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Belt’s Beer Garden: Portlandia

Portland’s Breakside Brewery’s IPA

Breakside Brewery has been a staple of Portland, Oregon since opening their doors in 2010. The brewery has done so well that they actually now have five locations across the area - three in Portland, one in Lake Oswego, and one in Milwaukie - with a sixth location opening soon in Beaverton, Oregon!

They offer seven year round brews, five of which are IPAs. And, while I would like to try them all, today I have their original, and longest lasting IPA, simply called Breakside IPA.

Breakside’s first year-round IPA was first released way back in 2011. And, more than a decade later, it’s still going strong - winning numerous awards almost every year since its inception (since 2014, it has won multiple awards every year with the exception of 2019).

Brewed with Chinook, Citra, Columbus, Falconer’s Flight hops, this beer packs a punch with 73 IBU and a 6.2% ABV. And a pack of four 16-ounce cans will cost you about $14, so it’s reasonably priced as well.

It poured a golden copper color with about two fingers of eggshell white foam topping the beer off. The head quickly fizzled down into a thin ring, leaving some sporadic lacing as it did so.

The aroma was quite hop forward with a nice blend of tropical fruits and some resinous pine. Mango, papaya, and some sweeter bubblegum notes led the way while the sticky pine sat behind the fruit notes.

My first sip started with a softer, creamier mouthfeel and barely any carbonation. The hoppy flavors quickly appeared, along with a low hum of bitterness that tingled the back of my tongue. The pine actually hit first, subduing the tropical fruit notes for the first few moments.

Then, after a few moments, the fruits finally began to slowly appear. First it was the mango and a bit of citrus rind, with lemon zest being the next most prominent characteristic. The papaya was all but hidden in the taste, however, there was an addition of pithy grapefruit and just the slightest touch of melon.

Like the papaya, that sweeter bubblegum scent was almost completely lost in the flavor. And, because of how tasty the rest of the beer was, I was totally okay with that.

As everything began to fade away, the hops struck with one last push of bitterness that coated my tongue with a sticky resinous feeling and a lingering aftertaste of pine and grapefruit. The classic finish of a great West Coast IPA.

I really enjoyed this beer. It was a great “classic” IPA with a very palatable bitterness and a nice blend of hoppy flavors. I can see why it has won so many awards for Breakside and, now that I’m moving closer to Portland, I look forward to trying more of their beers!

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