Popular local business Kells Irish Pub is stepping up their efforts with 2 year old Kells Brewery, introducing a new chef, new menu items and beers and now an outpost at the Portland Trail Blazers arena the Moda Center. The NW 21st brewpub introduced Travis Stark as their new head chef and is using his experience at Le Cordon Bleu and the Pitchwood Ale House of Raymond, Washington to freshen up the menu.
Kells Brew Pub initially subsisted off of just a few house-made beers like an IPA, Irish Red and Irish Lager but on my recent visit they have finally launched a Dry Stout as well as having a Fresh Hop Pale Ale on tap. Though they must be the only brewery in the world who’s best-selling beer is still an Irish Red Ale that’s starmaking attribute is classic British Thomas Faucet Malts.
The new 2nd location of Kells Brewpub is a taproom on the 300 level of the Moda Center; you can also find Kells beers throughout the stadium at select locations, and pre- and post-game at Dr. Jack’s, located just across the concourse from the southwest entrance.
“We chose to install a taproom in the Moda Center because, as locals, we are longtime devoted fans of the Trail Blazers,” explained Kells Brew Pub manager and lead brewer Garrett McAleese. “We are looking forward to the exposure that the partnership will bring to our beer.”
There are currently six beers on tap at the Kells Tap Room at the Moda Center, including Kells Irish Red, IPA, Lager, Pale, Fresh Hop (seasonal) and Stout. Kells has also announced plans to bottle its popular Kells Irish Red in 12-oz bottles, which will be available in early 2015.
Back at the original Brewpub on NW 21st new Chef Travis Stark is excited “We get to enjoy fresh seafood, oysters, vegetables, fruit and, of course, the other food staple – beer,” said Stark. “Part of the fun for me is pairing up foods that not only pay homage to the Northwest but also complement the amazing Kells’ brews.”
The updated menu starts with “Wee Plates” which includes all new items like salmon cakes with a chipotle remoulade & house made pickles; house-made falafel fritters served with tzatziki; bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese; and asparagus topped with an egg and bacon. New main entrees range from a cast-iron Wagyu top sirloin and Imperial Ranch lamb chops to wild caught salmon and a house smoked pork chop. Other new items are sprinkled throughout the menu, including a number of vegetarian and gluten-free choices. Traditional Irish favorites like shepherd’s pie, corn beef and cabbage and Dublin Chicken Curry remain. (Click here to see the complete new menu.)
“We really wanted everything to be a bit rustic – food cooked simply, using the best local ingredients,” explained restaurant manager Garrett McAleese of the new menu. “A few of the dishes are cooked and served in cast iron to give the food a vigorous, hearty flavor.”
Kells Brew Pub is open to all ages seven days a week from 11:30am to close Tuesday through Friday, 9am to close on weekends, and 4pm to close on Monday. For more information, visit www.kellsbrewpub.com or call 503-719-7175.
Serving the Northwest since 1983, Kells is a local family-run establishment that is consistently voted and ranked among the top Irish pubs in the United States. With locations in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, it is a touchstone of each community that stays true to its roots, annually hosting the largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in the Northwest. Owners Gerard and Lucille McAleese are also recognized for their generosity to a number of nonprofits and community organizations.
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