After several delays, associated with acquiring operating permits, Vagabond Brewing recently opened in Portland's Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood. If the interior design, menu, and beers are a reflection on the longevity of their stay, we think that Vagabond will be around for a while. An expansion from their location in Salem, Oregon, Vagabond Brewing Company's ownership consisting of former Marines James Cardwell, Dean Howes, and Alvin Klausen. It wasn't until a couple years ago that the trio made the decision to open a fourth location, in Portland.
Located at 2715 SE 8th Avenue in the Dairy Building, Vagabond Brewing's new location at Suite 175, seats a combined 125 comfortably between their all-ages section and their 21-and-over bar. Opened in mid-February, the brewery’s second location features a diverse food menu, managed by Victor Deras who previously worked at Olympia Provisions’ Olympia Provisions Public House (formerly OP Wurst). In addition to a diverse food menu, Vagabond Brewery currently features 19 draft offerings, nourished by their Salem brewery with plans to draw directly from their soon-to-be installed 7-barrel brewery.
What about the food?
During a seasonably-wet February evening, the staff and ownership hosted for a limited-time engagement preview, showcasing cocktails, Vagabond Brewing beers, all paired with Executive Chef Victor Deras' food menu.
From their Share menu, Chef provided guests with Oyster on the Half Shell (featuring beer mignonette, lemon, fresh horseradish), fried delicata rings (beer battered squash and paired with sweet chili dipping sauce), house made pretzel (paired with house-made mustard and beer cheese), and a charcuterie plate (featuring pork pate, rillet, salami, beef chorizo, cheese, pickles, mustard, and jam. It should be noted, that although this was our experience enjoying shareable dishes, the menu is not static and might change between the time you read this and when you arrive.
Oh, and did we mention the cocktails and beers?
In between dishes, the bar supplied us with samples of their various beers, drove in from their Salem location. This included their It's Dangerous to go Alone Belgian-style Pale, Attack Owl, Outpost Pale Ale, and Victory Pilsner. In addition to their beers, cocktail mixologist, David Belcher, poured signature drinks including their Nomad (made with Macchu Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and bitters), Scallywag (made with Cruzan, fresh lime, pineapple syrup, apricot brandy, and bitters), and Happy Camper (made with Bourbon, Aperol, orange juice, lemon juice, and rosemary simple syrup). If the bartender seems familiar, it's possible you recall his bartending service at breweries Breakside and The Commons.
Sandwiches, Salads, and Main Courses
Moving onto the next set of dishes, Chef Victor Deras offers up a Fixed Greens salad (made with lemon juice, olive oil, with a dash of salt and pepper), Pulled Smoked Turkey Sandwich (made with shredded cabbage, fried onions, dijon mustard, all on a ciabatta roll), Roast Chicken (made with one leg & one thigh, roasted cabbage, parsnips, turnips, garlic, & chile). Again your experience might vary, as the kitchen determines what dishes work and don't. Our personal feelings were leaning towards the Pulled Smoked Turkey Sandwich and the Roast Chicken but we aren't ashamed to admit our love of a well-cooked fowl.
Overall, we look forward to returning as we review the updates since our previous visit, including the soon-to-be-installed 7-barrel brewhouse. Special thanks to Chef Victor Deras for authoring a comfort-food-inspiring menu of dishes that pair well with David's cocktails and the beers from Vagabond's Salem brewery. Vagabond Brewing Company's location, in Portland, is open Sunday thru Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, with a weekly happy hour from 3 pm to 6 pm.
Those who live South of Portland can also look up Vagabond Brewing’s other locations including Victory Club at 155 Liberty Street NE, Vagabond Brewing Company at 2195 Hyacinth Street NE both in Salem, and the Vagabond Outpost in Albany at 2195 14th Street NE.
Update: In re-reading our article we updated some facts.