Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Great Notion Brewing (Part 2)

(Original Review -- March 2016)
(PDX Beer Week -- July 2016)

I had been back to Great Notion several times since the last write-up, but this time I also went back to get some food. Turns out they tightened up the menu from the last time I saw it, along with adding a couple new dishes.

While other breweries in the Pacific NW have jumped on the New England-style IPA bandwagon over the past 1-2 years, Great Notion Brewing was the one to really jumpstart it.

Of course, Great Notion has more than just the fruit-forward, hop-muted New England-style IPAs. I started with a taster of their Double Stack Imperial Breakfast Stout. It remains an epic beer that is full of maple syrup on the nose. It drinks easier (to me) than its stated 10% ABV, so watch out here.

I then proceeded to the 3-Way IPA, a Fort George collab with Great Notion and Reuben's Brews. As I've noted before, I believe this was the best 3-Way IPA collab to date. So much tropical flavor here.

I finished with a 5 oz pour of Juice Jr., their award-winning IPA. Full of lovely Mosaic hops. I feel very lucky to have a Portland brewery devoted to the NE style of beers.

As noted above, Great Notion changed up their food menu a bit, taking off some of their old items and adding a few new ones. The Jerked Chicken Tacos ($14) weren't on the menu last time, so I got them here.

Chicken thighs marinated in rum and lime juice, greens, cherry tomatoes, scallions, and mango pico de gallo all inside double corn tortillas. Two tacos are served with dirty quinoa and beans. It's a colorful, appealing dish that brings good flavor. The chicken was the star here. I would have rather had a third taco than the sides, though.

Overall, I think the food menu has improved from last year. I'll probably get the cheeseburger next time; you can really never go wrong with a good burger cooked medium-rare.

I was there during the mid-afternoon for a couple hours, between the lunch and dinner rush. I'd probably go then, if not after the dinner rush or right when they open. The brewery, for a Saturday, stayed consistently busy while I was there, with a few tables empty at times.

Great Notion has already been more successful than Mash Tun, its predecessor in the same space. With numerous awards and accolades, the sky is the limit for Great Notion Brewing. 7.5/10

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