Oct 29 2013

The very first McMenamins batch o’ beer ever brewed, ever, was just over 28 years ago.

Here it is.

First Beer Recipe at Hillsdale Brewery & PubThe original brewsheet, dated October 25, 1985, twenty-eight years ago last week. If it is true that our company is built on beer, then this document is our version of the Magna Carta. The U.S. Constitution. The [insert some other historical document of your choice here]. You get the idea.

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Oct 22 2013

We are well into the 100 Nights at the Crystal Ballroom, leading up to its 100th birthday on January 21, 2014. Until then, the joint will be lit up with nightly entertainment, from national acts to the return of longtime Portland favorites, from showcases of up-and-comers to themed events inspired by the Crystal’s past.

Rudolph ValentinoWe’re taking a look back at some of the acts to have come through this gorgeous space. For example, this gorgeous man – Rudolph Valentino, the 1920s silent film star who was one of the biggest box-office draws after WWI, with such motion pictures as The Sheik, Blood and Sand and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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Oct 17 2013

Roy GardnerMany of us have heard the incredible story of the capture of FBI's most wanted Roy Gardner at what is today's McMenamins Olympic Club Hotel (Centralia, Wash.) in 1921. While his arrest is an amazing tale, the story only continued to get more and more interesting... And lurid. And colorful. And weird.

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Oct 10 2013

McMenamins artist Lyle Hehn's sweet depiction of Olevia Ireland's Dancing Academy features fun characters from Hotel Oregon's past as well as that of the Crystal Ballroom, since the delightful Miss Ireland graced both places over her career.

Irelands Dancing Academy art by Lyle HehnMiss Olevia Ireland arrived in Portland around 1909 and first worked as an actress. By 1913, she had given up the theater, taking a position as a dance instructor at Montrose Ringler's Dreamland Academy (located at SW 2nd and Morrison). Miss Ireland and fellow Dreamland instructor, Norman Whiting, gave exhibition dances together as partners on various stages around the city.  Ireland and Whiting were among those who introduced to Portland the Tango, Hesitation Waltz and One-Step.

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Oct 9 2013

This is Johnny Pesky, one of the most beloved figures in Boston Red Sox history. He spent 61 years with Boston as a player, coach, manager and broadcaster.

Johnny Pesky on the Boston Red Sox Baseball TeamHe was born John Michael Paveskovich right here in the Slabtown neighborhood of Northwest Portland, Oregon. As a kid, Pesky spent virtually all of his free time at Vaughn Street Ballpark (open from 1901–1955), which stood at Northwest 24th & Vaughn – just three blocks from the Tavern & Pool. He and his buddies also hung out and played pool at the tavern, owned at the time by the uncle of one of Johnny's good friends. Pesky first signed with the Red Sox in 1939 at the urging of his mom. According to a story in the Daily News, several teams were after Johnny, but a scout from the Red Sox sealed the deal by wooing his mom with flowers and his dad with bourbon.

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Oct 8 2013

WedSocialWe're just back from the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas and while there we were encouraged to download and use WedSocial. This app was crazy helpful in getting a brief overview of the speakers and their backgrounds, scheduling our time to be sure we hit the right sessions to better serve our engaged couples, and keeping up on all the haps both at the conference and at the parties with lots of photos.

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Oct 8 2013

The building that today houses McMenamins Oregon City was constructed in 1930 as the parish hall for the town’s pioneering 1851 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Years of church functions, wedding receptions and community events still resonate here. Meanwhile, the lots surrounding St. Paul’s property became populated with a diverse assortment of neighbors – the Oregon City Brewery, the Clackamas County Courthouse, the Liberty Theater, along with the constant waterlife playing out just down the bank to the north, where the Willamette River flows.

Art: Oregon City, Willamette River, and VW RollsIt was an adventureland for children, and in the 1930s, the five Mockford kids – whose father, the Rev. A.J. Mockford, was rector for St. Paul’s – enjoyed the spectacle, curiosities and attractions of their surroundings. Many of their recollections, and in particular, those of eldest sibling Stuart Mockford, are depicted in the artwork that adorns the walls of their old parish hall. In 1994, McMenamins initiated a new chapter, by transforming the longtime church building into the Oregon City Pub, while nurturing its tradition of being a place for special gatherings and an observation point for life as it flows around us.

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Oct 1 2013

McMenamins on the Columbia hosts the Annual IPA Invasion every fall. Try a few of the hoppy, high-ABV beers on tap from both McMenamins and guest brewers.

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Not only does McMenamins on the Columbia offer stunning views of the river, but there is quite a bit of history there, as well.

This pub is a fantastically scenic spot to have a beer – settle in at an outside table during sunny weather to watch the boats sail by or take a table indoors to watch stormy weather head upriver toward the Gorge.

But it wasn’t that long ago, during WWII, that this area was a bustling, bristling wartime manufacturing area. One of the famous Kaiser Shipyards was located at this very spot. As shown in this photo, there were berths for upwards of 18 ships at a time, in all stages of production.

Kaiser Ryan Point Shipyards on the Columbia River, 1940s

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