Kell’s Brew Pub: Portland’s Irish Inspired Brewery

Kells Brew Pub

Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub is my favorite Irish pub in Portland. But it is not to be confused with Kells Brew Pub. The Irish pub came first and is located on SW 2nd Ave. between Ash and Pine Streets. The place has been around forever and throws the best St. Patrick’s day party this side of the Mississippi River. It also has one of my favorite happy hours in downtown Portland. Of course this being Portland, naturally Kells had to start brewing their own beer. The Brew Pub opened up a little over a year ago in NW Portland. After our day at the zoo last weekend, we decided to go to the Brew Pub for lunch and a pint.  

Kells Brew Pub brews three beers and a seasonal.  The regular beers are Kells Irish Lager, Kells Irish Red, and Kells IPA.  I have to admit that I rolled my eyes when I saw Kells brewed an IPA.  That doesn’t sound very irish to me!  In fact I was surprised they did not have a stout in the regular rotation.  We are talking about Irish themed beers here for crying out loud.  The beer is brewed on site in the back of the bar.

Kells Bar

For lunch I ordered the Irish Nachos.  The Irish Nachos are one of my guilty pleasures at Kells.  It is a plate of nachos with house made potato chips instead of corn chips.

Kells Irish Nachos

It may not be the healthiest thing in the world but they are pretty good and it is hard for me to say no to them.  To drink I ordered a pint of the Irish Red.

Kells Irish Red Ale

I thought the beer was good.  However, it was clear that the beer is brewed more in line with typical NW style as opposed to more old world Irish style.  And what I mean by that is hops were very noticeable.  I’m not saying that is a bad thing, as a Portland beer drinker I am a big fan of hops and IPAs.  However, I think we here in the NW tend to focus too much on hops at the expense of other flavor profiles.  The beer was good but I felt it was a typical NW brew with the word Irish stamped on it.  I was hoping for more and I think Kells can do better.  Still a good beer though.

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