Open for business, March ’07, Portland’s ‘first eco-friendly’ brewpub, HOPWORKS URBAN BREWERY (a.k.a ‘the Hub’), occupies a freestanding industrial building in the southeast city corridor. Owner-brewer Christian Ettinger’s ‘green’ brewery takes recycling and energy conservation as serious as brewing, providing cool-fit insulated cold water and compressed air systems for the cause. The large dining area had booths surrounding centralized stainless steel bar, exposed pipes, and wood ceiling. Beer can collection lined walls above bar and build-your-own pizzas dominated a burger-sandwich menu.
I had delicious split pea-ham soup with medium-bodied fare mid-afternoon early December ’09. Peppery Saaz-hopped corn-malted honey-glazed Czech pilsner, Organic Hub Lager, juniper-grapefruit-embittered orange-peeled green-hopped corn-husked peppercorn-sidled Organic Crosstown Pale Ale, and honey-dried oats-sugared floral-hopped chocolate-malted Organic Velvet ESB set the stage for more experimental brews.
Mellow yellow-fruited clay-hopped fungi-vegetal Organic Hopworks IPA and its cask-conditioned version retained tingly orange-apricot tang. Soft orange-bruised grapefruit-embittered floral-spiced barley-biscuit-y Deluxe Organic Ale differed comparatively to sedate cask-conditioned apple-cored fig-plum-dried kiwi-mango-papaya-kissed DOA.
Serene floral-spiced Ace Of Spades Double IPA brought mild hop bittering to caramel-malted apricot-pear-tangerine tang and sugared quince loiter.
After soup, tried three worthy dark ales. Chocolate-roasted marshmallow-toasted Kronan The Barbarian Baltic Porter allowed tranquil bourbon-burgundy warmth to graze cocoa, almond and pureed raisin illusions. Mild coffee-roasted Specken Sie Stout finished with assertive chocolate roast.
Best bet: hop-charred oats-toasted Organic Survival Seven-Grain Oatmeal Stout, a robust full body with coffee-cocoa bean bittering meandering above black tea, espresso, chicory, and molasses undertones.