MUSICEYES & EDGE

COALITION - HAND ME THE HOPS

MUSICEYES & EDGE
COALITION - HAND ME THE HOPS

 If you haven’t been to Coalition at 2724 SE Ankeny, you are seriously missing out. Not only do they have a great laid back atmosphere, fabulous brews, a bbq-themed menu and the Grilled Cheese Grill posted out back, but a couple weeks ago they even were graced with a cowboy bar crawl that moved from the bar to the street to duel with handguns. Come on, this is Portland, so by hand guns we mean index fingers and thumbs. Nonetheless, we always enjoy some light Americana while we sip on some seriously sumptuous ales.All in all the Coalition family is small with only four employees, not to mention probably some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. We were lucky enough to sit down with Coalitions’ brewer’s assistant Jonathan, over a glass of the Mr. Pigs Pale for breakfast. Yeah, life is hard.If you are looking for beer suggestions, Jonathan is a bit biased towards anything hoppy. His grandfather was a hop farmer in Yakima where he spent the first 13 years of his life before moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and later moving to Portland about two years ago. So there’s a little bit of Child Jonathan in Coalition beer.  E+E: What do you love about Portland?Jonathan: I love that I didn’t have to give up snowboarding. I can go ride, come home and go to a show at night. Everything is about an hour away from Portland: the beach, the mountains, the forest.E+E: How’s it been learning the ins and outs of beer making?Jonathan: For me with a culinary background, I see it as another culinary adventure. I am still cooking, it’s just cooking beer. I love learning something new that is still restaurant oriented. Working with Bruce MacPhee (“Brew Master”) has been great because I love the fact he’s really honed in on his recipes and created his own style of beers that are high quality but don’t knock you on your ass.E+E: Why the name Coalition?Jonathan: I think the microbeer industry attitude-wise isn’t as competitive as a lot of people think. It’s a great big community of thinkers and creative people that are making beers. It’s the coalition aspect of having a group of people create a product.You talk to brewers around here and they’re not like “Screw those guys, they do shitty work over there, we’re the best!” Everyone has such different styles, just like cooking where everyone has different palates. A million people think one beer is good and another million people think it’s the worst beer they’ve ever had. Regardless, at the end of the day there is something for everyone's palate in Portland, which makes it the beer capital of the world.E+E: Portland obviously prides itself on local ingredients. Does Coalition source locally?Jonathan: All of our malts are from the Northwest area and we get a lot of our hops from Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn, OR. We try to keep it as local as possible. E+E: So, what are your newest beer projects?Jonathan: About two months ago we started bottling our King Kitty Red, IPA, and Cream Ale in 22-ounce bottles that you can find at certain Whole Foods, New Seasons and specialty bottle shops. Follow Coalition on Facebook and Twitter for updates on summer events. With great outdoor seating, corn hole and endless grilled cheese sandwiches two steps too close, it’s hard to say no.Coalition Brewing Co.2724 SE Ankeny Street  Portland, OR 97214Hours: Tues-Fri 3pm-12am, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am503.894.8080Website