Beer and Wine Tasting in Eliot’s Lower Albina Area

For a long time my wife and I have had this idea to taste in the lower Albina area of Eliot.  Being busy like everyone else, we finally, after many months, implemented the plan. Stereotypically I prefer beer and my wife prefers wine.  Of course that’s not say I don’t enjoy a good wine now and then and her a good beer.  On this day we were both happy.

Our Saturday event started at Widmer Brewery on N Russell Street where we participated in the Widmer Brewery Tour.  The tour began with a video about Widmer the company and the process of making beer.  It was a little “cheesy” maybe, not unlike most company videos, but this one was very interesting and informative.

After the video we tasted 4 Widmer beers.  The tasting was accompanied with information from the tour guide (who did a fabulous job) about each style. After tasting the oh-so-wonderful beer we took a tour of the brew house and saw first hand the equipment used to make and package the beer.  All in all it was a great way to spend the hour and we got a free pint glass on the way out!

Afterwards it was time for lunch.  We had dinner with friends the night before at Widmer Gasthous Pub,  and we wanted to experience as much of the lower Albina area as possible in one day.  So, we ate lunch at McMenamins White Eagle , just a block away.  Along with lunch, I had, what else, a beer – the Firefly Kolsch, and my wife had the McMenamins Pinot Gris.

The next event of the day was wine tasting.  We walked up the street another block or two stopping at McGinn’s Russell Street Wine Merchants .  The theme for the day’s wine tasting was “Spring Winopalooza Groove” with wines from around the world.

We enjoyed  6 wines over the course of a few hours along with some bread, blueberries, and olives.  Saturday tasting at McGinn’s is an informal, relaxing, kick back kind of event.  We perused the selection of wine for sale, read the art on the walls, admired the old architecture of the building, skimmed through magazines and books and met some interesting people, all while enjoying great wine.

The original plan called for dinner next.  However the timing just wasn’t quite right after the beer, lunch, wine and snacks.  Instead we walked around lower Albina a bit, then walked home.  After a few hours  we walked back to Mint/820 .  I had a beer with my salmon and my wife had wine with her quail.  It was a great meal to end a great day.

I should also mention our plan called for a vist to Gotham Tavern on the corner of Interstate and Albina for a beer and wine nightcap and maybe dessert while enjoying the live music Gotham sometimes has.  However, we were already satisfied with the day’s event and wandered happily home instead.

Widmer holds free Brewery Tours every Friday at 3 pm and Saturday at 11 am and 12 pm– reservations are required.  McGinn’s Russell Street Wine Merchants has tasting every Thursday from 5:30 to 8 pm and informal tasting Saturdays 12 – 6 pm for a small $8 fee  On Saturdays you can do both!