We went to the MASSIVE Worthy Brewing campus last week to see what all the flap was about. The brewery has since opened, on Feb. 4, but we put our journalist credentials to good use and went for an early beer and pizza. We got both, as well as a tour from Mr. Worthy himself.
Roger Worthington, owner, bike racer and practicing attorney, met us near the door. He's intense! Which is probably how he managed to do a bang-up job on his first restaurant/brewery venture. Worthington knows what he wants and he knows how to go about getting it done. The evidence was everywhere.
Here's what stood out (aside from the 100 cyclists and their families who were invited for a pre-opening beer tasting and dinner): Artsy touches throughout the nearly 30,000 square feet (!) brewery, healthy, hand-made and organic food options, TONS of natural light, a killer patio with plenty of tables—a good sunset spot. Oh, and the extra-pale ale was as good as I'd hoped. Former Laurelwood Brewing Co. Brewmaster Chad Kennedy did not disappoint with his Go Time eXtra Pale Ale (GTX). Last night Worthy had four of its beers on tap: GTX (6.3%); Lights Out Stout (7.7%), Worthy IPA (6.6%) and the ESP (Eastside Pale, 6%). They should soon have an 8.5% Imperial IPA available, too. Worthy will fill the remaining slots at the bar with guest taps until the brewery has enough house beers to satisfy its 12-tap capacity. Soon-ish, Worthington said.
The brewery will also be busting onto the canning scene in a hurry. The brewery was built for canning and you can expect to see the results on the shelves of local shops by this spring.
Worthy should be considered a serious dinner-time spot, too. The wood-fired pizza oven, obvious by its beautiful mosaic, cranks out crunchy-but-chewy-on-the-inside hand-made crusts. I got the Thai peanut pizza and was psyched, though The Shroom, Oregon pear, prosciutto fig, German and Irish pizzas all looked tasty and were only $12-$14 ($2 extra for gluten-free). The menu also features salads with organic greens, apps like oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and a charcuterie plate. Also on the menu are standard sandos and a bigass burger (with bacon pieces ground in). All food is baked—they have no deep-fryer. Worthington, a very successful masters bike racer, doesn't believe in such things.
The bar is made from reclaimed timber from...(drum roll)...the Oregon State Insane Asylum!, where One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed. The same decorative timbers also make up the ceiling in part of the bar. Worthington is a huge Ken Kesey fan and even has a wall of art dedicated to the movie and his timber, which was featured in the 1975 classic.
Like Crux Fermentation Project, it'll be a dope sunset spot. The west-facing windows in the bar make for sweet, golden afternoon light. And there's heaps of outdoor seating. We'll see you on the Worthy patio this summer. SW
Worthy Brewing Company
495 Bellevue Dr.
Sunday- Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.