This Saturday, Assembly Brewing will softly open to the public after several years of planning and construction. Located off Foster and 61st in Southeast Portland, they aim to add a brewpub experience to an area most commonly associated with dive bars, food carts, and strip clubs. Modest beer styles are accompanied by a menu featuring Detroit-style pizzas.
Assembly Brewing: 6112 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
Soft Opening: March 23rd, 2019; Grand Opening: March 29th, 2019
Hours: 11am-2am daily
TLDR: Detroit-style pizza, pinball, straightforward beer, open late
Assembly Brewing is co-founded by George Johnson and Adam Dixon, a project that began four years ago. The 7,500 square-foot space was secured three years ago, and construction began one year ago. It’s taken a significant amount of time to get the building ready, but it’s clearly paid off. And guess what? There’s parking!
The location is smart for a brewpub, as its almost directly between its closest brewery neighbors of Hopworks and Zoiglhaus. Recent and on-going road construction have made the area safer and more inviting, most notably with the addition of bike lanes.
The Grand Opening festivities will be held on March 29th, 2019 from 11am-2am. The Foster Area Business Association (FABA) will be in attendance for the opening ceremony at 11am. From 5-7pm, local artists that contributed to the murals, metalwork, and lighting will be on hand to answer questions. DJ Adam 13 and Sknny Mrcls will be spinning tunes from 6pm-midnight.
Assembly Brewing Beer
Are you in the category of beer drinkers that just wants to put back a couple easy-drinking pints and relax with friends? This is the spot for you. The opening taplist contains seven beers in the 5.5-6.5% ABV category, as well as two ciders from Cider Riot!. A cocktail menu is also available.
I tried a handful of the beers when I attended the Media Preview last night. My impression is that the styles are closer to a throwback to the 90’s, with more basic options than hop-forward offerings. Johnson said that the goal of his brews is to have them be flavorful, balanced, and drinkable. They’re definitely drinkable, but the flavors weren’t overly impressive. As with many new ventures, I think a little time to dial in the recipes, brew system, and draft system is in order.
Assembly Brewing’s 15-barrel system is located in the back of the building, only visible through windows that face the parking lot. Make sure to take a peek before you walk inside the brewpub.
Assembly Brewing’s 21 and over brewpub seats 120 people inside and approximately 60 outside on the patio. The spacious interior is lined with a modest bar, pinball, booths, a small stage, and an impressive mural.
Massive, old-growth Dour Fir beams were discovered when the drop ceiling was removed during construction, a beautiful feature.
The interior mural was inspired by Diego Rivera’s series, Detroit Industry Murals, and completed by five local artists: Willow Darcy, Theo Holdt, Geahk Burchill, Michelle McCausey, and Erin Bishop. It’s full of interesting detail, worthy of staring at for days on end.
The brewpub has views of the street, which isn’t too exciting. Does that matter when you’re bar crawling at 11pm? Probably not.
The inclusion of a partially covered, heated patio is a welcome addition.
Assembly Brewing Food Menu
As soon as I heard that they’d have Detroit-style pizza, I had to do a little research. Having grown up in Oregon, I’m not as familiar with the details of authentic deep-dish pizza varieties. Things to look for: Rectangular pieces, a lightweight yet deep crust, and crispy edges lined with caramelized cheese.
Assembly took their time to get it right. Johnson grew up in the Detroit area, and wanted to offer pizza that was true-to-style. There aren’t many places that serve it this way in our neck of the woods, so it’s quite the treat. Pizzas are made in-house daily, with vegan options available.
A variety of fresh salads, appetizers, and sandwiches round out the menu.
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