Geeky Beers and Stoner Snacks

PDX-ers, you have my dream neighborhood beer spot. How had I never heard of the Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern on Killingsworth Street before last week's trip to the IACP awards? While at first it looked like it might be trying a little too hard with its predictable deer-antler motif and "cool" beer schwag stuck up everywhere, the food, beer selection, and laid-back staff proved the place to be everything I want in a beer joint.

Like San Francisco's City Beer Store, it carries a huge selection (over 200) of interesting craft beers, both imported and domestic, which you can purchase to go or drink there. It's on the small side, but there is still a good-size bar to sit at with quality rotating taps that included Goose Island's Matilda and Eric's Sour Peach Ale from New Belgium's Lips of Faith series on my visit. There are a few wooden booths by the windows and a handful of high tables with stools and bottle-cap art on the tabletops. Beers are stocked in vintage-looking refrigerators lining the walls, and even if they come in a six-pack, you can score a single bottle to taste a variety during your visit, or mix and match a custom six-pack to take home.

Then there is the tavern menu. Their specialty is pasties, which come in beef, vegetarian, and a special of the day, which was ham and cheese on my visit. The vegetarian version was filled with mushrooms, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, rutabagas, and tangy cheddar. Pasties also come with a side of house-pickled mixed vegetables. You can also snag pasties to "take and bake" and save a buck. Well-done drunk/stoner classics include "house-baked Chex Mix," cream-cheese-stuffed fresh jalapeños, pickled deviled eggs, and rice crispy treats.

If you're in Portland, check out Saraveza's website, since they frequently hold beer classes, tastings, and other events.

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