At Function PDX in Portland, the month of May featured Alvarado Street Brewing from Monterey, California. Currently, the month of June features Wander Brewing from Bellingham, Washington. I’m not talking about a one-night tap takeover, it’s more like a complete pop-up taproom that lasts all month. (All images from Function PDX’s Instagram.)
Function PDX is self-described as a “premier event space in NW Portland, perfect for hosting standalone consumer celebrations and corporate gatherings, Function also offers the unique opportunity for concept incubation and increasing brand awareness.”
Basically, it’s a liquor-licensed space capable of hosting various types of events. Currently, the modus operandi at Function PDX involves hosting pop-up taprooms, offering people in Portland the chance to experience out-of-state breweries that would otherwise remain foreign.
A friend who visited the Alvarado Street pop-up told me that it felt very much like visiting a brewery’s satellite tasting room, with a selection of beers on tap along with a reach-in cooler sporting lots of canned beers. For the unaware, Alvarado Street Brewing is a highly decorated and respected brewery in Monterey, with a production facility and tasting room in nearby Salinas, California.
As I mentioned, Wander Brewing is currently popped up in the space. Beer lovers in Portland are probably not very familiar with this award-winning brewery. I am not sure that Wander Brewing normally distributes much beer, or any beer, in Oregon. Now PDX beer geeks can immerse themselves in Wander’s beers, even if only for a few weeks. For Wander Brewing, the benefits are obvious.
More than just the beer, Function PDX offers an opportunity to introduce people to the brewery’s brand, as the pictures above and below illustrate.
Maybe I’ll plant a seed in someone’s head. I think such a thing would go over very well in Seattle. The city has a lot of great breweries, but if you had the option to visit a taproom dedicated to beers from an esteemed, otherwise-foreign brewery like Wander Brewing or Alvarado Street Brewing, would you?
Portland only recently opened back up for indoor seating, so maybe this pop-up concept has only served to help Function PDX, which describes itself as an event space, weather the storm. I don’t know. Whatever the case, I think this pop-up idea is pretty solid. It is valuable for the breweries involved and it is fun for the consumers. I’d love to see it happen in Seattle.