M Bar is basically my favorite place to have a few pints. They only have three taps, but they rotate regularly, daily almost. For six months out of the year they pour the best Guinness in town on the nitro tap. They spend the proper three minutes to make sure it’s all settled and ready to drink. The rotating taps all come from smaller Oregon and Washington breweries. I’ve been introduced to a few breweries like Boneyard and Walking Man via the three taps at M.
Today was another great example of an interesting, yet familiar trip to M. I started out with a Kolsch from Occidental Brewing, which hit a lot of the notes I love in a Kolsch: light, crisp feel and nice malt flavor. I thought it had a little too much hop flavor for my taste, more like a classic pilsner than a bready Kolsch. I missed the saltine cracker flavor I tasted at Pfaffen. I was reminded more of the Früh Kolsch; the Occidental left a sort of oily tongue coating. Still a solid choice for a sunny day on the patio.
I followed with Hopworks Secession Cascadian Dark Ale. I think they stopped making it for the summer, and this tasted like an older keg. It was a lot darker than I remembered but still hoppier than a porter. The aroma of the hops has faded, but there is still a bit of grassy flavor. The overall flavor was dominated by a smokiness. The finish is smooth and dry. And unlike many stouts or porters, the body was still relatively thin and crisp. Overall not entirely unwelcome.
As the weather warms and the nights lengthen you can count on M to bring out some very nice, crisp, tasty beers.