oaks, mixed in house. We also got to try the Meridiwit, “a Belgian Witbier in appearance” according to Base Camp. What caught us by surprise was the citrus flavor which brings to mind a mimosa. While we didn’t get to try it this time, Base Camp also has what they call the S’more Stout, featuring “Aromas of chocolate, coffee, fig, and smoke.” Mmmm. Perfect for the season, if you ask me.
Aside from the available drinks, Base Camp also has a one of a kind tap room. Some of the tables are custom-made from fallen lumber, and others feature glass table tops that let you trace out possible hiking treks on the topographic maps found underneath. Take a look upwards, and you’ll see a clear view of a late summer night sky made up of fiber optic lights on the ceiling. If the weather is cooperating, head outside to their patio and see the real thing for yourself, sitting by one of the fire pits.
Base Camp has some great beers, but sometimes we all get a little hungry. If you’re looking for some good food, look no further than just outside the front door at Gonzo Falafel and Hummus. Gonzo and Base Camp have a partnership at the location, so even if you order from inside the brewery, the food is brought inside to your table. Talk about service! We had the chance to order a couple of platters, including a middle eastern platter that was gluten free. We also got to try a vegetarian dish that featured a superb tahini sauce. Needless to say, our plates were clean by the end of the night.
So if you feel like trying a new IPL, having some good local food, or just having a night out with some great ambiance, check out Base Camp Brewery, located at 930 SE Oak Street.