Brewery Spotlight

Great Notion Brewing

Great Notion Brewing in Portland, Oregon is a brewery started by three friends who shared a mutual passion for craft beer. GNB has gained acclaim for its fruit-forward IPAs and delicious stouts and sour beers. It is an award-winning brewing enterprise, with gold and silver prizes at GABF, Best of Craft Beer Awards, World Beer Cup, Oregon Beer Awards, and more. Great Notion Brewing functions out of three locations in Portland. You can sample Great Notion Brewing’s beers from the tap or in cans sold for to-go purposes.

Great Notion Brewing also has its own barrel-aging program, which it uses to age its sour ales for 9-24 months in oak barrels. Freshly sourced fruit from the Oregon area, such as pinot noir grapes, a variety of berries, and cherries, are used to make these sours. Bourbon barrels are used to age stouts sold at GNB. These stouts utilize ingredients such as vanilla beans, chocolate, roasted coffee, and maple syrup.

When you visit Great Notion Brewpub, you don’t have to worry about how to meet your hunger cravings. The brewery serves a range of food offerings as well, from seafood to special Northwest delicacies, barbecued dishes, sandwiches, salads, and so on. It’s safe to say that you’ll never go hungry at GNB.

If you’re a fan of hazy, juicy New England-IPAs, Great Notion Brewing in Portland is well worth your visit. Unlike the bitter IPAs usually favored in the region, GNB’s IPAs are juicy, creamy, and soft. Customers initially found it difficult to adjust to the palate that the brewpub’s IPAs catered to, but soon grew to love it.

Great Notion Brewing was started in 2016 by Andy Miller, James Dugan, and Paul Reiter. The Alberta Street location was GNB’s first home. The erstwhile The Mash Tun Brewpub was converted to GNB’s Alberta brewpub. The brewing project is named after famous Oregon novelist Ken Kesey’s novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. The founders had no professional brewing experience, but the homebrewers have managed to carve a name for themselves in very little time, with two other fully functional locations already and more on the cards.

GNB, as a brewery, enjoys collaborative efforts with other neighborhood breweries and has been offering experimental collaborative beers brewed along with brewpubs across the country since its very inception. An example of this is the 3-Way IPA 2017 brewed in association with Fort George Brewery in Astoria. The fruit-forward unfiltered IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, X331, and Azacca hops was made available on tap across the Northwest and also sold in cans.

Some of the earlier beers brewed by Great Notion Brewery which made the brewing enterprise famous are:

  • Juice Box: 8.2% ABV, Imperial IPA brewed with hops that exceed four pounds per barrel.
  • Ripe: 6% ABV, IPA hopped with Citra and Mosaic with a smooth mouthfeel and tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and papaya; fruity and soft with a subtle-sweet finish.

The premises are dog and child-friendly. So you can plan a visit with your entire family. If you happen to visit alone, you are welcome to keep yourself entertained with their TVs. Want to keep up with scores of that baseball match? No problem, ask an attendant, and they’ll take care of it.

The staff at GNB are extremely attentive. If you are unable to choose which beer to order, you can request a sampling of the IPAs or kettle-sours. If you are still unsure, discuss your beer preferences with them, and they’ll help you make the right choice.

Great Notion Brewery also sells merchandise, so if you want to pick up a t-shirt to flash your loyalty for the brewpub, you are welcome to do so.

Image by Justin Kunert on Google Maps

What’s On the Tap?

Currently, the Great Notion Brewing, Alberta brewery serves up to 17 beers on tap. We will discuss a few of these here:

  • Berry Pusher: 5.4% ABV, Fruited sour fermented with a good deal of strawberry and blueberry puree, wildflower honey, and flaked oats
  • Blueberry Muffin: 6% ABV, Fruited sour that’s fresh, tart, and reminiscent of your favorite blueberry muffins
  • Ledge Bier: 5.5% ABV, German Pilsner brewed with Barke and Pilsner malts and hopped with Hallertau and Saaz
  • Juice Jr.: 6% ABV, New England IPA brewed with an abundance of Citra hops; little brother of the famous GNB Juice
  • Pineapple Pillows: 6.75% ABV, New England IPA hopped with Sabro and Motueka, with pineapple additions to every stage of the brewing process
  • Guava Coconut Mochi: 7% ABV, Milkshake IPA brewed with toasted rice, fermented with guava puree, and conditioned with vanilla beans and coconut

If you or your company are not in the mood for beer, you can help yourself to their other beverage offerings, such as spirits, cider, or wine.

Image by hyunjoo kang on Google Maps

Making the Trip

Great Notion Brewing has almost achieved pilgrimage status for beer enthusiasts in Portland. Despite the heavy competition, GNB has been able to carve a niche for itself in the Portland beer scene. While the IPAs are what made the brewing enterprise famous, customers love the sours and stouts here as well. We recommend that you purchase flights so you will be able to sample more than a couple of GNB’s famous beers.

A brewery with an amazing atmosphere and is airy and spacious, GNB is worth a visit when in the Portland area. Customers praise the food available here as well. Items worth trying out would be the chicken fried sandwich, waffle fries, and crispy brussel sprouts. Do not miss out on the Ripe IPA, the Blueberry Muffin Sour, or the Blueberry Key Lime Mochi when at GNB. Great Notion Brewery is billed as one of the best breweries in the entire Portland area, and with the quality of food and beer on offer, that’s not surprising at all. Come down for a refreshing cold brew as you enjoy the Summer Sun on their outdoor patio.

Great Notion Brewing’s Alberta brewpub location is 2204 NE Alberta St. #101 Portland, Oregon. You can visit GNB’s official website to find out more about their hours or other related information. If you have any questions that need answering, you can get in touch with Great Notion Brewing, Alberta brewpub at 503-548-4491.

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