by Tara Williams | CNA Media Team
Craft brews may not be new to the venue at 4065 N.E. Fremont Street where Blind Ox Taproom opened in November in the former Alameda Brewpub space. Variety is.
“As unfortunate as the pandemic was, it also enabled us with the opportunity to create a really fun concept, with multiple businesses, almost like a mini food hall, in this large space,” said Blind Ox co-owner Eric West.
He and wife Genevieve teamed up with partner Maxwell McInroy to found Blind Ox Taphouse and a brick-and-mortar iteration of their Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery food cart. They opened in November. Anthony and Stephanie Brown, founders of the popular Mexicajun food cart Nacheaux, joined them in March.
“You can come in as a family, get some food and a drink. The kids can get ice cream, and if mom or dad wants to try a boozy nitro scoop, we’ve got those too, all made right on the spot,” Eric said.
“It’s super great. We offer 30 different flavors, a dairy base and a vegan coconut base. You can also pick a mix in. We stir it all up, blast it with the nitrogen – it looks like a witch’s cauldron and sounds like a jet taking off – leaving behind a delicious, creamy ice cream. It doesn’t get fresher than having it made right before your very eyes.”
For craft beer offerings, Blind Ox has 24 taps. “We try to keep everything local,” Eric said. Sometimes varieties come from other breweries elsewhere in the West Coast.
“We offer several IPAs, and even in summer we’ll continue to have stouts and porters. We normally have at least one pilsner, one lager, a few ciders, but the main thing is we try to keep it interesting. And we’ll fill people’s growlers. I know some places are resistant to that.”
As the pandemic winds down, Blind Ox plans to offer a slate of summer events including live music, swing dancing, open stage nights and trivia.
“The calendar is filling up fast,” Eric noted. “We’ve got a lot to offer.” You can keep track of the plans at BlindOxPDX.com, Facebook.com/BlindOxPDX, NacheauxPDX.com and/or Instagram.com/NacheauxPDX. “
As a small business, with everything that’s been going on, we’re not out of the woods yet, so we definitely do need people’s support,” Eric reported. “We’re excited to get a little bit closer to normal.”
Tara Williams is new to Concordia and loving life on Liberty Street. She’s a writer and English professor, not always in that order. Contact her at Eudaimonia.Dr.Williams@gmail.com.