When you say "micro breweries", the next words many Portlanders think of are "Lucky" and "Lab". Although dogs and beer don't seem to correspond (the ridiculous painting of dogs playing poker comes to mind), enjoy a brewski and some great food at any of the Lucky Lab Brewery's tap houses and you'll quickly see how they do. Here, inside refurbished former sheet metal warehouses and old Freemason buildings, specially crafted ales are hand pumped from the beer engine or drawn from the unique nitro tap. The nitro tap, unique to Lucky Lab, filters out the nitrogen just before the beer hits the glass, keeping the flavor of the beer rich while also giving it more fizz. Taste one of these and you'll know why Portland is "Beervana". Look around and you'll see why else dogs are associated with beer here.
Along with doggy themed decor, the Lucky Lab stays true to its canine roots by allowing owners to bring their live puppy pals with them onto the patio while they (the owners) down a pint. What exactly dogs derive from the experience, being unable to join their human chums in a draught, no one knows. But according to Ken Wells, beer expert and author of Travels with Barley, "If we had more drinking with our dogs, the world would have fewer problems."
Of course patrons aren't required to bring a dog to partake in the rustic atmosphere and delicious brews. In fact, patron's second most preferred companion here is a bicycle. Lucky Lab offers trademark bicycle jerseys from its online boutique, and one Portland guide has named Lucky Lab the number one spot in Portland for bicyclists. Keeping the number of dog-loving Portland cyclists in mind, and adding to it the number of people who come just for the Super Dog IPA or any of Lucky Lab's frequently changing but consistently good ales, you can expect any Lucky Lab location to be moderately busy. However, most Labradorites aggregate on "Miser Monday" (or "Tightwad Tuesday", depending on which house you visit), when beers are offered at a discount price, and in the summer when warmer weather allows for patio drinking.
Be sure to call ahead--kegs are offered in limited supply, and reservations are required to secure your spot on a tour of Portland's only solar powered brewery.
In the words of Finger Licken' Good's official song about the brewery…
"Drinkin' a beer with my four-legged friends, and a couple of strangers, it all depends. It doesn't matter if it's gettin' late, for now it's time to celebrate."
- Hours and Locations:
- Open Monday through Sunday with different hours for each location. Please see the following page for details: www.luckylab.com/html/contact
- Detailed directions can be found here: www.luckylab.com/html/directions
- Pub house phone numbers can be found on the following web page. The brewery can be reached by dialing any of the Pub house numbers, then dialing #3: www.luckylab.com/html/contact