JANUARY 12. 2022

Welcome to the New Year, Portal fanatics! I’ve heard lots of jokes and speculation circulating about 2022. Can we put 2021 behind us or will 2022 offer more of the same? It still feels a lot like 2020 to me. Then again, partying like it’s 1999 still feels like yesterday to me. As for predicting what the new year will hold, Ben Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death & taxes”. Apparently Mr. Franklin never heard of Beermail!


There’s a bevy of new kegs coming into Portal this week. A lot of great new beers to look forward to. But before we get into the new, we have to finish enjoying what we have on tap already. And there are some gems on there.


I hear January is supposed to be when we take it easy on our livers and cut back on drinking. Everyone makes mistakes I suppose. But if you happen to be one of those folks that’s trying to ease back, can I at least talk you down off the cold turkey ledge? And instead offer full enjoyment with moderation. Sorcery? No. English Mild!


It’s a beautiful style, delicious, flavorful, drinkable. And a boatload of complexity with only a 4% ABV price tag. Perfect for the season too, offering layers of toffee, rye bread, and hints of dried fruit. And we’ve got a pair of em! Currently on tap is Lil’ Nigel from Ghost Town. And he’s a right proper chap. Then following that up, we’ll tap another beauty from Bike Dog called 3 Inch Horses. Pair one of them with anything on the menu and thank me later.


We’ve got the usual list of treats and treasure for everyone who’s not tee-totalling this month. And we just tapped a personal favorite. I love a good saison. Done right, I’m not sure there’s a better style of beer. They offer so much but are still just easy drinking if you don’t want to think about your beer too much. And few outside of Belgium are doing it better than Urban Roots. Their Perpetual Journey is fantastic, and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Peppery and dry with lovely flavors of lemon peel and freshly baked apple tarts. It’s food friendly, sipping friendly, bring a smile to your face friendly.

For my hop heads out there, Esky Crusher from Original Pattern just took the stage and it’s bringing the noise. Enigma hops from Australia are a bully and they deliver zesty pink grapefruit in a major way. Still super drinkable, but undeniably hoppy and aggressive.


Not to mention a whole recreational vehicle of Nelson hops thanks to the madmen from Revision Brewing. Hazy and plush with that characteristic dank/diesel thing going on. Nelson RV is ready to take you on a hop trip and you don’t even have to pack a bag. Just wander down to Portal and talk to your friendly neighborhood bartender about getting into a glass of your own.


And if you just wanna take it easy, may I suggest Kickin It Old School? Throwback flavors of pine and dried grapefruit peel team up with crispy malt and a firm bitterness to remind everybody not to call it a comeback. Canyon Club may be the new kid on the block, but head brewer Christian has some old school cred and the pedigree to do it right, any style, any time.


If you haven’t seen or heard, the patio cover is done! Portal is now 100% a great place to come relax and have a great beer and a great bite rain or shine. So even if the weather outside is frightful, the Portal patio is delightful!


We’ve also got some new bottles of Two Broads cider for you to check out. Sexy, provocative, playful, and a great way to liven your spirits if they’re in need of a boost. Or if you just need something awesome to make your awesome more awesome.





1611 2ND AVE.OAKLAND.CA.94606