Far East Flavors Meet Pacific Northwest Brews at BTU Brasserie

by Mary Locke on Jan 12, 2015 in Beer
Far East Flavors Meet Pacific Northwest Brews at BTU Brasserie

Walking into BTU Brasserie, the brewery on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, is like straddling an imaginary boundary between the far east and the Pacific Northwest. The lucky cat figurine nestled among the liquor bottles at the back of the bar and the 17 butcher knives framed along the back wall are the first indications that the menu might feature a bao or two. But the minimalism of the steel gray and mustard yellow-painted walls, and views of the seven-barrel brewing operation signal that you're right at home in the Pacific Northwest. This union of East-meets-Pacific-Northwest inspires all facets of the brewery, from the aforementioned décor to the cocktail list to the draught selection.

BTU serves up a combination of eight house-brewed and guest beers on tap. Since opening in August 2014, the brasserie now features a tap list heavy on their own in-house brews. The majority of these lagers and ales rotate, with the brasserie's BTU Lager serving as the ever-present staple on the list. Having BTU's Out For a Rip IPA (55 IBU, 6.4% ABV) on draft is a reason to celebrate and worth the trip up Sandy. The IPA has a balanced bitterness of local hops, including the Cascade, Chinook and Columbus varieties. During the holiday season, make it a point to drink the festive bock Joulupukki (16 IBU, 5.8% ABV). Pronounced “Yo-Lu-Pu-Ki,” the beer falls on the darker scale of the German-style lager, combining Cinderella pumpkin and ginger to represent the season, and Sichuan peppercorn and cloves in a nod to BTU's embrace of far east flavors.

BTU's cocktail list is similarly inspired by the bold flavors that emanate from the kitchen. Try the Chinese Sazerac, which uses Dickel Rye Whiskey rather than the traditional Cognac, and Herbsaint Liqueur in lieu of absinthe. House-made bitters made from star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, cinnamon, clove and cardamom round out the drink, giving this traditional American cocktail a Chinese flair. The drink has a nice bite with a smooth finish, and it pairs well with the smoked duck wontons or smoked tofu baos served with scallions, cucumber and Hoisin sauce.

After first opening, the brewery was confused for an especially family-friendly establishment, and while welcoming to everyone, folks who appreciate upscale small plates and boundary-pushing beers may feel more at home here. Since first opening, the atmosphere has simmered down, transitioning into the elegant yet laid-back brewery the owners had always intended. Pop in if you crave both far east flavors and Northwest brews—because here you don't have to choose.

BTU Brasserie; 5846 NE Sandy Blvd.; 971-407-3429

Photos courtesy of BTU Brasserie


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Dinner, Food
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