What's better than going on a cycle trip with your friends to drink some beer, or sip some wine? Having that cycle be shared among ALL THE FRIENDS!!! That was a recent experience of mine in Portland - a tour with BrewCycle Portland for my friend Jaqcueline's birthday.
I love to cycle...so I was rarin' to go - I wanted to take the bike out by myself...but it's better with friends for sure!
12-15 people, one bike, a fun and funny driver, your own iPod mix, snacks, and a trek to breweries in NW Portland. I can't think of a better way to spend a day. Pedaling was a lot of fun - not too heart-racing that it becomes too difficult, the bikes only move about 6mph max. We rode right around on the streets, through traffic lights, and around corners. Our host did the steering, and we did the rest. Though you can't drink on the bikes (city ordinances), you can bring along plenty of delicious snacks to nosh on as you move from place to place.
We went to Caps & Corks, a bottle and tap room with a massive selection. I totally got to geek out on the shelves and shelves of beer and wine, mostly local, and enjoy the rustic-Portland-pub (it's a thing) atmosphere. Gordon and I sampled the Anvil Ale ESP from AleSmith in San Diego. This lightly hoppy and gently malty amber is well-balanced and crisp. Though listed as a bitter, I did not find it all that biting, but more well-rounded and easy to drink.
We also hit up the Deschutes Brewery, where we lazed a bit in the sun in the front entryway. Here I sampled the Imperial Smoked Porter. Chocolatey and rich, the smokiness in this beer seemed almost nutty and toasty rather than smoky. I enjoyed the creamy mouth feel and maltiness, and thought it went well with the fries we picked up as a snack.
Bridgeport was another stop along the way. I enjoyed their multi-tier space, and a lovely taste of the Smooth Ryed. This beer is delightfully hoppy with a spicy nip of rye in the finish. What I liked best about it is the crispness of the beer - refreshing near the end of the ride. Drinking this in closing certainly made my BrewCycle experience a Smooth Ryed indeed!
I think the best part of the BrewCycle experience is not even the beer. Everywhere we rode we got high fives, laughter, and waves from the people on the street! We were able to laugh, joke, and enjoy the ride as a group, and our tunes were awesome. You don't even have to have 12-15 friends in order to participate. They will pair you up with other groups to get a full bike, so you might even make some new friends along the way.