We can hear the music at our house as it makes rights and lefts through the downtown streets. It bounces off our roof and lets us know it’s time to go Brews & BBQ. We are strolling about 2 blocks away and there they are, the cartoon smoke fingers of aroma, beckoning us closer to the grinding grills of tri-tips, sausages, and pulled-pork.
We enter at the corner of Howard and First and are greeted kindly by the smiling ID checkers. Sender is allowed in until 8pm and will have a great time watching the kids dance and spray each other with large squirt bottles. The heat is to beat, and it’s not hard under the new large canopies this year.
The tables are full of our neighbors, and I am sure the crowd includes some visitors from nearby small towns and Portland. There are families, farmers, and familiar local small business owners. There are hubbub packs of 20, 30 and 40-something beer connoisseurs. It’s a lively bunch and there are smiles and laughter cushioning the heat. Mist fans add cool breeze to the party.
To me, Brews & BBQ is our summer block party for Downtown Newberg. Residents, tourists, and business come together to have a great time listening to Rock Music, drink local beers, and scarf down a whole heck of a lot of BBQ.
We are very fortunate, to have here locally, the multiple BBQ award winning Bert’s Chuck Wagon.The have an awesome building at the entrance to Downtown as you are coming from Portland on the right side.
You can’t miss it. Large red letters and a cool chuck wagon theme. They are here today with tons of shiny silver catering trays, heated and full of delicious meaty fair. I am excited for “The Crawfish Boil” coming up in September, we will be sure to attend.
NW Fresh Seafood, which lives in an awesome old church building of inspiring architecture down the street from our home, is here. They are serving a line of hungry for fish folks. The grill is lit up and you can smell tasty seasoning all around.
The James Gang BBQ Company and their smiling crew of lovely ladies are dishing up some heavenly smoked goods. They have amongst their trays, creamy mac n’ cheese to please any cheesy eater. They are super fun to order from and Nathan grabs a plate full of delish. The seats for filled for our wander but we happily grabbed a spot on the grass to share our plate. I am still thinking about the size of the smoker they have and how they get that matte black metal beast to and fro.
All the while in our tour of the scene, the Branded Band is pumping out some cool rock jams and a bit of country twist that is really just perfect for the eclectic, semi-rural, small-town urban spiked crowd. For a relatively small band, they certainly do not lack on pipes and riffs. The singers are full of energy as if a backed by smooth red bulls and the audience is really enjoying the show.
It makes me so happy to see others enjoy live music. There is something really special about the presence of musicians and the uniqueness they add to the ambience of an event, especially the outdoor kind such as this. They fill the city, not just the block. It doesn’t matter if you are within the fence or just passing by on a summer afternoon, you are sure to gather a slight skip of happy feet in your step.
I stopped by Chehalem Valley Brewing Company to sincerely comment them on the exquisitely crafted mobile bar they provided. It was handsomely created of reclaimed wood with a nice heavy shellac to accommodate possible spillage during the passing of their fine brew to eager imbibers. I had a great time talking with one of the owners John and his beautiful wife Kathleen.
We talked about great local places to score reclaimed building goods, and I picked up a few tips for Nathan’s construction business. Nathan is also restoring our 1904 home with his careful carpentry skills, and we use the existing home materials, reworked, as much as possible. It was fun to have a chat about wood, and we’ll visit with them down the road soon at their local pub to check out the extended menu and featured beers such as Blackberry Wheat or Broken Bottle IPA.
While stopping for some photo opps, I was kindly given some fine BBQ samples to try from the folks at Burning Boar BBQ out of St. Paul.
What a sweet gesture, and Nathan and I enjoyed every last bite of our heaping plate. The owner was very down-to-earth charming and genuinely proud of their family recipes. He noted to me that they get quite a few folks sniffing around for recipe secrets, which truly brings fun conversation and laughter to the food cart table.
I really enjoyed a down- home style helping of apple slaw and let them know how much we savored our plate in its entirety. Their headquarters out of St Paul, home of the famous “4th of July Rodeo”, is just a few miles down the road and I hope to see them back in Newberg soon. I am sure we will.
Parked right next door in the festive downtown yard is Golden Valley Brewery and Restaurant who were showcasing their new logo. These gals were so much fun and really enjoy working with this brewery. I had to really grab a quick second for photos to show them off, there was quite the line for their taps.
It was great to see Brian again from Deception Brewing of Dundee. He’s a really nice guy, and I enjoyed watching him pour fast and perfect for the deepening line of thirsty takers. They had plenty of stylishly sharp hats available that reflect the contrasted milieu of their look. I can’t wait to pop in sometime for a little tour.
All in all, we had an excellent time escaping the sun and delving into some sticky local BBQ feast with our neighbors. Even Sender, with his still young menu of foods, was grasping after the heavy plate of that fine smoker cooking.
Brews & BBQ Friday 2016