By Jack Rubinger
2715 SE 8th Ave. #175
11 am-10 pm
11 am- 11 pm
There are nearly thirty brewpubs in SE Portland, according to Portland Brewpubs. Joining the growing line-up is Vagabond Brewing, which just opened in a creative industrial building in the Ford District, off of Powell in the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood.
Customers walking into the bar will be surprised to see a 1958 Cessna airplane nestled in the rafters, looking like it crash landed. The owners found it in a field and painstakingly transported it to Portland, where it will be used as a photo booth.
Vagabond offers a sense of fun and adventure, with a light menu and a well-balanced array of IPAs, lagers, and stouts. Specialty cocktails like the Scallywag, Nomad, Bon Voyage and Punch Drunk ales abound.
I opted for a NW Passage Stout, dark, not hoppy, and smooth. I tried a Belgian Pale, sweet and fragrant. Vagabond’s three founders Dean Howes, Alvin Klausen, and James Cardwell are just planting roots in the Rose City. They started brewing in Salem, after military service, lots of travel and adventures all over the world.
Touring the pub during a soft opening offered a glimpse into what’s coming in the spring, including a seven-barrel brewhouse, fabricated by Practical Fusion. Experimental recipe collaborations with Level and Justice Beer and Grains of Wrath are underway to provide unique seasonal beers.
A family-friendly mezzanine and an additional bar are planned. Huge garage doors open out into a patio for outdoor refreshments.
General Manager Kyle Jensen brings ten years of industry experience from Deschutes Brewery, Fat Head’s Brewing, Saraveza, and Breakside Slabtown. He runs the Portland location.
Benjamin Woodcock painted the colorful Vagabond postcard-style mural, which hangs in the lobby.
All Happy Hour pints are $3, complemented by burgers, fried chicken, tacos, oysters, soups and salads. The main menu features a nice mix of comfort food and contemporary healthy dishes: steak frites, pan roast steelhead, roast chicken and chocolate stout ice cream. The gnocchi is tasty and satisfying. Look forward to seasonal specials that will use the locally-grown bounty of our area.
Several wines and ciders are offered, too.
Ample on-site paid parking is available, with free short-term street parking in the area.