Californians aren’t the only ones interested in owning a piece of Oregon.
Portland trends, from fashion to food, have been rapidly making their way onto plates and into glasses around the world, and Tokyo is no exception. Although the quintessential “Oregon” flavors and atmosphere have yet to truly be captured and replicated elsewhere, the newest attempt is being made at Shibuya’s PDX Taproom.
This cozy bar is one of the closest when it comes to authentic Portland, Oregon delights – the walls are covered and shelves are filled with genuine publications, posters, and trinkets from what we can assume to be Powell’s Books or PDX Airport itself. A TV screen features adverts showcasing the Portland landscape and things to do in the state, and the walls are brick, in homage to the Industrial District, and sport a mural of the famed “Keep Portland Weird” sign. The bar is clean and roomy, and was surprisingly bustling the evening we tried it out.
The beer selection isn’t too shabby. Besides the popular Rogue beers, the PDX Taproom also carries Hub beers, the Deschutes series, Lompoc ports, and Caldera pale ales. They cycle through seasonal offerings every so often, and offer them on-tap from a rather snazzy-looking beer fountain.
At the moment, the menu sports only a sparse selection of finger foods, but they do conjure a few images of Oregon: hummus and pita bread, buffalo wings, chili bean nachos, liver mousse, and a “PDX Salad” with Oregon blueberries and almonds.
The bartenders know their stuff: all have studied Oregon geography and the breweries they import, along with being able to and talk about the difference in taste between Willamette and Cascade-range beers (really niche stuff). The owner herself lived in Oregon for three years, and sought to bring the West Coast lifestyle and flavors back with her, as she grew to miss the the Pacific Northwest. The PDX Taproom is a fine addition to the Shibuya scene.
Open daily from 3 pm – 11 pm, or 12 pm – 11pm on weekends, PDX Taproom is looking to be a small spot in Tokyo where Oregonians and Portland IPA enthusiasts alike can taste a little bit of home, if only for an evening.
More info: http://www.pdxtap.com/
–Photos and Text by Natalie Jacobsen