Beets and Brews: Just Another Day in Portland

I am in love with the Pacific Northwest. Rich with delightful cafes and restaurants, vibrant culture, and a delicious saturation of breweries, Portland is one of my favorite cities to visit in Oregon.

Currently, I reside in Santa Monica, California (which I love), but in an alternate reality, I live in Oregon. During one of my visits to Portland, I passed a cozy coffee cafe draped in vibrant green succulents and caught a glimpse of a gal who most definitely was a taller version of me. Portlanders, if you see a freckle-faced red-head with short hair romping about town in a turquoise cat sweatshirt, say "Hello!" and give her a high-five. It could be me or my doppelganger but either way, we're both cool. 

Thankfully, my family lives in Oregon near Portland, so I can drop by to see them . . . er Portland, anytime. Thanks, fam! While recently visiting my family in Oregon, I spent an afternoon with two fabulous gal pals roaming Portland in search of tasty libations, delicious foods, and unique experiences.

We stopped by Cascade Brewing Barrel House to check out its well-known artisanal sour beers, and I discovered two things:

1) My new BFF is on the menu: Cascade's Beet Haystack

2) Cascade Brewing Barrel House has imaginative and delicious sour beers.

A Beet Haystack? Yes! The cooked beets are stacked above a bed of fresh spring greens. Bright magenta beets build the haystack's foundation, topped with golden beets, and beautifully sprinkled with candied almonds. Balsamic vinegar lightly dresses the salad and German Cambozola adds a creamy, rich flair. To be candid, I am not a German Cambozola fan. Shock, I know! How could this cheese lover not enjoy blue cheese? My amazing dates for the afternoon did, however, enjoy the combination of beets with blue cheese, so it is certain that blue brie fans will adore this cheese and beet combination. Cascade's Beet Haystack is unique in both its presentation and flavor and definitely for beet lovers as the beet taste is prominent. Of course, as an avid beet lover, I enjoyed every bite. 

I paired this beet haystack with a flight of four sour beers. Truthfully, I have never been a fan of sour beers until this moment. My flight consisted of the following: Strawberry, Honey-Ginger, Sang Royal (aged in Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon) , and Elderberry. My taste buds gave first prize to Honey-Ginger. Sang Royal nagged a close second. Delicious! I cannot wait to return to Cascade for another round of sour beers.  See you soon, Cascade. 

Hey Portlanders, have you tried Cascade's sour beers or Beet Haystack? I look forward to your comments, photos, and virtual high-fives.