San Diego, as you may know, is one of the country’s top beer towns. Portland is also in this illustrious category as it has the most craft breweries within its city limits. Last month when we were visiting some of our friends who’d just moved from San Diego, they were overjoyed to share with us the newest outpost of San Diego’s beloved Modern Times in Portland.
Classic Modern Times quirk
Modern Times is known for its inventive, flavorful brews and the quirkiness of their tasting rooms. In San Diego, their main Point Loma location features a giant mural of Michael Jackson holding a monkey—made of sticky notes. Their North Park tasting room has a smaller mural: Yoda, made of floppy disks.
I was eager to see what the art installation would be in Portland, but I was not expecting a giant, glittering piñata of Macho Man Randy Savage.
There were many familiar moments in this out-of-town location such as the “OG” and “New Money” flights with the flavors that made the brewery famous like Lomaland, Fortunate Islands, and Blazing World. They had a merchandise area, which I think is smart. Not every brewery sells a wide variety of merch, but MT does and their graphic design is fantastic.
Unique to the Portland location
Unique to the Portland “fermentorium” was a very cool 3D string-art hallway and a full menu. They also had exclusive collaboration beers made in partnership with Portland brewery, Breakside.
You might think that a town with as many of its own craft breweries wouldn’t have room for an outsider showing up; however, it was packed on a Saturday night. The quality speaks for itself, I guess.
Funny enough, the Modern Times founder addressed this idea directly when he announced their expansion to the Pacific Northwest. Their beers have proven so popular in the northwest that by expanding production to the region, the company can continue to expand in the accessible, middle-of-town way that has worked so well so far.
Modern Times: The Belmont Fermentorium
630 SE Belmont St Portland, OR 97214
All photos by Staci Jackson for The Voyageer