Here's our alt-weekly pal Martin Cizmar, an Akron native and the current Arts and Culture editor at the Willamette Week,
rhapsodizing about the new Fat Head's
in Portland's Pearl District (a brewpub Mecca, of sorts):
Fat Head’s...really channels the spirit of suburban Cleveland. That’s not a knock. There’s a lot to love about this big, doughy brewery and restaurant.
First, the beer, which is solid to excellent, including a squeaky-clean Czech Pilsner and the state’s best new weizenbock; that weiz is the deceptively smooth 8.7 percent ABV Alpenglow, a glorious pigpile of clove and banana that took gold at the Great American Beer Festival last month.
Then, there are bun-busting sandwiches and burgers, which come from a billboard-sized menu... The space is Cheesecake Factory-scale, decorated with company branding and, so far, slammed, meaning we waited over an hour for our food. (The waitress halved our bill.) The taps haven’t yet poured the flagship Head Hunter IPA—a revelation in North Olmsted, Ohio, though hard-pressed to rank among Oregon’s top 10 IPAs—but it’s already becoming one of the Pearl’s more pleasant bars. Hey, if it’s good enough for Cleveland’s westside ’burbs, it’s good enough for Portland’s admen and tourists.
Doug Trattner wrote about the Fat Head's arrival
in North Olmsted back in 2009, and they're still flipping dynamite burgers and brewing exotic, state-of-the-art beers out west.