Portland is not only one of the best cities in America for beer—it’s on a meteoric rise to one of the beer capitals of the world. For the purveyors and lovers of this delicious drink, there are few better places to live and, with a seemingly endless supply of local breweries and pubs, there is always a new place to check out.
I happened across Zoiglhaus by chance. Driving down 92nd towards Foster, I noticed an impressive looking building with a funny name on my left; bright flags adorned with triangles, no doubt achieving their sole purpose and catching my eye. Zoiglhaus. I had to stop in.
Zoiglhaus, which creates German and Bavarian inspired beers and food, has the explicit goal to be a neighborhood bar—a place where discerning drinkers and foodies of Lents can get together and enjoy fine crafted brews and food and neighborhood company.
“Zoigl” is pronounced just like it is spelled. But, besides being categorically addictive to say, there is something pretty cool behind the word. Something that fits with the theme of community that the proprietors of Zoiglhaus are employing.
Years ago, towns worried about everything burning down in one big fire. As a result, some of these towns pooled their resources to build a community brewhouse. This not only reduced the number of people who created their own homebrews (using highly flammable materials like coal and wood, putting everybody’s homes in peril), it also raised the quality of the consistency of the final product and equipment used to create it. This idea of community and a safety in numbers mentality is what the Zoilglhaus is all about. The Zoigl (Zoigl coming from the Bavarian word for “show”) star on the red flag shows a chimney sweep, a thirsty farmer, a family with kids, and anyone else that the house is open for business and ready to serve the community.
And that’s what I discovered underneath that flag. Community. Here, the patrons, myself now included, joined in revelry and unison. Maybe there was no Norm or Cliff or Woody behind the bar, but everyone here seemed to know everyone else and those they didn’t, they were quick to welcome in. This was the very definition of a friendly, neighborhood brewhouse. Here, in the heart of Lents, I found that, beneath the red flag and inside the unassuming walls, I found friendship, comradery, community and good eats.
Zoiglhaus is located at 5716 SE 92nd Ave in Portland, Oregon. Stop in today and make some new friends.