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September 25th, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR | Bar Reviews
 

Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom: Dauphin of Division

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A grocery store-style Wine Well bottle chiller seems like a no-brainer for a beer bottle shop. Why refrigerate everything at the same temperature when you can cool down anything on the shelf in five minutes? But the new Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom (3090 SE Division St., 971-302-6899, imperialbottleshop.com) is the first place I’ve seen use such a system. That’s good, because this concrete-roofed bunker on Southeast Division Street needs innovation to stand out in the neighborhood’s very beery blocks. Imperial’s digital beer board, jazz soundtrack, heavy wood seating and tables, and IPA-heavy tap list are all familiar at Portland beer bars. Less familiar, though, are Imperial’s wide windows, ability to fill 16-ounce bottles from tap lines that employ a homebrewer’s narrow, carbonation-saving wands and a bartender who’ll answer questions by researching what he doesn’t already know on the iPad/cash register. I’m not sure how many new beer bars Portland needs, but it always needs new ideas, and Imperial has a few. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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