This Saturday, July 19, is the 13th Annual Roadhouse Brewfest, one of the summer’s best outdoor events, especially if you’re into live music and drinking good beer. Along with our own brewers, this year’s guests include Vertigo Brewing (Hillsboro, Ore.), Two Kilts Brewing Company (Sherwood, Ore.), Heater Allen (McMinnville, Ore.) and several others. Try original beers like Blue Me Away, with fresh blueberries; Morning Blend Espresso Stout, made with McMenamins coffee; Two Falcons Double IPA, coming in at a whopping 8.75% ABV; and many more.
Here are a few then-and-now shots of the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall property. This weekend, while you’re enjoying your summer brewfest beer, take a stroll around and imagine how it may have looked, from the 1850s onward.
P.S. The word on the street is that this beautiful spot is in line for some fun updates in the coming years – stay tuned….
The impressive Italian Villa-style house, built in the mid-1860s for Robert Imbrie, replaced the farmstead’s original 1840s log cabin. Six generations of Imbries lived in this venerable home; the last family members moved out in the 1970s.
In the early 1900s, blueprints for octagonal barns were readily available by mail order or from the local grange hall. Like many other farmers of this era, the Imbries decided the design suited their needs. They built this barn around 1913 to replace the farm’s original, decomposing cow barn, and for half a century, it proved to be an efficient structure for milking and feeding their herd. In the first and third shots, the small milk transfer building that became the Little White Shed is visible on the left.
When McMenamins first leased the house and a small amount of land around it in the mid-1980s, part of the agreement was that they were to take care of the grounds. So every time they cut the grass, they’d mow a little further and further out, until the barns were encompassed within “their” property! Eventually, McMenamins was able to take ownership of the entire lot, including the house, lawns and outbuildings, thereby saving the property from being the site of yet another generic execu-lodge-type motel. Today, guests can take a seat at one of many picnic tables and enjoy a beer beneath the towering trees. Imbrie Hall (built in 2001) is shown at right, modeled after the typical hazelnut barns of the Pacific Northwest. Among its notable parts are huge columns rescued from Portland’s old Washington Hotel, which support a skeleton of massive beams from Port of Portland’s Terminal No. 5 and wall posts and headers out of a venerable barn near Forest Grove. Other well-aged ingredients include rafters salvaged from Portland’s pioneering Blitz-Weinhard brewery and the walls’ wide planks taken out of Seagram’s old distillery in St. Louis.